Creativity comes in many shapes and forms.

Here at BenchLab, we cater to those who are seeking to learn not just a life skill, but also any forms of art. We empower individuals from all walks of life – whether they are a beginner or experienced artist, graphic designer, animator, musician, photographer, etc – to express their artistic side.

When COVID-19 hit Brunei in March, BenchLab’s physical courses came to a temporary halt. 

Nevertheless, we took this as a challenge and eventually made courses accessible on our website, where everyone can learn at their own pace and within the comforts of their home. To keep the learners’ and instructors’ interaction alive, we have a dedicated Virtual Room where the learners ask questions and share their work.

Here are some reasons why you should enrol in creative community courses!

Crochet for Beginners, held by BenchLab. (Photos: BenchLab)

#1. You get to learn a new skill

There are a wide array of creative community classes to choose from. From art to music to social media, to even more specific skills like sewing, crocheting and graphic designing, creative community classes allow you to pick up a skill that may become integral in your future endeavours. Not only that, you get to learn new skills and techniques, try different tools that you might not have otherwise had the opportunity to try, and be inspired by the art that others are creating.

#2. You learn to be resourceful and a problem solver

Whether it is online or physical, taking creative classes provides you with an abundance of challenges to face as you take on a new skill. Mistakes may be made but it will be in a friendly, and educational setting which allows you the space to solve problems and be resourceful at the same time! 

BenchLab once had a slime-making class for kids and one of our students wanted a purple slime but we only had red and blue dye on hand. The student mixed both colours and walked out of the class with a coloured-slime they worked hard to create.

#3. Art is a form of therapy

Art has proven psychological benefits. Making use of art as a healthy coping mechanism not only to express one’s creativity but also their inner turmoil allows freedom in a way that other mediums might not necessarily possess.

BenchLab’s Art Therapy course, held last February, involved instructing learners to draw their thoughts on a piece of paper and to create a story based on what they drew. The course instilled self-positivity and encouraged learners to discover their inner personality 

BenchLab’s Gamelan and Angklung Course.

#4. You get to appreciate a variety of art forms first-hand

Community classes are powered by – you guessed it! – the community. That means people from all walks of life, backgrounds, education and skills get to come together and share their knowledge in a class setting. 

Some of the courses BenchLab has conducted include Angklung, a musical instrument from West Java, and Darbuka, a goblet drum hailing from the Middle East.

#5. You’re supporting the local art scene

When you take a creative community class, you’re supporting the people directly in the art scene. These are the hobbyists, the professionals, the part-time enthusiasts. Showing up to their classes tells them that you’re interested in what they have to offer and what they do has value. This is important because support is the building block of a thriving community.

You may not be able to see much of a difference short-term but in the long run, your participation will pay off.