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The Creative & Mental Health | Interview with Amanda Iheme

AKANNI:

There is a trend recently, among millenials not being able to communicate and connect with other people outside social media to the point some people who commit suicide leave their death notes on these platforms, voicing their final moments through it and then this dependency on social media. What do you think might be the long term effect on us as a generation?

AMANDA:

Social media is such a wonderful idea that has been able to broaden our consciousness and make the world more connected. I personally have been able to express some of my difficult feelings and found support from physically unknown folks who have experienced and dealt with similar feelings and experiences . The long term effect of social media on millennials, I believe is dependent on the collective state of mind of millennials over time. If we still struggle for validation within ourselves, then social media with continue to provide that the rest of our lives will be shaped by that emptiness. If we find ourselves and decide to validate ourselves, then social media might become a place for growth, healing, support, progressive thinking and healthy validation.

AKANNI:

Different people suffer from mental health issues and sadly creatives seem to bite a larger chunk of this unsavoury pie, how would you ask that creating millennials keep things in perspective and maintain a healthy mind state?

AMANDA:

I strongly recommend that one gets a therapist. If not possible, find a support group or counsellor to visit regularly even if it is once a month. It is important to be of a balanced state of mind. The tortured artist act is such an unhealthy one that limits artists to only expressing from pain and suffering when there are many other emotions that seek expression and understanding. Take care of the self: sleep well, eat well, do work that makes you feel good and is true to you. Discipline yourself and manage the affairs of your life well from money, friendships to relationships. Being an artist does not mean you have to be a mess and unreliable because that thought process affects your self-esteem and confidence thus limiting your growth. Become and practice emotional intelligence, and surround yourself with good people who have good hearts. In the larger picture treat people well. Be good to them.

AKANNI:

You’ve been heard saying that sadness is something people everywhere should recognise and perhaps come to terms with it, what would you say causes you to believe this and what role does accepting and coming to terms with one sadness play in one becoming a more complete human?

AMANDA:

My belief comes from my experiences as a human. Sadness as happiness is a part of being human and exciting. As light comes with darkness, up comes with down, left with right and white with black, happiness come with sadness. Sadness and pain were not meant to destroy but to teach us the life lessons we need to learn and sometimes to teach us gratefulness and acceptance. Grateful for all that we have and are and acceptance that there are certain things that we’d wish were different but are out of our control. It’s acceptance can help us not take life’s sorrow personally but to understand that it is a moment we must go through to get to the joy or lesson for growth on the other side

AKANNI:

Photographs capture moments that reading can’t really provide, they capture the moments seized from the essence of the existence as it was for a time, your photography I heard was self-taught. This means you must have taken a lot of interest in the subject, so what do pictures do to you as one of your mediums of expression?

AMANDA:

The act of taking pictures is incredibly therapeutic, calming and joyful for me. The images are taking from my perspective, saying what I need it to say and how I want it to say; drawing the observer’s eyes to what I have deemed important. I am in control and being in control in that space allows me to freely express. I am not limited by anyone else’s expectations but mine. Shooting requires focus and attention which means that I block out everything else to hear my own voice. I like it. I really do. I enjoy being a photographer of architecture.

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