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October 2019 Tip of the Month: Health & Wellness During the Busy Season

It’s that time of year again! Many artists depend on sales from the holiday season and ramp up production in order to meet the increased demand. This often involves working long hours, traveling to numerous shows, and extended periods of intense physical activity. While it can be difficult to strike a balance between getting the work done and taking care of yourself, there are a number of steps you can take to relieve the strain and reduce the risk of injury. Last year CERF+ partnered with Missy Graff Ballone, founder of Wellness for Makers, licensed massage therapist, yoga instructor, and metalsmith to create a series of DIY videos to promote artist health and wellness. These videos focus on some of the most common problems faced by artists and provide practical self-care techniques you can add to your daily routine.

The DIY videos are based on information that came out of CERF+ and Wellness for Makers’ Artist Health and Wellness Survey conducted in March 2017. More than 300 artists from different craft disciplines responded. The results showed that:

  • 41% of artists suffer from chronic pain
  • 64% have injured themselves in the studio
  • 62% perform physically challenging or laborious activities to make their art
  • 50% experience lower back, neck, and wrist pain
  • A majority spend at least 50% of their time sitting while making their art

Neck and Shoulder Strain: In this video weaver and fiber artist Jillian Zoltner Wolf highlights a few ways to address tightness in the neck and shoulders.

Standing in Your Studio: A visit with mixed-media artist Cheryl R. Riley focuses on how to stand in a way that relieves pressure on your joints.

Prolonged Sitting: A session with Loren Abbate, a printmaker and co-curator of Deep Space Gallery, addresses the common issues that artists experience in their hands as a result of excessive phone and computer usage.

Hopefully, you can integrate some of these tips into your studio practice and protect yourself and your career during this time of year. Good luck!

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