The Feels Club presents: Brainwaves & The Big Sad...
A mental health conversation project that speaks with musicians, artists, writers, entrepreneurs & multipotentialites alike - to talk openly about their creative processes & mental health.
Meet Elizabeth Drummond - singer/songwriter and all round magic maker.
Making up 1/3 of Sydney-based indie/folk band Little May, Liz's talents have seen her grace the stages of major festivals including Falls Festival & Splendour In The Grass, as well as spending time touring with likes of The National, City & Colour, Cold War Kids, Angus & Julia Stone, Rodriguez & Mumford & Sons. Liz is also one of the kick ass women behind The Black Sheep Ensemble - a creative haven providing collaborative workshops & mentoring for artists of all expressions.
Liz & I met when I took part in one of those very workshops last year and it both rocked my world & soothed my soul all at once!
Immediately I clicked with Liz's wild passion for her own craft & growth... but beyond that, her passion for supporting the journeys of other creatives out there doing their thing. Everything about this girl oozes the good stuff - the heart stuff... And having her take part in Brainwaves & The Big Sad was an absolute MUST!
So without further hearty fangirlish rambling, here is what Elizabeth Drummond had to say during her mental health & creativity conversation...
"For me, creativity has really meant everything to me. I don’t know where I'd be without it. I'd be really restless and probably unhappy. It gives me peace, excitement and a purpose. My creative processes and mental go hand in hand...
Pure creativity and experimentation is when I feel completely free, and therefore happy. I struggled a lot with my identity and mental health when I was a teenager/early 20's, that all stemmed from feeling inadequate and like I didn't fit into a system. I had a lot of energy... but I didn't know where to put it. I had low confidence & self awareness, I felt misunderstood and anxious. When I really settled into music, my life and my sense of self worth began to improve and so did everything around me.
I can become restless quickly, and the best thing about making music is that it continues to excite me. Nothing ever gets boring and I am constantly surprised by how energising a new song or a new project can be.
When I'm feeling low, I usually end up writing, because it feels the most natural and therapeutic. Mind you, if I am just feeling really low or uninspired, I will probably want to drink wine and watch a shit romcom or Bachelor in Paradise so I don't have to think about anything. But most of the time I find I just want to write music or listen to great music. There are times when I can get stuck in a rut of overthinking things which can be a roadblock for me. That is usually when I'm in a self conscious head space or an environment that isn't serving my creativity and my mental health. This can be when I take on pressure or too much feedback… or I adopt a really narrow vision of what song I want/need to/should write. I can go through periods of confusion about what I am meant to be doing, and who I am. Then I can just get flustered and watch Bachelor in Paradise.
What I come to realise every time is that it's ok to just be whatever I am... whenever I am. Art is the process of figuring life out. I just need to keep learning how to manage the noise that doesn't serve my inner child."
Could you offer any advice for creatives? / if you have anything else you'd like to say feel free: Go nuts - inspire, encourage, set souls on fire!
"I would say... fuck the system. Seriously though, fuck the system.
I would also suggest to check in with your inner child all the time, and see if he/she feels like they're having a fun time.
I went to a naturopath recently who told me to do "freewriting" - which is when you write nonstop without thinking until you can’t anymore, then to do the same with your other hand (left in my case). She told me it's like writing from your inner child. I do this a lot to help with songwriting ideas, and it can be pretty weird/funny/creepy/sad/therapeutic... If you haven't tried it, you should!"