How to Keep Creating When Your World is Turned Upside Down

About a month or so ago, a major life event suddenly turned my life upside down. I rather abruptly, and unexpectedly, found myself, after nearly 35 years of marriage, in the process of getting a divorce.

Needless to say, this has been a heartbreaking and stressful time. I will not be going into any of the details but I did want to write a post that will hopefully encourage any other artist or creator going through a rough patch in their lives to keep on creating.

Everyone handles the hard times in their lives differently, but there are a few practices that can help keep the flame of creating alive, even when one feels there is nothing solid to hold onto. First, and most important, is to take care of yourself. Eat healthy meals, even if it is small one because you do not feel hungry. Make sure you drink enough water, exercise, meditate or pray, and get enough sleep. Some of these will be more challenging than others when one is in crises, but all are important. Sleep has been the biggest challenge for me.

Reach out to your loved ones and friends. I have found that I have been blessed with friends and that I never realized just how true and really wonderful they are.

The most critical practice for an artist or any creative is to keep creating. You don’t have to paint that masterpiece, unless that works for you, but get in front of your easel or sketchbook, even if only for a few moments, and lose yourself in your work. I have found that truly healing.

Take small steps in the studio. Today, for example, I sanded a panel down in preparation to reapply the gesso I wasn’t happy with. I also watched part of a instructional art DVD by one of my favorite landscape artists. Now is the time to take a moment to indulge in a bit of educational escape. A few special treats such as a new paint color you have wanted to try or a special pencil or brush can generate a bit of enthusiasm to get the creative juices going.

Some artists will find that spending long days in the studio will be very healing. I have to spend a bit of time getting things ready to meet this new change and challenge head on, but I make sure I spend as much time as I am able to working on some aspect of my art.

One of the upsides to this big change in my life is that I will eventually have a lot more time for me and my creativity. I am looking forward to that time. Find something to look forward to!

As I have talked to my friends, I have been listening to their stories as well. Every single friend has been through tough times and I have listened to their hard earned wisdom and advice. Know that you are not alone!

My blog posts have been irregular lately and I can’t promise that they won’t still be for a time as I move through all of this. I will be back to posting about art and the creative process with the next post. There will be occasional mentions of some of the big changes that will be happening for me in the future. Some of them will be exciting as I head on to a new chapter and adventure in my life.

So, to sum it all up when dealing with a major crises: Take care of yourself, Reach out to loved ones and friends, Keep creating, Take small steps, Find something to look forward to, and Know that you are not alone!

-Renee

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