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Why All Artists Need Those Vitamins
There is more than Vitamin C.
Art Girls Jungle 07 Jan 2019

The presents are all unwrapped, the seasonal Amazon Prime workers have all been released from their duties, and your New Year’s hangover is starting to go down. You know what that means. Time to get crackin’ on those New Year’s resolutions!
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Whether you’re setting out to finally run that marathon or run on the treadmill for ten minutes without hitting the panic STOP button, we wish you all the best on your health and fitness journeys. So much so that we’re bringing you a flurry of content to help you live your best, healthiest, and of course, artiest lives this month.
Beyond the classic “New Year, New Me” goals starter pack (Gym! Green juice! In bed by 10pm! Delete Instagram for .7 seconds before breaking out in hives and re-downloading immediately!), there’s one other sneaky little component of wellness that we bet you’ve overlooked. Are you ready?
We’re talking about vitamins. Yes, vitamins. They’re not just for pregnant women and Portland dads—artists need their vitamins too. And not just Vitamin D, if ya know what I mean… yep, that joke is going to be made multiple times in this article.
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So gird your loins and eat your broccoli—our readers are NOT going into 2019 deficient in these essential arty vitamins.

Vitamin A

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What’s it for?
Promotes good eyesight, protects against measles, might help protect against cancer.
Where to get it?
Sweet potatoes, beef liver, carrots, spinach, pumpkin, cantaloupe, sweet red peppers, mangos, black-eyes peas, apricots, broccoli.
Why do I need it?
As a Vitamin A-deficient artist, measles are the least of your concerns. Eat your veggies or start honing your writing or composing skills, because as a visual artist, once you lose your eyesight, you’re basically fucked. Unless, of course, you can pull a Beethoven and sculpt a Pieta-level modern sculpture by touch alone. In that case, going blind might actually help your career—the media attention alone will bring in enough cash to fund your avocado toast and matcha latte habit for the rest of your life. But the odds of pulling off that move are slim, so eat your sweet potatoes.

Vitamin D

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What’s it for?
Maintains healthy bones and teeth, supports immune system, brain, nervous system, lung and cardiovascular health, protects against cancer, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other diseases.
Where to get it?
10 minutes of sun exposure 3 times a week, or dairy. Or, you know… the D 😉 Kidding!
Why do I need it?
You’d think that getting outside for a grand total of 30 minutes a week wouldn’t be a big deal. But last time we checked (ok, the National Center for Biotechnology Information checked), more than a billion people worldwide are deficient. And since the population of Russia is only 145 million, you guys have some explaining to do.
So who are these 855 million slackers? Vampires, kids addicted to Fornite, Dungeons and Dragons nerds, researchers in Antarctica… and the world’s 48.5 million artists. Yep, you read that right. According to our very scientific calculations, that’s the precise number of artists in the world, even if you can’t find most of them on Artsy.
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If you’re a working artist, I probably lost you at “sun” for a quick Google images search. What does that look like, again? If you’re anything like the stereotype, your schedule probably skews nocturnal, which makes you and the sun casual acquaintances at best, but definitely not good friends. (Hint: it’s the big yellow thing in the center of van Gogh’s Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun.)
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Vincent van Gogh, Olive Trees With Yellow Sky and Sun (1889).
For real though, the link between creativity and staying up way too late isn’t just an urban legend—it’s science. So do yourself a favor and get yourself a good Vitamin D supplement next time late nights in the studio have you looking more Bride of Frankenstein than Frankie’s Bikinis model.

Vitamin C

mean girls im sick
What’s it for?
Boots your immune system, might help keep your blood pressure low, protects against heart disease, helps prevent gout, improves iron absorption, protects your memory and brain function as you age.
Where to get it?
Citrus fruits, acerola cherries, rose hip, chili peppers, sweet yellow peppers, blackcurrant, thyme, parsley, kale, kiwis, guavas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, papayas, strawberries.
Why do I need it?
Anyone that’s been through the art fair season wringer knows that immunity is worth its weight in Warhols.
For one thing, there’s nothing worse than accidentally sneezing into a rich and famous collector’s face as they’re about to buy your painting. Not exactly the smoothest way to seal the deal. Plus, lots of common meds have scary side effects when you mix them with a glass or two of bubbly, not that all the threats of liver damage in the world are going to stop you from going hard on the Basel afterparty circuit. Best not to go there at all. Forget apples—an orange a day could keep the ambulance, internal bleeding and seizures away.
And let’s not forget memory (ha…). You don’t need Proust to tell you that most artists draw heavily on their recollections of their past experiences to create work. Memory lost; career = kaput. Plus, don’t you want to remember the day you saw Dash Snow at a bar in the East Village?

Iodine

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What’s it for?
Regulates thyroid function, which controls metabolism, bone health, immune response and the central nervous system. 
Where to get it?
Iodized salt, seaweed, baked cod, eggs.
Why do I need it?
To be fair, iodine deficiency is rare in developed countries and is most common in pregnant women. But as an artist, you definitely don’t want to risk becoming deficient in this key vitamin because it affects your thyroid, which controls your metabolism, which controls your thoughts, which controls your actions, which control your destiny.
Just kidding… but your metabolism is important. A fucked-up thyroid can lead to a whole avalanche of unpleasant symptoms, from weight gain and fatigue to thinning hair and feeling cold all the time. If you’re like me, this probably just sounds like every winter, but imagine feeling that way all the time… no thanks.
Much like a bad case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD! – just like the Trump quote and the XXXTentacion song), fatigue can impact your art practice in obvious ways. But lets talk about the real danger here. Have you ever had a day in the studio when someone turned the AC on blast and you can’t find the control switch? Not sure which circle of hell that is (@Dante, pls weigh in), but in the words of my high school Spanish teacher, it’s no fun-o. Or was it bueno?
In conclusion, Da Vinci definitely did not paint the Mona Lisa while borderline hypothermic. Why do you think so many artists moved to the tropics? I digress. Eat your salt, friends.

Text by Katya Lopatko 
Images via @popcultureinpictures, @ardit_sino, @popculturediedin2009, Odyssey, Tumblr

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