25/06/20 BLOG 3: CREATIVITY AND SELF CARE
Hello again! How is everyone doing this week? We are now officially in Phase 2 in Scotland, with gradual changes in how and where we can see loved ones. It’s felt like a funny old week personally, I’m excited about the changes but worried about things moving too quickly. I’ve been really busy so haven’t had much time to make space for myself and my own care either, but after writing this blog I may have to make the time to think about some sort of creative project as I’m feeling a bit more inspired….!
Together Alone is now in its’ third week and we’ve been thinking a lot about how creativity Is a form of self-care. We will be exploring this over the coming weeks, starting to put out a series of workshops from artist Alice Dansey-Wright and photographer Kathryn Rattray. These will have easy to follow exercises, using items you can find in your home (as well as in the workshop pack we can send out to you) so that you can explore doodling, printing, motif making and photography. We hope the workshops help provide a space and tools for you to explore creativity as a form of self-care, as well as possibly sharing what you create as part of the Together Alone toolkit we are making together.
Many people use creative things like painting, drawing, sculpture and photography to help with self-care, with some people talking about getting into a mindful “flow” state while they work. This can help people distract, reflect and turn various emotions into something productive for themselves. By “productive”, I don’t necessarily mean producing something tangible at the end of it – creativity can be just as much about enjoying the process and it’s effects on you as well as creating something in and of itself –which can be an added bonus! Here's a blog by Katie Willard Valant about how she uses painting and drawing to help with the stress she experiences from chronic illness: Art as Self Care.
Something like photography can also have hidden bonuses as a self-care activity – it can get you outside physically, exploring new spaces (as and when the easing of lockdown allows of course!), as well as thinking about the world around new with new and fresh eyes: Photography as Self Care.
It’s also pretty accessible - lots of us now have use of some sort of smart phone (and for anyone who doesn’t, we can provide disposable cameras which we will get developed for you as part of our workshop packs). Photographer Kathryn Rattray will be here to tell us more about her processes, as well as providing some tips and workshops via her masterclasses soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that coming your way!
Next week, we will begin putting out workshops from artist Alice-Dansey-Wright who has made us masterclasses in things like doodling, printing with things in your house and drawing a motif. Alice says this about her practice as an artist:
"I'm an artist and designer based in Glasgow. I have a fine art background but I've developed my practice over the years to include illustration, textile design and graphic facilitation. I regularly collaborate with other artists and designers to realise projects and I also work as a mentor and adviser within the creative sector.
All my designs start with drawing and/or painting with brush and ink and I like to allow an intuitive process to take over- like an elaborate doodle where I need to incorporate my mistakes as I go and fill the space creatively. Working as a freelance artist involves plenty of admin and addressing the nuts and bolts of being self-employed but when I'm drawing and painting it allows for periods of 'flow'- by which I mean being fully immersed in that activity, with enjoyment and focus. I'm very grateful to have this part of my job that can provide me with this feeling, which I think contributes to my overall well being and health. I hope that the masterclasses that I've designed for Click will provide some steps to enable creative exploration and some opportunities for experiencing 'flow' or just time out of the potentially more stressful parts of life."
You can see examples of Alice’s work opposite – and keep your eyes on this website and our social media over the coming weeks as we release Alice’s masterclasses to help inspire you!
Next week, we will have CLiCK Women’s Worker Jo talking about what it means to embark on a new creative project, offering some useful tips and discussion.
In the meantime, for those of you who would like to start something creative straight away, here are a couple of activities to get you going!
Colouring – creativity doesn’t need to be about creating something specific, there are plenty of colouring books that can give you a bit of time to reflect and space away from everything. You can print sheets off, or even draw a repetitive design onto paper yourself to colour in such as these below, available HERE. And you can access printable colouring pages HERE.
Mindful Journaling – grab a piece of paper and something to write with. Now, take 5 minutes and start writing about your day in a continuous flow of consciousness – just write whatever comes into your head without worrying about how you write it or grammar or spelling. Just let your thoughts out and go with it. Don’t feel you have to read it after – this is all about letting the words flow and getting the thoughts of your day out of your head. It’s up to you what you do with it afterwards, you may want to keep the writing or you may want to put it in the bin once it’s all out of your head. You can find an exercise around drawing to help with anxiety HERE. As well as a wealth of great things to do HERE.
We would love to hear from you about what you do creatively that helps with self-care, or anything else you’d like to talk about for Together Alone! We can also talk about creative projects you want to get underway, as well as send you our workshop packs. You can contact me HERE or via firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be back with CLiCK Women’s Worker Jo next week. In the meantime, take care.