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  • Writer's pictureClaire Hilton

Limiting Factors - A theme of 2020 (and xmas support list)

This week as we hurtle towards a Christmas break with startling speed I have been reflecting on limiting factors and how we have all been impacted by these in one way or another during 2020.

It would be easy to think that something just isn't possible due to logistical restrictions (and sometimes you may be right), but on the alternative side of that same coin - great things can be achieved if we are able to recognise and manage our expectations and lean into the possibilities that remain.

I saw an inspirational e-mail this week from an artist who was encouraging people to work with a small and limited number of resources to make something creative (I've not been able to find this since, but should I come across it again I will post in the comments) and this got me thinking, how can we thrive using the methods of limitations and how can we use this to our advantage.

Good things about limits:

  • Less choice can make things more straightforward and less overwhelming. Instead of having a sea of colours to choose - imagine only having one.

  • Only a few items makes it portable - accessible and able to be spontaneous!

  • Controlling your materials means you can really experiment and get to know them well.

  • Feeling less pressure to do something specific and just being able to play.

  • Having set boundaries and limitations can make us feel more comfortable and secure (like in a therapeutic boundary or experience).

Why not try this little exercise in working with creative limits........

Put yourself together a creative pack including 7 items:


1. 10 pieces of cardstock or paper (or a sketchbook)

2. A pen or pencil of some kind

3. Something sticky (glue, tape or plain stickers)

4. A coloured element (this could be a small tube of paint or a crayon/pastel of some kind depending on what you have to hand).

5. Another piece of textured or coloured paper/foil

6. Another tool (this could be a brush, a rubber, a credit card - think outside the box!)

7 *Wildcard* Look at what you have and decide what you would like to add. One thing but entirely of your choice.

Now since starting this article - the tier systems within the UK have changed and originally I was wondering about putting a kit together to take with you for your Christmas break wherever that may be and however you may normally spend it. You may now be looking at a much shorter or quieter break than previous or maybe ever before.

Try taking this kit with you or putting it out and using it when you feel like it - that might be every day (and it might not, that is also OK). You are aiming to take some time over the for yourself and create 10 pieces of artwork in this #limitingfactors series. See what you can do when it doesn't seem like there's much?

Don't forget you can share your artwork with us on social media @CreatingSpaceSessions on Instagram and Facebook or @Spacesessions on Twitter.


You Are Not Alone!

If you feel you can I would encourage you to check in on those who may be feeling isolated - but if you don't have the space to give, don't feel obligated. Just a text or a tweet could be enough #JoinIn.

Below are just some numbers and places you can turn to for support if needed. There are options, people and services that can still help (this list is by no means exhaustive and if you know more then please add them in the comments below).

National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999 Open every day of the year (including bank holidays) between 12.00 and 2.30pm and 7.00 and 9.30pm

RCEW Live Chat Helpline:

Mind Infoline (open over Christmas) Partially open over Christmas, Helpline: 0300 123 3393

SAMARITIANS 24/7 Service Available, Helpline: 116 123

Anxiety UK Provides Support, Help and information for those with Anxiety disorders, including PTSD, Helpline: 0844 477 5774 Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.50pm

BEAT Helpline offering support and information about Eating Disorders and difficulties with Food, Weight and Shape, Helpline: 0808 801 0677

NHS link to self-help apps HERE

If you are in need of urgent crisis support, please contact NHS 111, your own GP or present to your local A&E department in the event that you require emergency support.

I hope that this Christmas (whatever it looks like for you) you are able to get what you need from it - whether this is connection, some rest, some time to yourself or just less chaos. Whatever is is you need its not wrong! It's personal and its certainly not selfish.

Warm Festive Wishes


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