An Inspirational Story by Jackie L.
Hello my name is Jackie. My first memory of being creative was probably spending hours and hours colouring as a child. If I was lucky, I would be allowed a velvet colouring poster as a treat.
As an adult I wouldn't consider myself as a very confident person and mostly hid behind a smile. I am conscious of always being a worrier with lack of self-belief where my thoughts did sometimes run away with me. I needed to really to find a way to give myself calmness within.
How did you become interested in art?
One evening during my son's school parent evening, I met Gary from Adult Skills and Learning in Barnsley. As an art tutor he was showing people in an engagement session, how to use acrylic paint to create pictures of parents.
This was fun and gave me an opportunity to do some painting in a relaxed environment. When finished I gave feedback to Gary saying that I enjoyed it more than I thought. Gary explained about Adult Skills and Learning and agreed to contact me later with details of how to join in a class for myself.
I pondered for weeks, feeling guilty/selfish that I thought the class would have no benefit to my family, that it didn't involve them, it was just for me, ME TIME. But my husband encouraged me to go for it, he wanted me to do something therapeutic and relaxing.
Looking back to when our son was 6 months old, and I faced a traumatic situation to my health. I nearly passed away due to a really bad flare up of Ulcerative Colitis which sometimes can be worsened by stress. So, this made me reassess I needed to find my own selfcare and it was for good reasons so decided to take the plunge.
On my first visit feeling nervous as I walked into that class thinking my heart would pop out. In my mind I was thinking “I was definitely no drawer and had no clue whatsoever”. The good news is that by the end of the session I came out with a massive smile. I had drawn a face!!
This led onto getting an award from the Mayor for commitment to learning and I was so pleased. I decided to commit and continue with my classes, (which to be honest I don't know how I would manage without them) and still feel the same to this day. I have an amazing tutor (Gary) who I have to thank for everything, making me look at things differently and giving tremendous support.
Once lockdown happened, I was really stressed about how I would not be able to go to class but thankfully online was the new normal giving me projects to keep me focused during lock down. Gary delivered his classes online which was brilliant as I still had a way to connect to being creative and am grateful for the groups and projects.
How did you become involved in Creative Wellness Journey?
Infact, being online is where I first met Debbie and Heather who are just lovely and also supportive. Then Debbie asked me to join the creative wellness groups of which I am really thankful as I find the groups encouraging, positive, friendly, non-judgmental and safe.
I love to see the positive quotes and everyone's creativity. I also have found that using these groups to show my art is also helping me work on myself belief.
I'm starting to like my art and feel proud of it rather than hiding it away and this is a massive thing for me.
Being creative has helped me in so many ways, the Art takes me away to many different places and I love all aspects, drawing it, reading about it, looking at it, I just can't stop. It improves wellbeing so much and I would love for others to give it a try, don't be shy, look at me I was and now I can't stop, it's good for you and your soul.
Thank you for reading my story.
Jackie's Creative Corner
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