Last Thursday was World Mental Health Day, mental health is an issue which affects the majority of us at some point in our lives. In an industry full of pressure to create, tight deadlines and fierce competition mental health can often get the better of us creatives. We spoke with our UK Agents, Grand Matter alongside some of their other creatives about how mental health affects us at work and how play is a vital part of keeping our minds in check.
“I’ve had some really bad burnouts over the years, off the back of constantly taking on way too much, although I always feel like I’m not doing enough, and the stress and anxiety that causes. I’ve always enjoyed working on personal projects, but hadn’t realised how important they were for my mental health until these times, allowing me to relax and create at my own pace, with no-one looking over my shoulder and no deadlines to meet. So I try to make sure, although it’s hard at times, to keep a good balance of personal projects going alongside the commissions.
A personal series I’ve been working on recently involves the re-using of the paper off-cuts from my commissioned projects. With my work there are so many offcuts from each job, that normally would get put in recycling. But a few years ago I started to notice the interesting accidental compositions within the cutout sheets and when these got laid up together. I found myself often preferring these than the actual projects! So for the past five years or so I’ve been keeping any offcuttings that interest me, from all my various commissions, in the hope to find something to do with them.
These were just sat in an ever-increasing pile until a recent conversation with my brother, chatting about the importance of play in our work and how good it is for the mind and soul. I realised I’d been falling into another commission hole, so that afternoon I went back to my studio and finally started digging out the offcuttings to see what I could create with them, without putting any pressure on the final outcome. That began this new series of Offcut Compositions.”
You can see the full piece here and check out what the rest of Grand Matter’s roster had to say about Mental Health