Oct 27, 2016
Motivating Creatives to Move.
Say Hello to MINI Mo Sista Kelly Thompson. She's an illustrator, educator and the founding director of creative consultancy agency Use New Art.
Kelly's illustration skills have allowed her to work with brands such as Nike, Maybelline and Apple. In her role as the director of Use New Art, Kelly acts a creative matriarch who assists a number of male illustrators to get their work recognised on the global stage.
We shared a golden latte with Kelly to talk about the importance of movement and why we need to encourage men to talk about their health.
> Why do you think it's important for men to talk about their health?
Conversation about health encourages awareness which is the main thing, the more we share and talk about what's going on the more information we have to enable us to figure out what's "normal" and what's not. It's easy to push health issues to the back of the queue, or stew about them unnecessarily in our mind. But the more we talk, the more comfortable we will all feel and the more encouragement we will have to talk to professionals when needed.
> What can we do to help future generations to have open conversations about their wellbeing?
A lot of this starts at home with the way parents communicate with their children. An open and honest relationship with your children will help them grow into confident, informed and open-minded adults. As adults we need to be more aware of the people around us, if you think someone has a problem, ask them if they're ok, take time, offer encouragement, stop overthinking and just reach out. If we all start making an effort, even with one person, it will start to create positive change.
> When a mate needs your support how do you connect with them to help their situation?
It depends on the kind of situation, but in general, I like to start checking in with them, just a little text to say "have a nice day today" or "thinking of you!" If an issue is serious, I always find that in person conversation is best and more natural when over food, so that the issue isn't the only purpose of your catch up. Making sure you are fully invested in that time is really important, they won't open up to you if you're checking your phone constantly, you need be there wholeheartedly.
> How does movement benefit your wellbeing?
No matter what your role is, whether you're an illustrator or a surgeon, moving is really important throughout your day and in your downtime. For me making time to move, leave my desk at lunch or do Pilates after a long day is very beneficial to my overall wellbeing. That's why I'm making a commitment to be a Mo Sista and move this Movember, because there are too many of our generation neglecting movement for deadlines.
> Who are you hoping to inspire from your Movember involvement and what's your Mo message of wisdom that you'd like to pass on?
I'm hoping to inspire creatives slaving away solo on their butts to make a move for men's health. I want them to commit to getting outside for a walk throughout the day or to take up a new activity during Movember and to share this activity with their peers. Because making time for our wellbeing and releasing pressure through movement doesn't just help us, it helps our peers remember how important exercise is to our daily physical and mental health.