Updated: Oct 5, 2022
Welcome to My Blog! or Welcome to My World of Creative Mental Health
Author: Andrew Kaminski
Let me introduce myself. I'm Andrew Kaminski. If you're reading this, you might identify as both creative, and a person who values strong mental health. In fact, I know that I choose to live a life where I put ample effort into both my creative health and my mental health. These two areas of life feed one another.
This is because BOTH art & creativity coupled with a dedication to refining mental health are CRITICAL for living the life you want to live. Creativity can express itself in a myriad of ways, but I understand it through the visual image. Painting and drawing in particular. Because as Morpheus from the Matrix states:
"The body can't live without the mind."
-Morpheus, The Matrix
My whole life, I've wanted to take my artistic expression that I feel and see inside in my mind's eye, and translate these visions for the world. When I was in first grade, while the other kids were outside during recess, I remember staying in, creating a packet of over 100 drawings. In fourth grade, I begged my mom to take me to the Van Gogh Exhibit in Washington D.C. When she stood in line at 4 am and got a ticket, and after we finally entered the museum - I saw my favorite painting - The Potato Eaters. I stood for half an hour in front of Van Gogh's masterpiece. Studying the brush strokes, and the way he painted the candle light shining on the faces.
The Potato Eaters, By Vincent Van Gogh, in 1885, in the Netherlands
When I turned 18, I was excited to leave my parent's house, and take on the world, and find out what the universe wanted me to do. The world hit me hard. In my pursuit of discovery, I stumbled upon the Buddha, and tales of a state of mind called enlightenment.
Chakra Figure, 2015, by Andrew Kaminski, painted in Bangkok, Thailand
Now, I was a very sensitive young man, and when the possibility of enlightenment dawned upon me as a possibility, I became utterly obsessed with this path. I stayed up all night, journaling and writing about how to induce this state within myself. After several weeks of no sleep and a refusal to have a normal, healthy routine, I became convinced that I discovered what I was looking for - I discovered this untapped and endless source of happiness. Of bliss. It felt like after taking my pick, and hacking away at the ground for weeks, I finally struck gold. An endless river flowing with golden waters that existed within myself. I felt like I accomplished something that no one had ever done before - because no one had told me about this internal reservoir that was in the closest place there was - inside myself.
I felt a mix of emotions - one being that I was super happy! I felt like I made contact with the greatest gift I had access to - myself. I wanted to celebrate this realization. This epiphany. This wonder. I barely had the words for it. I just knew I discovered something big. Monumental. My world had changed. And I wanted to change the world with my discovery.
As I am exalted, and excited to be alive, and live in this glorious realization - my parents, whom I was living with at the time had the most surprising response - they were concerned. I felt utterly bewildered. How could they be anything but happy, grateful, and joyful that their son had discovered this magnificent reservoir of purpose and joy.
Trinity, by Andrew Kaminski, coloring pencil on paper, made in 2011,New Paltz, NY.
I discovered that they were concerned by my absence of sleep and a complete refusal to accept a normal routine. The world, and society at large did not receive this joy in the way I had expected. This leg of my journey is long and in depth, and I won't go into all the details right now. I will say it inspired me to get involved with social justice, and see the system that held me needed to change to build the capacity to hold experiences that some may describe as a sudden descension of consciousness into the human body.
"...the system that held me needed to change to build the capacity to hold experiences that some may describe as a sudden descension of consciousness into the human body."
This is when I had to discover that mental health was a major part of living a healthy, wealthy, and creative life. I came into this world, loving to paint, draw, sculpt, do digital art, anything that allows my hands to take what's in my mind, heart, and soul, and share it with the people in my life. I ended up getting my BFA (bachelor's of fine arts) from the University of New Paltz, New York and went on to get my MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) from The City College Of New York, where I lived in Harlem, NY.
I think the reason I love making art so much is I find this world to be fascinating, and now, it's our turn to turn it into something even greater. More colors. More food. More people. More culture. More stories. More characters. More joy. More experience. I welcome in the better. I welcome in the capacity for us to thrive to the best of our abilities. Yet, to hold a better world, we need to prime our minds to be able to hold it.
"I am realizing that the universe is helping me in everything I do.
Universe wants me to be creative. Universe wants you to thrive. "
So here we are...
So let's built a world of creative mental health together. Where art, music, cooking, growing food, building incredible architecture. Let's work with the material world to hold peace, our love, our bliss, so we can allow the creative force that is within all material to manifest into life. Let's let it express itself.