Art is an expression of one’s inner most thoughts, desires, hopes, dreams, fears, and everything in between; at least that is what art means to me, and so many other individuals that I have connected with through using the art of creative writing to heal and help others, in my journey with depression. Rose Vitolins, a fellow resident of the Nashville, Tennessee area, is an extremely talented artist who knows all to well this sentiment I echo. As a current art student and mastermind behind my blog logo, Rose understands the power that art has on your mind. She was so gracious to take a little time to share with me and you about her thoughts, as well as emotions, behind the paint, the sketch, and the canvas, enlightening us on her view on creativity and mental health. •
Dominique: Rose, I am so glad to have you as part of my interview series ‘break the stigma’: a conversation series! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me.
Rose: Thank you so much for including me… I feel so honored!
Dominique: I am so in awe of your artistic talent, and so glad we were able to connect through the wonderful world of social media! Could you tell us briefly about what art means to you?
Rose: Wow, that is so kind! I am so thankful for social media… without it I would have never been able to connect with so many of the wonderful people I’ve met.. Like you!!
Art has been a steady part of my life for as long as I can remember. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to see how powerful and important art can be. It has played a huge roll in understanding myself by helping me process my emotions, my problems, or whatever is on my mind. To me, art is a powerful form of self expression and communication.
There is something so incredible about looking at a piece of art and being able to understand or feel what the artist was feeling when they created it. Art can connect us in that unique way. Maybe that’s why art feels a lot like vulnerability. For me, my work carries a piece of my soul (as cheesy as that sounds) and when someone can look past the colors and lines and see ME… that is the best feeling.
Dominique: How do you think Art and Mental Health relate?
Rose: I think they relate in so many ways! One of the main ways they relate for me personally is the simple act of intentionally creating space for something I enjoy even when life gets super busy… it’s self-care!
Dominique: I have a space on my blog dedicated to caring for your mental health through various outlets, i.e. #colortocope. What activities do you do to help you cope with the stress of life?
Rose: Love it… I am a big believer in coloring! Whenever I’m feeling stressed out or up-tight, drawing is one of the best forms of therapy to soothe my soul. Getting in the zone and completely focusing on the project I’m working on has a way of re-centering a restless mind!
Maybe that’s why art feels a lot like vulnerability
Dominique: The logo you created for my blog is simply divine! I gave you a whole lot of random ideas for my vision of what I wanted the logo to look like (God bless you for taking on such a task!), but can you share with us the creative process behind how you brought my ideas to life?
Rose: I loved working on your logo… It was so great because you had so many inspiring ideas to work off of. My creative process is simple, but vital to my work. First thing’s first: I have to figure out where the project needs to go. I like to set a goal with a few guidelines to keep me working in the right direction. I might sketch out a few little ideas at first, but then I always need to give the ideas some thought before I dive in. Something about the little brain break really cultivates my ideas, and brings them to life. Then it’s time to turn up the music and fill up my sketch book!
After the initial ideas are on paper, the next step is getting feedback. (Another reason I loved working with you!!) Then I tweak it, erase it, change it, flip it upside down until it feels perfect… and that is an amazing feeling!
Dominique: Thank you so much again Rose, for taking the time to do this interview and to share with others about the importance of art and caring for your mental health.
Rose: Thank you so much, Dominique. I adore meeting other people that understand the importance of art! I love that you are highlighting the connection between mental wellness and creativity.
Dominique: Is it ok to share your contact information, just in case anyone would like to pick your brain further about all things art or mental health?
Rose: That would be amazing! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. •