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How to unleash your inner artist

by Maggie Hope January 17, 2017
How to unleash your inner artist

Here are some ways you can tap into your creative energy in the city

Are you feeling academically unmotivated? Creatively unfulfilled? Well we have the solution for you! No really, there are ways to deal with the feeling of wanting to quit school and join a garage rock band.

Many students can relate to feeling creatively or artistically stunted while trying to manage an academic workload. In a world of requirements, GPAs and memorization, it’s easy to neglect your artistic side.

There are always those who seem to effortlessly find time for “fun” activities while juggling other responsibilities—but for the most part, striking a balance between work requirements, social activity and downtime is a serious struggle. Putting time aside to find activities that are creatively stimulating becomes increasingly difficult, especially when you’re not sure where to start. If you find yourself sinking behind the shadow of impending assignments, take a breath, find something creative to do—either with friends or by yourself—and schedule it in as if it were an appointment. Here are a few suggestions to get you going.

  1. Le Milieu

Le Milieu Co-op is an “open and inclusive creative art studio and exhibition space,” according to their website, as well as a vegetarian café. The studio and café offer a variety of workshops and free studio space which are open to the public, whether you’re an amateur artist or a skilled professional. A large variety of second-hand materials, such as paint, clay, and fabric are available upon donation. Studio space is free, and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 to 5. Some of Le Milieu’s events include a knitting circle, kombucha making, silkscreening, and a clothing swap.

  1. Ceramic Café Studio

This café offers cheap ceramic painting for adults and children. It may seem like a juvenile activity, but it can be really relaxing and fun. The process is simple: choose a ceramic object from their selection, go to town on your mug or lamp or piggybank, leave it with them to bake, pick it up later and put your masterpiece on the mantle for all of your friends to admire. The café is open late most nights, doesn’t require any reservations, and is a great activity, whether you bring a large group of friends or a few close buds.

  1. Le Gym

If you’re looking for more of a commitment, Concordia’s Le Gym offers a wide selection of weekly dance and fitness classes. This may not be what immediately comes to mind when discussing creativity, but a dance class can be challenging both physically and artistically. Le Gym hosts classes that range from belly dance and hip-hop to swing and salsa. You can try out your first class for free and then sign up for the semester if you find something you enjoy. The schedule and more information is available on the Concordia website.

  1. The FOFA Gallery

Visiting one of the finest galleries in the city has never been easier. Located in the EV building on the Sir George Williams campus, the Faculty of Fine Arts (FOFA) Gallery not only displays the work of Concordia fine arts students, but that of alumni and faculty as well. The quality of the FOFA exhibitions is known to be of high caliber, which always makes it a pleasure to visit. Making Spaces, an undergraduate student exhibition, opened at the gallery on Jan. 16. If you’d like to branch out of the university community, Arsenal Montreal ($8 for students) and DHC/ART (free admission) are both known for the quality of their exhibitions. From January 13 to March 11, Arsenal Montreal is displaying the work of Marc Seguin, a Canadian multidisciplinary artist. At DHC/ART, Wim Delvoye’s exhibition runs until March 19. His work breaches the subjects of economy, globalization, and technology through a multidisciplinary approach.

  1. Create an art studio at home

When trying to implement artistic practices into your routine, having an accessible space to create and express yourself makes all the difference. Some easy and affordable ideas to start off with are sculpting, painting, sketching, collage and embroidery. DeSerres stores have a wide variety of supplies at various prices, so you are bound to find what you are looking for. If you were particularly inspired by—let’s say—an exhibit at the FOFA Gallery, but don’t know where or how to start, start at home! Grab some basic clay, a set of watercolors, thread or yarn and old magazines and you’ll be good to go. If you need some advice or extra help to complete your vision, stop by Le Milieu. Their volunteers would be happy to help.

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