WHY? Are you a working artist under financial stress?

Whether it’s from the ups and downs of an artist’s career or you’re recovering from an accident, illness, or natural disaster these strategies will help you get creative again.

Artist and Beneficiary Rashida Ferdinand

Creating Art Based on Your Experience 

Artists frequently use their life experiences as themes, imagery, and ideas for creating art. In times of crisis, use your emotions or circumstances to tell your story and find inspiration for content and meaning

Keep a journal or sketchbook to process and reflect on your experience

If you can no longer practice the art form or medium that you are used to, take this opportunity to explore something new and different. Ceramicist and Beneficiary Ben Medansky purchased colored pencils and paper after his entire studio was destroyed in a fire

Create art by safely upcycling disaster debris and found objects to create temporary public art, memorials and community based projects as well as your own artwork

Allow yourself time to recover and gradually accept your “new normal”. Practice self-care and avoid isolating yourself from others

Expanding Your Creative Network

Reach out to artists with similar experiences or find a support group

Generate or participate in group or community art projects

Teach others 

Volunteer with a relief effort

Attend an artist residency program through The Craftschool Experience or find one at The Alliance of Artist Communities


Ceramicist + Beneficiary Hiroshi Ogawa Creating Again

Traumatic Experiences can:

Provide perspective

  • Make you more aware of the “big picture” and your  place in it
  • Help you focus on the here and now
  • Provide clarity on what you want
  • Inspire you to give back to others through you art or other efforts

Change your priorities

  • Slow down
  • Simplify

Change your attitudes

  • It’s okay to be a receiver now and then
  • Setbacks or challenges can be opportunities
  • Accept what has happened and embrace the “new normal”

Provide chances for growth/learning

  • Open to reflection and reevaluation
  • Learn about your strengths and weaknesses
  • Form new connections and stronger connections with others
  • Get prepared in case of another emergency
Teaching and performing artist Trish Denton, who has worked with incarcerated women and victims of domestic violence shares the unique role that artists can play in a community’s recovery after an emergency or disaster. “Modeling the vulnerability inherent in recovery is so important in our society,” Denton shared. “Artists model vulnerability that resonates with individuals and communities in distress. Giving people license to be okay with vulnerability is a gift from the artist.”

“I have had to adapt and look forward to something that had no shape while it germinated. A new studio in a new location has opened up possibilities in many directions. Change and re-evaluation is always healthy. This crisis was truly an opportunity.”

Woodworker and Beneficiary Mark Ragonese

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