Working at Artists’ Health Alliance, I found that artists’ number one health issue is precarity. So you can imagine that the self-care craze, very popular among creatives (and everyone else), was something I regarded cynically. When I was asked to put together a workshop on self-care for artists, I accepted because it was a way to engage with the population I was serving, on terms they set.
Lo-and-behold, conducting research into the topic changed my view of it. No longer regarding it as the harmful individualization of health responsibilities, I now see it simply as a fact of life, and possibly as an area through which artists can foster greater control in life and work.
As well as learning about self-care itself, this was also a reminder to engage with ideas that are important to the people I’m working with, and take for granted that they have good reasons for that interest. Skeptical can be good; cynical is not.
For more, read my contribution to Generator TO’s Artist Producer Resource at artistproducerresource.ca
It also means that self-care is not a matter of success or failure… It is not something special you do, but regular habits that you develop – and sometimes change – over time.
excerpt from Self-Care for Artists on Artist Producer Resource