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  • #334123
    ArtHeart
    Participant

    Hello everyone. I’m new to this forum and am hoping to find a way to get my motivation and creative inspiration back. I took an early retirement this year and bought my parents house which I share with a sibling. I moved across the country to do this and to be closer to family, especially a son with disabilities.

    My parents and other family and friends have passed away these past few years. That was a big adjustment for me and also to be here and witness the lack of care my son receives with his disability (mental/cognitive) because he refuses most offers of help.

    I was so looking forward to spending my retirement with my life long desire to be involved in creative work. I have the space and all the supplies I need but found myself in a major depressive disorder this summer and have been on medication for the past 4 mths and although I am no longer sleeping or in bed most days, I still am not able to get my inspiration for art back except with flickers here and there and setting up the art studio.

    How can I work on getting my energy and motivation back? It’s a big loss for me.

    #334143
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ArtHeart:

    My suggestion regarding your art: start somewhere and keep going even though you don’t feel it. Keep at it without the feeling, without the motivation. If you feel numb and devoid of any inspiration, do your art anyway. Sometime along the way, you will be surprised, something will happen, there will be a feeling there. And when that feeling is gone, keep doing your art anyway.

    And do post here again anytime. You and I can have a conversation, if you want.

    anita

    #334169
    ArtHeart
    Participant

    Anita, thank you for this good idea!  I will do this and return to let you know how it’s going.

    #334195
    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, ArtHeart. I’m looking forward to your next post.

    anita

    #334243
    ArtHeart
    Participant

    I did it, Anita. I have been making art journals for many years and this is the longest I have ever gone without creating anything in a journal. Nine months.  I usually write in my art journal but because I’m not inspired I just grabbed some supplies without much thought. Grabbed a new art journal book and sat in my comfy spot on the couch with a lap desk.

    I did not think about what to do I just started making and playing on the pages. I may do more on these pages or write on them or just leave them. I will do this again each day. It was an hour of immersion which was good to accomplish even though the fun was not like I want it to be! Messy hands are a sign of accomplishment.

    Not sure if I can upload image

    #334247
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ArtHeart:

    I am so glad to read your update, congratulations, and you made my day! I will be away from the computer in a few minutes and back in about 14 hours from now. I don’t know how to upload images (I am low tech, and am a member here, not the tech person or the owner). When I am back I will reply to you some more, as well as to anything you may add before I return.

    anita

    #334255
    ArtHeart
    Participant

    I will being going to the city for a few days to visit friends. I’m trying to get out more to socialize but find that quite draining as well. I’m looking forward to this trip though and will take my journal and pencil case of art supplies. I have always carried one with me and will do even a quick entry everyday at bedtime while away. Talk soon.

    #334303
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ArtHeart:

    In mindful art studio . com (no spaces), it states about art journals: “An art journal is the same as a written journal, except that it incorporates colors, images, patterns, and other materials. Some art journals have a lot of writing, while others are purely filled with images. It’s a form of creative self-care. There is a list there of “Art Journaling Tutorials” and Art journaling videos and supplies”. I used to love journals, the kinds you buy in book stores, each one inspired me to write in it, to journal, hoping to feel better doing so and have a better life. I started many journals, but I don’t think it ever occurred to me to combine art with the writing. It will be very interesting for me to see your art journals.

    I think that it is an excellent plan to take an art journal with you to the trip and do an entry every day at bedtime. Routine, for one, is very helpful for anyone’s mental health, more so for people who suffer from significant anxiety and/ or depression. I care very much about having a daily routine in my life. To combine creativity/ art and routine is excellent.

    I hope to read from you whenever you have the time and inclination to post!

    anita

     

     

    #334341
    Peter
    Participant

    Well done ArtHeart!

    You are a inspiration!

    #334656
    ArtHeart
    Participant

    Peter, I never thought that trying to find my inspiration again could be an inspiration. Thank you for that inspiration!

    Anita, when I first started my art journals it was definitely my favourite mode of self care and I was primarily playing with and trying different art supplies mostly by drawing and adding colour. It was not until a few years after using these journals that I started to write in them and ended up doing more writing as a form of self expression than focusing on art. As time went on I discovered that art journaling was something others did too and watched you tube videos on art journaling and began to experience the fun of mixed media. So now most of my journals are made with paper for using watercolour, acrylic or other paint, markers, inks and collage.

    I did do brief entries in my new journal when visiting my friends. I enjoyed visiting my friends! I think you are right about a routine being helpful too. I have been working on my sleep routine as well. It is a great deal if work trying to get better from an episode of depression. It’s almost like having a broken body like a hip for example where you have to do physiotherapy to get better even though you may not want to or feel like it.

