Awaken Arts and Wellness is an LGBTQ+ woman owned, small business located in Ashland, Oregon and serving folks Art and Wellness across the country! While Awaken Arts and Wellness was officially founded in 2020, the dream of combining years of experience providing Mental Health Therapy and decades of creating art in any medium I could get my hands on goes WAY back.
As a young person, I always enjoyed creating. I painted beach scenes and stuck sand into the yellow paint to make it more realistic. I cut and pinned cow print fabric to make a tank top that I had to sew myself into for picture day in 7th grade. I asked for rolls and rolls of tin foil for my birthday so I could make furniture for fairies. As I grew, the world taught me to judge what I created. Suddenly, the sand looked like dirt. The cow print shirt was unflattering. The furniture was lumpy.
I created less, and focused on improving my artistic technique while still keeping my creations to myself. I wrote poetry I didn't let others read, I painted and put them away, I sang by myself.
As a young adult, I looked around and saw that everyone was so busy worrying what people were saying about them, that nobody was worried about me! I started creating and sharing more! As I completed graduate school and started my work as a Mental Health Therapist in a Middle School, I found the arts as a way to connect to young people whose lives seemed to have nothing in common with mine.
Arts, I have found, tap into our human need to express ourselves and feel understood. Creating doesn't have to be about creating products that others will judge as worthy. Creating can be about expressing your inner thoughts, feelings, and self. Allowing yourself the freedom to enjoy doing something just for you, because you deserve it.
I hope that you can tap back into the creativity that all people have before we learn to judge, and that with the tools provided by Awaken Arts and Wellness, you can make a mess, slow down, and enjoy the process!