Finding a new path through creativity

Hello. My name is Jonathan, I’m 28 and live on the Isle of Lewis. I have been supported by Penumbra since 2014. In that same year, my support worker, Dave, said that I may be interested in an art group run by the Catch 23 drop-in centre. With Dave’s help, I began attending, and local artist Ivor Mackay started to teach me to paint landscapes with acrylics. Making art has become one of the main things in my life over the last eight years, and Ivor, Dave and others have been hugely encouraging, which has given me the confidence to exhibit some work. In 2015, I began to draw regularly; I’m not really much good at drawing from reality, so I mostly make abstract designs.

All you need to start is a pen and paper; a cheap ballpoint and notebook are fine, and if you enjoy it you can try out different materials and mediums.

Just about anybody can do art, whether you think you have a talent or not. Doodling random squiggles and shapes on an old envelope and colouring them in can be done in minutes, and is a good way of learning how to handle a pen. 

These drawings have led to many new opportunities for me, and I’ve met a number of other artists, both amateur and professional. Posting on sites like Instagram does take a bit of work, but it also offers a space to share what you’re doing and to find art that you like from all over the world.

Comparing yourself to others is something we all do, but it often takes away our willingness to enjoy new challenges

I would recommend that everyone try and find a hobby or (healthy) interest that they can go to in their free time. We all need something in our lives that we can try and improve on each day, whether it’s working, exercising, gardening, volunteering or any other activity that you feel the benefit of. 

There are so many different ways we can use creativity; visual arts may not be your thing, but maybe there was some subject in school you enjoyed but weren’t able to follow up?

There will be something out there to suit each person, regardless of age, ability or budget; and who knows – you could find something that will start you on a new path.

PS comparing yourself to others is something we all do, but it often takes away our willingness to enjoy new challenges

Thank you for sharing your journey and your wonderful art with us, Jonathan.

If you’d like to check out Jonathan’s amazing art, you can find him on instagram (his page is immense).

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