227: How Artists Represent Feelings

2022 IP Podcast Flash Briefing Round-Up - Episode 227 - How Artists Represent Feelings - rectangle (1)

with host artist Miriam Schulman


Many artists credit their work as a way to manage or deal with anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness. Since October is Mental Health Awareness month, I wanted to share the stories of artists who found a way to deal with their illness by creating art. 

In this podcast, you will discover…

Yayoi Kusama and Confronting Anxiety 

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is known for her polka-dot art. She has been open about her mental health and shred that art has become her way to express her mental problems. In her words “I fight pain, anxiety, and fear every day, and the only method I have found that relieved my illness is to keep creating art.” 

I feature her in my upcoming book Artpreneur when I talk about embracing your inner weirdo. Many artists suffer from anxiety and it’s one of the reasons that I have mental health experts on the podcast.  

You can pre-order Artpreneur here.   

Edvard Munch and The Scream 

Edvard Much painted the scream a few years after his father passed away. He shared that the weight of the world had suddenly hit him. Growing up he was surrounded by death and depression and himself suffered with mental illness himself.  

He said, “art comes from joy and pain, but mostly from pain.” I can relate to this. Maybe the art comes from pain, but it brings me great joy. Do you feel that way too?  

Artist Agnes Martin and Mental Illness 

Agnes Martin painted in a minimalist style but considered herself an part of the abstract expressionist movement. She suffered from hallucinations, depression and was often hospitalized and eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia.  

She used subtle color and meticulously drawn grids to create a calming effect. About her work she said “art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.  

Her work is also part of the Paul Allen billion-dollar art action at Christies later this month.  

Abstract Artist Mark Rothko on Overcoming Sorrow 

Rothko’s striking color combinations are meant to be meditations. He wanted to create art church’s where people could look at art and pray.  

He said “I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions and the fact that lots of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate those basic emotions. The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience that I had when I painted them.  

Art has a spiritual effect on me. Does it affect you that way too?  

Let me know what you think.  

Artist Paul Klee on Relieving Stress 

Klee was a multi passionate artist who studied art and the violin. He was in his 30’s before he focused on his art career. Even then, he changed his style often to defy categorization.  

He believed that creativity comes from beyond consciousness and that making art was a form of mediation. He said, “I paint in order not to cry.”  

Why do you create art? I’d love to know.  


How Art Can Change Your Life

About the host, Miriam Schulman

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.

After witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, What Women Create, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. Check out my best-selling book with HarperCollins Leadership, Artpreneur, how to make money from your creativity, wherever books are sold. When I’m not in the studio, I split my time between New York City and a farmhouse in the country. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at schulmanart.com/freebies

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Listener shout out of the week!

Great help for artists
I am an artist and I listen to this podcast regularly. I like the positive energy and practical advice.



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1 thought on “227: How Artists Represent Feelings”

  1. I love to paint , I first learned to paint watercolor and unfortunately she passed away. I would like to go back to that but I learned how to paint in Acrylic ,I learn more everyday thanks to all you professionals and my lap top . I have not tryed to price any or sell any yet . I am 80 now, but it makes me feel so good when I do a good painting. Thank you Miriam !


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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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