Peter cares for his wife who has paranoid schizophrenia. He took part in creative:voices, a project that enabled adult carers to explore their creativity through writing and collage:
“I always thought of myself as a bit of a slow visual learner. Create has given me the time and effort to bring myself out and kind of explode on the page. The creative arts allow us to express ourselves. Everyone is able to do their own thing. In some spaces, I feel like I don’t know anything about art but by the end of the project we all felt like arts masters.
“The main thing that stops me from making art is the lack of opportunities. I just don’t normally get offered the chance to do something like this. Projects like these enable me to do the things that I would have loved to have done at school but never did. I’m going to use the skills that I’ve learnt with my little boy and create a few stories with him.
“This project seemed like the perfect opportunity to take my writing to the next level. I’ve done free courses online but none of them have come close to increasing my confidence like Create has. I now feel able to go from A-Z with making a book. I can write, produce illustrations and do everything that goes into creating a book.
“Although my wife is also a writer and has been published, I’m looking forward to sharing with her some of the visual skills that I’ve learnt. I’d really like it if she was able to give some input into making what I want to do as well.
“I’ve done free courses online but none of them have come close to increasing my confidence like Create has.”Peter, adult carer
“I’ve definitely become more relaxed since taking part in creative:voices. I’ve gone from a person that struggled expressing themselves visually to someone who feels completely comfortable with creating art. I think my wife has noticed that I’m a lot more relaxed in myself now. I’m trying not to let everything build up and get on top of me. Now I’m a lot more relaxed because I’ve actually got an outlet – I’ve got some direction that I want to be setting myself on.
“I was surprised by how well I managed to work with other people. When I first walked through the door, I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know anyone but then we worked together and through that we formed a bond. Both Create’s artists always there when we had ideas that we wanted to bounce around and discuss. All the other staff at Create have been really supportive too.”
*Name changed to protect anonymity
This story is from 2017.