I recently had the privilege to exchange interviews with Art Therapist and eminent Blogger, Stuart Cline. His interview of me is on his website, along with great information and links to artists and therapists who find multiple correlations between the creative process and mental health.
Interview with Stuart Cline:
What got you into blogging? I really started because I wanted to inspire and offer more value to people in my everyday life. My tag line on my blog is Happy People Live Happy Lives. I am hoping this blog moves people in the direction of more happiness. I think bloggers are like teachers in the sense that they blog or teach about what they need to learn themselves. I am no different.
At what age did you start blogging and how long have you been doing it for? I started in August of 2013 after my then website had a virus and corrupted it all. I have been doing this for a little over 3 months and have had over 30,000 hits on my blog. This blog has reached over 103 different countries. Some of the countries I have never heard of. I have to say it is exciting when those numbers go up.
Where were you born? I was born in Suffern New York. But moved a lot including: Nova Scotia Canada, Michigan – Bloomfield Hills, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Chicago, Santa Fe, NM. Currently, I live in Albuquerque NM.
Did you always want to be an artist? Did you have any set backs? I do not have enough memory on this computer to save all of the setbacks so I will keep it short. Well, if you count having ADD, dyslexia with social anxiety and dealing with depression I would say yes. I liked art which was a bonus because I was terrible with English and math. I always wanted to help children so in college I went into art education for K-12 instead of studio art which is what I really wanted but my father stressed that I needed a plan so art education it was. Looking back art education was a good choice for me. I was more interested in the students then what I was teaching them and later went to grad school to be an art therapist.
Who inspired you to do art? Do you have any artist’s in your family? I went to Kean University in New Jersey just outside of New York City. I would take the train into the city on the weekends and go to all the museums and galleries. I was in heaven. My mother was very supportive of my art. I have a cousin who is a well known artist Mimi Sammis at http://www.mimisammis.com/, Daniel Greene – I did a portrait painting class with him and he was amazing. This is when I realized portrait painting was not a natural gift for me.
What artist’s influenced you? I like the impressionist’s but Van Gogh and Picasso influenced me the most early on. Currently, some of my influences from the United States are Mimi Sammis, Andy Lakey. Mabel May Woodward.
Do you find your art work has helped your mental health?, Life? How? I feel it has connected me on spiritual levels. In my 20’s I would have these physical sensations of energy course through my body and then see an image I needed to paint. Then I would paint it. I called this my light being series. The images represented the life energy force we all have within use. I am a visual person so I love having images around me all the time. Painting over the years has brought up a lot of emotions for me over the years and it has helped teach me patience, and compassion towards myself.
If you were a superhero what powers would you have and why? The super power I would like to have is the ability to help people effortlessly release trauma’s, fears and blocks that are stored in their mind, body and/or spirit. Allowing people to live in the possibilities of the world to express their joy, and spirit more fully. This power would allow for people to be more kind and compassionate to themselves and others.
What is your favorite color? Ultramarine blue, sky blue and the color of green grass.
What is my favorite sound? Waking up to my children’s laughter.
What is your favorite medium to work in: Acrylic, I like that it dries fast.
What lesson would you like to pass on as an artist? 2 things you will be harder on your self then anyone else so be kind to yourself. Kindness allows for more room for creativity then frustration, anger, etc…I learned this from Mimi Sammis after I was just beginning as a painter and buying lot’s of different brushes. Pick 2 or 3 brushes when painting. Only use those and do not complicate it.
What challenges do you have in being creative? and how do you overcome them?As far as painting- time management. Have young children and working 6 day’s a week make it a challenge for me. However, I overcome this challenge by changing the medium. I sublimate my painting energy into writing and have writing a book called the soul’s crossing http://amzn.to/1hBDgR8 semi-autobiographical. It is a metaphysical, spiritual adventure of a counselors journey to reunite with his souls destiny. I have another light being painting series that I have thought of recently which will make it to canvas soon.
What helps you be more creative? Meditation and quiet time helps with inspiration for me.
How have you seen art help people you have worked with? Yes, I have seen people reclaim a part of themselves that they have forgotten about for a long time. Their smile and peace of mind comes with it.
Are you able to make a living as an artist? Hmmmm. Not as a painter or writer but someone who is creative at problem solving and helping people… yes!
What words of advice would you give to someone who is young and wants to be an artist? More and more companies are finding creative right brain people with high emotional IQ’s are the wave of the future. The art’s help rewire the brain and allows people to think outside the box and live in the possibilities. I would say do it all. Make enough money so you can focus on our strengths and ideally hire people to do the things you are not so good at.
What would life be like for you if you could not do art? Grey
If you were given a wish to change careers and do any profession in the world what would it be? If I had a magic wand I would be a Philanthropist- to help educate, and uplift people, as well as to increase access to clean drinking water for people in countries who are dying of thirst
What subject matter do you like painting/drawing the most and why? Seascapes, and spiritual art.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? I see myself doing a lot of what I am doing now but more of it. I have some lofty goals including writing another book, painting more, teaching more in in a graduate College, Taking my family on a trip. In short sooner than later I see myself feeling as inspired as I would like others to be.
Paintings by Stuart Cline