I’m sitting at the Handmade in Norway studio, working on strategies for a few upcoming events for later on this year. The studio has two rooms, one I use as an office, the other, larger room is used mostly for workshops. I arrange creative workshops at the studio, inviting talented artists to come in and teach some of their techniques to others who would like to learn.
In the main room today Kateryna Savchenko (https://www.instagram.com/sunn_days/?hl=nb) is holding a Watercolour Masterclass. This is the third masterclass she has held at the studio. I was lucky enough to have attended the first two as a student, but today I have to work as I have some tight deadlines. Kateryna has a group of six students and is teaching them to paint animals. They have a reference image of a very cute kitten, and on my last sneaky look at their work, they had already made some great progress.
But I’m not writing about this workshop, or any particular workshop that has been held at the studio actually. I actually wanted to write about community. Because as I was sitting here working on my strategies, my mind started wandering. I stopped thinking about my strategic planning for a moment as my ears briefly tuned in to what was going on in the other room. Happiness. Laughter. Silence from deep concentration. Interaction. Then more laughter.
Often when I’m posting about things that are happening at Handmade in Norway I will add the tag line ‘Creativity and Community’. I write this because I believe that the two are very closely connected.
I’m sitting here, working. I enjoy my work. But I would much rather be sitting in the other room. Why? Because I hear people having fun, enjoying learning, ENJOYING learning together – Enjoying BEING together. Enjoying creating TOGETHER.
Attending a creative workshop is not just about learning a new creative skill. It’s also about social interaction, spending time with like-minded people and meeting new people with a shared interest. It’s about breaking out of the routine and adding something new. The six students in the other room have my upmost respect for having the enthusiasm and interest to learn. They are able to open themselves up to new experiences and encounters. And it really sounds as though they are enjoying doing it.
So I’m sitting here in front of my computer, wishing I was in there… But in reality I know that by sitting out here, I’m giving other people the opportunity to enjoy learning together with others. And that is something that I enjoy doing too.
So it’s not all bad!
Creativity & Community
Handmade in Norway