This is a guest blog from Dan Tiley of Spectral Park
I am incredibly lucky.
For as long as I can remember my family and close friends have supported me in what I have wanted to do, encouraging me to express myself in any way, shape, or form that I have naturally leant towards. As a young child I was never artistic in a traditional sense; I am still not. I was, however, abnormally fidgety, always tapping on anything and everything. Being a volatile and short-tempered youngster meant that I would more-often-than-not be at odds with my parents. This lead to a wealth of arguments and the utterance of hurtful words (on my part) that would instantly fill me with remorse and regret.
Not exactly a troubled background, but one that I feel I needed to introduce to give you a sense of how my creative outlets were shaped and formed. After 15 years of putting up with relentless tapping my parents finally agreed to allow me to have drum lessons. From the very first time that I sat at my school’s ‘house’ drum kit, I felt a certain kind of calm fall over me. All of my energy and emotion came together to focus on learning how to coordinate my hands and feet and I have not looked back since then, playing in various projects, each differing in style and capacity, all of them providing me with an essential emotional and psychological outlet.
The other form of creative expression that developed from my childhood was writing. After every storming row with my mother I could not help but write poems of apology to her. I can remember some of them like they were yesterday, a process of putting pen to paper that had no thought involved, just pure emotion, which in turn meant that I could compose poetry of a reasonable standard. As I grew into my teenage years, so too did my love for literature (both reading and writing it) and I now write in a creative capacity as a profession. I no longer find myself writing poetry as often but then again I am quite a happy individual, which leads me on to the crux of what I am trying to say.
I can not even begin to imagine the horrors that some children have to live through, learn and grow from. I had a wonderful upbringing and take for advantage the opportunities that I was given; I wanted to drum, so I drummed, I wanted to write, so I wrote. But what if I had no one to support and encourage me with creative expression? Even worse, what if I did have people who were indeed there, but did not allow me to express myself in a creative manner?
Channelling your energy through an art-form is such a cathartic processes that it is essential for every child to, at the very least, have the option to explore such a creative path. It is charities such as the wonderful We Heart Arts and people such as Tony who understand this more than most. They have seen first-hand how soothing a simple painting class or music session can be for a troubled child.
Unlike most charities they do not rely on financial donations to further the cause. All they aim to do is bring together like-minded creative people to promote and reach out to children through art. Whether you’re a musician, illustrator, author, actor, designer or any other kind of creative person, I implore you to get in contact with this simple, yet entirely unique charity, and see how you can help. You’ll be surprised how valued your art is, not just by Tony and the charity, but by children from all walks of life.
Make a difference, share your passion.
You can find Dan drumming for Spectral Park