"Love As A Revolution" Mural, 2018.

Creativity Unblocked: Introducing Jasmine Thompson

Hey!

I’m Jasmine, and I’ve just started working with Culture Weston as the new Assistant Outdoor Arts Producer. I’m excited to be diving into all things creative here in Weston. I’m kicking things off by getting to know some of the incredible local artists. So drum roll please- I’ll be bringing you “Creativity Unblocked”, a series of artist features where I get to know our local artists better. I will also explore with them how they’re staying creative during lockdown, and how to stay inspired through those dreaded creative blocks whilst stuck inside.

But first things first, you probably want to know a little about who I am, and what I’ll be bringing to Culture Weston. So for Part 1 of Creativity Unblocked, I’ll be shine a spotlight on my own lockdown inspirations, challenges, and what’s been keeping me going.

“My hopes and dreams for Weston-Super-Mare are to build an even bigger community of artists here”.

My background in the arts is in illustration and design. I love all things drawing. I’m a digital illustrator, storyboard artist, mural artist, and designer. I’ve worked with Rife Magazine and Rising Arts Agency, so I love a bit of content creation and activism art. I enjoy running workshops, and often work with young people to deliver creative programmes to schools, colleges, and community groups. I love creating work that tells people’s stories. I’m inspired by real life events, and create art in response to what’s going on in the world. You can see some of my projects here.

Biggest lockdown challenge? The closure of my studio and general disruption to everything back in March. It all happened so quickly! Finding the motivation to get up each day and create art was impossible. I stopped putting pressure on myself to do things I thought I should be doing. Instead I asked myself- what are the little projects I’ve always wanted to do but never had the time? What have I always wanted to try? Seeing lockdown as time for experimentation and fun really got things going again.

How to combat creative block? I focus on getting inspired again. It’s easy to feel like we have to be super productive every minute of the day. But I always ensure I put aside either a few minutes or a few hours to work on a passion project, or make a drawing solely for fun. Sometimes they’re silly, and inspire me to turn them into an even sillier comic, so I enjoy seeing where they take me. It’s surprising what ideas come out of one tiny creation sometimes. Another way to blitz creative block is take a timeout. I know it’s cliche, but going for a walk or run helps clear my head so I can come back to my piece with fresh eyes. Looking at it too long never helps!

Spike Open Studios exhibition

Best piece of creative advice I’ve ever been given? Stop trying to create things just to please people. You can never please absolutely everyone, so stop trying. If a subject inspires you- explore it. If you only like one way of writing/drawing/dancing etc, run with it. Worrying about what others will think of your art will never help you make your best art.

My hopes and dreams for Weston-super-Mare? To build an even bigger community of artists here. It’s such a great town with so much to offer. I’m really looking forward to building the cultural offer here through this role. I hope to see more engagement with diverse audiences and for the arts to reach new communities too. I want to put Weston-super-Mare on the map as a hub for creativity, and see continued opportunities for young and emerging artists to work in the arts here. That means showcasing emerging talent, getting people outdoors for events again-, workshops, shows, festivals, performances, the list goes on. And lastly I want to see people reconnecting with this beautiful seaside town again after being stuck inside for all these months. I can’t wait!

 

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