My how we've grown....
You may not have been here for a while (and that's okay) because things have been hectic here too. I wanted to give a little update on what's been going on around here and update you on how we can connect these days :)
NAS Community Fellowship
That's all done now and culminated in an awe inspiring trip to the states for NAS Community Fellowship Homecoming 2022 where I met some incredible people, made some really valuable learning and continued to process the last few years and all its thrown around. It really gave me the inspiration and support I needed to be pivoting and growing my approach in my work - thinking about equity, change and empathy in terms of how my spaces are received. I cannot express how valuable this experience has been to stop me walking away from projects all together. This has been a mixture of formal training, seminars, rest and relaxation, networking and peer support since I started in July 2021. We've been to York and evaluated projects in hot tubs, we've done luck circles online where people give and receive information and advice and support for wherever they happen to be in their projects (or the world! or in life). I've met Wildlife advocates, scientists, artists who curate, inspire and share all sorts of skills and spaces with our communities and we've really been challenged to think about what we actually do and what we actually bring, how we do it and WHY! We watched Disney films (because rest is important!) we made crowns for our peers and we met a real Disney - (Nikki Disney - who did an amazing talk about burn out and rest and how to look after ourselves which is really what we needed to hear).
Photo Image Credits: Images top left to bottom: - 1. Graffiti Image pavement artwork. New Orleans October 2022, 2. NAS CCF Homecoming 'Morning Yoga' September 2022, 3. Artwork outdoors - temporary group artwork outside the Pearlstone Centre in Maryland USA as part of the CCF workshops. 4. 'Visit Baltimore' 5. Morning retreat selfie :) 6. I can and I will graffiti image artwork New Orleans 2022. All artists own photos and 7. UK Creative Community Fellows November 2021 Yorkshire retreat group photo courtesy of NAS. .
There's been so many highlights and the reality is that I cannot do the programme justice in this short post but it has gone a long way into influencing my new work and the next steps in what I produce and facilitate in 2023.
One thing I really took away from this is that the 'gig-economy' or 'project working' whatever you want to call it is really hard but it has some major rewards. Doing what you love can never be underestimated but as we emotionally invest in the work that we do we make ourselves real vulnerable when things don't work out quite like we had hoped. NAS really helped me to think about my own unique perspectives and what I bring as well as meeting with SO MANY other people who also work in similar ways and just 'get it', making me feel like it isn't so risky anymore and its not on my own and helping me to recognise specific changes in my work that I can implement to not only protect myself as a practitioner, but also be more effective and sustainable for those I am wanting to support.
The pandemic made to hard to freelance and balance work contracts with some uncertainty floating around - so as a result I took my foot off the accelerator for a bit in my own work and took on some employed roles in different settings which had broadened my experience and been really valuable to my learning. I'm working towards addressing this balance again and have some great ideas for 2023 (more information about that to come)! I'm back putting myself out there again and looking for opportunities as they present themselves.
Part of this re-awakening is that I have re-opened my private practice as of October 2022 'What does this mean?' Well, this means that I have made some space to be able to take on new 1:1 clients for Art Therapy or professional supervision (this professional support could be for clinical or non-clinical work and this concept I plan to explore in a later post). For now you can find more information HERE about my practice and how to sign up for 1:1 support.
I know a lot of people have been asking about group spaces and I am currently incubating a couple of ideas for groups I would like to run in future and I will be letting people know more about this through my mailing list in the coming months. I want to make sure these things are set up right and that they are meeting a need at the right time and place. In summary, I'm working on it. I am currently imagining a couple of strands of this work:
Community groups - (free to access so funding is essential for this work) possibly similar to the Wellbeing studio pre pandemic.
Women's spaces - thinking about our own experiences and changes within ourselves and our life's demands.
Practitioner support - really tuning into what is needed for our creative practitioners to feel supported, re-energised and connected with each other and their own work.
Evening creative sessions - to just meet up, socialise and learn something new.
I suppose partly the reason for this post is just to say hi. - remember me? :) and tell you that I'm still around and working hard on some new spaces and delivery. Please get in touch if you have any inspiration, thoughts or urges to collaborate on any of the ideas that I am putting into the universe to see what incredible things we can create.
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Pumpkin Spice and all things nice,
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