5 artistic activities to try Inspirational endeavours to awaken your creative spirit

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5 artistic activities to try
Inspirational endeavours to awaken your creative spirit
by Courtney Muir

Art classes aren’t just for kids. Nowadays, adults are free to express their creativity with child-like abandon and without the need of any previous training.

According to Lola Rasminsky, the founder and director of the Toronto-based Avenue Road Arts School, art classes offer great opportunities to take part in activities that are charged with meaning. “When you do any of the arts, you’re accessing the richness of your own imagination — and making choices. The ability to make choices is one of the most empowering things you can do.”

Although many of us are adept at nurturing and caring for our physical bodies through diet and exercise, we can sometimes neglect the importance of cultivating our emotional and spiritual sides. Whether you’re a complete novice or you’re revisiting a forgotten passion, art classes offer a myriad of ways to engage your imagination and feed your soul. Here are five artistic endeavours to make your creative spirit blossom.

1.Sketching and drawing
Drawing instructor, Klaas Hart of the Avenue Road Arts School, suggests that there are two main factors that motivate people to take a drawing class. “Drawing is the foundation of the art process and students are looking for an understanding or skill that can grow into something more.” Sketching and drawing will not only allow you to sharpen your proficiency with a pencil, but to also express a part of yourself that you might have otherwise kept hidden. Hart is continually astonished by how much of a person’s personality is revealed through their art. Draw out your true feelings at the Emily Carr Institute or The National Gallery of Canada.

2. Needlecraft
Whether you have dreams of entering your first quilting bee, or of simply embroidering a pillow, mastering the art of needlecraft can leave you with beautiful and functional finished products. Piece together the secrets of sewing with the help of Quiltmakers or the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada.

3. Sculpture
Although you’re probably familiar with Michaelangelo’s David or had an eyeful of Rodin’s, The Thinker, sculpture is a medium best appreciated with your hands. Get a handful of modeling clay and start molding your dreams at the Art Gallery of Ontario or the Alberta College of Art & Design.

4. Pottery
Laura Jolicoeur, a pottery instructor at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia believes clay finds you — and not the other way around. “It encompasses all skills of art,” says Jolicoeur. “There’s an emotional and intellectual response that’s brought out by the process you have to follow. Because you can’t break the primary rules — like firing [in a kiln] and temperatures — the method has a grounding effect on people.” Jolicoeur also thinks just mucking around with the clay and wheel can have healing and therapeutic effects. Take a spin with a potter’s wheel at the Avenue Road Arts School or the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

5. Dance
With a vast array of styles to choose from, dance classes can range from experiencing the exotic vibes of bellydancing to perfecting your point in ballet. Step into one of the classes offered at the National Ballet School of Canada or check out Dance Canada.

Regardless of which class you choose, remember you don’t have to suffer for your art. Nothing stifles creativity like stress and worry, so let loose and remember that there’s no limit to what you can create. “When you take an art class, you become very absorbed in the work…you forget what was worrying you,” Rasminsky says. “It becomes a wonderful escape.”

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