Embracing Creativity: An Artist's Journey with ADHD (Artist Q&A)

ADHD Intro

As someone with ADHD, I've always found solace in the creative process. The ability to get lost in a project, to let my mind wander and explore, has been a lifeline for me. Art has become a way to channel my energy, to make sense of the complexities of life, and to connect with others in a meaningful way.

Favorite Art Books?

When it comes to art books, I have a few favorites that I turn to time and time again. The first is Art and Fear, which explores the internal and external challenges that artists face, as well as practical advice for building a consistent creative practice. Another gem is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, which approaches creativity as a vocation rather than a hobby, and delves into the concept of "resistance" and how to overcome it.

The most recent addition to my art book collection is The Creative Act by Rick Rubin. This philosophical exploration of the creative process emphasizes the importance of mindfulness, meditation, and tapping into one's inner creative self. Rubin's unique perspective, shaped by his experience as a renowned music producer, has been a revelation for me.

What do you consider as art?

For me, art is something that evokes an emotional response – whether it's joy, pain, wonder, or something in between. It's not about technical perfection or realism, but rather the ability to connect with the viewer on a deeper level. Art is a means of self-expression, a way to make sense of the world around us, and a bridge that can bring people together.

I believe that art is best when it is shared with the world. I've seen firsthand how the act of creating and sharing can be a powerful form of therapy and healing. A dear friend of mine, who was going through a traumatic breakup, found solace in writing poetry. Initially, she was hesitant to share her work, but I encouraged her to do so, explaining that her art could potentially help others who were struggling with similar experiences. She eventually published a book, and the feedback she received was deeply moving – her words had resonated with people in ways she never could have imagined.

What do you consider as being creative?

Being creative, in my view, is not just about the act of making art or crafting something tangible. It's a way of being, a mindset that permeates every aspect of life. For me, creativity starts with curation – the ability to seek out and surround myself with the things that inspire me, whether it's music, visual art, nature, or even the way people dress.

From there, it's about blending those influences into something that is uniquely my own. It's not about replicating what I see, but rather finding ways to infuse my personal touch, my experiences, and my perspective into the final product. Whether it's a painting, a poem, or a carefully curated garden, the creative process is about taking the world around me and making it my own.

What advice would you give for someone who loves doodling but lacks skills?

If you love to doodle but feel like your skills are lacking, my advice would be to embrace the imperfections. Doodling is not about creating a masterpiece; it's about the joy of the process, the freedom of expression, and the exploration of your own unique style.

Don't get caught up in trying to achieve photorealism or hyper-detailed drawings. Instead, focus on the loose, free-flowing nature of doodling. Experiment with different materials, like pens, pencils, or even markers, and see what feels most natural to you. The beauty of doodling is that it's a low-stakes way to play and discover your artistic voice.

If you're looking to improve your technical skills, I'd recommend checking out a book like Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It has great exercises and techniques for developing your observational skills and hand-eye coordination. But don't let the pursuit of technical mastery overshadow the joy of the doodle.

How did you get over the fear of starting a YouTube Channel?

Starting a YouTube channel was a big leap for me, and I'll admit that I was filled with fear and self-doubt at the beginning. But I knew that if I wanted to share my art and creative process with the world, this was the platform to do it.

The key for me was to just go for it, without overthinking it too much. I focused on creating content that was authentic to who I am, rather than trying to chase trends or cater to an imagined audience. I also had to let go of the fear of rejection and criticism – because let's be honest, those things are inevitable when you put yourself out there.

Instead of dwelling on the potential negative feedback, I tried to shift my mindset to one of openness and curiosity. I knew that even if not everyone connected with my content, there might be a few people who did, and that was enough to keep me going. And as I continued to create and publish videos, I found that the fear gradually subsided, and I started to enjoy the process more and more.

Would you ever consider live streaming?

Live streaming is something I've definitely considered, as I know many people enjoy the opportunity to watch artists in action and engage with them in real-time. However, as someone with ADHD, I do have some concerns about the logistics of live streaming my creative process.

My primary worry is that I might struggle to maintain a balance between focusing on my art and engaging with the audience. I tend to become laser-focused when I'm in the creative zone, and I'm not sure how well I'd be able to split my attention between the art-making and responding to comments and questions.

