I have always enjoyed creative writing as long as I remember. In the seventh grade I won a writing contest put on by the Timmins School Board. In school I got into the habit of faking essays and book reports. I would even invent the titles and authors of books. Once my teacher failed me because she believed that I plagiarized my book reports from other sources. Even after I informed her that I actually created fictitious books that didn't even exist she still wouldn't believe that.
I wrote my first song in my early teens. It was a protest song. I may someday try to re-create that.
|Canadian artist and songwriter Fred Joly|
There were many years of my adulthood where creating art was not a part of my life, either I was too busy working, in prison or on the street active in addictions likely. Ironically, in was on the street in Montreal where I first come across an art studio drop-in place located at the St James Church. This is where I did my first painting. That was around ten years ago.
I stopped painting for a number of years after that but picked it up again at the CMHA in Aurora Ontario in a program they called Community Connections. They had an art studio started and I joined in. I produced probably about thirty paintings, wrote a dozen poems and shorts stories. I also used the space to write and practice six new songs. Some of them I later recorded and created videos for but they no longer exist to show you.
Last year I attended UBC's Writing course. That is a twelve week program run by the Arts & Humanities department. I was invited as writing mentor for the next term and they presented me with an award.
Six months ago I joined a couple other artists to create a new studio. Our Vancouver art gallery and studio is gaining popularity. We even have a new web site Recovery by Design.