I think most of us have now experienced what is like to be a prisoner in our homes. Clearly one of the most important things about this experience is to maintain good mental health. It is very easy when the situation goes on for an extended period of time, to go through a large range of emotions that tend to be on the negative side.
However, it is said that every cloud has a silver lining, so I would ask you, what do you think the silver lining is to being in lock-down? And a further question is what are the pitfalls of being in lock-down?.
So let's begin with looking at the pitfalls, because this may lead us to find the silver linings.
Firstly there are several things that we have to deal with including but not limited to,
having a physical freedom constraint
not being able to visit loved ones
losing my livelihood
having to spend more time with family members
having to deal with major changes in my life that I didn't ask for
Now, these are only a few of the things that we may have been impacted by and certainly, they are not small problems.
One of the things that will have affected many artists is that they don't have a dedicated studio and that they are now having to share space with others that they might have used for painting before.
The possible results of this are that you could be feeling resentment, frustration or anger, unable to work because of the distractions, and a loss of your mojo.
Now, let's stop and have a look at that. There's a couple of things here. The first question would be, why don't you already have a dedicated space for your studio? When I ask people this question I generally find I get a lot of excuses. There are a million reasons why they can't have that space. One of the most common ones I find is that, yes we have a spare room in the house, but that's for visitors. Well, my friend, my response to that is, how often do you have visitors? If you have them weekly that's one thing, however, if you only have them a couple of times a year that's something else completely. There are always alternative solutions for occasional guests.
What this really has to do with is, - and here comes the silver lining -
How much you value yourself and think that you are worth having a dedicated space in your house to do your art and
How serious you really are about doing your art?
You are being given an opportunity here to question how important your creativity is to you.
Are you willing to fight for it - to ask for what it needs? Sometimes, in fact, more often than not, this requires us to step up. To face a fear of one kind or another. It is nearly always easier to put those things off. 'I just want peace in the house.' 'What I want isn't really important' How do I know this, because I spent years doing that very thing myself.
Your creativity - whatever form it takes is an intrinsic part of who you are. Your gift - no one else in the world has it. If you don't step up and bring it into the world, it will be lost forever. Are you going to deny the rest of us the opportunity to share in that?
You can see that things aren't simple. Life is constantly asking us to expand, to step up. The problem is that we don't want to change and would rather contract, and retreat like a snail into its shell.
The last 18 months has been a massive opportunity for everyone on the planet to look at their lives in a different way, to make changes, to grow.
How have you changed, what have you done to better your life and your Art Practice?