Erica Mathers~Multimedia Artist
It seems so unreal to label myself as THE artist. But that's what I am. Oh, and, I'm a mother of 3 and a replant to the Pacific Northwest. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked in different industries as a business office manager and payroll accountant. I have a love of working with seniors and was focused on a continuing career in that field, in that environment. I hadn't had the time, or more accurately, the patience to think about drawing a picture or putting paint on a canvas. The last time I gave myself the space to be artistically creative was when my children were young. It's sad really..in hind sight.
Things changed.. along with the pandemic and social isolation came the loss of my job, no income, partner,...blah, blah, blah.. millions of people in the same position. You know the story, I was at the edge and at complete loss as of what to do with myself. Sitting at home with no where to go was only relaxing for the first couple weeks. I was going into a bout of depression, or whatever I'm supposed to call a crazy downward spiral of self pity....
On day 3,456 of lurking on Facebook, (I think it heard me whining about my misery) I saw some advise for coping with the fear and anxiety of the social isolation and the pandemic. The site was about art therapy and mindful meditation to reduce anxiety. Who would've thought doing art work was exactly what I needed? I'll tell you what, Thank Goodness my daughter had one of those adult coloring books with the cuss words. I colored the F-bomb beautifully, and that led to more research. I discovered some methods of meditative art.
With every line drawn came an inhale and an exhale. Focusing on my breathing, posture, facial expression, the way I hold the pen, and pressure of the pen. I calmed my racing thoughts and the anxiety sort of melted away. The coloring turned to line art and mandalas. I am drawn to art that takes precision, focus, and a clean line. I find the patterns calming and I seem to sort my thoughts out into logical threads instead of the knot of panic and fear. I have since started exploring different mediums and I'm going to keep moving forward.
I've been encouraged by friends to make my art available to others and this is how Artful Isolation was born.
Deciding to do this has changed my life. Building this web site has been a journey of frustration to productivity. It's a learning curve for sure, but so valuable for me to learn. Now that I have those skills, I've helped other people start their own business and build their own brand. So my take from all this is; sometimes me being in fear and misery motivates me to be productive and learn new things! Can't get anymore honest and transparent than that!
I pray that this pandemic fades from the forefront of people's minds, that we all can get back to some sense of normalcy. The fear and oppression it has on all of us is so unhealthy. I am grateful that I was able to take such mental anguish and turn it into beautiful images. We're looking forward to the Oregon rainy season for 6 months and the forest fires going out. I have faith in God we will get through this.. ONE DAY AT A TIME!
Warm Regards and Love,
Erica @ Artful Isolation