As you may be aware of by now, I am a firm believer in the power of creativity to help you to understand yourself and to feel good. Making things, the act of creativity in all its forms is hugely beneficial to your wellbeing. Yet many people I speak to say they want to be more creative but have beliefs that get in the way of their enjoyment and access to the creative process. They say: ‘I can’t make anything good’ or ‘I’m not good at art’ or ‘I’m not creative.’
The thing is that you all have access to your creative outlets, just sometimes the channels are blocked. These creative inhibitions are planted there as you grow up. There is always someone ‘better’ to compare yourself to and to decide that you don’t measure up.
There are TV shows that show art by professional artists alongside amateurs and the amateur art is often amazing. What makes ‘good’ art is all about other people’s opinions. As well as your own.
Numerous situations exist and many studies have shown how being creative benefits mental health. Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who is 89 years old and voluntarily lives in a psychiatric hospital is an incredible example of this, as this quote from an article in The Guardiandemonstrates:
“Long ago,” Kusama wrote, “I decided that all I could do was express my thoughts through my art and that I would continue to do this until I died, even if no one was ever to see my work…It made it possible for me to continue to make art every day, and this has saved my life.”
I speak often about my own desire to understand my mental health challenges and the relationship with creativity in this process. When I do, it seems other people find the idea of ‘being an artist’ intimidating and something that is reserved for other people. I disagree. This week my painting ‘A Series of Measured Rejections’ is being exhibited at the Salon des Refuses in London, having been selected for the final round of judging for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition but not chosen for the exhibition. I have also been packing up three paintings for the Bridlington Artwaves Exhibition next weekend.
My next project is for the National Brain Appeal Charity’s annual exhibition ‘A Letter in Mind’ It is close to my heart because of the many afflictions it works to help with funding for the research of. Some of these have affected my family including Adult Hydrocephalus, Motor Neurone Disease and Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome (which I have).
I spend a few hours a week with a client of mine, who I will call Claire. Claire is 21 years old and has brain damage, among other complications, which causes learning difficulties, her emotional age is of a much younger child. I help her with English, Art and ICT. This week I explained to Claire about the Letter in Mind Exhibition and showed her the website and the gallery. She became very excited that this exists, and I told her that anyone can apply to take part. We found out that they have extended the deadline for entries this year and so Claire has now applied for her entry pack. She is brimming with ideas, enthusiasm and positivity over this and I can’t wait to support her in her submission.
Watching the Royal Academy TV show about the selection process and looking at the art that they did and didn't choose, only goes to show how subjective the perception of art is. I feel it is important to note that anyone, including you, can make a difference to not only your life through your creativity, but can help the prospects and situations of others at the same time. If you are inspired to apply for, or visit a Letter in Mind, or choose to take up a creative project or rekindle a creative practice I would love to know. You can tell me about it HERE. Above is my entry for A Letter in Mind 2018.
f you would like to have some coaching in your journey towards yourself through creativity, you can find out how I can help you HERE. Please get in touch for a chat if you're not sure if this is for you or would like to know more. This week I have also rebranded my Etsy shop and added personalisation and free UK delivery for many of my products, including the Attentive Art Zen Creativity Kits, (available in 7 colours) so if you know someone who would benefit from a creative helping hand - with added relaxation, these make a great gift.
I hope you have been inspired to pick up a brush or a pen. I'll end with that favourite quote again: "Would you like an adventure now or shall we have our tea first?" (Alice in Wonderland). Because it is all a wonderful adventure. Enjoy it and have a great week. X