I’m loving life and loving my job
By: Jessica Key
I’m loving life and loving my job. I have been working at Birmingham Mind for nearly 2 months now and have managed to marry my two passions; caring for people and being creative. It hasn’t been easy and I know all too well how hard living life can be when you have no job, no income and bills to pay. But staying positive and finding things to do to keep myself active and interested was essential in getting to where I am now.
Studying Fine Art at Birmingham City University allowed me the freedom to express myself creatively and I soon found that creating short films was what I was good at. I made loads of films throughout my three years at Uni. My subject matter took inspiration from my personal life experience and themes of failure and artistic reputation.
I enjoyed filming the actions of lifting and dragging people, coping and recreating the form of Jesus in Baroque paintings. I saw the shape of Jesus as he was being lifted on or off the cross as one that symbolised many things to me such as loss, freedom, failure, release and many more.
During my time at Uni I worked as a support worker, note taking and generally supporting students in their studies. This work experience has proved invaluable in my current job role and kept me going whilst looking for a full time permanent job.
I found the time between leaving university and starting my job at Birmingham Mind difficult. I reacted in a negative way initially as I felt powerless and that I would never get a job, but I realised that I was not alone and shared my worries with friends in the same situation, and talked to wise family members.
One of the benefits of re-writing so many CV’s was that I could clearly identify my skill areas, and the interviews, although not always successful, meant I could confidently verbalise my strengths and experience.
My top tips to keeping well if you’re currently job hunting and worried about money, bills, housing, relationships and your future are:
• Share your worries don’t keep them to yourself. Talk to friends and family. People aren’t mind readers so if you need help, say so! It is not a weakness.
• Get out the house! Don’t just mope around the house, watching Jeremy Kyle won’t motivate you, but a brisk walk will.
• Take every opportunity that’s given to you; try out something new, you might love it!
• Make opportunities.
• Enjoy simple things; take pleasure in a beautiful sunny day, or a rainy walk.
• Remember that you will not feel like this forever, it is temporary and you will be successful and happy.
Finally starting full time work was a massive relief. I even facilitate an art class in which I can indulge in my love of art, as well as share the art of thinking creatively. I strongly believe that thinking creatively can open endless possibilities and fill a soul with energy.
The art class are currently learning how to develop their ability visualise in their ‘mind’s eye,’ thinking about the colours of the rainbow initially and then developing on the ideas and feelings certain colours give them. We will consider the significance of prominent colours each week to see if they reflect mood.
Using colour as a starting point for inspiration the class are also developing the technical skill of watercolour painting.
I plan to facilitate a gallery showing with my art group, as well as include works produced in the other creative group activities that we at Birmingham Mind facilitate at the Beechcroft center. My vision is for those that attend the group to feel that they can be creative and to apply this creative thinking to daily living and in challenges they face.
So what is in store for my own art career? University took it out of me a bit, but my creativity is back in town now that I have no time to make my own work, haha but in all seriousness I ‘practice what I preach’ and I tackle everyday with an open creative mind, and this March was given the opportunity to have a few of my films shown in the Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and have been planning some new filming ideas.
I’d like to round up on this quote by Maya Angelou, a wise American author and poet who seems to have an uplifting quote for everything…
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
And finally if you’d like to view my work check out my website www.jesskey.co.uk