Welcome to this second interview in the Creating Rest series, this time it's the turn of St Helens based artist Megan Jenkins to tell us all about what rest means to her:
Firstly, what does rest mean to you?
For me, rest is a really complicated word because I live so much of my life having to rest. Rest is both something I’m forced to do, and something I struggle to feel which makes for a complicated relationship. I’m disabled, living with multiple health conditions including but not limited to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Hyper-mobility Spectrum Disorder, and Central Nervous System Sensitisation Syndrome, which for me can be summed up simply as, I live in constant high level nerve pain that spreads all over my body and I start and end my day exhausted. However, while I’m not in great health, I’m in the best health I have been in years and a lot of my progress is because I’m learning to rest and to rest “correctly” for my body. Rest for me can look like breaking down everyday jobs into very small tasks so that I can rest between each step, doing more one day and resting on the days around it, or like a day on the couch just like anyone else. Rest can be both restful and active for me, depending on my my body’s needs and how my mind is affected.
Do you think you let yourself rest enough, if not why not? what gets in the way?
As an artist and especially as a self-employed small business owner, I have found resting and working to be a very difficult balance to strike in the last few months. So many in the artistic community tell you rest is the enemy. That a day off is lost sales, or lost opportunities for creativity. Personally though, I think that’s rubbish. Yes, some days I have to cancel going to art markets or I have to take a step back from doing too much at once, however it’s my rest days that give room for new ideas, and that allow me to sit down and draw when the rest of the week I’ve been swamped in jobs. It’s my rest days that give me the mental clarity I need to move into the rest of my week, and that allow me to maintain my pain levels and my health. It’s my rest days that let me get out into the world with no pressure from anyone, to take in the world around me and be inspired. Rest is so important in whatever form it takes, whether that’s taking a day to rest your body or your mind, or prioritising the things that give you joy.
And lastly, Is there anything in any way creative or art-related that you’re created or are working on that you want to plug with our readers? or if not is there a cause or charity close to your heart that you want people to know about?
Thanks again for doing this interview with us and we hope you’ll consider reading our upcoming issue, additionally we’ve just opened for submissions if you wanted to bring some of your creativity to this next issue!
Time to rest will be my priority, and the next steps I’ll be taking for my art business will be to make it more accessible and easy to run for me. I’ll be setting myself up online, with my own website and Etsy, I’ll be making new links with companies and stockists, and I will be exploring and creating new items for sale featuring my art, including handmade tote bags printed with my pattern designs as well as other ideas I have floating around my mind that I am sure rest and time to reflect will help me bring into focus and reality.
Keep an eye on my social media’s or search for Megan Jenkins Design online to follow along with progress and to find my shop.