The woman who introduced me to this concept said, “All creatives are healers.” I had been telling her that in the past couple of years, my close and extended family had realized we have ADHD or executive dysfunction running through and that it’s been revelatory. There are many hacks out there for folks who forget that a thing exists if it’s not in their visual space or who have difficulties tracking or thinking about time in a realistic way. This last one really plays havoc with job estimates.
She asked me, don’t you think that all creatives have ADHD?” I thought about it for 10 seconds then slowly nodded my head.
“Um, yeah. Yeah, I do. Many of us are non-linear thinkers or we know how to access that intuitive knowing or finding answers that aren’t obvious or right in front of us. I guess that indicates a different sort of thinking.”
I’m recovering from several years of depression and really unhelpful thinking patterns. The ones that have me spinning, thinking for answers, talking for answers, reaching for enough-ness through doing.
How it began
That’s an ambitious subtitle. It began in my youth, and each experience blossomed into self-belief like a Rube Goldberg-style sequence of choice-consequence-belief. Two marriages, four children, ten moves and multiple other reinforcing experiences led to 2017 when my primary client stopped using contract designers, told us it was just a slow down then ghosted us. That was the equivalent of the break-up of a long, bad marriage. I was better off without the “how high and how fast”-style work but when it all ended, I panicked. It was a struggle to learn to network, find new clients and a new way of doing business.
Fast forward again through my experiences with ageism, angry adult children, caring for a Mom with dementia, saying “no” to caring for Mom, and putting the family toxicity on hold.
Now, after almost five years of searching, classes, workshops, practicing, and thinking shitty, unhelpful thoughts, my biggest impediment came into focus for me: I lack a strong internal self-support system. Incredibly low self-esteem has made it almost impossible to sell what I do, even though I’m intuitive, creative, and very good at what I do.
I struggled with feelings of irrelevance and felt like I was begging for work instead of selling to people who needed me. Long years of events I understood as “exclusion” and, more deeply, as “abandonment,” meant, I concluded, that I was “no good.” And that it was all true, no one wanted me. Not even me. I just heard crickets and the loudest cricketed silence was from myself.
Artist, heal thyself
I am on hiatus from my client work for next two months, resuming the work in March 2024.
Till then, I’ll be free-falling, learning how to unplug from work in a way that truly feeds my soul and provides direction. Not watching Netflix and turning off my brain – my typical unplugging activities but discovering how to be unplugged in a way that nourishes me. I have no barometer for this so I’ll be recalibrating my definition of “soul food” as well.
While I’m free-falling, I’ll be teaching music, taking care of a couple of retainer clients, hammering away at copper (forging/smithing), and doing lots of art. No number crunching, no thinking, just doing.
Moving more into Me
Artists are healers. I am certainly a healer for my clients because I watch them, listen to them, and realize what matters to them. I see the images and colors that want to be there for them and their lovely work. I feel the rightness of the beautiful logos and visuals I create for them. Deeply personal symbols for their professional heart-driven work. I don’t take this lightly and I go deeply into the work with my clients. More than this visual component are the words we begin using about their work. Writing a whole new them and holding up a mirror for future them. Creating a visual and written language that represents their next evolution – something for them to grow into via their words, materials, and websites.
I’ll write to you the next time I have thoughts to share. Thanks for reading and being here.