Six reasons to attend a creative art or textile workshop

I used to be a ‘closet creative’. For years or even decades, I wanted to do more creatively, but felt I wasn’t great at art and didn’t really know where to start. Now, I create most days! Hope & Elvis has helped hugely with that. Attending workshops taught me different skills so I could find out which areas of art interested me the most. Coming home with beautiful pieces I’d made gave me the confidence to keep trying. If you’re doubting whether you should give art or textile craft workshops a go as an adult, here are a few reasons why I’d suggest that you do.


Ensures time for creativity

If you’re reading this, you’re probably creative, or least, you probably want to be. Perhaps you haven’t let your artistic side come out to play for many years, or maybe you simply just don’t do as much creating as you’d like.

Booking onto a day or two-day workshop ensures you carve out the time to allow yourself to be creative. However busy life is (and how big your ironing pile is!)

committing to a workshop gives you some creative time to look forward to a day or two where you can get artistic all day long, with none of the distractions of home.

Escape the stresses and demands of everyday life and allow yourself a few hours of purposeful play.

Ready to carve out that time? View our workshop programme here.

Frida Kahlo dolls, tutored by Mandy Pattullo

Learn new skills

Possibly the most exciting result of attending a workshop is the new skills you will have learnt. Our programme of workshops incorporates a whole range of artistic skills to apply to paper and textiles, such as sketching, eco printing, creating clothing and needle felting.

Each of our workshops is tutored by a renowned and experienced artist. Attending will give you the opportunity to see how they create, ask questions and receive guidance and feedback from the tutor and other students.


Meet like-minded people

I first started attending Hope & Elvis workshops over 16 years ago, and now I’m running it! As well as all the other benefits I’ve enjoyed – those that I’m discussing in this blog post – coming to the studio provided the opportunity to connect with other people. People who felt the urge to create, but who didn’t necessarily know where to start. People who wanted to be inspired.

Over the years, I’ve met countless fellow ‘closet creatives’ and wonderful artists. I’ve formed close friendships with people I never would have met if it wasn’t for Hope & Elvis.

Attending one of our workshops, or any class or group that interests you elsewhere, might seem daunting at first. But once you’re there, it’s clear that the advantages of meeting people with similar interests to you strongly outweighs the nervousness you may have felt beforehand.

Many people attend our workshops on their own, and there are always friendly people here to chat with as you work (or, of course, you could quietly concentrate on your project too).

Finished work from Jane Chipp’s ‘Altered Photograph Artworks’ workshop

Explore something new

When did you last try a new hobby? As children, we were regularly giving new things a go. As adults, we’re often more reluctant. That might be caused by a fear of failure, question marks over whether you can commit to something new, or the uncertainty of stepping out of your comfort zone.

Booking a one-off workshop allows you the chance to try something new with a group of others, many of whom are doing the same. Everyone who attends has different levels of creative skill, and someone who’s great at one type of art won’t necessarily excel at others.

The Hope & Elvis creative workshops will give you the opportunity to dive into something new for a day or two. You’ll go home with something you’re proud of, and you can then decide whether this new area of art is something you wish to continue at home or at our studio days.

Completed work from Sally Kheng’s ‘Times 9’ workshop

Experiment and use specialist equipment

Trying out new creative techniques can be expensive if you need to purchase different equipment and materials each time. And buying them is only the first thing… have you ever bought new paints or sketchbooks and left them for months waiting for the ‘right time’ to get started?

When you book onto one of our art or textile workshops, most equipment and materials are provided. We’ll always get in touch beforehand to let you know if you need to bring anything, but these are generally the more personal items to include in your artwork.

Join us and experiment with different techniques and methods to decide whether it’s something you’d like to explore further within your own time. If it is, you can make those purchases knowing you’re excited and informed about the practices you’re about to start!


Boost your wellbeing

Spending a few hours using your hands, away from screens and to-do lists, is wonderful for your wellbeing. As I’ve already mentioned, carving the time out your busy schedule is good, but so too is the act of making!

Whether your chosen art is painting, stitching or something else, it’s a pleasurable and fulfilling activity. You can see progress over time and development of skills.

According to the NHS website, “research shows that learning new skills can improve your mental wellbeing.” It can help boost self-esteem and gives a sense of purpose. Plus, connecting with other like-minded people – as mentioned above – and feeling a sense of community and belonging, is one of the best things we can do to feel happier.

In fact, one recent student at a workshop told me, “I’d recommend a Hope and Elvis workshop as medication.” If that’s not a reason to book, I don’t know what is!


I’d love to see you at one of our creative art or textile workshops coming up soon. Whether you want to learn a new skill or bring your ‘closet creative’ back out into the world, I hope one of our workshops will tempt you!