Today’s post is a combo vlog-and-written post to share something I feel is very important.
Finding your gateway drug.
I am not advocating the use of narcotics, here – I am referring to the creative activity that opens the door to a more creative life for you.
Often, this is a group activity that brings you into contact with your ‘creative tribe’.
For me, it was African drumming. Back in 2002 I was four years out of university, where I had a community of creatives around me all the time on my art degree.
I’d moved with my then husband to his hometown, a rather culturally-desertified market town in the South of England.
I missed the vibrant, inspiring creative people I’d spent time with but had no idea how to connect with that again.
My life still had art in it, but ‘real life’ had started to take a front row seat. Painting was done in a space at the bottom of the garden, in my spare time. I had started to learn Poi (a circus skill) from my sister, but my creativity felt very sidelined. I even taught some art classes and was doing my teacher training to become an adult and community art educator.
So, there was art in my life – but it felt squished into the corners.
Then I saw a leaflet for a workshop and performance by Kakatsitsi and Red Centre Dreaming, an African drumming group and Australian Aboriginal dance group. Something told me this was going to be a good way to spend my Saturday, so I paid for the tickets (discomfort arose around the cost, of course!) and went.
That day was my gateway drug.
I loved drumming, and more than that I felt at home during a day where I could play with my poi, dance, drum and talk to likeminded people.
It felt like waking up after a bad dream.
I found a local drumming circle run by a chap called Mike Noelle, and started to go monthly – again conquering the money blocks that arose with this regular expenditure on something ‘I didn’t need’.
At the drumming circle I met some friends and started a small nonprofit arts group, where I met Bik and Ziggy. We started putting on our own events and dreaming of an art venue – which we eventually created in The Art House.
Today, I went to an international music festival – a community arts happening at the Courthouse. It reminded me of my gateway drug, and I talk about it more in today’s vlog.
I am vlogging every day in February as part of Tamara Laporte’s challenge – if you want to watch the other vlogs, here they are: