I have a BA Hons in Visual Art and for some years practised as a mixed media visual artist. I incorporated performance, film, sculpture and craft in my work. I then re-trained as an occupational therapist but have always had craft and creativity in my life – through participating and organising in craft workshops (crochet, knitting and macramé) and pottery and ceramics. I also incorporate creativity and craft into my clinical practise as it is the perfect medium to engage children and help them develop their functional skills.
You have to be comfortable exploring the unknown
Humans are complex, individual beings and it takes a creative mind to understand and navigate the nuances that exist within people. But the thing that I feel most strongly links the two disciplines is empathy. To be creative you have to be comfortable exploring the unknown – to have an idea, to collect necessary components to make it happen and then bring it into being requires a deep understanding and willingness to understand that creation. It echoes the assessment process, where you explore and investigate what it is that the patient struggles with, you build a treatment plan with them and then make it happen. Its an empathetic, collaborative process which most creative people are used to engaging with, and it brings people together in the same way.