Every month I put together a guide about all the arts events to come and every time I do this I am amazed at the amount of exciting things happening on this island particularly the huge selection of opportunities there are to try new creative skills or perfect existing ones.
Below are ten reasons why it’s never been a better time to learn or hone a creative skill on the island.
No matter which workshop you take, you’ll be learning from experienced artists and building on your own knowledge.
Simply by being in such an immersive environment around other creatives you feel energised and motivated to start or pick up a project that lost momentum.
One of the major benefits of learning from others is that it can highlight a fresh perspective and often one that we haven’t considered before. Workshops allow you to experiment with new techniques in a way you may never have tried before. This new outlook will inevitably feed into your own work in surprising ways.
As terrifying as that sounds this is actually good for you from time to time. Even if you don’t use any of the skills learned in the workshop, you will have proved to yourself that you can try something new and experiment, giving you that sense of fearlessness.
Going to an art class or joining a creative group means that you will be interacting with likeminded people who share your passion. It’s social and often cross-generational which strengthens community. It is a place where you can ask questions, learn and exchange tips with people from all ages and experiences which may in turn lead to collaborative projects and lifelong friendships.
I love this quote taken from the joint strategy that we share with Culture Vannin because it states so simply why arts and culture matter. It is important to recognise and value the things that make us feel good and give us a sense of belonging to the island we live in. For some it could be taking a creative writing class that may lead to entering a competition or speaking at an open mike night; whilst for others it could be joining a choir or dance group that later go on to represent the island at a festival or community event.
Learning a creative skill can have the knock-on effect of building up your confidence or self-esteem especially if you are performing or presenting your work to an audience. Whether that audience is online or at a community event, the sense of accomplishment you feel can be so empowering and boost positive self-esteem. Even if you choose not to present your work to an audience, simply knowing that you created something can improve our own ideas about what we can achieve.
Creativity is an important outlet of expression when emotions may be difficult to process. It can be therapeutic, an expression of cultural pride and identity or something different all together.
Creative skills strengthen problem solving and critical thinking. How do I express this feeling through my dance? How should I play this character? Learning how to make choices and decisions are central to all aspect of life.
Learning a new skill can be very challenging and frustrating, especially if we get too caught up in wanting instant results. Working at something over a long period of time improves our ability to focus, is incredibly rewarding and teaches us to enjoy the process as much as the final result.
Is one of your goals to start or improve a creative skill? If so then there are plenty of creatives on the island who are offering some amazing opportunities.
Author - Grainney Sheard
Arts Engagement Officer