artist manifesto

How do you soothe yourself when you’re feeling big emotions? When you’re lonely or hurting, joyful or ecstatic? Do you put on music, break out your journal, or bake a cake? Do you practice yoga, sit down at your potter’s wheel, or pull out a good book?

Have you ever considered these are all forms of art?

What is there, when everything else is stripped away? When we’re alone with our emotions? What do we turn to?

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I believe the answer to these questions is art; that our human instinct for creativity helps us live in a way that more fully embodies our emotional landscapes. The wellbeing of our souls goes beyond the five basic needs—just as we are hardwired to need air, food, water, shelter, and sleep, I believe we’re also hardwired to communicate and express ourselves through a variety of artistic mediums.

We turn to art when we can’t express our feelings in any other way. We dance, move, cook, paint, write, sing - we craft something tangible, whether it’s with our hands or our hearts, to convey the complex. To show nuance as normal. To embody what we love and birth its existence.

Art has always been constant; it is essential. Without it, our lives would be dull, void of greater depth. In order to truly be well, we must include art in the picture. It feeds our souls, helps us feel both alive and grounded. Whether we’re knitting a blanket or making a cup of tea, the human expression of creative skill and imagination is a huge part of a balanced and fulfilling life experience.

My goal is to help us tap into our creativity, to use art as an innovative form of wellness, for the betterment of our collective liberation. Art is a reflection of our consciousness, separating us from many other life forms on earth that do not have the awareness to desire something beyond survival.

Can we live without art? I’m not sure, to be honest. But even if we can, I don’t believe we’d live well without it.
Art heals. Nourishes. Leads. Awakens.

Art is not just self-care, it is soul-care.


About My Work

My goal is to work towards social justice in the wellness sphere by utilizing art as a means of self-awareness and love.

I specialize mainly in poetic self-expression—using the written word to move through our past, present and future. Additionally, I connect and incorporate other artistic healing modalities into this practice, such as music, painting, and meditation, in a therapeutic way that enriches our personal and professional development.

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As someone who suffers from a chronic disease called endometriosis, I have spent more than a decade looking for ways to improve and maintain my health and minimize my pain. Achieving health at one point became an obsession, taking my generalized anxiety to a whole new level in the form of orthorexia. I restricted and eliminated food after food, tried extreme fitness routines, became neurotic about environmental toxins and was all-consumed with going natural in every facet of my life.

But none of this improved my health; and in fact, left me much worse. I became fearful of anything and everything. I stopped enjoying life, and my body and mind suffered. Over the past few years, I have been redefining my relationship with food, exercise, my environment, and everything in between, and learning to accept my body in its imperfections. I now take an intuitive approach in all aspects of my life, from nourishing myself to the way I move each day.

There are countless barriers that exist that prevent people from experiencing health. Issues of accessibility, lack of time or resources, and ability, stem from a multitude of factors. Race, gender, sexuality, class, environment, genetics, and more can impact a person’s health status. Some people may never be able to feel well because of disease or disability. To place rules then on what it means to be healthy perpetuates oppression. Our worth should never be based on how healthy we are.

I am passionate about helping others feel good in their bodies and minds, but I believe that starts from accepting ourselves as we are. By harnessing our creative energies, I believe we can cultivate a sense of self-awareness and consequently, develop and acquire our own unique versions of wellbeing.

If we heal ourselves, we heal our communities.


Biography

I hold a bachelor of arts degree in English with a focus on African-American Women’s Literature and a minor in creative writing from Flagler College. My post-graduate studies include a certificate in nutrition through Cornell University, and the Health at Every Size (HAES®) curriculum. I am a member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH). I currently serve as the wellness committee chair for Orases.

Over the last few years, I have worked in marketing and communications, mainly helping health & public services nonprofits grow their online presence and find their voice. Additionally, I have written for a handful of newspapers and magazines, and my poetry has been published in several journals.

I am a bisexual femme womxn artist living and working in Frederick. I mainly write poetry but also dabble in short stories, watercolor abstracts, jewelry design, piano composition, and pressed flower art. I see art as a form of heart therapy. Most of my poetry deals with matters of the heart, which may be vast and wide, but are always rooted in speaking truth about the human experience. In my spare time, I love to read, write, bake, and take long walks. I have plans to go back to school for relationship therapy.

To connect with me, please email kristynleewrites@gmail.com.