A Workshop with Laura Slater & Zosia Berkieta-Lewis

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually 

fearing you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard


I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling apprehensive on the morning of the workshop. I didn’t know much about what I would be doing, and was nervous about creating something of value in a workshop that only lasted an hour. But the second Laura mentioned the words ‘be prepared to fail’, I knew instantly that this workshop would be the most beneficial experience I had had in a long while.

The workshop, created by Zosia Berkieta-Lewis of The Plant Room and textile designer Laura Slater, featured quick fire drawing warm up exercises: drawing something in three minutes, drawing with your non-dominant hand, drawing without looking, and drawing using scissors. Spread on the table was a plethora of drawing tools from pens to oil pastels that almost took me back to the mindset of drawing as a child for fun, when I only really cared if my mum liked what I’d made, and nobody else’s opinion even crossed my mind. These quick tasks forced me to just get started, whether I was happy with the idea in my head or not; and the results, while not always what I had imagined at first (see: drawing without looking), were all creations that I was ultimately happy with.

A key focus of the workshop was that drawing should be a part of the everyday, but importantly, it should be the kind of drawing that is without purpose, preciseness, or deadlines, in order to improve well-being. Further research led me to many schemes that promote drawing for well-being, such as PocketDoodleRead, who say: “Creative expression is a deep rooted part of what makes us human. The physical action of drawing, its combination of movement, tangibility and focus, helps create a state of calm...as little as 10 minutes a day is enough for positive effects.”

In the end, the workshop completely quashed my initial worries - not necessarily by showing me how to draw better, but by showing me how to be less precious and self critical. This workshop gave me techniques that broadened my idea of what ‘creative’ is, and helped me to become someone who is more prepared to make something terrible and less afraid to put pen (or scissors) to paper.

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