For my 38th birthday a friend of mine took me on a journey to help me find my creativity, it was an interesting journey.

On a wet London Saturday morning I met my friend and we walked to an old factory in Deptford (South-East London), an area now populated with lots of artists working in space converted from old factories and warehouses. It was wet, the buildings were big and grey and I was nervous. I was on my way to meet Nick, thats not my way of saying I was on my way to meditate and meet myself but another Nick, an artist called Nick who worked in a studio in this impossibly tall and old building. The rain stopped for a second as I read a rather faded sign that said ‘This door bell does not work, please call by mobile’. The sign didn’t have a mobile number on it, so I scrambled around in my bag and found a wet piece of paper from which I just about could read the number. I phoned, Nick didn’t answer. In a moment of hope I thought, “he’s not in, great an excuse to go home and do something normal’. Just as that thought spontaneously left my mind and a big blob of rain hit my phone it vibrated into life and I knew it was Nick. The conversation was very convivial; he came down and let us in.

We climbed several sets of old industrial stairs and entered his studio. I asked myself why was I here? What did I want to find out? Do I have any artistic capability? I realised that I wanted to let go a bit and see if I could adopt some creative Free Mental Attitude. I dripped on the studio floor and we apologised for being late, there were four others there and I quickly felt at home. They were like me, a little apprehensive but interested in learning. My next thought wasn’t so reassuring – it’s a small group, where do I hide! No time for that, Nick is off, describing his passion for art, creativity and beauty.

I thought he might teach me some technical skills but no he suggested looking at some art books for inspiration. Everyone obeyed; I flicked a book about the current TATE Watercolour exhibition and unlike everyone else was fed up quickly. I suddenly wanted to paint, so I picked up a brush grabbed some paper and just painted and painted and painted. In the time everyone else had finished composing their ideas, I had completed four… things. It was a mess of stuff, it was yellow, red and had a small face, it was me and I felt like I had let go of something. After lunch with wine and cheese I was off again, I couldn’t stop, greens, blues, yellows and reds I slowed down I sped up, I felt angry, sad and I let it onto the paper. Maybe none of it makes any sense to anyone but me, but for a few small hours somewhere in Deptford, i met Nick and he let me paint and I loved it. I was there 100% a feeling of presence and expression I don’t know too well in my life. Well Nick I said, so what do I do next? He said nothing, just keep painting and you’ll find your way, accept what comes.

I liked Nick, he taught me to be with myself, by just putting some paints in front of me. I thanked my friend for a great birthday present and we both vowed to go back.


  1. Karan Sewani

    nice article nick, well i should say i also liked Nick, his ideology of letting it flow in artisitic form in your case painting, the believe that you’ll find your way is actually reassuring and comforting.

  2. Nice paintings. I guess the interface between spontaneity and will is common to meditation and creative processes.

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