Welcome to the first Art and Health Wednesday…
I didn’t start life out as an artist, I mean I didn’t intend to be an artist although the arts were always included as a part of my life. I started as a young musician. My first instrument at the age of 9 was the bass fiddle. Believe it or not, little me was playing the bass fiddle. As I got older I moved into the choir and spent the rest of my middle school, high school, and college years singing in the choir. When applying to college my intended major was music therapy but there were only six school in the country offering a program at the time and I didn’t have the theory skills to make it as a music major.
Over time I became a quilter. I love the tactile experience and was making quilts that were contemporary in nature, but not artistic. I became an okay technician and then I found a group of art quilters. My work and my life changed because for the first time I was going to create works that spoke of my life experience and from my soul. It allowed me to be unconventional (which I am) while telling great stories. I had found a tribe that would not only mentor me, but educate and support my endeavors.
Where is all this going? I found my voice and for those facing a chronic or life-altering illness you may feel as if your voice is being drowned out. I say, change how you use your voice and art is a sure way to be seen and heard. I’m not talking about art therapy, although I do believe it has its purpose and place. I’m talking about the raw nature of creating something unique that’s your and yours alone. Something that is the ultimate self-expression of your experience.
It’s amazing what happens when you see your story in a new context. I have friends who have battled illness and danced their way to health and healing. Others I have met along the way use poetry, sculpture, yes even music to discard the unwanted emotional and spiritual baggage and create a new world view.
Your work doesn’t need to hang in galleries or museums; it needs to hang in your heart. Don’t waste any time, go out and begin creating an original work of art that is your contribution to the ongoing dialogue of health and healing.