Creativity Unblocked: Bev G Star
You probably already know this by now, but Bev G Star is a creative force to be reckoned with. A well known Weston artist, and creative workshop host who is all about encouraging people to tap into their inner creativity. Jasmine caught up with Bev this week to hear a little more about what drives her work, and how she keeps the creative momentum going.
Hi Bev! Tell us a bit about who you are, and your creative practise.
I’m naturally creative, it’s like my first name, middle and last so it’s easy for me to want to explore ideas. I have also had great opportunities to share my skills through positivity and creativity. Before the Covid pandemic I was working with That Creative Thingy Wotsit bringing creativity into residential nursing homes. During lockdown I was running projects and workshops which has led me to become a more independent artist. I took the opportunity to ‘go live’ every week on social media platforms to share something people could do with the materials they have in their home. It’s all made me hone in on who I was and what contribution I have to this world, and it’s creativity. I’m now running creative sessions for people in a substance abuse recovery centre, and it’s my most rewarding project to date.
What was your journey into the arts?
When I was a child I was always curious. It was the 90’s, and I remember saying to my dad I really want to be an artist and he said ‘there’s no money or jobs in art’. I mainly wanted to be a tattoo artist, and now there’s thousands of jobs in it. What he didn’t necessarily know was you didn’t need to make money out of art to be an artist. I didn’t understand the terminology, techniques, or history, I just wanted to make stuff. Back then I was just looking for someone to give me my creative license, and say look- we don’t know what we’re talking about either, we’re just here to make art! I was looking for those people for years, before I realised it was me.
Tell us about ‘Humans of Weston’.
I started a blog called Humans of Weston about 5 years ago. The concept behind it is really beautiful – sharing insight to real Humans. 5 years ago there wasn’t much art around, so I started this project inspired by the ‘Humans’ projects, and I wanted to expose people of Weston as colourful, real and vibrant. So I took to the streets, being a not very confident person, with my camera ready to capture people. What I couldn’t find were many people who would talk in a manner that was open and honest. A few years into the blog, I stopped for a while whist I focused on my family, moving into new home and growing myself as a human.
I’m a unique person and like to present as real and authentic as possible. I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not. I’ve done wrong in my time but I’ve done some amazingly beautiful things also, and that’s why I love Humans so much. I just want people to be real. So I have just relaunched the project with some amazing new ideas. This time; I’d like to delve deeper and will be doing some live interviews again, whilst making the content about the communities of Weston as well as the humans.
Do you have any tips for emerging artists?
The art is in the ‘doing’ without a doubt. It’s also in the finished piece, but so much more about doing. People are just missing the connection between the start and the finish. But if you want to be creative and don’t know how, you need to have a vision, and it’s your responsibility as an artist to portray that. I recently wanted to draw a portrait but didn’t know how, so I studied other people’s work, and took it onboard but in my own style. You don’t know your own style until you’ve worn the wrong trousers in public! It’s the same for an artist.
And tips for combating creative block?
A famous quote: “Inspiration comes when you’re working”. You have to be working and inviting creativity, technique and new skill into your life. Inspiration breeds everything. It’s easy to think “oh I really wanna draw this beautiful flower but I don’t know how”, but there will come a time where you just have to just pick up a pencil and draw the flower. If you’re not interested in drawing, cut a magazine, it doesn’t matter. Just be part of it. We all needed that time off last March. Rest is good. But when I was ready again, I had direction. Sometimes with creative block, those doors are shut for you. Trying to kick it down with your doc Martens is hard but also very fun! And in lockdown, doors shut, doors opened, some old ones stayed creaky. You need to find them. It’s about that opportunity to say ‘Yes, I’m turning up for me and my art’.
What are your hopes and dreams for Weston’s future?
My hopes and dreams are wild. I can’t keep up with them, they change and grow! I’d like to see more art on the streets. More artists sharing their work. There’s hundreds of artists in Weston but they just don’t know they are, or haven’t found their niche yet. It’s our job as artists to give other people the limelight too. The money is coming in the form of community projects and government funding. I’d like to see bigger collaboration between artists and not competition, and organisations come together to make it a better place. I want to see representation. Show the world who we are, colourful bright funny creative witty so lets colour it up.
Are you an artist in Weston?
That includes filmmaking, dance, theatre, music, all things creative. Because I’d love to hear from you, and how you’ve been keeping the creative juices flowing during lockdown. Just tell me a little bit about yourself, and send any links to your work if you have them. Reach me at Jasmine@cultureweston.org.uk
You can also share what creative endeavours you’ve been up to on social media, using the hashtag #CreativityUnblocked
You can read more from the Creativity Unblocked series here.