Our philosophy

open studio flyer image (hands)

Over the last 25 years, I have been lucky to work alongside a broad range of artists and seekers – from beginners to experienced artists, four-year-olds to eighty-year-olds, and college students to those who have been through the school of life.

Most of what I value about creativity, I’ve learned through teaching, facilitating and collaborating.

Through my work with children, I’ve seen how they throw themselves into a state of pure freewheeling adventure, exploring and experimenting with curiosity, simply for the joy of it. I’ve observed the ease, freedom and relative absence of premeditation that goes into their art making.

As they grow, children learn to put play aside and earn time for it as a reward for “hard work”. As adults, our sense of permission to play becomes tangled up with the demand to be productive. While as children, we were busy been real, present, connected and motivated by curiosity … as adults we often seek proof we are being productive, but the desire for results is precisely what keeps us apart. It reduces us to standing outside our own experience, assessing its worth rather than fully living in the moment. Reviewing the many experiences and working relationships, it’s clear to me that the most vital ingredients are the sharing of ideas, making connections, problem solving, reflecting, finding possibilities…. The creative process.

As technology increasingly replaces direct human engagement, it seems important to make time for face to face contact and conversation in a different tempo, free of pressure from goals, deadlines or distractions.

Open Studio @ the Chocolate Factory offers a series of programmes designed to help you explore your creative process.

It may be a new experience for you, or a refining, expanding experience. Prepare to be inspired, to be challenged, to expand your perspective on what is possible.

Paula Erraught