A Manifesto for Art as Self Care

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#posts #creativity

I've been thinking a lot about creative 'rules' and how arbituary they are. As it's the new year, I've been wondering where I want to take my poetry and my creativity and have decided I want to do it for its own sake. I want to focus more on the wellbeing aspects of writing and making things rather than the end result.

With that in mind, here are some principles for art as self care:

  1. Engage with a wide range of cool art from cool people. Follow your curiosity but also seek out new things and works you aren't aware of.

  2. Share what you like and write why. If you don't like things, make private notes to yourself.

  3. Use paper for thinking and playing, use screens for editing and refining.

  4. Have a very small daily practise -less than five minutes. This could be a haiku or a quick sketch. Try to do it daily but don't beat yourself up if you don't.

  5. Observe the world around you as much as possible. Concentrate on your senses. Write or sketch. Pull from these archives when stuck.

  6. Embrace what if. Play with ideas and approaches.

  7. Other artists have already made paths. Follow them for a while then branch off on your own.

  8. Seek collaborators and opportunities, not publicity or clout.

  9. Spend some time editing and refining your work, not to get it perfect but to see what happens if you improve it.

  10. Create for the commons. All art is an ongoing conversation, so publish with wild abandon. Remember it's no longer yours once it's been released.

  11. Don't take comments to heart unless you trust the person and actively seek out their feedback.

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