Why is it so hard for us to take care of ourselves? We all get busy. We feel a sense of urgency to keep up and do more. But if we're honest, we realize that very little is really urgent. Still, all of this hustle means we neglect habits and routines that will keep us well and give us energy for work in and out of the studio. And it's even harder when you're also responsible for caring for others. Whether you're a parent with growing children or an adult with aging parents, caregiving can take a lot out of you. It's hard to spend time on yourself when you're maxed out on so many levels. It's no wonder that self-care takes a backseat to other priorities.
On this episode of The Art Biz, I’m joined by Shimoda Donna Emmanuel. Shimoda has been the caregiver in her family, primarily for her mother Izola who recently passed after living with Alzheimer's, but also for an ailing sister. In 2020, Shimoda wrote Sacred Stitches: The Art of Care Giving, which has tips for stitching yourself together when caring for someone with Alzheimer's, but can also be useful to other caregiving roles. Together Shimoda and I talk about her routine, how she keeps her home to maintain a high vibration, tools she uses to de-stress and to stay calm, and how gratitudes and "the rage dance" fit into her self-care routine.
The fiber collages, jewelry, circles of love and sacred stitches of Shimoda’s work. (2:13)
Shimoda wrote Sacred Stitches during the pandemic while caring for her mother. (7:29)
Key tips for de-stressing as a caregiver artist. (14:20)
How to keep your energy high so you can stay positive and productive. (24:52)
Spring cleaning takes on a new meaning with self-care. (28:40)
Finding a support group that can give you the support you need. (31:16)
Handling emotions might mean screaming, crying and doing a rage dance. (34:51)
How to cultivate a space that helps you destress. (36:30)
Making time for sleep and watching your diet. (40:45)
‘Let this be easy’- Shimoda’s mantra for hectic days. (46:05)
A peek at what Shimoda is looking forward to in the New Year, and where her name came from. (49:10)
Sacred Stitches: The Art of Care Giving - Tips for Stitching Yourself Together When Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's by Shimoda Donna Emanuel
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach
“I’ve got to take care of myself. The caregiver has to take care of themselves.” — Shimoda Donna Emanuel
“I’ve got to keep my energy high and keep my vibration high. That’s what’s most important to me.” — Shimoda Donna Emanuel
“It’s just not good to hold it all in. I can get through emotions quicker if I just let myself deal with the feelings.” — Shimoda Donna Emanuel
Shimoda Donna Emanuel is a mixed media artist living in Harlem, N.Y. Shimoda Accessories has a range of work that includes intuitive jewelry & fiber art. Her art has been on HGTV as well as the covers of Essence magazine and other publications. Her art is available for purchase at The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
As a caregiver of her sister and her 97-year young mom with Alzheimer’s, Shimoda wrote Sacred Stitches: The Art of Caregiving. This colorful book offers tips for other caregivers. She found solutions that worked for her with creative exercises, rituals, and more.
Shimoda also published Sacred Stitches: Fiber Art Dolls for the Soul and Sacred Stitches, an inspirational 25-piece card deck.
First posted: artbizsuccess.com/caregiving-shimoda-podcast
We need art. Some of us need it more than others, and for some of us, it's as necessary as the air we breathe. My guest on this episode of The Art Biz is Rich Simmons, a London-based artist who insists that art saved his life. Rich is not an art therapist, but he is an advocate for the therapy of an art practice. He knows from first-hand experience that art heals.
Rich has struggled with depression and was eventually diagnosed with Aspergers. The realization that making art could make him feel better was life-changing, and he wanted other people to know about this. In 2008 he started Art Is The Cure to inspire people to turn to creativity in times of pain. Art has given his life purpose. In our conversation, you’ll hear that Rich has many balls up in the air. He makes murals, gives workshops, sells prints, has recently entered the NFT market, and is starting a podcast. And that is just scratching the surface of his inspiring ambitions.
