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January 2020

HOW DOES LOVE SHAPE YOU?

By | Art

What is love?

Can it be defined?

How does it shape us, create us and steer us?

If we look at love too closely it can sometimes feel like it will disappear, so we keep it just in the corners of our vision and we feel safe knowing it still exists in its shapeshifting way.

When we think it’s gone, we can crumble into a heap and question the very fabric of existence. 

If we brave looking into the heart of the flame of love it can be so overwhelming that it threatens to tumble us in its crashing waves and drown us in its intensity.

Quite simply, love makes the world go round.

It fuels our desires, it propels our passions and it makes us stand up for what we believe in.

Gary Chapman used his many years as a counsellor to communicate to over 11 million people in his book The Five Love Languages, that we all connect to one or more of these love languages. Understanding yours and others can help to improve relationships with partners, family members and friends.

When I took the love language quiz I was interested to find that Acts of Service, Quality Time and Physical Touch all ranked as equal first, with Words of Affirmation a close second. Funnily enough Receiving Gifts was a low scoring last. It made me reflect on Christmas time and the gift giving frenzy that whips us up into consumerist hogs. I never wanted to buy into it, theoretically or physically.

I would always make presents. I’d spend hours crafting something with my hands for the special people in my life and it made me feel good. Now I recognise that it tapped into all 3 of my top love languages.

Acts of Service –
I took the time to create something special for someone.

Quality Time –
that time was focused, with my energy invested into the creation.

Physical Touch –
By creating things with my hands I was imbuing my love and energy into the piece.

It’s nice when something that you have always done finds a deeper space of understanding.

The upcoming workshop, Introduction to the Pottery Wheel (timed for Valentines Day) feels close to my heart. Creating with clay tickles my love languages and with the endless artistic avenues that pottery provides, it finds its way into most people‘s hearts and languages. Valentine’s Day can feel very Americanised and consumerism driven, however if we take out the ‘should’ and come back to the essence of what this day is about, it’s all about love, and love is a natural state and that feels right.

How do you express love? 

How do the people in your life receive love?

Can you make this Valentines, a day to find that out and communicate in a new way?

For those that love to express through creativity, through acts of service, quality time or physical touch, check out the pottery workshop, it could be a great occasion to share with someone you love or a great way to make something special for that special someone.

Remember:

Love is like water.

You can fall in it,

You can drown in it,

But, you can’t live without it.

Written by Jen Majenta Moon, Art Mania Team Member

5 REASONS WHY ART GIVES TEENS THE LIFE SKILLS THEY NEED

By | Art

We all know that being creative has a certain essence about it that makes us feel good, right?

And, by saying ‘being creative’ it doesn’t mean creating a masterpiece on a canvas that is intended for an art gallery. 

So why does it feel good and seem to affect so many other areas of life?

Creativity is a human trait. We are a species born to create. From meals, to buildings, to babies, to packing a lunch box. Creativity must be fostered, it needs encouragement and room to grow whilst still having limitations to exist within. 

For young people that have a higher than average exposure to creating art and the media for creating it, possess qualities that many others do not have. Exposure to art, ripples out to many other areas of learning and life. 

1. EXPRESS YOURSELF

As children develop, they move from the outward stage of exploration and finding identity to one of social integration and figuring out where they fit in the world. Many experience an internalisation of their true expression as the desire to ‘fit in’ and ‘be normal’ in this hyper-stimulated world dulls their externalisation of self. By expressing oneself on a physical medium, teens find a voice that may otherwise have never been accessed. Language is only one way ideas can be expressed, all youth need to build skills in other avenues to convey what they may be struggling to express in words.

 

2. FINDING SELF CONTROL

We’ve all had moments where we feel like life is out of control. For teens this can be a constant state and as they try to harness control of their life. Artistic engagement stimulates the mind and when they create something, they can call it their own. Overcoming problems in other areas of life becomes easier as they regain the sense of self-determination creating something physical.

 

3. PROGRESS IS POSSIBLE

When we see our improvement as we refine a skill, the sense of achievement is tangible. Youth increase in confidence when their talents begin to improve, such as with drawing, building, painting and designing. When teens see progress and change in something they have persisted at, it offers a reflection, illustrating that all things can get better with time and effort.

4. INSTANT V’S DELAYED GRATIFICATION

It can be hard when we’re young to truly grasp the notion of doing something now for later benefit. Most Teens want instant gratification and an instant result that is tangible. Art offers both. Creating something positive and worthwhile is an instant and tangible result. Being able to look at a beautiful creation over time, allows them to reflect on how they were feeling when they created it. They can see how the passage of time changes things, they also see their own capacity to create something real and lasting which adds to their sense of self.

5. SKILLS FOR LIFE

Every step we take teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. When our journey is guided by the freedom and boundaries art allows it offers a platform to develop skills that will be applicable to every area of life. The process of creating art is a healthy way to develop skills in making choices and solving problems, something we are all faced with each and every day. From a simple choice of which colour to use, where to draw a line, what size to make something, each choice makes something more their own. Art goes beyond, as through the process of creation, until that point, it was only in the imagination. They have the capacity to bring something to life that previously didn’t exist.    

 

Art Mania Studio’s Teens After School Development Program fosters not only artistic skills in the group, it also offers social, communicative and self-expression skills that will equip them for life.

 

WE HAVE A COUPLE OF SPOTS LEFT FOR OUR TERM 1 PROGRAM – for more details click here

 

Written by Jen Majenta Moon, Art Mania Team Member