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"Isolation, fear, and financial/occupational instability created by the current COVID-19 situation are expected to generate an upsurge in mental illnesses globally. Shortage of mental health workforce and the financial resources needed for traditional interventions are limiting factors to cope effectively with a potential global mental health crisis. United Kingdom research already shows an increase in levels of anxiety, depression, and stress due to current financial challenges. This reinforces the urgent need to discover new complementary interventions to help improve low mood and alleviate mental health risks.

 

Art interventions have been linked to healing and recovery, influencing mental, somatic, and psychological conditions. This has motivated scientists to study the sensory-emotional values that art can elicit. The first United Kingdom program of arts on prescription was designed in 1994 to help recovery of mild and moderate depression. Visual art interventions, including painting and collage making have also been considered helpful by patients suffering from depression or fatigue during chemotherapy treatment.

Assessing the effectiveness of these interventions has been challenging due to a lack of scientific rigor of the rating instruments. Nevertheless, a qualitative study of 102 art and mental health projects concluded that art participation enhanced levels of empowerment and was associated to improvements in participants’ mental health."

 

I'm sure everyone will agree, that what we do here is very valuable and contributes to our well-being. What do you think? How did RMB  help you go through this pandemic?

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Since this whole foolishness started, I've found painting less enjoyable and have done even less than my typical low output. The few times I've managed to pick up the brush haven't led me to any more peace or tranquility but rather the opposite. I stress out about the color choice, how it looks, and other imperfections. Things I normally really don't care about. It's been painful to paint. So, I've focused on other things as I find diving into physical work around the house more soothing than being at the paint desk. It's been great for the honey-do list, but not much on the shelf of shame.

 

But that's me as a contrarian. When people go right, I go left. Whole purpose of my forum name, decades before. So sorry, not everybody agrees. My miniature art doesn't actually help me.

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My painting hasn't really helped during the pandemic.  Due to sitting like 3 feet from my painting desk for 8-10 hours a day while working, the desire to spend more hours painting in this room hasn't really been there. I do go through spells when I do get some stuff painted, but that's usually only on weekends, or if I need something painted for a game the next day.....

But being able to order minis from the FLGS and help them out, especially when they were closed to walk in traffic, and especially while the entire comic industry was shut down (a big part of their business) , was very good for my mental health.
And the message boards, as always, are a nice friendly place where I could look at awesomely painted minis, and hear bits from around the world (I pretty much stopped looking at the news last year, it was too much, and I've been very slow to go back to looking at it....).

 

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The most painting of minis I've done during the pandemic has been this month. Just trying to field non primer/non bare minis. I've accepted that I can't paint everything for my weekly games (now it's 2 again (1 home, 1 at the FLGS) so it was nice to actually sit down & paint stuff. I hope it becomes a regular thing again, but we shall see.

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On the one hand I get some very productive streaks and paint / print quite a lot, on the other hand I also get times when I feel down and don't want to do anything.

To counter that feeling I often play a game ( PC) or cook / bake something nice.

Now that we can go to work more often and are allowed to visit restaurants etc. again I tend to feel better,

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34 minutes ago, paintybeard said:

So... I can get miniatures on prescription now? RESULT!


Consult your doctor before taking Pminatur. Pminatur side effects include loss of space, distorted perspectives of time, pale skin, sudden jittery hands, and a strong addiction to Pminatur. Stop taking Pminatur if you experience dizziness, loss of hair, excessive blood loss, Blind Monkey Curling Grain symptoms, or other serious medical conditions.

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Pure conjecture from someone who is absolutely not a mental health professional, but I kind of feel like this is something that doesn't apply as much to people who already used art as a primary outlet. New pressures have a tendency to need new outlets.

Or, to put it another way, when we were told 'stay inside and do something there', the normal thing we would choose to do became the thing we were being TOLD to do. (and for those of us who socially arted at paint clubs and such, those aspects of the enjoyment were taken away.) 

