In this blog, Jessica Carson shares some of the questions she uses to reflect on her work, what motivates and inspires her, and how to decide into which projects to invest her passion:
Taking time to reflect
As a creative person I love the excitement of new projects, new challenges, new connections. I feel very lucky to work in a field where I can use my creativity. I find it hard to say no to the possibility to be involved in new projects. I decided in the last few years that it was important to reflect more on how I use my energy and reflect on how to make decisions about how I spend my energy and time.
The core reflection has been about how I can be satisfied and fulfilled in my work but also about the contribution I would like to make. It is clear to me that the world needs to become, fairer, more tolerant and sustainable. I want to grow as a global citizen and to create spaces where others can grow.
Having engaging in an in-depth review of and reflection on my practice over an extended period of time, I summarized my desires, values, and motivations. It has been a very enriching experience. I am sharing these as an encouragement to others to reflect on their practices.
What desires are reflected in my work?
to initiate, to bring ideas to realization.
to engage with other perspectives .
to see things within ‘the bigger picture.’
to contribute to a society that is enriched through more voices being heard.
What type of spaces do I want to create when I work creatively with others?
A space where connections are made and empathy develops
A safe space where people are comfortable to share
A hopeful space
A space where ownership is shared and everyone contributionis values
A space of transformation
A space that nurtures resilience and well-being
A space where curiosity is developed and we can see the ‘bigger picture’/ other perspectives
A space where stereotypes are challenged.
What values do I want to reflect and nurture in my work?
Creativity and passion
Understanding and empathy
Recognising and promoting multiple perspectives, intelligences and ways of expressing and learning
Response-ability (ability to respond)
Alliance with diverse groups
When I feel a connection with those I engage with and get a sense that they are making connections
When I feel authentic and that those I engage with feel they can be themselves and express themselves authentically
When I find flow in my work, especially when it is a collaborative piece of work and I feel the ‘magic’ offluid processes
When I feel something that has been hidden comes to light, hidden talents, hidden perspectives, and hidden opinions
When the unexpected happens
When I suggest a creative form or concept and give it over to experimentation and it becomes something completely new and fresh and beyond my scope of imagination
When I feel like I stepped inside someone else’s experience, emotions, stories
When images give new insights and help to find new ways to express concepts, emotions and learning
When there is feeling of achievement
Relationships that have developed within diverse groups while engaging in creative processes together
When I see people becoming alive through create engagement
When I feel motivated about change and see others getting motivated to make changes for themself or in the context of working towards societal changes
When I feel I have grown and learned throughout my encounters with others
Jessica Carson is a freelance trainer, facilitator artist and consultant. Her experience spans work in the cultural sector, non-formal education and third level education, where she supports, develops, manages and delivers programmes. Her work reflects a strong belief in the transformative potential of creative engagement. Along with her colleague Nora Furlong, she coordinates a programme called Creativity and Change in CIT Crawford College of Art and Design. The programme includes an accredited level 8 Special Purpose Award, international youthwork training and regional training for youth workers. She is a trainer on the Leargas training network for the youth sector. She has also developed and managed projects and actions through this programme in seminars, exchanges and volunteering. Jessica maintains her practice as a visual artist and has carried out a number of international residencies.Jessica says: "Over the next few posts I am sharing my thought about the connection between creativity and global citizenship.The first post shares some of my journey in creativity that lead me to place importance on the theme of global citizenship. The next post is a personal reflection of my desires, values, and motivations in my work in creative engagement and an encouragement to others to reflect on their practice.In the third and fourth posts, I share learning and experience from a programme that I delivered with an international group of youth workers, who were exploring the connection between creativity, well-being and global citizenship."