Artist Well-Being

Managing Anxiety and Social Isolation: Part One


These are strange times to be living in… which is an understatement at best. But we all do what we can to get by, both as individuals and as part of the global community.

And at Redbubble we also have our artist community that we can turn to for inspiration, ideas and suggestions on ways to manage what life is currently throwing at us. If you’ve been online at all in the last few weeks then you’ve probably seen many emails and blogs from various places full of suggestions on how to manage the anxiety of COVID-19, as well as the increasing isolation that many of us are having to deal with as social distancing and working from home become part of our daily lives. Rather than cover that same territory we wanted to look at the situation from the perspective of the artists that make up our community.

For myself, having previously spent over 10 years in a home studio, the return to working from home wasn’t too jarring a shift. However, the sense of imposed isolation was a totally different addition of the experience, and one that has been a bit of a challenge to get my head around. Before I pass over to a few of my fellow Redbubble artists to share their experiences I thought I’d share a few things that I do to help keep some healthy structure and cohesion to my day.

Leave home and return to work. It seems like a small thing, but the act of getting up and leaving the house to then return to “work” helps to create a sense of separation between the home and the workspace. At the end of the day I leave to go for a walk and then return “home”.

Move. At least once an hour, stand up and stretch. If you’re having regular video conferences or phone calls then try to designate a different space (or even just a different chair) to move to during those times. It’ll help to break the day up and also help to keep your body from getting too cramped and stiff.

Take time for yourself. When you work from home it’s really easy to work longer hours, into the weekends, because the work is right there waiting for you. And especially now when we feel like we have no choice but to remain indoors. Make sure you keep some time for yourself, doing whatever the hell you feel like doing.

Be calm and kind to yourself. There’s a strange pressure on us to use this time in isolation to be productive, to come out of this whole situation having achieved some type of personal or creative transformation. If you want to do that then it’s totally fine to do so, having that goal and focus can be a great thing. But if you don’t want to do it then don’t feel you have to. We’re all feeling an intense amount of uncertainty and pressure and there’s no need to add to that if we can avoid it. So just do what’s right for your own well-being and the well-being of those around you.

And that’s enough from me this week. Let me hand over to some of the amazing artists from the Redbubble community, starting with the wonderful Katie Crumpton who has provided a list of things she’s doing to manage the current situation.

Katie Crumpton’s Tips


  • Yoga.
  • Checking in and chatting with friends and family.
  • Getting fresh air by walking or hanging out in the backyard, while still practicing social distancing.
  • Playing video games. Animal Crossing is one of my favorite game series. A new version just got released, and most of my friends play it so it’s something that we can all enjoy together even though we’re quarantined. I also get heavily inspired by it.
  • Focusing on passion projects that I’ve been wanting to start. It makes this whole thing even more memorable, but in a brighter light.
  • Even though I can’t table at any cons or shows I’m working on making products, so I can have a lot of stuff prepped and ready to go when shows start up again.
  • I did a Q&A with my followers for the first time. It was a fun way to interact and socialize.
  • I’ve also been watching shows I’m interested in as well.
  • I’m using this time as not only a time to get things done, but also taking it easy on myself to do things I enjoy as well.

Check out Katie’s amazing art in her Redbubble Shop.

That brings the first part of our look at managing anxiety and isolation to an end. Come back next time where we’ll have some more members of the Redbubble artist community sharing their thoughts and ideas on these topics.

If you found this information helpful then we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. And while you’re there maybe you have your own experiences or advice that you could share?

Stay safe!
Matt

View additional posts by Matthew Dunn

Matthew Dunn

Matthew Dunn is a Melbourne-based artist/illustrator and Artist Community Advocate at Redbubble. You can find him at www.matthewdunnart.com

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