ART PALETTE: The Benefits of Creativity

This week's art palette offers views of Brenda Johima, who has been featured in some Victoria newspapers.

What sorts of emotions do you see in this unsigned

Art Palette has been introducing and focusing on local artists, seeking to display their art and share their views about painting, clay masks, stained glass and the creative process.

This column offers the views of Brenda Johima, a Denman Island resident, featured in some daily Victoria newspapers.

Johima, of Creative Nudge Coaching and Consulting, trained as a music therapist, is now a graphic artist and has taught creativity workshops at Capilano University in North Vancouver, B.C.

Her words acknowledge the courage it can take to create and offer en-courage-ment to those who would express their creativity if they thought they could.

“Music, art, movement and writing can heal and liberate us by connecting us with our deepest selves, along with teaching the satisfactions of solitude, silence and feeling,” Johima suggests.

“Creativity is a keystone to contentment but for many of us, connecting with our creative impulses is too terrifying to attempt. Very few people have the courage to go towards it, be it from old wounds received from dysfunctional families, critical peers or judgmental teachers, whose negative messages flood back throughout life.”

“Creativity adds to the joyfulness and energy of being alive,” she says, “But to be creative, we must take a brave step.  Completely letting go of control – it’s actually coming from a place other than your head and for a lot of people, that’s hard to do.”

In other words, you have to be out of your mind.

Johima goes on to say, “A painter can be technically proficient but without emotion, the painting will be flat and lifeless. Emotion is what moves people, touches people, connects with people.

“I believe that emotions are squashed just as creativity is, everywhere, every day, because if you’re a very emotional person, that doesn’t go well in society. Society likes you to be on an even keel emotionally – not too much anger, not too much happiness, not too much sadness.”

The graphic painting of a zebra is untitled and unsigned.

In its simplicity and anonymity, perhaps it can be an example of some of the thoughts set out above.  When asking several people if they saw an emotion in the painting, some people suggested gentle relaxation, some saw sadness, another loneliness and one person saw death.

Two people said, “It’s a zebra, there’s no emotion in the painting” and generally thought it was a stupid question.  Responses ran the gamut in this small and informal survey.  What do you think?

If you would like to talk about your art or comment on what you see here or would like to see here, we can be reached at

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