Andy, who from a young age suffered with agoraphobia and anxiety, never knew he had a creative streak until he joined our Life Skills art group.
“I had a stressful job and was experiencing lots of personal problems around my anxiety. Seven years ago I had a nervous breakdown. I’d never painted before, but when I joined the art group I just started drawing”.
Many of the people who come to Life Skills find our courses and workshops help them manage mental health issues and move forward in life. For Andy coming to the art group was an incentive to leave his house, and although it would take him a couple of hours to find the strength to do so, he’d found something that was worth fighting for.
“For two days a week I felt free. I thought about nothing but what I was painting, it was an escape. The therapeutic benefit of doing art is what kept me going, it calms me down, gives me control and structure”.
With the help of Life Skills Andy exhibited his art at a Bath Abbey exhibition and has since sold some of his pieces. He takes his inspiration from South West townscapes and landscapes and uses bright, vibrant colours to bring his work alive.
“Today when I feel stressed I know I can just sit down and get a sketchbook out. Doing art stops me feeling so self-conscious and gets me back on track to cope with life”.
Matt and Denise, who co-facilitate Life Skills say “Andy is the perfect example of someone who has not let his anxiety and mental health issues become a barrier for him, he has turned a ‘weakness’ into a strength”.
Andy has kindly donated some of his art work to us which will serve as inspiration to others joining our courses.
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