Creatives, artists, performers and mental health.

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It’s hard being an artist. It’s typically seen as a glamorous life. The problem is that nothing is ever what it seems, figuratively. Often the most creative people, people who imagine things for a living, have incredibly high anxiety, because of that pesky imagination. The ability to imagine new things brings the ability to imagine the future itself, and worry about a future that may never exist. Or at least one that’s unlikely to exist, unless you keep thinking about it so much… Just stop thinking.

This much brain activity can cause a lot of problems day-to-day which can lead to anxiety and even depression. Fundamentally it’s hard being creative because it can be hard to keep that creativity in check.

You can see where I’m going with this.

Below is a video produced for The Show Must Go On (TSMGO) – a talk on mental health for creatives, artists, and performers – an initiative presented by DJ Starting from Scratch.

Dealing with being a creative person is hard. It’s hard to take the hits when something doesn’t work out the way you planned it. It’s hard to face criticism. It requires thick skin. It’s recommended artists develop this skin as early as possible for a greater survival rate.

Artists get cut down hard, by critics and the public to the point some artists never get seen, for fear of rejection from strangers. Other artists who are bravely showing their work get discouraged by criticism and others never get passed their own egos.

Commercial art is especially hard. Creating something between the lines of art and advertising can be challenging. In some cases, you might have more than one owner, client or director putting in their two cents and all requesting something different. It’s your job to deal with that, take it all into consideration and interpret it back in a way that’s valuable to each member of your team. As an artist, you’re an interpreter in your own medium. That’s why you’re a pro.

If I have any advice for creatives, artists or performers on #letstalkday, it’s probably that. Talk more. About everything. Artists get hid hard when it comes to mental health, so if you feel like shit. Talk to someone, so you can find a way to continue to grow.

We’ll share the video we’re creating for this The Show Must Go On as soon as it’s done.

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