So Much Bad News
With all the bad news, personal concerns and global challenges we’re currently facing it’s a wonder I can think creatively at all. I mean it. There’s almost every reason why I shouldn’t be able to. Indeed, there’s almost every reason why I shouldn’t at all. After all, what are my efforts doing to solve any of these Big Issues? Why does what I do matter?
- It’s not like my art is going to track down and annihilate terrorists, right?
- Not like my hats are going to solve Greece’s debt crisis.
- These sketches I do – they’re not curing cancer.
- My paintings don’t make life better for factory farm chickens.
Or do they? Do my paintings help animals suffering from abuse? They do for sure when I am able to donate one to a fundraising auction held by an organization working towards alleviating suffering. That’s a tangible fact. But even beyond that I believe that how I depict animals and mine and our relationship with them also has subtle positive impact.
So does the optimism my work exudes.
Maintaining that optimism in the face of so much bad news is my personal daily challenge. Some days are easier than others at doing this. Some days (many, actually) I have to physically turn off the news. I just can’t help but absorbing the negativity it contains and it pollutes my personal optimism; jeopardizes hope.
This is an ongoing struggle. It never ends. For one thing I can’t help but feel responsibility for the role my own personal consumption plays on the larger stage and so I try to keep myself informed of how my own choices affect the big picture. I try not to be a hypocrite. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not so much – but I’m almost always trying.
Art Must Exist
I believe that my overall highest Mission here on earth is to help make it a better place. The way I have discovered that I can have the most impact with this is through my art. For this reason alone I have to keep doing what I do. It is my imperative. I would say it is every creative’s imperative to express what they must because mindfully doing so helps offset the sway of thoughtless consumption; of goods, of ideas, of ideals, you name it.
The Miracle of Creativity
When you see the output of an artist – regardless of whether you like the results or not – you are witnessing the grace of someone who chose creating over consuming. Someone who overcame every single ‘it can’t be done’ notion and went on ahead despite minimal support from anything outside the process.
There’s no end point to this challenge because there will be no end to bad news. An artist – any creative – has to win this battle every single day. The ebb and flow of achieving balance within this tricky construct is all part of the creative process. Heck, it’s all part of the process of being alive!
Create Your OWN Positive Bubble
- Play Music you love
- Surround yourself with Uplifting Information – quotes, posters, stories, podcasts, books, art
- Sacred space – create a no-news zone in your creative work area, studio or atelier
- Shut off the phone if it brings bad news
- Same too with Texts and all outside info
- Don’t open bills in your ‘sacred space’, for example