5 Ways To Be Healthy As A Creative Professional

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The arts industries are often rife with stories of decadence, debauchery, and all too often, unfortunate outcomes.  The old mantra “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll…” rings all too true. It kind of comes with the territory, and really any industry is going to experience crossovers.  Music and video are often synced art appears in TV shows and on posters for concerts, fashion utilizes all of these elements, and so on. It’s all connected. And the reality is that in these industries, more so than say, being a grocery store regional manager, there are illicit substances, alcohol, late nights, parties, after-parties, and all of the things you can imagine.  In many ways, it’s the nature of the industry and it’s apparent within all levels of the business. Provided in this list are some pieces of wisdom that I have collected over the years that have helped me maintain a personal standard of excellence, but most importantly, sustainable longevity and abundance.

1. Self Check-In : Evaluate Your Sustainability

The Aging process Goes Forward, Not Backwards. Every day you live, your body is heading towards it’s inevitable vintage status. It’s just the way life goes, and it’s not to be feared or dreaded, but most certainly is to be considered when making choices.  It’s crucial to look at yourself today, and ask yourself, “How long *could* I maintain my current way of life?”... It’s an honest question deserving an honest answer. If you are working a day job, gigging late nights every weekend, maintaining personal relationships, finding time to take a shower, let alone feeding any substance or fast food diets, then chances are you are going to burn out before you have a chance to taste quarter century success. So wants and needs require evaluation, then choices need to be made.  The real question is this: How long term and to what depth do you want your success to be?

2.  Show Me The Money!! : Get paid For Working

All too often businesses, venues, and organizations want art, entertainment, or music as elements of their offerings, and it is radically inappropriate for such entities to offer poverty level pay or the infamous “exposure” offer instead of money or other equal value forms of payment.  Granted, some exposure gigs are in fact worth it, or as I like call them when I do accept such offers, “For The love” gigs, meaning that it’s not a detriment to me to become involved. But long gone are the days of what I call “chicken finger gigs”, where an accumulative ten hours of hard work, preparation, or effort are exerted for a free bar meal and maybe if lucky, a coveted drink ticket.  Ask for money if you work, and then decide how you to spend it and on what. Chicken finger gigs are bad for your body first off, but also, you can’t buy your new recording interface, or paint brushes, or any and all other tools for your craft with such forms of compensation. If you are a professional, then be paid like one. Just make sure there is a reasonable exchange at the very least. No chicken fingers.  You should eat better food if you are going to be up late working hard anyway, or pay the price the next morning.

3.  Time Management : Bust Out The Schedule!

The Importance Of The Almighty Schedule cannot be underestimated.  Many people in the arts and creativity based fields will need to ensure that they leave time for work, play, and sustainable living, which involves diet, exercise, and hygiene.  A tired body won’t be as clear, or energized as a rested one, no more than a car that runs out of fuel can drive for very long. A schedule keeps things in order, and outlines plans, which is crucial for managing energetic output as well as appropriate re-charging opportunities. Remember that for many of us in the creativity based industries, art often exists alongside the need for a source of consistent income, at least till such time that the art IS the source of income, which is the ultimate goal for many.  The schedule is the key to linking it all together; the things you have to do, the things you have done, and the things you are doing. Do you have a schedule?.. What does it show you about your time management?...

4. You Are What You Consume: What Are You Made Of?

All too often overindulgence becomes an on-going theme with entertainers, and artists given the nature of the environments in which they create and work in. Easy to grab fast food options, roadside grease pits, long hours of sitting, abundant substances back stage and in the green rooms.. It’s not the way it has to be or is for many people in this industry, but it is not terribly uncommon.  As stated above, this is not the environment you will find in big box stores where drug testing is common practice, or in any local or federal job positions. The cliches are often based in some amount of truth. So in order to be a sustainable creator an able body is a must, and one that is bogged down with liquor or unhealthy food, will in turn, operate at less than optimal efficiency. I believe in pre-creation or pre-performance fasting, so my energy is more acute, and my body isn’t sluggish from digestion.  I also prefer to not indulge in alcohol, as it is a liability, at least until after my work is done. Even then, it’s all in moderation. Clean eating and exercise can and do enhance a creators functionality and ability, so it’s worth investigating and trying out. See what happens.. experiment.

5. Rise Above The Noise: Finding Your Center

Creation is a noisy process.  There is the clatter of self doubt, the banging of responsibility, but also the grinding wheel of progress, and the music of manifestation. To be successful takes a lot of work, and even more determination, and hyperfocus, so it is imperative to make time to let the mind unwind.  Meditative practices can help slow down a fast moving mind, and even promote more creative clarity. Sometimes a person just needs to find a quiet space and let the imagination wander free of expectation of capturing it. This is a filtering process, and a time where thoughts can settle and new ideas begin to take form.  In magick there is a phrase: “to know, to dare, and to keep silent,”, and in many ways, relaxation practices honor this sacred need to find solace.

If any of these suggestions resonate with you, dear reader, than perhaps consider trying any of these elements out, and see how they could serve to be beneficial to you.  


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