Embrace everyday creativity in 2017

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave it neither power nor time.”

– poet Mary Oliver, Of Power and Time

The New Year is a great time to re-evaluate priorities and make plans for how better to spend your precious life-time. If you are feeling the call to create, the urge to escape the corporate nine-to-five, or the need to balance your life with some more fulfilling pursuits, consider joining the Better community in 2017.

Better is a place where people doing creative things for fun or money can work, share and relax. Better is about promoting a culture of making and about celebrating creativity.

In Making is Connecting, David Gauntlett speaks of the “inherent pleasure in making; we might call this joie de faire (like joie de vivre) to indicate that there is something important, even urgent, to be said about the sheer enjoyment of making something that didn’t exist before”. He goes on to propose a definition of everyday creativity that takes into account the emotional aspects of creating, as opposed to the more traditional definition of creativity as that which results in unusual or celebrated outcomes. It’s a long definition, but worth repeating in full:

“Everyday creativity refers to a process which brings together at least one active human mind, and the material or digital world, in the activity of making something. The activity has not been done in this way by this person (or these people) before. The process may arouse various emotions, such as excitement and frustration, but most especially a feeling of joy. When witnessing and appreciating the output, people may sense the presence of the maker, and recognize those feelings.”

That’s the kind of creativity Better is about. We believe that all human beings are inherently creative, and we want to make a space where you can explore your creativity and experience the joy of making.

Better caters for artists, designers, writers, poets, programmers, photographers, and all kinds of crafters. We are open to accommodating other creative pursuits where at all possible. We’ll provide space and some equipment, as well as fast internet, tea and coffee, and a program of events. We need you to help us create a friendly and stimulating atmosphere. Come for coffee, stay to write, compare notes and helpful tips, join or host a workshop, and share your latest project with others who care about creative work.

Better is an emerging project; we are making it up as we go along! We welcome your input. What do you want at Better?

Better is based in Saxonwold, Johannesburg (more about that here) and will be opening in February 2017. Watch out for more information during January, including your invitation to visit. Leave us your e-mail address to be kept informed, follow us on Twitter (@betterjoburg) or find us on Facebook.

 

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We found a place for Better!

Better is our vision for a physical space where creative makers can get together to work, share and play. Back in September we posted an update about our progress towards Better. There we told of our frustrations at trying to find a place for Better. Despite the frustrations, we persisted and…

We have found it!

Last week we signed a lease on a place in Saxonwold, nicely situated between Rosebank and Killarney at 91 Oxford Road. We will be sharing premises with the College of Digital Photography. We have rooms downstairs and up, a large balcony and a garden.

In just a week Andrew has rounded up contractors and had them demolishing drywalls, painting and cleaning, while we’ve both been out finding homely, well-loved furniture. We’ve got a way to go, but it’s looking good and we are having a lot of fun.

So, Better will open in February 2017.

Watch this space during January for…

  • pictures of the Better place,
  • the shared resources we are getting for Better,
  • the launch of our web site,
  • introductions to the Better people,
  • how you can be part of Better,
  • our events lineup for February and
  • our opening party!

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