|Creative Development for Artists, Writers and all Artistic Creativity|
Should we share our artistic talents more? I was prompted to ask myself this question after a visit to the remarkable Clocktower Art Gallery, which is sited in one of the Uk’s largest hospital complexes – Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.
Photo by lizjones112
The Clocktower Gallery is not some collection of dusty old cast-offs – as I’ve all too often come to expect (fear?) from hospital corridor art – but a proper art gallery with acres of wall space and art that is either accomplished or getting there – and for sale.
But in fact, this art gallery is about much more than displaying and selling good paintings. It’s enthusiastic Arts Co-ordinator, Kerry Blackett has a remit that includes the artistic welfare of the entire, huge hospital – and she’s really going for it, with projects spread right across the artistic spectrum, and involving volunteer artists of all kinds.
Do I Contribute Enough?
My conversation with her challenged me to think about my own contributions to the creative and artistic wellbeing of my own community. This blog apart, it’s not as much as it perhaps could be – or used to be.
Is that bad?
Well, maybe not. As I’ve discussed before, my wife Lynda’s health challenges have been pretty severe over the years and that’s certainly played its part in me doing less. Lynda herself was very generous with her time when she was fitter. But for myself maybe now is a good time to reconsider.
Why We Should and Why We Shouldn’t
It would be easy to slant this piece towards some preachy, guilt driven appeal to everyone to give more of their time and artistic talent, and to paint it as heroically fine and selfless – cue trumpet fanfare and blazing sunbeams breaking though the clouds to illuminate your shining goodness.
I’m not going to though. I really don’t like the unspoken assumption of moral superiority that often goes with such appeals. And there are lots of good reasons not to do more.
For a start, you might well be doing plenty already. Or you may be horrified at the particular challenges involved. You may find the distraction (or even the thought of the distraction) knocks you out of your creative stride. You may simply not have the time, energy, or health.
These are not excuses they are good reasons, which I have no intention of questioning.
Benefits of Giving
But there are also good reasons why any of us might want to help others to find their own artistic fulfilment – not least is the sense of personal wellbeing it can bring. Yes, giving and helping feels good. It connects you with others and offers valuable feelings of self-worth – and a poor sense of self-worth is something that blights far too many artists’ lives. Put simply, the right kind of giving and helping helps us to feel more whole, more complete.
Photo by crashmatt
Get Your Good Karma Here!
Yes, there’s a powerful dose of good karma available from all this. And if you choose well you should be getting even more – a welcome hit of added fun and enjoyment. Can’t be bad.
You may not be in the right place right now, and that’s fine. But it might be that this is just the right time for you to rethink what it is you’ve got to offer, and whether now is the time to offer it. That may be by finding someone in your community like Kerry Blackett at Sheffield Northern General Hospital or it could be something completely different.
One thing’s for sure – if you are ready for the challenge it won’t just be other people who benefit. If it’s done right you’ll get just as much back as you give out.
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