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Vibrant, Creative, Community! The JUST DO IT Sessions

The vibrant spirit of a creative community is alive and thriving in the Creative Arts Department! When a beautifully unique and diverse tribe of creative people come together to listen, encourage, make and share, something truly wonderful is created.

This is an article to celebrate the online monthly JUST DO IT! (making and writing) sessions attended by the creative arts passionate posse! A big thank you to BA Creative Arts tutors Diana Ali, Julia Biggs, and Rachel Smith, who facilitate the sessions and to us, the creative arts, delightful and delectable student sundaes (with a cherry on top) who attend.

The sessions embody the creative spirit of our department and allow both students and tutors alike to blossom in a communal space of caring camaraderie. There is professional and peer support, practical learning and engaging academic discussion. We share ideas, inspire our creative cohorts and engage in absorbed collaborative silences, quiet giggles and the occasional fun rambunctious roar of shared laughter! This is some of our work and praise for the sessions – Thank You everyone!

'…being part of a supportive, encouraging creative community is very important. Not only can group work foster productivity and motivation, but it can also facilitate openness to new approaches, ideas and perspectives, and allow for playful and organic exploration. As a tutor, it has been fantastic to see students, on different learning journeys, pooling knowledge and skills to develop their own voices.’ — Julia Biggs

‘The idea behind the JUST DO IT sessions was to develop a sense of community and a shared studio space where we can work, chat, share ideas and gain support. Scheduling a regular session sets up positive intentions to make time for our creative endeavours. We hope this space gives students a safe place to develop ongoing work, to test new things, and share experiences, with tutors on-hand to give advice. It is great that we have such a broad and supportive community within the Creative Arts.’ — Rachel Smith

‘I find them useful in many ways! The little presentations, sharing out works and getting constructive feedback and thoughts from your colleagues is very helpful! Also the super comfortable moments sharing some company with people who have the same interests as you.’ —Virginia Barrantes Fernandez

‘The Just Do It sessions in short have simply been insightful…I appreciate the analytical feedback on my work that I'd keep in mind when doing other projects.’ — Elina Platts, Elina received friendly and insightful feedback on her still life paintings during a session.

‘I have benefited from a lovely, welcoming and relaxed atmosphere during the Just Do It sessions. This has allowed me to work with others, feel part of the department team of students and also gain support. These sessions have been invaluable for my progress.’ — Rebecca MacRae

The above textile art is by Sarah Evans who enjoyed stitching and pottery decorating during the sessions. ‘The sessions have transformed my experience of the creative arts course. Encountering others in this way, working alongside each other, has brought the degree modules to life for me.’

The JUST DO IT (making & writing) sessions teach us that community can be an organic canvas for our creativity, imagination and inspiration. Community is the easel that lifts and supports us through every ‘aha!’ moment and every creative wobble (difficulty)! A Creative Arts community is a group of gentle hands moulding us like clay until we better understand ourselves, sewing kindness, confidence and a sense of connection back into our lives as we each find and express our unique voice.

Thank you for reading! If you would like to see more of our creative work, visit the JUST DO IT (Making & Writing) Gallery Padlet View Here (Log in with your OCA username & password)

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