There are a lot of challenges that face artists, particularly in the modern age of design. Our social climate, student loans, climate change, identities, race – 2017 has been a jump off point for a lot of topics. Sometimes we can incorporate that into our work and other times we have to try to work in spite of it. Fortunately, some of us enjoy the luxury of being in-house and don’t have to brave the waters of freelance.
The first of a few panels at the AIGA Eye on Design Conference in Minneapolis last week, was on creativity and mental health. The panel featured Meg Lewis of Ghostly Ferns, Qieer Wang, a designer and illustrator, and Roxanne Kibben, mental health expert.
Lewis’ moto is to only work with companies that share the same goal as her and that is to make the world better and happier. If someone or a company does not have this goal, she won’t work with them. I love the idea of this and to see that someone can feasible to do it while making a living is inspiring. I also really like that Lewis takes the time to really get to know her potential clients before working with them. If you make the cut, it seems like you’ll be delivered a great product due to the extra time and care she puts into her designs for her clients.
The idea of this panel was to discuss the psychology of design. I was also inspired by Wang and how she took her experiences and used them in her creative realm. She took experiences that must have been painful and used them in her designs to help educate the public in several ways on mental health. It was a great reminder that artists can use what they know and how they feel and convey that in different ways to others, especially through the way of educating.
Kibben was the expert of mental health on the panel. What really stuck with me thatKibben touched on was that voice inside a lot of people’s head. The one that lies to you and brings you down. The one that kills your confidence and makes you doubt yourself. The voice is all too much loud and clear with me a lot of times. It was good to learn I’m not the only one and to hear that I can tell it to shut up.
Elaine Coughlin - @airlainey