REVISED Artist Citizen, Amy Jackson.jpgThis edition of the Mindfully Creative podcast focuses on the concept of the “Artist Citizen” and how one artist shows up to serve her community. Amy Jackson, a multi-media artist and creative based in Nashville, Tennessee is our guest.

Amy creates in the following art media: painting, photography, writing, and music. Her painting began in 1993, as a way to express herself, because she was experiencing chronic facial and jaw pain at the time. As the physical pain healed, her paintings became a way to explore emotions over the years, both the sublime and excruciating. Amy also holds a Bachelor of Arts, Spanish from Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, Georgia,

Jackson knows that all artists seek to respond to the way they feel about the world around them. Amy was hugely inspired and intrigued by the subtropical natural world around her growing up in northwest Georgia. However, she also saw the blight of increasing development before she left home for college, and then in college learned of worldwide environmental threats as part of her studies in International Relations. For these reasons, she relates strongly to wild places on the Earth and seeks them out in her paintings and photographs, in the abstract and the representational.

She believes that all forms of matter contain some form of life, a typical perspective for a Buddhist such as herself. Her studies of Buddhism, creative visualization and meditation deepen this exploration of wonder and fascination, and she seeks a contemplative arts approach to all of her work, as a way of centering, editing, and transforming herself and her art.

It is these beliefs that guides her work in her Nashville communitiy by volunteering to bring art and creativity to local schools and community based organizations. We talk about her involvement in various endeavors to improve her neighborhood and her advice about how other artists and creatives can make a difference in their communities with their gifts as well.

You can learn more about Amy at http://www.amyjackson.cc. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @amyjacksoncc. Listen to this episode below.  The Mindfully Creative podcast can be heard on Google Play, Sound Cloud and Stitcher.

MINDFULLY CREATIVE PODCAST EPISODE 12: Bringing Awareness of Mental Health & Disability through Creativity

Bringing Awareness of Health and Disability

Living with mental health issues and physical disabilities can be a challenge in a world that does not often show compassion or understanding for one or other (or both). Jenny C, is using her own creativity through the use of Zines to do just that.

Jenny C is a librarian in Washington, DC who writes about her experience growing up with rheumatoid arthritis in the zine series Tributaries. She also compiles the zine Collide, featuring stories on the intersection of physical and mental illness. When she’s feeling chatty, she hosts the podcast Participation, where she talks with friends about their creative work and the beauty of vulnerability.

During this podcast we discussed how she started using writing to convey her health challenges and how she included mental health in the mix. We discuss how this format of creative expression provides a rich potential for communicating the day to day challenges of these and similar issues to help bring education, awareness and understanding to the public. She also shares how you can get started writing a zine to communicate and explore your own self-expression creatively

Jenny C can be found on twitter @jcnotstacy and her zines can be found at tributaries.storenvy.com.

You can find this podcast on Stitcher, Google Play or Sound Cloud.

Listen to this episode below.