Can creating art "break the ice" - encouraging friendships?

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JustFoundHere
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26 Mar 2021, 3:45 pm

Activities like the arts allow participants to unite around concrete activities. This might just be favorable - as people on the Autism Spectrum tend to fixate on inanimate objects. In this case tools and materials applied in painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. etc. are well................concrete and inanimate.

In short fixations on inanimate objects may actually prove beneficial the arts - that's right, you read this correctly!!

The arts allow us to develop those overlooked parts of the brain - which might boost confidence within activities ripe for developing friendships.

Once more, that chance to boost opportunities in becoming acquainted with people experienced with healthy AS/NT dynamics - an awesome goal to achieve once the pandemic is brought under control!

Developing friendships in settings understanding of AS/NT relationships can also be favorable in setting the stage towards developing intimate relationships.

Any specific experiences?



PhosphorusDecree
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26 Mar 2021, 7:34 pm

My brain's currently a bit too fried to respond in detailright now. But I agree with your general point. I'm a musician, which is both a social and a technical art form. A lot of my social life has revolved around making music in one way or another- I'm more socially functional than usual when I have a guitar with me!


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JustFoundHere
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27 Mar 2021, 1:58 pm

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
My brain's currently a bit too fried to respond in detailright now. But I agree with your general point. I'm a musician, which is both a social and a technical art form. A lot of my social life has revolved around making music in one way or another- I'm more socially functional than usual when I have a guitar with me!


Thank-you for your response. I'm looking forward to additional responses from people experienced with arts programs - that is from people eager to restart (or develop new) arts programs after pandemic is under control!

I've had experiences with arts programs for developmentally disabled adults, and became acquainted (not friendship wise) with the arts program staff.



Spunge42
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27 Mar 2021, 10:24 pm

I agree. The really good friends I have I made through our love of artistic crafts. We all appreciate handmade woodwork and such.. We quilt, make clothes, make costumes, paint, sculpt clay, do baking crafts, build things together etc. Two of my friends are very adventurous with crafting, so if we see something cool we try our hand at it together.

It's fun. And I enjoy troubleshooting something new with a friend almost more than just "hanging out". Maybe because there's no need for idle chit chat. Most conversations are centered around ideas on the best way to go about a project or new project ideas. And even if we have a big fail it was still fun.

I also enjoy the quiet of sewing, quilting, knitting, or even coloring together. Even if we don't talk for a long time it's calming when me and best friend just create stuff together.

I don't know if that's what you're looking for. I haven't been in formal artist groups. These are just my personal experiences. I definitely believe enjoying the same art mediums helped me get to know the friends I have. We also learned to like new art media from each other, which broadened my experiences.


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JustFoundHere
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27 Mar 2021, 11:07 pm

Spunge42 wrote:
I agree. The really good friends I have I made through our love of artistic crafts. We all appreciate handmade woodwork and such.. We quilt, make clothes, make costumes, paint, sculpt clay, do baking crafts, build things together etc. Two of my friends are very adventurous with crafting, so if we see something cool we try our hand at it together.

It's fun. And I enjoy troubleshooting something new with a friend almost more than just "hanging out". Maybe because there's no need for idle chit chat. Most conversations are centered around ideas on the best way to go about a project or new project ideas. And even if we have a big fail it was still fun.

I also enjoy the quiet of sewing, quilting, knitting, or even coloring together. Even if we don't talk for a long time it's calming when me and best friend just create stuff together.

I don't know if that's what you're looking for. I haven't been in formal artist groups. These are just my personal experiences. I definitely believe enjoying the same art mediums helped me get to know the friends I have. We also learned to like new art media from each other, which broadened my experiences.


Thank-you so much for your response!

In a nutshell, your response is pretty much what I imagined!

Are there other people on the Autism Spectrum in the arts groups? Are these environments ripe for meeting those awesome NTs experienced with AS/NT friendships? Any potential long-term friendships?

I look forward to other WP members feedback with similar experiences!

Thank-you again!



PhosphorusDecree
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28 Mar 2021, 10:09 am

One simple thing I've found is that it's good for someone who's not good at starting conversations. With musicians, there's obvious starting points- what they were playing, what you were playing, what other people were playing... I'm guessing the same is true for an arts class. Not autism specifically, but I have a friend with severe depression who goes to sessions at a local mental health arts program- he's done both music and visual arts courses.


