To Inspire And Get Inspired - Morgan Schaafsma
Who is Morgan? What motivated you to start Open Hands Creative?
Well, I am often described as the free-spirited girl who runs around barefoot and hair down. I am positive, hardworking, yet quiet. I am all things creative. A day doesn’t go by where I am not making, not thinking of the next project! Sometimes I think my brain is so full of all these creative ideas that there is no room for anything else. Which is why I have a terrible memory.
Open Hands Creative started from a dream to run a creative collective. A community of like-minded people who love being creative and love the environment. I noticed a gap between art and sustainability and wanted to provide people with accessible ways to join the two, so I started running creative workshops.
Teaching our community through workshops combining creativity and sustainability, what is the most common feedback you get from participants?
People just love to sit down and make something, to express their creative side! A lot of people say they really enjoy putting that time aside for themselves. There is something empowering about sitting in a room with a bunch of strangers and creating something from scratch. Creativity is something we forget to practice, but always surprises us!
I also think our community really appreciates the effort we go through to make the most environmentally friendly decisions. The support for a more sustainable craft is so well received, it gives me hope 😊
What have you learnt yourself from these workshops?
I really value the simple act of sharing art. My customers have taught me this; when I see them so excited to share their creations with their loved ones, with the stranger sitting next to them. People are often so hesitant to share their artworks, which is understandable, it is a piece of you that you are opening up to be judged, but once they do it they feel so much better. Art is meant to be shared!
I have also learnt that the saying ‘everyone has a creative side’ is true! I have people come to the workshops who think they don’t have one creative bone in their body. ‘I can’t draw’ is what I hear a lot. But after attending a 2-hour workshop they always walk away surprised and happy with what they have created! Everyone has a creative side you just have to unlock it.
At a time where art practices and organisations are so challenged, what importance has art in our lives and the health of our community and how should we support creatives?
I think we should all live a balanced life. You put time aside for your family, you put time aside for fitness, but rarely do people put the time aside for creativity! It is just something we must get into the habit of doing. Being creativity helps with innovation, with problem-solving and feeling content. If we support each other it becomes easier to share, to put ourselves out there and we will all be better off. Inspired and ready to take on the world.
What would you like your legacy to be?
Oh, I have never really been asked this, I live moment to moment I hardly ever think in the future and if I do it is just a few years in the future not my whole legacy. I guess if I had to say something, I just want to help people be sustainable with art! If I could bridge that gap between sustainability and art, even just in Perth, even just with drawing, I would be happy!