Have you ever wondered why we create?

No matter what direction I have taken in life, creativity has had some hand in shaping my endeavors. As a child, I could hardly refrain from making something out of the materials around me. From creatures fashioned from mud dug out of the backyard to mermaids and dragons made from sand on the beaches of Northern California, my imagination seemed boundless. Even today, while waiting for a meal at a restaurant, I will doodle on a napkin, or twist a straw paper into something cool. As a person with a visual impairment, some might think that the challenges I face would hinder my creativity, but the desire to make art prevails. But, why?

I love the bright hues of watercolors as they spread across a fresh white paper, or the cool touch and earthy smell of a newly opened bag of clay.  It you’ve ever walked through a store and been excited by a colorful display or loved the feel of running your hands over a favorite texture, you can understand what I mean.  It stimulates the senses and excites our brains. When we create, we take the driver’s seat for that sensory input. But creating is about output, too.

Through creating, we communicate ideas and emotions that are meaningful to us. And in sharing our creations, we connect with others. Communication and connection are vital aspects of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

For a time in my life, I set creativity aside, only to realize that my well-being suffered. I was not a happy person without some clay to pound, watercolors to splash, or bits of textured paper to arrange. I realized that I needed art as much for an outlet for my emotions as for a conduit for my ideas. For this reason, I want to help others tap into the power of creativity.

I’m here to help.

As a professional artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, I have studied a wide variety of materials and techniques, specializing in ceramics, fiber arts, and book arts. Experienced in working with a variety of ages and diverse populations, I also hold a Masters in Social Work and am passionate about teaching others how creativity can promote wholeness.

Whether you’re a seasoned artist or someone who hasn’t colored since they were a child, I believe that creativity is an important component to mental health and well-being. I want to inspire you to develop a creative practice. Check out the projects page for activities to try at home or with some friends. Browse the blog to find inspiration and resources for creative living.  Stay tuned for upcoming workshops and events or contact me to create a personalized plan.

From the creator of Clay Charlotte,

Charlotte Reed BFA MSW CSW