If you work as an artist, you probably spend all your time in your studio. It comes with the territory as a creative: you spend most of your life creating, and your works make life a better place for you to be in. Most of your earthly possessions are covered with blotches of paint, pencil marks, or any of those things that come with your career. And as you already know, these things are made with many hazardous chemicals that make them unhealthy for human contact. But you sit and eat with them, day in and day out, setting yourself up for illnesses and exposing your health to hazards that could be life-threatening.
How do you practice safety while doing what you love the most without being much of a bother to you? Here are tips to remember the next time you’re at the doctor as a result of another bout of infection:
Disregard the myth that creatives have to be fucked up to create mindblowing things
Many propagate the theory that most creatives must be fucked up to create well. They must dress shabbily, eat on dirt-crusted plates, live with paints, colors, and dirt in their hair, and smoke like a chimney. Do away with that theory: it’s unhealthy and filled with lies.
As soon as you accept that you don’t have to live like a beggar or nomad for your pieces to be mind-blowing and worthy, you step into a new realm open to being better and living healthily. You can be clean and healthy, engage in guilty pleasures every once in a while to spice your life up, and still be a great artist.
In our previous post on living an artist’s and a lived life, we discussed the importance of setting standards for yourself and staying within the confines of the standard. If you set a particular time for eating, keep to the time. If you set specific wear for sleeping and a nighttime ritual for yourself, stick to them.
Setting healthy standards for yourself is a way to convince your psyche to adapt to healthier habits. Habits like taking a bath before retiring for the night replace unhealthy habits like jumping into bed, painting stains, and all after a long day at work. Practices like setting aside time every morning to do the dishes and clean up your apartment, so the dirt doesn’t accumulate and make you feel overwhelmed replace unhealthy habits like going from the studio to the bed and from the bed back to the studio, in what is know are an artist craze.
Have an accountability partner
This partner could be a friend, a spouse, a neighbor, or a close colleague checking in on you to see if you’re sticking with your plans of living healthily. Change is often difficult, so it helps to have someone you confide in about your struggles.
You can expose yourself to skin cancer. After all, you’re tired to wash off after a long day at work. Also, food poisoning because you splatter paints everywhere you go, even on your dishes, and are often in haste, and you don’t bother cleaning thoroughly before use. This partner will keep you on track until these changes become habits because you wouldn’t want to act shabbily when you know your partner watches over you. Of course.
It takes much unlearning to change habits hammered into you by professionals and agents of socialization, so take it easy on yourself. Remember, slow and steady is the only way to win the race and enjoy the trophy for much longer.