1. Tell us a bit about you and what your passions are.
My name is Sona and I design and deliver various creative workshops for adults and children. I am passionate about using art and textiles to improve mental health.
2. What have been your moments of joy in lockdown?
I’ve been really lucky to have a forest at my doorstep so being able to take long walks through the forest has been so calming.
3. When did you realise that you wanted to be an artist?
Growing up I’ve been surrounded by creative women, my mum was always making something. She loved sewing clothes and embroidery and that’s where I developed a love for textiles. I knew I wanted to help people through creativity but didn’t know how until I started teaching.
4. What type of art do you enjoy most and why?
I’ve always enjoyed making and creating different things. But during lockdown I started painting with watercolours and making soy candles for family and friends which I found very relaxing.
5. Why did you decide to use your art in the area of mental health and wellbeing?
Having worked with adults with learning difficulties and mental health issues I’ve seen how art can improve your mental health, build confidence and empower others. Being able to work with various groups of people and especially over lockdown, I think we’ve all come to realise how much we need creativity in our lives.
6. What is your role in FREEDOM 2 and what does an average day look like for you?
I’m an Art Facilitator at Freedom 2, an average day would consist of preparing and organising for my art workshop. So getting all the art materials ready and packed to take into school. Once I’m in the school I’ll set all the materials out onto the table and teach. Depending on what workshop we are doing, I love seeing the work that the students produce everyone has their own unique ideas! Once I’ve finished, I usually catch up with any paperwork that needs doing.
7. What advice would you give someone who thinks that they aren’t creative?
I’d say don’t be scared and just have a go! Try out a new workshop or just go online and learn something different. We always focus on creating a perfect result but its not always about that, just enjoy the process and have fun.
8. Tell us about the MA that you have starting in September and how you think this will develop your skills as an artist.
I can’t wait to start my MA in Art Therapy in September, I want to delve deeper into how art can be used in a therapeutic way and explore the psychotherapy side to it. Also to learn new skills and ways in which art can be used to improves one’s emotional state or mental well-being.
9. How do you relax and ground yourself in stressful times?
If I get the chance, I’d escape to the sea which I find so calming and grounding or listen to music while going for long walks. I also enjoy yoga and chatting to my family and friends.
Sona is an East London based artist and works part time for FREEDOM 2, as their Creative Facilitator.