Creating a better reality with art
I am an artist and writer living with schizoaffective disorder. Art helps me heal. Every time I do something creative whether it's a painting, a drawing, or a book, I feel so much better afterwards. My instinct is to always want to share it immediately with everyone. I normally don't plan out beforehand what I'm going to paint when I'm doing it. I allow the images to reveal themselves to me. I might paint for an hour or two at a time, but it feels like it only takes a few minutes. Something about the absorption with the materials and the process of making images is so pleasing to me that it speeds up time.
It's almost like time spent in a dream. In a dream it the time spent could me days and you could travel all over exploring the world, but the physical time spent dreaming might just take a few minutes. It's mysterious. When I paint I ask for the spirit of the divine to move through me, to guide my hand, and make it good. It's an incredible feeling to commune like that with spirit. I believe it improves the quality of the art. The power to change time to change feeling, to transform the energy of something negative into something good describes the creative process of sublimation.
My art oftentimes tries to express things that can transform bad things into good. I explore this through different themes in images I represent like fairies, eclipses, unicorns, or even waterfalls. The symbolism that makes itself visible is like trying to decipher a dream. I might not have intended to consciously, but sometimes the image teaches me something I didn't realize about myself. Art making helps me to ground my flights of fancy into a physical object that reflects my mental state.
It's always helpful in a clinical setting to be able to draw. I did a series of self portraits once when I was hospitalized. Even though I was looking in a mirror as I drew, the images all came out very different, and they all represented a part of me. Sometimes the hair seemed to tie my head on to my neck, kind of as an anchor. In another drawing, the patterns on my shirt become heartbeats. In another one all my features became delineated by tears, and by the time I was ready to be released, the portrait looked more realistic and I knew I was ready to rejoin society.