That said, I'm open to exploring the possibility of live streaming in the future. Perhaps I could experiment with shorter, more structured live sessions where I set aside dedicated time to interact with the audience, rather than trying to do both simultaneously. It's something I'll continue to consider as my YouTube channel evolves.

When feeling overwhelmed, what helps you to get started?

Feeling overwhelmed is something I struggle with, especially when it comes to my to-do lists and the sheer volume of creative projects I want to tackle. When I'm feeling that way, a few strategies have helped me to get started and make progress.

First and foremost, I find that taking a walk or engaging in some form of mindfulness practice, like meditation, can be incredibly grounding. It allows me to step away from the overwhelming thoughts and reconnect with the present moment. I also find that simply making a list of the one or two most important tasks can help me to focus and take that first step forward.

Another technique I've found helpful is to start small and celebrate the small wins. Instead of trying to tackle a massive project all at once, I'll break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Crossing even a small item off my list can give me the momentum I need to keep going.

How did you get into art?

I've been creative for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was always making something – whether it was crafting little figurines from sticks and leaves, painting Christmas cards, or doodling in my notebooks. The act of creating has always been a natural outlet for me.

My love for art really blossomed during a trip to Italy over a decade ago. Surrounded by the country's rich history, stunning architecture, and incredible works of art, I felt a surge of creative energy that I knew I had to channel. I started experimenting with different mediums, from oils to acrylics, and while my early attempts were far from perfect, I found immense joy in the process.

Over the years, my artistic practice has evolved, but the core drive to create has remained. During the pandemic, when I was dealing with the stress and uncertainty of running a business, I turned to abstract painting as a way to process my emotions. That body of work eventually led to opportunities to showcase my art, and the positive response I received only fueled my passion further.

How many plants do you have?

Honestly, I've lost count of how many plants I have! I'm a self-proclaimed plant enthusiast, and my collection just keeps growing. From my beloved variegated ivy to my massive, unruly angel wing begonia, I find so much joy in caring for these living, breathing pieces of nature.

Plants have become an integral part of my creative process and my daily life. I love the way they add texture, color, and a sense of vitality to my surroundings. Tending to them, whether it's watering, pruning, or repotting, is a meditative act that helps me stay grounded and connected to the natural world.

What's your goal with YouTube?

My primary goal with my YouTube channel is to continue creating and sharing content that is authentic to who I am. I'm not driven by the pursuit of massive subscriber counts or viral videos – instead, I want to focus on building a supportive community of like-minded creatives who can inspire and encourage one another.

Ultimately, I hope that my videos can serve as a source of inspiration and a safe space for people to explore their own creativity, regardless of their skill level or experience. Whether it's through sharing my artistic process, offering advice and insights, or simply engaging in open-hearted conversations, my aim is to foster a sense of connection and community around the creative journey.

What's your ideal day?

An ideal day for me would start with a restful night's sleep, followed by a slow, mindful morning routine. I'd begin the day with a strong cup of coffee, some journaling, and a short meditation session to set the tone. Then, I'd venture out into nature, perhaps for a rejuvenating walk or some time in the garden, soaking up the sun and the sights and sounds of the natural world.

From there, I'd dive into a creative project – whether it's painting, digital art, or even just doodling in my sketchbook. I find such immense joy in the act of making, and I'd love to have the freedom to explore different mediums and techniques without feeling rushed or pressured.

Throughout the day, I'd make sure to nourish myself with fresh, wholesome meals, stay hydrated, and engage in meaningful conversations with my loved ones. And of course, no ideal day would be complete without some quality time with my beloved plants and pets!

Thank you

Thank you all for the thoughtful questions. I've thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to dive deeper into my creative process, my relationship with art, and my experiences as a YouTuber and creative professional. Your curiosity and engagement have been truly inspiring, and I'm grateful to have the chance to share a bit of my story with you.

If you'd like to continue the conversation or explore any of these topics further, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm always eager to connect with fellow creatives and to learn from your own unique perspectives and experiences. Here's to embracing our creativity, imperfections and all, and to the power of art to heal, inspire, and bring us together.

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