THE ALLERGIC ARTIST – Coping with allergies in the studio.
Many people battle with allergies but who would have thought that being an artist could have this downside to doing something so wonderfully creative
When one thinks of allergies in general, one thinks of the obvious ones. There are ways of combatting the allergic problems that artists face.
SOME COMMON ALLERGIES WE ARE AWARE OF DON’T INCLUDE THOSE FACED BY THE ALLERGIC ARTIST
When one thinks of allergies in general, we think of the obvious ones
- Dust mites
- Suntan lotions
- A variety of foods, eggs, fish, grain. In fact, so many people have food allergies which can be very serious and, in fact, life-threatening.
- Peanuts – Parents are instructed not to give their children peanut butter sandwiches to take to school just in case there is a child there who could have an allergic reaction.
- garlic, now who would have thought the very things we think of as healthy could be a danger to someone’s life?
- Stings from a variety of insects, and not forgetting jellyfish and other sea creatures.
This last one, the allergy to a jellyfish came home to us in a very dramatic way.
However hard we might try to keep our family free from all illness, whatever health and wellness program we follow, the number of gym memberships we may join over time, there is still something that we may have little or no control over, and that is our allergic reaction to certain things.
To my mind, it would be wonderful if there were clinics worldwide, especially geared up to treat patients who have allergies, like Premier Allergy and Asthma Clinic which you can find in many locations in the United States
This proved true when one of my sons was stung by a blue bottle while on holiday with his family. He went into anaphylactic shock which necessitated his being rushed to the closest hospital with lights flashing, and eventually police escort, where he was fortunately revived by the quick-thinking doctor on duty.
He has always been very careful about health and wellness as he was a very keen cyclist which meant he had to follow a good eating plan to have the energy required to take part in his chosen sport.
I am pleased to say, still is, living a full and energetic lifestyle, albeit with his EpiPen (adrenalin-filled) with him at all times. The experience of just how serious an allergic reaction can be has woken us all up.
BUT, WHAT ABOUT OTHER ALLERGIES THAT CAN BE LIFE-CHANGING? – THE ALLERGIC ARTIST
One would think that being an artist would be a wonderful occupation for anyone with a talent and passion for painting and drawing.
What the ideal life it would be, unless, you are an allergic artist.
There is a drawback if one is allergic to the very things necessary to make your dream come true.
- Paint pigments
- Thinning agents
There are so many things that can cause allergic reactions in a studio, and if you are living in that space as well, which many artists do, these allergies are much more difficult to deal with.
The art studio is not the easiest place to keep dust-free, and the added danger of some of the pigments can make for serious allergy issues just by breathing them in as you work.
HOWEVER, THERE IS SOME GOOD NEWS FOR THE ALLERGIC ARTIST
There are ways of combatting the problems that artists face.
- One would be to change the medium you are using from perhaps acrylic paint to oils which are much less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
- No dust can come off oil paints.
I know this takes a complete mind shift for THE ALLERGIC ARTIST but if it means making a change for your health’s sake or stopping painting completely, I know which option I would choose.
In the United States, one can attend the Premier Allergy and Asthma Clinic, and perhaps there are others like this in other parts of the world. If there are not, then there should be as many more people would benefit.
There is also something called the Allergy Release Technique which would be well worth pursuing.
This is something I found when doing the research for this article and certainly, as an artist, I shall be looking into it.
Do you suffer from any allergies as an artist?
If so, how were you able to resolve them?