Being creative has always been a positive outlet of expression for me. At times it was the only way I knew how to express myself that made sense to me, especially during chronic depression. I discovered that art was more than pretty images, but a language that spoke more than words, even if I was the only one who understood it. Oftentimes I wouldn’t really know what I was creating until it was complete, and then it spoke to me, teaching me about myself, my life, or the world. And it mattered simply because I had taken time to make it, which I believe translated into “I matter”. I experienced art to be a simple & pure way to get back to a peaceful state of mind & to acquire a sense of self-worth. And other people enjoying my work was the ultimate, and I now get the most joy from making things for others.
Working at Digital Creator North has reminded me of what it was like to be a confused teen who needed to take many time-outs from the newly introduced pressures of life. Little did I know …that art is actually therapeutic & was helping me when I needed it the most, during my teenage years. I have started to notice that an additional benefit of these “Maker Spaces” is that they are therapeutic to the individuals we serve. I have definitely noticed how relaxed and happy the teens seem to be here.
I read this recently, “It is now believed that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.” [excerpt taken from www.verywellmind.com]
Remembering this makes me more appreciative of the existence of Digital Creator North Spaces & my position here in Sioux Lookout. When I was a Teen I could have really benefitted from a Creative Space other than my art classroom which closed at 3:30. The Lab also helps the creative introverts open up and be more social as well. The more I realize the helpfulness of DCN, the more I continue to reach out to any Teen I can, knowing that anyone could benefit from it in more ways than one. Besides, in our Digital Age of grace, anyone can easily be an artist!