• Farida Kamruddin

Sketchy Sisters - A Creative Community

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

This week we are hearing from an artist in her own words.

Southend based artist Farida Kamruddin has also founded 'Sketchy Sisters' - a community of monthly art workshops in Leigh-on-Sea. She has provided us with a personal account of why she started this, how creativity provides a vital form of self-expression and how you can access her community in lockdown.

"I'm very proud of the community Sketchy Sisters has created in Leigh-on-sea at the Monthly Women's Art Groups. We are a very supportive, friendly group, the conversations and laughs are as important at the art! The wine and cake help too...! Anyone identifying as a woman is welcome to join our creative womens' circle, its a safe space to share, offload, be inspired, connect and rediscover your creative mojo.

For me community was a big reason why I created Sketchy Sisters. I wanted to find my tribe, build a community of like minded souls and feel connection to them and myself through my passion, making art and being creative! My mission with Sketchy Sisters is to share what I have discovered about the healing power of connection and creative self care, provide guidance and share tools to build a community of empowered artists.

Through my own personal self development journey I've become very interested in empowerment, spirituality, self care and self love, I use many of these themes in my artwork and workshops. I feel like I am reclaiming my power after years of unhelpful behavior patterns, unprocessed trauma, self doubt, loneliness and disconnection which have all led to chronic health issues. The most powerful way I am empowering myself and others is through therapeutic art exercises and projects I create for the groups and workshops, I call this empowerment through art creative self care. I want to help others to reconnect with themselves and others through art, providing a safe space for self expression with no judgement. Reconnecting with your creativity can bring so much colour and joy into your life, giving yourself permission to create purely for your own nourishment is a powerful self love practice.

A lot of research in the medical field suggests that making art and being creative is, in fact, useful for our mental and physical well-being. More than 100 studies have shown that creative expression has a powerful impact on health and well-being. Most of these studies agree that being creative and making art can decrease depressive symptoms, increase positive emotions and reduce stress responses.

Art & creativity is a form of escapism but not a switching off its more of a switching on, a re-connection with our creative essence. Once you are re-connected you will start to notice how the world seems a bit more colorful, playful and filled with wonder.

We have been creating since prehistoric times almost 40, 000 years ago, when our ancestors left some of their first marks, like hand prints and crude drawings of animals on the walls of caves. It is our innate right as human beings to make art, it shouldn't be based on the grades we get on our art homework at school or being told we are not good at art compared to established artists.

We don't need to learn to make art in order to express ourselves through art - that comes naturally when you give yourself permission to create purely for self expression. If you add to this being in a supportive, non-judgmental, social environment where you are guided through therapeutic art exercises and projects, this is a recipe for better mental health and a space to build connections with others. I think this is particularly true for women as before this modern culture of individualism, women would come together to help and support each other in womens' circles, not tear each other down through jealousy or fear but offer each other advice and support. Sketchy Sisters isn’t only for women, I host many art workshops open to all, including Drawing & Letting Workshops, Creative Self Care Workshops, Parent & Child Art Workshops, Art & Meditation, Kids Art Clubs and Community Art Groups. Since March this year we are all feeling the struggle with maintaining good mental health and connection during this COVID-19 pandemic and further restrictions starting this week, we need creative self care more than ever. All Sketchy Sister Groups & Workshops will be continuing online, details will be shared on our Social Media this week. Check out our Facebook page for all event listings and you can subscribe to receive monthly news and events. I am looking forward to welcoming more of you than ever to the Sketchy Community!"

Find out more about Sketchy Sisters on Facebook and Instagram

Subscribe to news & events listings: https://mailchi.mp/8eabc7959770/sketchy-sisters

Farida's individual artwork can also be found on Facebook and Instagram


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