This is my very first blog, on this - my developing website. (I know there are gaps and I look on it as a work in progress - it will be there or thereabouts soon ) I've blogged before - on my original My Dog Ate Art blog, on other people's sites and the late lamented posterous.
I drew up a long list of topics - more along later - they will all be art related - however tenuously.
I struggled to decide what to put up here first. As luck would have it - a birthday reminder on facebook got me talking to someone. That someone is a Swedish artist based in Norway called David Sandum.
I go back (online) a long way with David. He was one of my first twitter followers and a supporter of my early artworks, which I was then posting on my old blogger site. It was David who encouraged me to take part in the global twitter art exhbition - which he started and has grown over the years into a small global phenomenon.
I remember the time that I first went on twitter. It was at a time when after effectively 8 years of call centre work, my brain had had enough. Being used as a verbal punchbag by angry clients left me anxious,stressed and suffering with mild depression.
I got to grips with twitter in the wee small hours - when not able to sleep through the night. I was going online and chatting with people - predominantly artists - all over the world. It was a help, and took my mind off the other stuff - especially the dread of possibly returning to the world of being abused down the phone.
Fast forward several years - and I now see that David has published a book. "I'll Run Till The Sun Goes Down" - about his own depression and how art saved him.
I am not going to claim that his experience mirrors mine. It doesn't. His was clearly far far worse. Everyone's experience of depression is different.
The introduction for his book explains far better than I can :
David Sandum appeared to have it all: a beautiful young family and a promising career ahead as a business consultant. But his life started veering off course, and upon returning to his native Scandinavia, he fell into an inexplicable, deep depression.
"I'll Run Till the Sun Goes Down" is a searingly honest account of David's struggle to overcome his crippling mental illness. After years of hopeless despair, bleak hospitalizations, and shattered dreams, he is finally saved by his art. The paintbrush becomes his lifeline.
Filled with the work of the artists who have inspired him as well as samples of his own drawings and paintings, this memoir offers both a compelling read and a visual story of David's courageous battle with depression.
I can't say art and creating work was my salvation - but it helped a great deal. My GP approved.
More than anything it made me think there was something else I could be doing with my life. It was with the help of David (and people like him) , who told me that my work was actually, really quite good - that my self-belief grew.
If you are self-taught that is a big deal.
So I have no hesitaion - in thanking David for that support and by way of thanks recommending that you go and check out his book on Amazon.