Artist Spotlight: Carissa Belham
Carissa Belham is an extremely accomplished young woman – she works part-time, owns her own creative business and has just written a memoir. But it’s interesting to chat to Carissa about the concept of ‘success’ – something she’s struggled with over the years on her journey to self-acceptance.
“I used to buy into that traditional concept of success – making a lot of money, having a fancy car, working full time and working really hard. I worked in high-pressure sales roles for years. Once I reached a goal, I was onto the next one. There was no space for mindfulness or being grounded; I was always on the go.”
Artist, Carissa is combining her passions of art and mental wellness, Carissa is driven to help others.
A diagnosis of Bipolar disorder – after many tumultuous years spent in and out of hospital – has completely shifted Carissa’s perspective. She’s now found balance and stability in her life - something sorely needed after years of restlessness and disruption.
“I moved about five or six times throughout uni. Every time something went wrong, I just packed up my little car and away I went. I also moved cities. I avoided hardship by just shutting off my emotions and leaving. I’d find a new house and a new group of friends. It was exhausting; nothing flowed easily.”
“These days, my wellbeing is an absolute priority. I know the importance of sleep; I know how to calm myself and keep my emotions under control. I’ve been stable for a fair few years now and I’ve worked hard to find and maintain balance in my life.”
|"Clarity" by Carissa Belham is on display at the 2021 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition.|
Carissa founded her arts organisation, Risso Creative, with a goal of ‘enhancing wellbeing by creativity’. Combining her passions of art and mental wellness, Carissa is driven to help others.
“I’ve been through the experience that I have, so now I can lead by example. Risso Creative is all about setting an example and role-modelling wellbeing. Risso Creative to me is so important – whenever I feel lost or overwhelmed, I come back to it.”
As it stands, Carissa is getting ready to move again. But what’s different is this move isn’t a spontaneous, impulsive decision – it’s fulfilling a life dream and achieving a fresh start.
“I’ve accepted a role with my work on the Sunshine Coast; it’s always been a dream of mine to return to the Coast. I can’t tell you how empowering it is to be making this decision with a wise mind.”
“Success looks one way when you’re young and manic, but it’s completely different to me now. This time, I feel very successful driving away in my little car. Right now I feel like I’m winning.”