“I was thrown into the deep end.” Rich’s unusual entry into the art world. (2:51)
Rich started on his artistic path at a very young age by trading art with his grandfather. (7:57)
Discovering art as a form of creative therapy amidst personal turmoil. (11:49)
The act of creative release has expanded Rich’s spectrum and allows him to make better art. (17:44)
Art Is The Cure gave Rich the purpose he needed to move forward. (24:50)
How to channel your negative energy in a way that affects change. (33:48)
Finding inspiration, community and movement, and what to do when art is the source of your stress. (36:50)
Rich’s income stream and his approach to creating a continual stream of potential clients. (41:50)
“I want to give back to art because art saved my life.” — Rich Simmons
“I like to say yes to opportunities no matter what it is and try to figure out how to do it.” — Rich Simmons
“I realized I had found my own version of art therapy, and I needed to help other people discover their own version of art therapy.” — Rich Simmons
“An artist’s job is not only to be a storyteller but to evoke emotions.” — Rich Simmons
“I couldn't be an inspiration for people if I wasn’t looking after myself.” — Rich Simmons
“You can be the messenger about how powerful art can be.” — Rich Simmons
Rich Simmons is an Urban Pop artist who has exhibited all over the world. Simmons' work explores the intersections of visual culture, spanning pop art, comic books, the Renaissance, contemporary fashion, sexuality and beyond.
Simmons' bold use of color, intricately detailed hand-cut stencils, sense of humor and thought-provoking narratives running through his work are proving Rich is both an innovator and highly collectible artist.
Simmons is also the creator and founder of Art Is The Cure, a vInspired award-winning organization promoting art therapy and has run workshops and talks around the world.
What are you doing to take care of yourself? To keep up your energy, maintain a positive mindset, balance out the hours in the studio and on the computer? Is balance even necessary when you’re doing what you love?
In this episode of The Art Biz, I talk with Maria Coryell-Martin, a busy mom with a thriving art career and companion business that supports her family. With all that she has going on, Maria makes time for almost daily swims and cold, open water, healthy eating, and plenty of sleep. Listen to hear how she does it.
Maria’s expeditionary art combines her passions for science, art and education. (2:20)
The motivation behind splitting Maria’s two artist endeavors. (4:57)
An income breakdown from Art Toolkit and Expeditionary Art. (7:44)
Maria’s art takes her all over the world. (10:31)
“I want to be a capable, useful person in the field.” (14:39)
How Maria successfully solicits funds for her expeditions. (17:17)
Self-care is the rock for Maria’s sanity. (19:25)
The physical aspect of making art requires taking care of your body. (24:06)
A typical day for Maria starts with getting enough sleep and swimming in the ocean. (28:21)
Monitoring energy levels, controlling what you’re eating, responding to stress. (35:15)
Setting boundaries around your time and energy. (40:57)
Getting the help you need so you can do your best work. (42:45)
The simple first steps for starting self-care today. (46:00)
“Ask for what you need. You may not get it, but at least you’ll learn something.” — Maria Coryell Martin
“I’ve developed tools and habits over my life that are my rock for my sanity.” — Maria Coryell Martin
“Work is like a river. You dip your toes in and do what you can and then you take your toes out and it keeps flowing.” — Maria Coryell Martin
“Mistakes are part of everything you do, but you’ve just got to move forward and let mistakes happen.” — Maria Coryell Martin
Maria Coryell-Martin is an expeditionary artist following the tradition of traveling artists as naturalists and educators. She graduated from Carleton College in 2004 and received a Thomas J. Watson fellowship to explore remote regions through art from 2004-2005.
Since then Maria has worked with scientists, local communities, and travelers in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and the Antarctic Peninsula. In the field, Coryell-Martin sketches with ink and watercolor, and collects multimedia recordings to build her palette of place, a record of experience, climate, and color. This led her to create the wildly popular Art Toolkit.
This work became the basis for exhibits of large-scale studio and field paintings, as well as multimedia presentations and hands-on workshops for audiences of all ages to promote observation, scientific inquiry, and environmental awareness.
First posted: artbizsuccess.com/self-care-martin-podcast