Be creative at home

Lynne Brackley, our champion for creativity, encourages us to draw on all our senses.

These lockdown periods have been a bit of a rollercoaster for some, me included. Did you start off thinking you’d finally write that novel/learn a language/bake sourdough bread? And how’s it going? 

When it all started last year, entertainers fell over each other to bring us big nights in, kitchen discos and online fitness. The internet was awash with blogs telling us about the value of creativity and, yes, there are some cracking examples from arts organisations, museums and inspiring individuals. Search for ‘Keeping Creative at Home’ and you’ll find treasure. 

But back to that rollercoaster. Are you ‘over it’ now? I got too competitive on Duolingo and had to reign it in a bit. And my obsession with embroidering insects on everything needs to stop. But I’m thinking that what might keep me on this, my creative track, is purpose. 

Fellow centre volunteer, Pien, has been creating a bit of a talking point on her street with her elephant topiary hedge and ever-changing gallery of craft-makes, enjoyed by passers-by. They offer a focus for conversation and community. 

A group of us made wash bags for scrubs for local hospitals, gratefully received. The felt rainbows in my windows have prompted a number of how-to discussions with neighbours, and the fairy gardens appearing around street trees have conjured fantasy worlds and perhaps inspired people to create their own. Talking of trees, Curious Wilds’ Rachel Summers has written the names of trees with chalk on the pavement. On Elder Avenue, someone posted jokes on their camper van. There are still beautiful dedications to our amazing key workers calling out from so many houses. And the snow in January inspired not just snowmen but rabbits and squirrels too. Education, entertainment, communication. 

Purpose: send a message, make a gift, share your knowledge and –above all – keep your eyes and ears (well, all your senses!) open for learning new things. Creativity is about problem-solving, being resourceful, taking a risk, making something new. Whether you want to reach out or to feed your soul, engage with purpose. 

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