Design + Wellness Are Linked Together According to These 12 Creatives

08.30.22 | By
Design + Wellness Are Linked Together According to These 12 Creatives

August was National Wellness Month and to celebrate, we created a month-long artist series on Instagram and asked a talented group of independent and emerging artists and designers a simple question: How do you use your art and creative expression as a way to promote your well-being? To wrap up the series, we’re sharing all of their answers here:

colorful wall hanging


“I have always been happiest while making beautiful things with my hands. After the death of my husband I gave myself the freedom to explore making whatever I wanted to make, without any expectations or rules. The enthusiastic reception of this work has allowed me to make my living creating beauty and sending it out into the world. It’s given me a renewed sense of purpose and direction and filled my new life with a joy that didn’t always seem possible.”

colorful ceramics on shelf

Peyton Flynn /

“Working with clay promotes my wellbeing every day by giving me a tactile outlet for all of my feelings. Ceramics is a very physical craft, and requires a strong body and centered mind, so my personal wellness is always a top priority! The two really go hand in hand for me. Some of my regular wellness practices outside of the studio include getting sweaty and stretching my body daily, prioritizing sleep, taking long walks with my dog, consuming lots of water & veggies, playing friendly tennis matches, exploring new and old music, and watching my plants grow. I am restless by nature, but the studio always has plenty of tasks for me to bounce around between. On days I feel anxious, I might gravitate towards throwing on the wheel because I’ve got to put my whole body into the process, which leaves little space to focus on anything else. On day’s I’m a bit more sluggish, I might work on something more tedious like painting on glaze gradients or something simple like lining the inside of mugs. Clay is a constant teacher, and has taught me to be more resilient, grounded, and patient. Working with clay excites me because it has been a vital tool in my wellness journey and has endless potential to heal and empower.”

sculptural table

Casey McCafferty /

“My art and my practice is a way that I am able to work through thoughts. They can be thoughts and emotions I’m struggling with, or ones I am just trying to process. My creative expression gets me through stressful times. There is always some type of solace while expressing myself. Once I get into a flow state, everything – the good, the bad, the confusing – all comes pouring out of me. Each of my pieces has the emotion of what life is bringing me in that specific time period.”

green textile throw blanket

Samantha Bittman /

“I love to connect with people and learn new things, so I founded Catskill Weaving School this year. We’re based in the Hudson Valley and offer in-person and online weaving and weaving-related classes. With weaving, you can really get into a flow state and take a mental break for a while.”

abstract painting

Jessica Poundstone /

“For me, making art, looking at art, and being in community with others who make and love art are all equally important parts of my creative life and practice. They are each essential to my wellbeing – both physical and metaphysical! – in ways that I don’t fully understand! What I do know is that beauty is inherently hopeful. It celebrates the best of what humans can be and do, and connects us to the realm of the “deeply true.” Holding beauty close – even when things in my life or in the world feel like they are falling apart – is an ongoing act of resistance to despair, and an essential form of self-care. 10/10 recommend :)”

typography art

Dave Towers /

“My art probably articulates my hopes and fears. The art started as a side hustle. It’s an outlet that helps me deal positively with the creative frustrations I may experience in my day job.”

donuts painting

Anna Sweet /

“I’ve had to learn not to take my job so seriously. Being an artist and entrepreneur, I am responsible for everything. How much I “succeed” is completely up to how hard I work at it. The amount of stress to do more and achieve more is only in my head. I became an artist to be the leader of my life and happiness, but when I forget this and focus only on deadlines, profits, and metrics, I end up burning out. It’s important to remember why you do what you do and to enjoy the journey instead of always focusing on the destination.”

geometric paper sculpture

Richard Lamain /

“For me the creative expression is almost vital, I could say, I can let myself go completely on making my 3d shapes of paper, sometimes it’s something that almost looks like meditation, something where you are completely absorbed, where you can forget everything around you and where I can put all the daily practical matters next to me.”

abstract sculpture

Angel Oloshove /

“My artwork is a multifaceted outlet for my creative expression. I turn to my artistic tools when words don’t feel like enough. When I am working in my studio I feel like I am using all my faculties through visual language. Ceramic sculpture is a humbling practice. Thanks to clay, I have learned non-attachment and patience. Art making, for me, is the most powerful tool for genuinely connecting to humanity. It’s all about that relationship and communication.”

colorful portable speaker

Monica Ahanonu /

“Your mood can be affected by color and certain color combinations. I enjoy wearing, as well as utilizing, bold colors and uncommon color combinations to give viewers of my work a positive and energizing sense. I believe having color in various pockets of your space can keep your mind in a positive state throughout your day. Adding some color to your day, whether it be on your nails or a rug, can make you feel more energized whenever you look down at your hands or spend time in your living room.”

ceramic vases

Steffany Tran /

“My work reflects my belief of tenderness in the everyday. Clay is a beautifully fickle thing; it’s a material that responds to all elements. I don’t use rib tools when throwing. I shape every curve by hand, relying on my own touch to be the voice in my work.”

There’s a special unpredictability – and comfort – that comes with learning to move with clay (porcelain, in particular). Too much pressure, and it’ll collapse. Too tame, and the shape won’t be quite right. It’s within this gentle balancing act of allowing my hands to move as they intend, the tensions of transitions in form – while finding calm throughout the process – that grants me the joy to create with a human touch. No two pieces are ever exactly the same. When finalizing each piece with soft lines and delicate details, they echo tenderness, creating moments of warmth through objects, living spaces, and self. To be well is to be tender, everyday.”

As the Senior Contributing Editor, Vy Yang is obsessed with discovering ways to live well + with intention through design. She's probably sharing what she finds over on Instagram stories. You can also find her at