Hanis & Joy co:creating a zine as part of our project "Our Time to Shine"

Hey Artist-Educators,

It is the new term and we hope that everyone is pacing yourselves well while kickstarting learning in school. We hope that the term break has been nourishing. Perhaps you may even find the time to flip through old yearbooks or photos, reminiscing about past students and the different versions of ourselves over the years. These photos serve as a time capsule of memories.

Let’s delve into the concept of “self” not as a fixed idea but as an ongoing process. Isn’t it mind-blowing to think of “self” in constant evolution and metamorphosis? As educators, we think about our students navigating their own paths of self-discovery. Our classrooms should be safe havens for this exploration. Yet, in Singapore, with a society that values certainty over growth, fostering that sense of safety for students to be think and explore differently can be challenging. 

Let’s have a real conversation about creativity and safety in our classrooms, communities and studios.

Recall those moments when students hesitated and are held back by fear of judgment or failure. Some of them might even find it difficult to start; to lay down a stroke onto their paper or canvas. We know they have so much to express, and it pains us to see them struggle. Creativity thrives in environments of trust and acceptance. Trust is the cornerstone of any meaningful relationship, including the one between artist- educators and our students-participants. When students trust us, they feel secure in taking risks, sharing ideas, and experimenting with their creativity. They know that we have their best interests at heart and that we are there to support them every step of the way. Trust empowers students to step out of their comfort zones to try new things. It is essential for the spaces we create to allow our students to embrace their unique perspectives.

Acceptance goes hand in hand with trust. It’s about creating a space where students feel seen and heard. This will be a start for them to feel valued, respected, and celebrated for who they are. With acceptance, we can encourage our students to embrace their strengths and weaknesses, to celebrate their successes, and to learn from their mistakes.

As educators, it’s crucial for us to not only cultivate trust and acceptance in our classrooms but also to model these qualities ourselves. When students see us embrace our own vulnerabilities, take creative risks, and learn from our experiences, it sends a powerful message that it’s okay to be imperfect, to make mistakes, and to grow. When was the last time you’ve allowed yourself to let your guard down, to share a story of your own vulnerability with your students?

At Co:Creation Workshop, we’re dedicated to creating safe spaces where trust and acceptance are the foundation of creativity. We believe every student deserves the chance to express themselves freely, without fear of criticism. Our post-exam art workshops are designed precisely for this purpose – to inspire, empower, and ignite creativity in every student.

At Co:Creation Workshop, we embrace these 4 things to cultivate trust and acceptance:

 1. We acknowledge that every participant is unique and has an interesting perspective to share. We embrace diversity whether it comes from having participants of different backgrounds and abilities

2. We practise deep listening when engaging with our participants. Every story shared in our workshop deserves to be heard. 

3. Mindfulness and non-judgement is a key approach in our facilitation. We facilitate conversations through art in an environment of empathy and understanding

4. We provide opportunities for agency and autonomy; Our workshops allow for participants to make their own choices about their creative process, empowering them to take ownership of their work. 

Here are three workshops where we focus on cultivating safe spaces and creative expression for your students:

Photo Embroidery Storytelling with stitches & images 

This workshop is a heartfelt journey where participants transform cherished personal photos* into living tapestries through the gentle art of embroidery. With each stitch, they delved into introspection, weaving care and contemplation into their artwork. These images are also memories that became portals to rekindle the curiosity and creativity of themselves, fostering a deep sense of connection and self-awareness.

Through purposeful facilitation, the workshop delve into reflective journaling and storytelling, creating an atmosphere resonating with emotional depth. Each story weave a unique tapestry of challenges, growth, and resilience, affirming the transformative power of self-reflection and empathy.

*Personal photos are additional customisation. For regular workshops, students will get to select a range of photo sourced online.  

Zine Making and its communicative possibilities

In a fast-paced world dominated by digital screens, there’s something uniquely special about the handmade zine. It’s not just a publication—it’s a journey of self-discovery, a tangible expression of our thoughts and feelings.

Co:Created with visual art educator Nur Hanis Binte Selamat, our zine-making workshop invites participants to slow down and connect with their inner self. Through paper folding, collage, and low-tech printing techniques, you’ll explore personal narratives and uncover hidden layers of meaning.

Zine making isn’t just about creating; it’s about forging connections—with yourself, with others, and with the world around you. This workshop celebrates the beauty of personal expression and craft connections that transcend time and space.

Peace Paintings: Mindful watercolour brushstrokes

Dive into the world of watercolor and mindfulness with local artist Soh Ee Shaun’s Co:Created workshop. Through grounding exercises, participants explore sensory elements, fostering trust and self-expression. Just as trust fuels creativity, mindfulness enriches the artistic journey by embracing inner emotions and thoughts freely.

Download Catalog for Peace Paintings: Mindful watercolour brushstrokes

Let’s collaborate to bring our post-exam programs to your school.

Let’s make it happen. Whether you’re aiming to reignite your students’ passion for art or provide a safe space to unwind after exams, we are here for you.

Book A Workshop

Reach out today to reserve your spot and let’s embark on this creative journey together. Because when we nurture creativity in our students, we guide them gently toward discovering their authentic selves.

Co:Creating with you,  

Samantha & Peiling