That being said, I did dive back into photography in a way I haven't in nearly 2 decades.  In a way, it was something new to replace what I couldn't do, instead of more of something I already had.

 

Words. I'm gud at words.  hopefully others can grok them....

 

 

 

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There was a few good things about the lockdown...  

I had no problems finding a parking space at the office, and if I took the bus, it was pretty much empty...   

Tourists staying at a nearby hotel have now claimed all the spaces next to the office building, and this week the bus got flooded with pimplies again...   

(I have had 3 days of WfH. Two days doing documentation, and the third was filled with meetings.... Please, if that happens again, shoot me!) 

 

I just about stopped going on hikes in the mountains because the parking lots at the trailhead was usually full, and the trails even worse...   

Please, please, go back to the gym! and take your horrid SUVs with you!

 

My 'office desk' or hobby desk at home is currently a board, 40x160cm on top of two wooden trestles. 

No painting whatsoever is happening on that because everything is packed down. 

I started swapping around my bedroom and hobbyroom because the bedroom was twice as large as the hobby room, and I haven't finished designing the new desk, yet... 

(My old HobbyZone paint racks just aren't up to the challenge of storing all my paints accessibly and without wasting space, so a proper paintrack must be designed first, then the desk to hold it)    

 

If you ask me what I did at the office all those days when I was virtually alone there, I'll be hard pressed to answer for most of the time. Really. 

One can argue that my job isn't critical, but I support people who's job IS critical, so...  

(Everyone in IT got a $500 bonus last year for the effort we did in helping the users to get setup for WfH. )    

 

I just wish that I had brought paints and minis to the office back then...    

 

 

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I only just started creating art again. I did finish a portrait in early 2020, but I had started it in 2018, so.... I also did a landscape in autumn 2020 when I took a class to try to get motivated again (ignore my sig for now lol). But only this June did I actually, slowly, start to be able to be in the studio creating. I wager I'll finish the current portrait by the end of September, maybe middle October...and I'm ok with that. That is my path back to art, so that is the path I'll walk. And the portrait is coming out dope af, so there's that! :)

 

In the meantime, I've been playing a LOT more music. As a former musician (been playing since 84), I have a lot of skills and knowledge dormant in my grey matter, whereas with art I have to be very present and constantly trying to remember details of my training. It's just not second nature to me yet, but playing music to me is akin to breathing, it's just something I can do without thinking about it. And THAT was my path to keep at least somewhat centered while the world went nuts, and it's been very enjoyable rediscovering my old talents, and of course the very quick entry into an extended flow state sure doesn't hurt, either!

In some ways, I feel this hiatus from art has been helpful. I can see what lessons were committed to my subconscious (where I want all my skills to live) and what I need to develop better. I've gotten off the feedback treadmill of having constant gallery exhibits and other distractions that made me feel like I was forced to create. I was at the point where I had to make a spreadsheet for my works to keep track of what gallery everything was in, currently. Success can be its own monster!

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On 8/25/2021 at 5:46 AM, haberfront said:

 

I'm sure everyone will agree, that what we do here is very valuable and contributes to our well-being. What do you think? How did RMB  help you go through this pandemic?

 

Having the communications outlet helped immensely, being physically cut off from folks I might otherwise interact with.  I got on Twitch for the first time.  I hadn't done chat rooms since the mid 90's.  Seeing a live feed of someone and being able to interact with them was very good for keeping stress levels down.  Roll20 was good in that regard, too, even if the learning curve was frustrating I was at least on a voice channel with people I knew. 

 

On 8/25/2021 at 7:12 AM, Pegazus said:

Since this whole foolishness started, I've found painting less enjoyable and have done even less than my typical low output. The few times I've managed to pick up the brush haven't led me to any more peace or tranquility but rather the opposite. I stress out about the color choice, how it looks, and other imperfections. Things I normally really don't care about. It's been painful to paint. So, I've focused on other things as I find diving into physical work around the house more soothing than being at the paint desk. It's been great for the honey-do list, but not much on the shelf of shame.

