As a bipolar artist in Lewisville, Texas, resident Charles McDowell merges medication and art therapy through his mastermind group, MyPolarLife. Charles explains that his artwork is inspired by the complexity of the human mind and the void between mental illness and mental clarity.
Podcast host Christopher Miller and Charles discuss what it means to be in a flow where you give up expectations and keep yourself “straight.” Art inspires people, and Charles believes that the artist will be successful if one person is encouraged.
Charles and his group choose their languaging carefully, always remembering the positive gift in their mental situation. Everyone’s experience of mental health is different. Learning to embrace your current mental situation is a central theme of his recent work. As spiritual artists, we bring “all of ourselves” to our art.
According to Charles, mental illness is overthinking. He recommends “pouring yourself into your talent” and focusing on others are two ways to get out of yourself and deal with mental challenges.
In addition to MyPolarLife, Charles strives to destigmatize the conversation around mental health by participating as an active member of the Society of Depressed Artists (SODA), located in Dallas, Texas. He also participates in events that provide a portion of his sales to the non-profit, Foundation 45, a health awareness group that offers services in Dallas-Ft. Worth. You can see Charles and his work at the Coral Reef Coffee Company in Lewisville, Texas, on April 7 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. A portion
Charles’ mixed-media paintings can be seen on Instagram @polar seeker. For more information on Foundation 45, visit foundation45.org. Listeners can find The Society of Depressed Artists on Facebook: soda_dallas.