Art and Depression

by Paige Deacon

Art making and Creativity are beneficial to my life on a level that only people who also adore the endless possibility's it creates could understand. For the past 6 years I've been battling a very severe depression, it sucked every drop of energy and passion out of me and left me feeling empty and hollow. I lost my passion to draw, sing, write and paint, The canvas I'd look at everyday waiting for inspiration to hit was as empty as I was. Life with depression was very very grey and I was starting to lose the battle and the will to live. I ended up doing something very stupid which resulted in me being placed in hospital for 7 months to battle my demons. During my stay there, I was made to join an Art Group. At first I thought why? All my passion has gone for art, I barely have the energy to pick up this paintbrush, yet alone the willpower to think of something nice to paint. After weeks and weeks of refusing to be creative, My therapist took me aside and showed me some pictures. The pictures were of costumes I'd made a few years before my admission. I'd forgotten they had existed, I'd forgotten the creativity that brought a smile to my face before my depression swallowed me whole and stripped me of any creative passion I once had. She said to me 'Paige, you're so good at making costumes, why don't you start again? I know you have no inspiration to paint, but I think it'd help you to start making them again, you have a talent'. And then it hit me, a stranger was reaching out to me about my costumes, she could see me, my passions with the costumes I'd made. She knew there was still a flame burning inside me for my creativity, so slowly but surely I started to make again. Every week my therapist and I would go to the art rooms and talk about new costumes for me to make. We'd brainstorm, look at new materials and slowly my passions soon came back. I'd get excited planning new ideas, I'd start to loose my breath whenever I went into a material shop from sheer excitement of the new materials I could use. I loved researching new techniques to make Armour, Chainmail and Latexing. It was then that I started making a costume, Yojimbo from Final Fantasy X (A video game). I'd never felt so cheerful in my life, everyday I'd make a little bit more to it. After 3 months of making Yojimbo was finished and I'd be discharged from hospital. I was better and my passion had come back. A life that had once been grey and meaningless was now full of colour, cotton and spray paint and a more positive mindset. To this day it has stayed the same, as long as I have a costume to make and keep me occupied. So back to the original question, How is artmaking and creativity beneficial to my life? Creativity SAVED my life. Not only is it incredibly healing and theraputic, but its also a great confidence booster! I always get an amazing surge of confidence whenever I wear a costume I've made! Without costume making, I'd hate to think how I would be now. It was that passion and creativity that brought me out of a darkness and kept me positive to this day.

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