“My name is Iris, I have a diagnosis of clinical depression, anxiety and P.T.S.D. At first I was very reluctant to go to The Art Studios’ program, it took me a couple of months just to be able to sign up for it. When I was called in I had doubts and tried to come up with excuses not to go. Thankfully I did go to my orientation. I was really scared not knowing what to expect, I hadn’t done any art since I was in high school, ages ago. I then signed up for the Beginners Drawing Class and got in fairly quickly.
My first class was terrifying; I had absolutely no confidence in myself and what I could do. Once class started I got focused on the drawing. I was amazed at the kind of work I was doing and was developing skills I didn’t think I had in me. The instructor made me feel very welcome and safe. I felt very supported in The Art Studios environment. When I completed the Beginners Drawing Class I felt confident enough to take a Continuing Education course at Emily Carr University. Since then I have completed eleven different courses there.
I was very grateful to The Art Studios and want to give back so I offered to be an assistant in a class.
Again I was very nervous about helping out. I didn’t think I would be much use. I was quite nervous the first day, my hands were shaking, but once I got started I was too busy to be nervous and was enjoying myself so much that I kept volunteering. My confidence over this time improved a lot, I felt more worthwhile and useful as a person. When the co-ordinator asked me to take over instructing the Beginners Drawing Class, my first instinct was “No way!” But I totally shocked myself by saying yes. I thought, this is an opportunity I never even dreamed I would get, I have to take it. I also felt honoured just to be asked.
I feel that The Art Studios has given me confidence, a skill, a new role as a teacher and has made me feel a part of the community. The Art Studios is aiding in my continuing recovery. I know I would not be this happy and confident in my life if it was not for The Art Studios.