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  • Writer's pictureHelen English Artist

Learning a creative skill is good for your social life

I blogged last week about the changes to the way that you feel about yourself which can be created by sociable creativity. A part of those changes is the support given by your classmates when you are unsure about whether your art-making has been successful. Believe me, there’s always that moment in the middle of creativity where you feel like it’s never going to work out even if you manage to continue to an end result which you are happy with. Positive words from others mean a lot. It boosts your perceptions of what you have created and stops the doubt from taking hold.

The social aspect of creativity is hugely important. Harking back, yet again, to my research, another major finding was that, over only a few weeks of working together in a classroom, strong social bonds are built. Quiet members of the class begin to open up. Stories from outside of the classroom, about families and general happenings over the week between classes, start to make their way in. Banter also emerges and that adds to the joy of the experience. Some of my research class formed friendships which moved into their outside lives and other activities. That was such a lovely outcome.

The other, almost surprising aspect, that came of the classes was that family relationships evolved. These newbie art students were all parents, as well as mostly grandparents, and had roles which their families relied on. With their creative pursuits though, they had altered others’ views of their roles somewhat. Now they were the person whom younger family members wanted to paint with and ask questions about what they were learning. It surprised me to see the transformative powers which they now had for those close to them. To have fun, and then be perceived as someone to have fun with are amazing outcomes of developing creativity in a social context. The great thing is that anyone can decide to do it.

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