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  • Heather Oglesby

'I'm rubbish at art'

‘I’m rubbish at art.’

These are the words I often hear when I suggest trying a different creative approach. Is it your voice that’s telling you that you are rubbish at art or is it someone else’s? Too often someone’s creativity is stifled by hearing those words, they could have come from an art teacher, a parent or a peer. Somewhere along the way directly or indirectly they have internalised them and feel that their creativity isn’t good enough.

Art is subjective, your creations are your creations, others can try and interpret them but they could never know exactly what it means. I recall seeing a canvas in a museum that had a hole torn in it, there was no paint on it at all just a hole in a canvas. Some people simply walked past it not paying it any attention but it has always stuck in my mind; what was the artist feeling at that moment? Were they stuck and frustrated so all they could do was to claw at the canvas until it eventually ripped? Was it an intentional concentrated slow cut? Were they grieving? Was it supposed to be whimsical? Was it just a hole in a canvas? Were they cutting the canvas instead of their own skin? Only speaking to the artist would I ever get those questions that flew around my mind answered as they and only they would have the answers.

Creativity and counselling go hand in hand as it is the process not the end result that matters the most. The relationship and trust you form, the paint that dripped in seemingly the wrong place that actually fell in exactly the right place to become something else. It’s the evolution, finding ways to cope when things don’t go the way you had envisioned, the ability to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective.

Something to ponder: When was the last time you did something creative just for fun?


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