Coping in a Post-Pandemic Art World: 6 Common Sense Ideas
Looking back on the past year, our world has simultaneously atrophied and flourished. The artist community has faced the challenges of the past 16+ months and is documenting this moment in history with creativity and expression never seen before. Creating art is a key component to mental health but the act of making art can be filled with stress as we work against deadlines, expectations and running an art business. How can we empower ourselves and reduce our levels of stress? These are a few common sense ideas that may already be part of your regular routine. But you might find something on this list that you had not considered before.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a hot term these days. It is essential for our wellbeing to take a few minutes each day to achieve a positive mind-body balance
Meditations helps anchor us to the here and now. Here are six mindfulness exercises you can try from the Mystic Museum of Art.
Breathe: Deep breathing is one of the easiest and natural tools to combat stress and even reduce pain. By taking deep breaths, you slow your heart rate, and allow more oxygen to enter your bloodstream, which communicates with your brain to relax. Deep breathing decreased stress and increases calm. Here are some breathing exercises for relaxation from Michigan Medicine.
Find a Mantra: Everyone needs positive affirmation. A mantra is simply an affirmation to inspire you to be your best self. For inspiration check out this Pinterest page.
Yoga: Artists spend hours hunched, standing and using repetitive motion to create. For centuries, yoga uses poses that help with posture, strengthen muscles, release tension, increase blood flow and promote focus. Here are 10 Yoga poses to help alleviate aches and pains.
Connect or Reconnect: Use social media specifically to support your creativity. Form a Facebook group with other like-minded artists so you can share your images and thoughts. As always, I suggest that you also apply your creativity to marketing your art. (Be SMART about marketing your art)
Routine: Research shows embracing routine is essential to self-care, as well as for productivity and making time for the things that matter. Routines have also been shown to reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. One of my favorite mindfulness and meditation apps, Headspace, writes about it best in this blog post, “The Secret Benefit of Routines. It Won’t Surprise You.”
Plan: Create a business plan so that you are not overwhelmed when you are on the road again full time. It’ll help you set goals—both for your art and for the amount of money you’re bringing in—know exactly how much you’re spending and making each month, and plan effective marketing and sales strategies. Art Work Archive has a guide to making a business plan in 6 steps.
Keep a Calendar: This is where you will set deadlines for yourself to help you achieve your goals as well as keep track of show/exhibit deadlines, application deadlines, when to drop off and pick up work, etc. This is also where you schedule time to do your artwork.
Art shows are coming back, patrons are looking forward to seeing your new work. Take the time to equip yourself to enjoy reconnecting with the world.