Elisa Guietti on Social Art

Elisa writes about how Social Art came about and what it really means to her

Pop along to Santosa for a Social Art event:

Find out more about Social Art Edinburgh

Social Art is about reconnecting ourselves with our creative side. Experimenting with art in a very informal way within a friendly and positive environment allows us to experince the creative process and our natural capacity to create. Also it represents a way to bring the community together and to connect people with each other.

In the past few years, through my personal experiences, I discovered how powerful and transformative the creative process is. Creativity is directly connected to our internal source of energy - it can help us to explore our identity, our emotions and the world that surrounds us. Becoming aware of our whole self is a precious gift that we all have the right, as well as the need, to experience.

Opportunities to Reconnect

My work aims to generate opportunities where people can reconnect with their creative side and fully experience the creative process without feeling intimidated. Our identity, emotions and experiences are the fuel for our creativity, and we all have that fuel within ourselves of course. I studied Fine Arts in a proper academic setting. The experience made me aware of the pressure that sometimes can surround the word “art”. It's time to release any misconceptions about art and creativity and embrace the truth: art is for everyone, it is not a privilege for a few selected people. We are all creative.

I use the creative process to better understand myself, to explore emotions and old patterns. Being a self employed artist is pretty challenging and involves lots of learning about personal boundaries and beliefs. I became very interested in the connection between the mind, body and spirit and started to practice yoga and meditation as well. One thing led to another and soon I also trained as a Reiki practitioner. That helped me to develop much further my understanding about the world and our internal source of energy, which I realised was deeply interconnected with our creative energy.

Free and Safe Space

When my own fears started to melt I really felt the need to share my learnings with others. I wanted to encourage people to become their true self and release anything that was stopping them to fully accomplish their lives. A couple of years ago I started to develop a series of social art events across the city. My aim was to connect with people that were not normally involved in creative activities. I wanted to offer them an opportunity to explore and enjoy the creative process without the pressure of the final outcome. I wanted to create a free and safe space where people could naturally reconnect with their creative side.

The painting events started in pubs and cafes in order to connect with different types of people. I had the support of many friends and artists especially in the beginning, and I am very grateful for that. Everything was easier than I would have ever thought. It is true what they say - if you follow your bliss the universe will open doors where there were only walls. Many places were happy to host the events and people were really enjoying them! I have met so many people who have thought for all their lives that were not able to paint or be creative as they thought that creativity was not available to them. I realised that I was offering something simple but very powerful as it was changing people’s perceptions about themselves. When we step outside our comfort zone we also push our limitations, and that can create a ripple effect in several areas of our life.

About nine months ago the painting events have moved to the lovely Santosa Cafe where they have been nurtured and supported by the incredible energy of the space (and by the amazing Santosa team). The events are changing and evolving with me, and when I trained as a meditation teacher I decided to combine painting with guided meditation as well. Recently, together with the Healing Hands Reiki School, I developed the Healing Art Project and created a series of workshops that combine energy healing with intuitive painting, meditation and writing. Combining art with healing therapies we aim to offer a space where people can explore their mind, body and spirit, reconnecting themselves with the natural flow.

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