DRAWING: JORGE EDUARDO 2020How coping with the lockdown started a new business, re-ignited a creative passion, and cured anxiety.by Marija Herceg
Drawings supplied by Marija's clients
I have been life-modelling for two years now. Then, as the Covid-19 restrictions started to hit Australia late March, my face-to-face life-modelling gigs were postponed, along with many other things.

I mean, I have done enough business, spiritual, personal development, and marketing courses to get myself through this uncertain period – right?

The fear that people started to express with sudden changes to everyday life, with loss of work and being at home, I had already experienced in the past year with my own experience of anxiety that had arisen from a panic attack. That had left me assessing my everyday life and stress levels. Sometimes it limited me to not leaving home for extensive periods at a time. This meant saying no to work that felt overbearing, and no to driving long distances from home. But in turn I was learning new ways to do things and living at a much slower pace.
DRAWING: IAN CALCUTT 2020My lockdown preparationI was already strangely prepared for COVID-19, and it came as a gift

I started offering life-drawing sessions online via Zoom, to drawers from anywhere in the world. People who haven’t drawn for years started coming out of the interweb woodwork.
DRAWING: JORGE EDUARDO 2020It gave me so much focus and consistency in the week that my mental health benefited greatly. Receiving some income was lovely too. I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed with analysing life and my purpose, where I am going and how far I can stretch myself. For those two hours, I felt at peace, and calm, and so in love with the service I offer. I love inspiring artists. I noticed that they, too, have been this time out.

Art – yes, this is enough; this is necessary.

I started drawing again too, and so many other people in my networks started to reach out and express their interest in drawing. It has been a creative time for me. I think that life-drawing has been revolutionised and made accessible to more people.
DRAWINGS: MARK INGRAM 2020And it has been life-changing for me as I continue the momentum with offering weekly classes, and slowly joining in-person classes again.

It's also gratifying that doing all those workshops – which cost me lots of money, and encouraged me to follow what I love – is paying off.

But the best thing about it is that it’s all happening for me in a focused and yet spontaneous way. I'm allowing life to surprise me – and it's proving to be a the perfect antidote to anxiety.
All drawings supplied by the author's life-modelling participantsMARIJA HERCEG 2020Marija is a performance artist and an art model. She loves creating theatre and exploring the topic of mental health in her work. Instagram @marijatheromantic.
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