    I briefly visited the site you referred to and it is my cup of tea! I will spend some time doing some activities from that site. I also found in the past that one of the most helpful practices for me was mindful meditation and I went to vipassana meditation sittings every week and feel that at this time it would be beneficial to me to find a group to sit with again.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

     

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by ArtHeart.
    #334668
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ArtHeart:

    You are welcome. Good to read from you again. So art journals were your favorite mode of self care, drawing and adding color. Later on you started writing in them. now they are mostly made with paper for using watercolor, acrylic, other pain, markers, inks and collage. I didn’t watch the YouTube videos, but I imagine once you paint one page with watercolors or acrylics you have to let the page dry, so you separate it from the other pages of the journal until it dries, correct?

    I wish I knew about art journals earlier in my life, it would have helped me a whole lot, as a form of creative self expression. Good to read you enjoyed visiting your friends and that you did brief entries during the visit.

    It does take self discipline in establishing a routine of activity and rest/ sleep, so to move on from the inertia of no-activity that characterizes depression.

    Regarding mindful meditation, my therapist at the time forwarded me the series of mindful meditations by Mark Williams, I heard them all, very helpful and excellent quality, I think.

    anita

     

    #334716
    ArtHeart
    Participant

    Anita, you can buy multi-media journals in most craft supply or art supply stores. Multi-media means the paper can withstand multiple mediums such as water paints etc. Not just pencil or pen like a sketch book. Yes, you would leave the journal open to dry or use a hair dryer if you want to continue on another page without waiting. You can also put wax paper between the pages. I find it most enjoyable to create a colourful page or background then write on it when it dries.

    I will try to find and listen to Mark’s guided meditations. I just found a new therapist in my area but my health insurance won’t cover her so am now looking for a new one. I am only covered for a clinical psychologist. Sigh….it’s such a big job to find a new one.

    #334814
    ArtHeart
    Participant

    I had an art journal that I called, “The Ugly Book” in which I journaled about my grief and anger of past events before my losses of the last few years.  Because I had to downsize considerably to afford the move across country, I ripped out the pages that I was compelled to hang on to and let the rest go in the garbage. Perhaps I should start another one of these journals. I found that some of the more intense expressions interfered with my pleasure when combined into my other journals.

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by ArtHeart.
    #334836
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ArtHeart:

    When I find myself in a city again (I live outside the city limits of a small town USA with a tiny downtown, no craft/art supply store), I will look for multi-media journals. I am very curious to look at one (more than the 2D the images I googled on line), and feel the paper that withstands multiple mediums so well that you can write on it after it dries.

    I hope you find a good therapist that your health insurance does cover. I wonder what is the disadvantage of being seen by a clinical psychologist (which your health insurance covers) compared to a psychotherapist?

    Regarding The Ugly Book, you ripped out pages so to downsize, meaning the pages you ripped were many and heavy? Or were you trying to downsize what you referred to as ugly (“grief and anger”)?

    I threw into the garbage many albums of photos when I was about 40 because I moved so many times and wanted to downsize. Also, I was quite depressed lifetime, and wanted to get rid of all the photos where I smiled, knowing that I faked those smiled. Plus, knowing I was losing that youth of my 20s and 30s, I thought those photos should be thrown away, together with the dreams and hopes inherent in that youth.

    If you start another Ugly Book, I wonder if you will title it Ugly Book 2. I wonder what you mean by “the more intense expressions”.. so many questions I have, don’t I?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by anita.
    #334878
    ArtHeart
    Participant

    Hello Anita, a better term to search for these journals is “mixed media journals.”

    So the Ugly Book contained all of my negative or unpleasant emotions and events. Such as intense grief and anger. For example my daughter had to go into a woman’s shelter with a 10 mth old baby to get away from her narcissistic partner who was the father of the baby and I helped her through this. So that is one example of my intense anger and grief that I journaled about in the Ugly Book. Using the ugly book was my way of being able to compartmentalize this event from the other art related pleasure or minor annoyances of my daily life from my daily art journals. Because I moved this summer across country I was downsizing all of my belongings and the ugly book had to be part of letting go of things In that process of downsizing my belongings. However I did have a hard time letting it go but instead of keeping the book I simply removed some of the pages I just could not let go of.

    Interesting you were able to throw away your photos. I know how hard it is to feel like you have to smile to protect others from your sadness. But there were times for me when smiling and being with others who made me feel better was healing and a sort of stepping stone into more happy times. I also feel great loss from the dreams and hopes of my youth which never came to be.

    Two days ago I learned that my son with disabilities most likely has testicular cancer. So I think I will name this new journal Ugly Book #2 while continuing with my daily art journals for my continued growth on this journey called life.

    Anita is has been a pleasure being here and talking with you. I have new resources and inspiration to help me with my recovery from depression. I will carry on and find my new therapist ASAP, do some mindful art journaling from that website, read some articles on this site and some new books on mindful CBT while practising  my meditation and enjoy the simple things in life as much as possible.  Hugs and thanks again for your time and thoughts but I won’t return to this forum at this time.

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