Who is The Artistic Type?
The Artistic Type is your sanctuary.
A home base for queer and BIPOC women grappling with mental health challenges, where judgment gets checked at the door.
We’re all about the offbeat, the off-kilter.
We’re hunting for stories about women whose narratives that didn’t take the beaten path and art that subverts, rebels and confuses.
After going through months of stomach pain, meltdowns, and panic attacks, my psychologist has a hypothesis. He believed my temperament aligns with others who have strong artistic impulses. Our desires and urges to create are far stronger than anything else, which can make it difficult to prioritize anything else.
Having bipolar disorder, social anxiety, and mixed personality disorder doesn’t help either.
“You’re the artistic type,” he said. “See, I couldn’t pick up a paintbrush to save my life.”
Yeah, which is probably why you can maintain a well-paying job… is what I would’ve said if I was in a better mood.
Whether or not his hypothesis is correct, and regardless of what I’ve been diagnosed with, he does have a point. Throughout my life, I would have a love / hate relationship with being an actress and directing staged performances. My bipolar symptoms made it difficult to prioritize projects I loved. I used to act and perform comedy improv onstage and gradually, as my symptoms worsened, I would find myself in front of audiences less. And less. Then one day I couldn’t do it anymore, and wouldn’t get on a stage for years. When this happened, I turned to writing and art as a way to express myself.
I love being an artist, but trying to make a living out of it was a pain in the ass. I couldn’t go at the pace that felt right for me, and being able to infuse my own personal touch was becoming less and less of a commodity. I’m unwilling to mainstream my art or my stories to fit other people’s expectations, at least not so often that I have rely on that practice to survive.
My philosophy is that the art has already happened. When the artist is making the art, deep in the hours-long dance (stumble) of figuring shit out, making things messy, covering up mistakes, leaving mistakes exposed to show something weird and accidental… but fun. That’s the art. You can’t put a price on it. It’s not performative. It’s utterly selfish. It allows you to be yourself. Art welcomes all of you to whatever you’re using (canvas, computer, etc.).
The artwork itself – a painting, sculpture, multimedia piece, poem, novel, comic book, etc. – is the outcome. It’s an invitation for the viewer / reader / listener to also form its own relationship with the art, to be as hypnotized by it as the artist was. It needn’t be too serious or pretentious. But it should feel sincere, and special. It’s like you’ve shared a secret or allowed people to feel differently in a space where that feels both safe and vulnerable.
All of this to say that in the world where social media reigns supreme and “if you’re not sharing your art, are you really an artist (eye roll)?” mentality, The Artistic Type exists a “space”, not physical (yet), where we can support ourselves and the art we make. And we do this while also handling other stuff like paying bills, remembering to take your meds, and trying to make enough money to exist.
I’m starting an Austin-based arts community where it’s just us. And I want to build a community now that’s open to you wherever you are.
If you sound like me, a woman trying to be hot and sexy and amazing while managing the world’s shit as well as your personal trauma, well then let. me. know! My mission is to lift up BIPOC and queer women voices, but if The Artistic Type speaks to you, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
About Christina Cicchelli
Founder – The Artistic Type – @theartistictype_atx
Literary Master – Guild of the Imagination – @christinaoftheguild
Artist | Writer – Me – @christinamakeschaos
I am an artist, a writer, a teacher. It all started when I won an award for my very first short story – an opportunity that led me straight into the arms of my favorite band, Phantom Planet. That moment was the launchpad for my writing journey. From short stories and novels to poems and advice columns, I’ve dared to venture into all kinds of literary spaces.
But the dream wasn’t just about getting published. I found myself drawn to the raw narratives of artists like Matthew Barney, Michel Basquiat, and Marina Abramovic. Their passion and creativity spilled onto their canvases and inspired me to experiment with my storytelling.
Yet, in a world where portfolios are fiercely competitive, and educational institutions place more emphasis on bureaucracy and exorbitant fees than nurturing creative individuality, my artistic aspirations seemed almost unreachable.
Adding to this complex puzzle is my mental health. Navigating the bipolar spectrum has added another layer of challenge to my creative journey, impacting my ability to maintain consistency in my work, establish community connections, and manage the basics of paperwork and finances.
Despite these hurdles, I’ve found a unique path to healing. A cocktail of medication, therapy, and artistic expression has become my lifeline.
My inspiration? The artists who pour their souls into their work. I tried my hand at various roles within independent feminist theater groups and found a new therapy in art. Yet, the right community eluded me.
Determined to create my own path, I began teaching specialty writing classes in 2017. I brought forward topics like sexuality, making room for real-life encounters to resonate in the work of my students.
Yet, my search continued for a space that would directly address the unique challenges faced by black women artists struggling with mental health. In places like Austin, and many other wealthy metropolitan areas, the presence of black or BIPOC artists is sparse.
So here I am, a writer, an artist, a teacher – an advocate for creative souls seeking a nurturing community. I am excited for what the future holds, for me and for all artists seeking their own unique path.
Welcome to the Artistic Type
Hey there! Welcome to The Artistic Type, a thriving online community that’s got one foot in the digital world and one foot on solid ground. You an artist, writer, or just navigating life while also dealing with mental health stuff? We see you, we feel you, and most of all, we celebrate you. Share your stories of crazy passions, your creative journey, and your mental health experiences. We’ll shine a spotlight on these narratives on our website and Instagram, giving others a chance to see, connect, and feel seen.
Looking for creative collaboration? Say less. Join our online community for our signature ‘Sessions’, where members come together to create something unique. We’re all about creating and shaping the weird and wonderful, together. And check this: we hold in-person weekend workshops and free online meetups. So keep an eye out for our event updates and open calls. This is your shot to get involved, grow, and add a little bit of your own flavor into our community. So why wait? Dive into the unexpected with The Artistic Type.
Embrace the Experimental is a unique, weekend-long workshop where women art-makers can unleash their creative potential and explore the multidisciplinary nature of art and writing. Over the course of this innovative program, participants are encouraged to embrace their individuality and challenge artistic boundaries. With an array of materials at your disposal, such as writing supplies, art materials, selected readings from various artistic movements, and a projector for presentations, you are set to embark on a creative journey unlike any other.
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