From skies and skills to plows and pixels, my thesis digs deeper into the history of hardships, resilience, and recovery. Examining how farm life lessons of childhood are a continuum from before my time in history. Now, even with all the progress and new technologies, the original ways of cultivation, employment, and spirituality have persisted even to how I live in recovery, teach, write and run my design firm today.
The seeds were first planted for this thesis
from a curious ask of “Why am I here?”
The answer is an autoethnographic study about understanding the addicted artist and the resilience and mindfulness tools that can lead to better physical, mental, and spiritual health, how to build a safe space where a creative career and life can align honestly and authentically. How through the work of recovery, you are responsible for cultivating and creating your own gratitude design practice.
My hope is that you will look inside yourself at what you are numbing from, and look at what practicing gratitude might look and feel like to you. How old patterns and habits create pressure to be perfectionistic, not feel enough, not feel at all, and only stay at surface level. These behaviors I have learned have a long-term unhealthy effect on designers and can lead to burnout, depression, and addiction. Through personal work and research in recovery, beliefs can change, blindspots can be overcome, anxiety can be reduced, and depression can be alleviated by creating a safe space. View my thesis Cultivator and Creator full screen here or below. You can also watch the video presentation embedded below if you’d like to learn more about the project. For speaking engagements please contact Lorilee here »
This thesis tells a bit about my rural raisin’ Kentucky farm background and how I learned at an early age the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. How to run and hide in a safe space and doodle away the drama. That discovery of my inner toughness is a key piece in my toolbox I didn’t know was there. How looking back at my sense of place is where I learned confidence and compassion to help heal the muddy parts of life today and run my design firm with a healing centered focus.
This thesis is a vulnerable story and study of the self through my grad school journey. How I began to face my own truths and habits. Also, how it’s important to have an understanding of learned behaviors. How I realized I was responsible for my unhealthy habits I used to cope with hardships as an adult. I learned to examine the good and bad and made a choice to learn new ways to respond to life’s stress. Using mindfulness, meditation and writing. Revealing cycles to break and new ones to create.
My own hard truths, while writing and researching, revealed an unhealthy alcohol addiction. Years of people pleasin’, panic attacks, and toxic positivity caught up with me. My failed attempts to control stress of running a creative company, shame and guilt cycles with alcohol was real. I share my process of regaining possession of my truest self. It is the biggest reward today. I found through community, sharing and writing a way to live a clear authentic happy life. A hangover free morning never gets old.
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