The Creative Collective is proud to work with a number of young artists in Ashford. We wanted you to hear some of their stories and have asked them to be our guest bloggers, under the banner of Perspectives, over the next few months.
Weaselspit is a young artist exhibiting at The Creative Collective. Pursuing a creative career is difficult enough for anyone but even more so for young artists because most can’t make a living from it and feel forced to take on jobs that have nothing to do with art or creativity to be able to pursue their passion. Good quality art materials being so expensive, and the lack of inexpensive studio space doesn’t make things easier for them. The Gallery is here to support these young artists and we do all we can to provide them with a place to work from and give them some of the materials they need to produce their work. We rely on the kindness of the public to keep providing this space and materials and always appreciate donations of art materials and sponsorship to help their career so contact us by telephone or email if you can help with anything. We do appreciate the support we receive and are grateful for any help you can provide.
So here’s her Perspective.
‘When I landed in Ashford this summer, I met Betsy by chance, and she told me about The Creative Collective and its aim to bring young artists together. Having been wary of people for quite a while, my anxiety made me hesitant, but I persisted. I’m two or so months into being involved now, and sure I’m still nervous around people, but I’m starting to feel good. It feels like I’ve attached myself to something worthwhile. I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I felt like that.
I haven’t lived in Ashford for long. In fact I’ve lived in a lot of different places, but wherever I am is home. However, even though I’ve been moving around for a while now, you never quite get used to it. Sure the pattern is the same – pack your life into boxes, ship out, try to establish routine in your new place – but it’s the feeling of isolation that seems to get me every time. I’m not so naive as to believe old friends lose contact on purpose. Of course people are focused on the present; the immediate. It’s the same for me too. Work, university, health, life’s challenges. You just lose touch.
Most of my energy over the last few years has been spent on keeping it together. Anxiety, depression and Alopecia have been a part of my life since I was fifteen, which is also the age I became a young carer for my Mum. I’m not quite sure which came first, it’s a chicken and egg sort of thing, but it has all undoubtedly been instrumental in shaping who I am. I dropped out of my first university course in Manchester at eighteen due to health reasons, and moved to Dover to be closer to family, and from there things slipped downhill. I was unemployed for over a year, managed to get a job in retail, moved back and forth between bedsits and being homeless, dealt with volatile flatmates, and my depression fluctuated throughout. The one thing that kept me going was drawing. I made it a priority, regardless of quality or context, to draw and paint as much as I could manage.
Now to actually have an outlet for my art work, other areas of my life seem to be falling into place too. I’d say the only thing that I do still struggle with is funding. There have been moments where I’ve sacrificed other things in order to buy art supplies. But I’m getting there. I’m considering applying for grants in order to do creative workshops with other creative young people, and to establish myself professionally as a freelance illustrator.
In the near future, I plan to make more guest blog posts regarding services and activities available for young people in the Ashford area, but for the time being you can follow what I do on my blog HERE.
If you know a young artist, please tell them about us or simply bring them in and we will support them in any way we can to ensure they are able to continue being creative and having a voice in anything relating to culture in our town centre.
We hope you have a lovely weekend. The Team