We love chatting all things creative with you. We love when you come into the studio and tell us about the last time you painted, or didn’t paint. We love hearing about how you’re feeling at the start of a session: excited, vulnerable, jittery, chilled. But sometimes, we find that a kind of creative transaction happens between us before the session begins: we offer you an apron, and you offer us disclaimers about your creativity. Sometimes before we know your name, we know that you failed art at high school, or that you are ‘not creative’.
To disclaim is to deny, disown, reject. To say it isn’t yours. But, dear guests, we are writing to let you know that your creativity is exactly that: your creativity. It’s in you, it’s part of who you are.
It’s okay to have ideas and beliefs about your creativity, and it’s okay to tell us about them. But we hope that instead of disclaiming your creativity, you can feel empowered to reclaim it. And so here’s what we say to your most common creative disclaimers, the ones we hear time and time again…
“I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”
We find this one rather humerus (excuse the pun), but funnily enough, out of all of the bones in our body not one is called the ‘creative bone’. Creativity is many things, but it is not anatomical. You are an innately creative being. Maybe you feel like your creative side has been squashed at some point of your life, whether it be by school or your mean art teacher or your Uncle Bob or your nine-to-five or your children or maybe even yourself. But squashed or not, it’s in there.
“I can’t even draw a stick figure.”
Lucky for you, none of our paintings currently involve drawing stick figures! But seriously, don’t worry if you don’t have any experience with painting, or drawing, or stick figures. One of our artists will guide you through the painting, explaining each step while demonstrating on their own canvas. The vast majority of our guests have little to no experience with painting, so if you’re feeling a little vulnerable about your creative prowess, know that you’re not alone. Most of the time, we find those creative jitters soon melt away with the first few brushstrokes.
“I can’t paint to save my life.”
We truly hope there will never be a situation where you will need to paint to save your life, but if there is, a little more practice couldn’t hurt, right? Cork & Chroma is the perfect place to polish up those skills to increase your chance of survival should you ever need to whip up a painting when your life comes under threat.
“I failed art at school.”
Here’s your opportunity to redeem yourself: one of our team will stand by the door and grade your painting on the way out. We’re kidding, of course! Your school grades and any feelings you may have about them don’t need to accompany you to the session. If you still have a copy of those grades, we recommend floating them down your nearest river. We’re not about ‘good’ or ‘bad’ here, we’re about exploring our creativity in a safe space and sharing the experience together. No fails, just fun.
“I’m an engineer.”
We bet you’re great at problem solving and critical thinking, skills which are intricately linked to creativity. You might find you have a knack for painting really straight horizons or perfectly-proportioned Eiffel Towers. You may consider yourself more analytical or ‘left-brained’, and you probably are, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t creative and can’t use your right brain too. Creativity is everywhere; it does not exclusively belong to ‘the arts’.
“Just so you know, mine won’t look like that.”
Thank goodness for that! Imagine if everyone painted the exact same thing in the exact same way and we finished each session with a room full of identical paintings. We wouldn’t need to take a group photo, we could just take a picture of one and say, ‘We all painted this today!’. You are the sum of your unique life experiences and you have your own way of interpreting steps, mixing colours, and even applying brushstrokes. We don’t want yours to look like ours, we want yours to look like yours.
The word ‘disclaimer’ is often used in relation to situations that involve some kind of uncertainty or risk. And we understand that trying something new and putting yourself out of your comfort zone can feel scary. But we want you to know that our studios are a safe, judgement-free space for you to explore your creativity. If there’s one thing we’re certain of, it’s that you’ve made the first step to reclaiming your creativity just by walking through the doors.
By disclaiming your creativity you are disconnecting from it, and where’s the fun in that? Creativity can feel a bit like a rollercoaster; there are ups and downs and round and rounds, but you can only experience the highs and lows if you’re strapped in and connected. The alternative? Watching on somewhere from a distance, holding the bags.
Drop the bags, friends. Let’s ride this creative coaster together.
The Cork & Chroma team