 

Like Pegazus, the anxiety and depression had me seriously down, to the point I could not gather energy to do the things I loved, or focus on anything long enough.  I did a lot of physical yard work last spring, more than the two previous years combined, and threw myself into a cardio program at the local gym (small class, masked the whole time).  The challenge league over on discord got me back into painting, mostly things I would not otherwise paint.  I can't say I enjoy it, painting on a deadline is not my thing, but it's been motivating. 

 

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1 hour ago, Inarah said:

 

I can't say I enjoy it, painting on a deadline is not my thing, but it's been motivating. 

 

That's one of the most important discoveries of this pandemic re: art; that deadlines had really been stressing me out. I've been lucky enough (and let's be fair, judged competitions are more about luck of the draw with judges than good artwork) to have done very well in regional exhibitions, which created a lot of pressure to churn out work as people wanted my stuff in their shows and most galleries have pretty strict requirements about only showing new and un-exhibited works, so...

With the piece I'm working on now, I was happily putting in 10-30 minutes every few days, maybe once a week. When I put my landscape in the regional this year, just to support the local association, I was immediately asked about what I would be putting in another annual show by basically everyone (I made the mistake of showing the WIP as a way of saying I was finally feeling like drawing again). And hey, it was maybe 75% done and it was a month before submissions were due.

And then I didn't touch charcoal to paper for 2 weeks solid.

Being an introspective type, it was pretty obvious that I had to build a mental barrier against external pressure to exhibit. My process is slow, and while it would be nice if I could churn out works, I like my results and slow makes me happy. As soon as I decided to ignore the exhibit requests, I started working on the portrait again. Seems like a small thing, but it fundamentally changed my approach to my relationship with the regional art community. I'm going to be the crotchety reclusive artist that puts out a piece once in a blue moon and I don't really care if folks don't like that.

Sorry about the long posts, I feel like this was a huge revelation for me, because I do like exhibiting and the social nature of the art community. It goes back to my mini painting days, why I didn't enter as many competitions as I wanted to, I never realized how much my want to do that conflicted with my need for no deadlines. "When it's done" has always been my mantra for others, I finally realized I should apply it to myself, too.

Take care of yourselves!

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Our company moved to 90% working from home. Being a very social person, I tend to feel isolated. Teams and zoom meetings just aren’t the same. On the bright side, I can turn the video feed off and work in the garage during some of the calls!

 

I've been going batbroccoli crazy since we moved. I don’t have my indoor space set up, nor do I have the garage ready to do any work. It’s hard to get motivated to do anything.

Add to that, I had the original covid back in March 2020, got vaccinated this past April, then got the delta version last month that I’m still having some lasting effects from. I either have enough antibodies in me now that I could lick toilet seats at Walmart and not get anything….or my immune system is so weak it doesn’t matter. 🙂 It’s been hard to stay positive.

I finally made some progress on getting set up and pulled out my projects and started organizing my thoughts on those again. I already feel better just doing that!
 

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22 minutes ago, haberfront said:

Our company moved to 90% working from home. Being a very social person, I tend to feel isolated. Teams and zoom meetings just aren’t the same. On the bright side, I can turn the video feed off and work in the garage during some of the calls!

 

I've been going batbroccoli crazy since we moved. I don’t have my indoor space set up, nor do I have the garage ready to do any work. It’s hard to get motivated to do anything.

Add to that, I had the original covid back in March 2020, got vaccinated this past April, then got the delta version last month that I’m still having some lasting effects from. I either have enough antibodies in me now that I could lick toilet seats at Walmart and not get anything….or my immune system is so weak it doesn’t matter. 🙂 It’s been hard to stay positive.

I finally made some progress on getting set up and pulled out my projects and started organizing my thoughts on those again. I already feel better just doing that!
 

 

I'm now on two days at the Base and three days from home.

If I were you I would focus on getting a good set up done, it will feel better if you can use a designated spot.

And take a lunchwalk outside or something like that to ease the mind.

Hope you'll feel better soon about this all.

 

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