“Sometimes life is hard…and when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make. Good. Art.” – Neil Gaiman
Often the simplest, most obvious advice is the easiest to forget. Presumably if you’re reading this, you are some kind of creative. Being a creative is not a lifestyle choice; rather, you are conscious of some innate thing inside of you, vying to get out. While you wrestle with whatever it is, there may be moments of doubting yourself. Perhaps you suffer from “imposter syndrome,” or question the relevance of art when there are bills to be paid or the world seems to be falling apart.
The challenge is to turn back to that thing that feeds your soul. No matter what is going on in the world nor how many social media followers you have (or don’t) nor what new TV series just premiered; get back to creating. Ground yourself in the root of your calling. In the words of author Neil Gaiman, “Do what only you can do best.”*
People ask me why art is important, how art can make a difference in the face of natural disasters, war, bigotry and indifference. I believe art is healing. I believe art has power. I believe art is connection. No matter your medium – paint, storytelling, music, dance – art taps into our collective soul and reminds of us what makes humanity unique: the ability to create. Take courage from the words of the greats who have come before us.
Now go make some art.
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This is the fifth, and final, installment in Self-Care for Artists.
Christine Rasmussen’s oil paintings explore themes of boundaries, belonging and femininity. Christine describes herself as a ‘global nomad’ – she was born to American parents in Pakistan, and has lived in 13 cities across Pakistan, Vietnam and the United States. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Art Practice (with Honors) and Peace & Conflict Studies. Her works are in private collections in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia. Christine is now based in Los Angeles, CA, where she enjoys art, books and blogs.