I just wanted to write a quick note of thanks to everyone who attended today’s talk at the 16th St Gallery, and, of course, to the board members who invited me to present and who arranged this opportunity. After about 20 years living in this city, I’m really starting to feel a sense of community among the artists and art enthusiasts at the 16th St Galleries.
There was so much more that I wanted to say about the technical aspects of polymer clay, but I’m glad that I made room in my talk for the personal matters and art therapy. For those of you who couldn’t be there, I want to share the two main points that I made today.
Polymer Clay is for Everyone
It’s easy to get your hands on, it’s versatile, it can be baked at home, you can make a mold of it for other uses, it’s inexpensive, and there are loads of tutorials out there that anyone can access. You can make art with polymer clay. Get to it.
No matter what your medium or skill level, art is a tool for communication with yourself. Art allows us to give voice to those things that are written without words upon our hearts. Whether or not you ever explain your art to others, the creative outlets in your life are ways for you to enter into dialogue with your own soul. Art matters. Art therapy matters. Even if only for yourself — and especially if only for yourself — give yourself the space to create.
Oh, and one more thing…
Those shared experiences, those stories, those exchanges of ideas and skills… Those things that build relationships and community also build up every individual person involved. We’re all better off for having — and helping to create for others — spaces to share and grow and feel welcomed. I was reminded again today that opening up and letting others in is a powerful way to let them know that they are not alone. Everyone who shared a knowing nod while I was talking about the Difficult Things or who shared a personal story with me afterward was participating in creating that space where we hold our mutual compassion. We see ourselves in one another, and we lift one another up with our love and support. I saw you. I thank you. Keep on keepin’ on in that shared humanity business.