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28 Mar 2021, 10:45 am

There are different types of art. When my daughters were young and in school, I encouraged them to be in plays, the performing arts. This is perhaps one of the best areas for an Aspie.

In the performing arts not everyone is an actor. There are many support people including directors, set design, musicians, sound/microphone people, costumes. There are many different talents or niches for a person to excel in. Including Aspies. And working together in a group brings these diverse talented people together and they form a strong bond and friendships that can endure for years to come.


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28 Mar 2021, 11:06 am

I've found that having mutual interests only makes it more humiliating to be rejected by someone.

Aren't I a ray of sunshine LOL.



JustFoundHere
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28 Mar 2021, 2:48 pm

Thank-you for your responses! I'm so glad of the follow-through in this discussion thread; that is the arts can "offer
those icebreakers of sorts!"

I have not seen that encouraging follow-through in a thread (LINK) I initiated in the 'Social Skills & Making Friends Forum.' The discussion 'Reassessing AS/NT Friendships' mentions how the arts are favorable towards encouraging AS/NT friendships.

LINK: viewtopic.php?t=395386



JustFoundHere
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01 Apr 2021, 1:05 pm

JustFoundHere wrote:
Thank-you for your responses! I'm so glad of the follow-through in this discussion thread; that is the arts can "offer
those icebreakers of sorts!"

I have not seen that encouraging follow-through in a thread (LINK) I initiated in the 'Social Skills & Making Friends Forum.' The discussion 'Reassessing AS/NT Friendships' mentions how the arts are favorable towards encouraging AS/NT friendships.

LINK: viewtopic.php?t=395386


CORRECTION: To avoid confusion, LINKb discusses the roles of the arts in encouraging friendships.

The arts offers opportunities to reassess our strengths, in order to reassess our weaknesses - that is challenges in developing friendships stemming from the Autism Spectrum.

Keep posting those important experiences in the arts.

LINKb: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=395130&p=8743128#p8743128



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18 Apr 2021, 4:46 pm

Yes. A couple writer friends and myself decided to form a new writers group because the ones we've belonged to either broke up, or stopped meeting in person due to Covid. So, I invited a very promising younger writer from my old writers group to our new group, where we share our latest work with one another. He's since become buddies with all of us.


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JustFoundHere
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18 Apr 2021, 6:27 pm

Kraichgauer wrote:
Yes. A couple writer friends and myself decided to form a new writers group because the ones we've belonged to either broke up, or stopped meeting in person due to Covid. So, I invited a very promising younger writer from my old writers group to our new group, where we share our latest work with one another. He's since become buddies with all of us.


Thank-you for your response. I've always felt that great writing is more of an art than a science! Those awesome creative writing, and language studies classes I had in middle-school still resonates to this day! I often draw parallels to these awesome classes...........here on WP!



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18 Apr 2021, 6:36 pm

TenMinutes wrote:
I've found that having mutual interests only makes it more humiliating to be rejected by someone.

Aren't I a ray of sunshine LOL.

Of course, not everyone who shares your interests is going to like you.

However, if you happen to have any full-blown "special interests," it might be worthwhile to consider how you could achieve a leadership role of some kind, e.g. by creating a sufficiently useful online resource pertaining to your interest, and/or by organizing a relevant group via Meetup.com.

Doing so can dramatically increase the number of acquaintances you have who share your interest and who are motivated to talk to you about it at least a little bit. Most of them still wouldn't become your friends, and indeed you probably wouldn't have room in your life for all of them to become your friends. But it's likely that at least some of them would become your friends.


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JustFoundHere
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26 Aug 2021, 12:01 pm

How many feel that lack of opportunities for organized arts-related programs (esp. with the pandemic postponing programs) are almost as much of a barrier in meeting new people, as the Autism Spectrum itself?



JustFoundHere
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09 Sep 2021, 3:10 pm

Just reassessed the responses in this discussion-thread. This discussion thread seems like a rarity - that is discussions as to how arts-related activities can "break the ice so to speak" in developing friendships.

I'm short of mentioning that active participation in the arts might transcend some of those difficulties with social interaction - hence that personal growth despite the Autism Spectrum!

From my own personal experiences, I've expressed interest in becoming acquainted with staff of arts programs. I think highly of awesome staff who want to devote their time in arts instruction for special needs adults (I think highly of people who want to encourage healthy AS/NT dynamics).

I've found that interactions with other participants in the arts programs generally remains as small-talk (this is very similar as to how I treat friendly NT environments). Anybody else have similar experiences?