Art for my wellness
Many of you know (some will not) that I started my art journey when I suffered with severe depression . After being involved in a serious car accident about 10 years ago, I developed Fibromyalgia and reactive depression. I'd gone from an extremely active young woman (think skydiving on weekends and backpacking around the World) to not being able to do anything - literally nothing. I was in a prison created by my own body and mind.
Me before my Fibro... Yes I'm Supergirl!
Once my path to managing my condition and mental health had begun, I attended a hobby watercolour class just for something to do. And it turned out I could actually paint! That's where my real story begins.
For me, at first it was more the practice of doing watercolours, not really thinking I'd be any good at it (hopefully I am now!) rather than creating something to be proud of. Any kind of arts or crafts is great for any health conditions, be it physical or mental. It's a form of mindfulness, and the creativity helps relax you, taking the focus away from any of the issues you may have, even if it is just for a short period of time. And of course, the more you do something the better you get and the more enjoyment you get from it!
My iffy watercolour skills when I first started....
The progress of my skills
Throughout Inkterior's life I've had my ups and downs, both physical and mental (as with any chronic conditions), but more recently, in 2020 I suffered a big blow. In lockdown I fell pregnant very unexpectedly. From the start it was an extremely difficult and painful pregnancy, and it caused a lot of flare ups. After little Dexter was born I was diagnosed with PTSD (from the pregnancy, birth and recovery), chronic insomnia and PND. I was extremely poorly, and it took a while to start to feel that I could regain control of my life and my illnesses. A massive part of that was getting back into creating (this was on top of receiving support from medical professionals and medication). It was just small quick things at first, but that kick started feeling the benefits I once had. I'm still suffering from these things, but every day gets better and better, even if it's just by a millimeter.
Let's be clear, I'm not an Art Therapist ( this requires a Degree and Masters... which having Dexter kind of put a pause on that route just for now), but I can help you with your hobbies and art practices. I also have experience running an Art for Wellness face to face group provided by Big Local in Bolton
This is because I know from personal experience, not only how it can help, and the benefits it brings, but also the limitations you may have along the way (being disabled myself and having numerous health conditions), I want to share those benefits with you. You don't have to be good at the things you try ( although let's face it we all want to produce works of art!), it's more about enjoying the process of creating those pieces. And if you end up being the next Monet, then that's just a bonus!
You'll notice most of my creations are very bright and cheerful, or comedic (some even naughty). That's because colour choices also have an impact on mood and health!. Have you ever been to an art gallery and seen a depressing, dark painting, and instantly felt down or sad? That's how much art can impact us!
I'll drop this here for your amusement!
I welcome you along for the ride on my continued journey and I encourage you to start yours!
Whether its accessing my art through purchasing my prints or products, joining in on the Art for Wellness subscription group which will be starting soon (sign up to the email list if you're interested in that!) or just being part of Inkterior Art's Facebook community, I hope that it brings you some joy and light!
Keep well, share your story and remember if you need help, reach out!