Before Amanda Arneill was the AMANDA ARNEILL lettering genius we all know and love, she was a school teacher.
Which is actually so fitting because the woman is an amazing teacher…just ask one of the over 2,500 students she’s taught and I can guarantee you’ll hear nothing but rave reviews!
She offers an array of lettering and calligraphy courses ranging from absolute beginner lettering to advanced iPad Lettering, some of which she co-teaches with other amazing artists (which is really just an added bonus!). Needless to say, they are oh.so.good.
Now, generally I would have asked Amanda to come in and teach us an undoubtedly amazing mini-lesson. However, this time, there was a more important conversation to be had and shared- and that was around the topic of mental health, staying positive, and the comparison trap.
Check out the video below to watch our candid chat, or scroll down for my full recap!
Amanda suffers from depression and anxiety and has chosen opened up about her struggles. So after sending out a thoughtful, honest and vulnerable email to express what’s been up in her world lately, and I couldn’t help but applaud her and open up a bigger conversation. Having an open dialogue about these common illnesses is so important, and Amanda speaks of her struggles candidly and shares how she actively works through them in our live interview.
Now- neither Amanda nor I are doctors. In this interview, we discuss our own experiences with all of these topics, and how we personally deal. But we are not professionals.
If you or someone you know is battling through mental illness, here are some more resources you might find helpful:
Online Lifeline – To find a crisis line near you
In today’s world of social media it is SO easy to get overwhelmed. I know I do. Amanda has shared some of the BEST changes she’s made to work through some of the issues she has faced (and that you might be facing) and there are a few I will start implementing like, yesterday.
*The VERY first step to a healthier state of mental health is to speak to someone. May it be someone you trust, or your doctor, letting someone know that you are having difficulties will in itself be a huge moment of empowerment and a step in the right direction.*
- Make friends. It’s easy to feel jealousy over someone else’s Instagram/work/life. Instead of feeling like you have to complete with someone, REACH OUT TO THEM and open your arms and mind to the possibility of a friendship.
- LIMIT YOUR TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA! This seems obvious, but it is MUCH harder than it seems. Amanda limits herself to ONLY 5 MINUTES PER DAY on Instagram!
- Look at artwork/posts with a technical, objective eye. See what is drawing you in (what is it you like) and take those elements to incorporate into your own works. (Side note: You might be interested in one of my favourite books about this- Steal Like an Artist! *LINK*)
- Allow yourself to NOT WORK. You’d never wear two hats out in public, so don’t “wear multiple hats” at a time. If you’re in creation mode just for you, stop thinking about how good it’ll look on social media and just enjoy the process.
- Create for the sheer joy of creating. Be intentional in your creativity and create something that is not intended for and WILL NOT be posted to social media.
- Unfollow accounts that give you anxiety or negative feelings. If you are noticing that a particular account is making you feel anxious, jealous or just straight up #badvibes, then it’s time to ditch. Be ruthless with who you follow/unfollow, and don’t apologize for it.
- Instead of a “to-do” list, which can seem so daunting and never-ending, break up your to-do’s into smaller tasks. Once you finish off a small task (and we’re talking small…”turn on the computer” small) you’ll feel such pride when you get to mark it off.
“You can’t actually do anything with excellence if you’re trying to do a whole bunch of things”
– Amanda Arneill
Amanda is not alone with her struggles, and neither are you. If you are struggling in any way, it is critical that you open up to someone. Your art is important, but your mental health is the most valuable thing you put out into the world. If you’re finding that your art isn’t giving you the same joy it once was, remind yourself why you started, and make the changes you need FOR YOU.
I really hope you enjoyed this interview! Make sure you’re subscribed to The Happy Ever Crafter TV to catch the rest in the series! And one last HUGE thank you to Amanda!
Interested in more of these interviews? You can also join the Facebook group, where these Q&A’s are hosted LIVE, and submit your own questions for future guests.