2016 – Using your art to get better

December 27, 2015 tracy

As this year draws to a close I couldn’t help looking back as i guess we all do. It’s been a year of hard work and change – of getting used to new jobs, platforms and technologies, but the one constant has been my writing. That has been the rock that has grounded me since I was a small girl.

I suppose that is the art; recognising the things that ground you. When madness, upheaval and insecurity is all around, it is the thing that stops you descending into the pit of anxiety, panic and depression that matters – because we all feel overwhelmed at times, no matter how strong we think we are.

In 2011 I was a single mother with two teenage children. I was already writing the sirens, but what started off as a story that needed to be written, took on a new meaning. It became my vehicle of escape. I ploughed everything into it – my thoughts, my memories, feelings. All hidden in the code of my story. It became fun in the end to see how much real information about me i could hide – like favourite songs, nicknames etc.

Gradually over time, it became evident that what started off as a way to escape a world of drudgery, depression and darkness, was changing and becoming positive, brighter and full of achievement. I had turned everything I had gone through – everything that made me an individual, into a piece of art. Whether others ever saw it mattered little in the beginning. It was only after finding my excellent editors that i began to realise that maybe i had something someone else might like to read. Maybe I could transport others out of their dark places.

By the time i wrote Diablo – (which took me over a year while i held down a demanding full-time job), I had discovered Alan Streets (Plein Air artist) who was perfect for the cover. For those who aren’t familiar with his work check out this documentary about him (link –  ) He is a prolific painter who suffers from schizophrenia and choses not to medicate, but uses his condition to fire his artwork, and the results are amazing. He is a real inspiration and a perfect example of what i’ve been talking about.

Christian Hopkins

Art is often an outlet for creative and emotional expression, something that 20-year-old Christian Hopkins knows all too well. The young photographer uses photography as a coping mechanism for depression. The results are compelling and thought provoking.

Isn’t that the very definition of art?

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