The Therapeutic Power of Creativity

Create Next Steps is a mixed media art studio.

I believe art is a conversation, both with ourselves and with others. It has the power to educate, inspire, provoke, challenge, illuminate, reveal, motivate, heal and offer hope. Art connects both ideas and people.

Art is a product you create and a process you experience. There is immense value in both. Our Workshops, Studio Sessions and Collaborative Shows provide opportunities to explore your creativity and engage in a different way with ideas and events that impact your life.

“Nicola skillfully leads all of her creative expression groups with inspiration and compassion. Working with local nonprofits, she has offered numerous teens and young adults a consistent place to come and begin trusting themselves and others. As one artist exclaimed, ‘I learned about feelings I didn’t even know I had—and that art is an amazing way to let them out.’”

Ways to Engage

I offer different formats to explore your creativity in both life and art.

Art Workshops

Many Create Next Steps workshops are more than simply teaching the fundamental elements of art or a specific technique. Classes are often intentionally designed to include a secondary objective to enhance life and personal development.

Private Studio Sessions

The studio can be rented for private sessions or group events. This is a great way to introduce art to children, teens, adults or seniors in your life or to explore your own creativity!

  • Team building events
  • Commemorative art
  • Memorial art
  • Special occasions or celebrations

Open Studio Sessions

You’re invited to create! RSVP to one of our open studio dates and give yourself an opportunity to socialize, share ideas, experiment with new tools or techniques, finish an in-progress project or collaborate with other artists.

Art Shows

Create Next Steps regularly hosts community art shows. These provide a great opportunity to meet and support local artists. A portion of the proceeds is always donated to local nonprofit organizations.

Why Create Art?

The benefits of focused creative expression resonate across many different facets of our lives. These are some of the many ways in which the process of creating art benefits my clients:

It’s fun

While much of my vocation involves using creativity as a tool for problem-solving and self-discovery, creative expression is also a form of recreation. The simple joy of creating something new and original is reason enough to join us.  After all, some days are simply meant for playing!


It requires living in the moment

The act of spontaneously generating something that didn’t exist before demands original vision. Creativity requires authenticity and listening to an internal voice to make the next move. These skills have direct relevance in other parts of life.

It’s therapeutic

For centuries, artists and scientists have known that creating art in itself is inherently therapeutic. Modern neuroscientific research also shows clear evidence of the physiological and emotional benefits of engaging in a hands-on creative process.

It develops new perspectives

The process of creating art has value, independent of the finished product. Creative expression is a way to reflect on our lives through another lens and pursue goals in a different context.

It builds community

Art is a wonderful connector. Workshops and exhibitions provide a unique and engaging way to interact within your community and build meaningful relationships.

See Examples!

Get inspired by seeing what others have created at the Create Next Steps studio!

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of projects and art techniques are offered?

We offer a wide range of creative expression opportunities, including:

  • Painting
  • Mixed media collage
  • Mosaic
  • Wire, beading and jewelry
  • Ceramics, pottery and clay
  • Drawing and doodling
  • Vision boards
  • Wreath making
  • Photography
  • Illustrated journals
  • …and lots more
Are there skill requirements for any of the workshops or studio sessions?

99% of the time, no. The workshops are designed to support people of all skill and experience levels. Very rarely, we offer specific workshops in which participants would benefit from having previous experience in a particular medium, and we will clearly specify that in the workshop description.

What ages are welcome in the Create Next Steps art studio?

Some workshops are geared toward a specific audience (e.g., children, seniors), but that will be clearly specified in the workshop description.

Who teaches / facilitates the workshops and studio sessions?

Often, I (Nicola) am the facilitator. I also enjoy bringing in other artists, instructors and professionals to collaborate or lead workshops.

What are your qualifications?

Art and creativity have enriched my personal life and my career. I feel fortunate to bring a wide range of related skills into the Create Next Steps studio. My own art is a magical place where I can freely explore a wide range of emotions and often stumble upon synchronicity and meaningful insights. One of my greatest joys was founding a custom design business (through which I created limited edition keepsakes) to help individuals and organizations celebrate once-in-a-lifetime occasions and tell their stories through art. With graduate level coursework in Psychology and Art Therapy, I also have extensive training and professional experience guiding youth and adults in their use of art for grief and healing.

Is this art therapy?

My studio does focus strongly on the therapeutic aspects of creative expression, but this is not art therapy in the clinical sense, which is more of a diagnostic or psychotherapeutic practice.

Ready to Get Started?

Learn more about creating art in the studio.