Wellness for Creatives Feeds The Mind, Heart & Soul
This feature is in the December '22 "The Creators" Issue. Click here to subscribe.
Byron L. Edwards PHOTO BY ROLAND LING/COURTESY OF WELLNESS FOR CREATIVES
Wellness for Creatives, founded by artist, brand strategist and self-described “Conscious Socially Connected Spiritual Gangster” Byron L. Edwards, offers a community for creators needing a way to combat work-related burnout. By providing events such as InkWell (which encourages free creation without prompts) and Get Well (workouts that center on the needs of creators), Edwards creates a space of mental, physical and spiritual wellness that is fluid enough for busy artists in need of stress release. Edwards will publish his first workbook, In My Mind, in early 2023, which will expand on the collective’s goal to build wellness practices into the lives of creators.
What did you see missing in the relationship between wellness and creators?
I was what I call a creative executive, so I was working alongside creators, whether it be in the PR space or the social media space or the influencer engagement space. One thing I realized was that creators were giving everything they had—for the greater good of this project, or to make the community feel better, or to put this art into the world. There were very few things that I felt were actually coming back to the creators. People are always trying to barter services or trying to talk you down on your rates. So I was like, ‘Wow, creators are not catching a break.’
A high-intensity cardio workout PHOTO BY ROLAND LING/COURTESY OF WELLNESS FOR CREATIVES
“DON’T PUT ALL OF YOUR PASSIONS INTO YOUR WORK! CERTAIN THINGS YOU HAVE TO SAVE FOR YOURSELF.” –BYRON L . EDWARDS
Because creative work is so connected to self-expression, when it becomes work and profit-based...
It’s draining! A lot of times I feel like we are all trying to identify if it’s lack of inspiration, lack of motivation, maybe going toward burnout. But like you said, there’s so much self-expression involved and you’re giving so much of yourself. You have to be conscious enough to think, ‘Am I getting a little sad or little depressed? Or do I just not have inspiration?’ A lot of times, we may not know in the process, which is why I like to give people creative or wellness outlets.
A member using TRX machines in an exercise class PHOTO BY ROLAND LING/COURTESY OF WELLNESS FOR CREATIVES
It seems like there has to be more fluidity and independence and openness.
I love the word ‘fluidity.’ There are seven pillars of wellness, but what is wellness? I always ask people that. Some people will tell you wellness is working out; others will tell you wellness is burning their sage. So how can you not be fluid? We all should just be identifying what it is we like to do and what we don’t like to do.
A fitness class hosted by Wellness for Creatives. PHOTO BY ROLAND LING/COURTESY OF WELLNESS FOR CREATIVES
How can creators find a balance between work and their life, or their art?
One of my favorite quotes that I came up with myself is, ‘If you’re not making time for your health, you’re wasting your time.’ You could be doing all of these work projects and pushing yourself, and then your heart could stop. Nothing you went through made you feel good in that process. Doing things in excess—like drugs and alcohol—it’s the same thing with our art and talent. If you do it in excess, you eventually come to hate it. So it’s really about protecting yourself, your art and your craft.