Misfits, 2016 New Club of the Year

We talk with Carrie Corlett, the creative guru who started Misfits this year...

Carissa's background

  • First year of university she studied arts at Massey, but transferred over to Vic for her second year. She's now majoring in Psychology
  • Grew up in Thailand, parents were charity workers

She says, 'I have a passion for justice, wellbeing, healing and felt my time and effort needed to put into something that helped people.

'Art provides people with the platform to delve into deeper issues. That’s why I created Misfits at the beginning of the year. I love art, and I love people so the two merged into one quite well.'

Top tip

Do art in whatever form that may be. Put yourself in other peoples' shoes – you need to do that to do art.

Meaning behind 'Misfits' 

As an artist, Carissa didn't feel like she'd really fit in, anywhere. She felt like a misfit, and from this sense of place her genius idea developed.

'I remember I talked to friend about project, and we had called ourselves misfits in general. I felt that was quite fitting. I feel like I’ve been a misfit for most of my life. I feel artists in general are misfits because we break social norms. Art takes a lot of courage and a lot of risk. You need to be a bit of a misfit to break the mould.'

Her core beliefs and values fuel her fire

Carissa's Christian background and upbringing in Thailand brought the true meaning of life home for her. 

'I’m a Christian and I feel like this is a core of my life. Religion comes with a lot of connotations and a lot of conflict. What’s important though regardless [of religion] is love and acceptance.

'Part of my motivations for starting Misfits is because people need love. In our day-to-day lives we’re so individualistic as to what we can achieve rather than focusing on who we are as people; what we need as humans.

'One of the values I try to instill at Misfits is we’re here to support you no matter what. It doesn’t matter what your background, we’re here to unconditionally love. Those values come from my faith. Those values permeate so many aspects of life, religions and ways of being.'

She's leaned on art as a way to heal herself and help others 

'I’ve always had art in my life as an amazing support. Art has healed me a lot. Not in a massive moment, but small ways. 

'I’ve done art therapy with refugees. Just to see the change in people and how they slowly change to feeling they can trust other people. Trust cannot be built without taking the time and sacrifice.

'I have no excuse not to make the most of all my opportunities. I am so lucky I’ve had opportunities, and I’ve worked hard for things.  

'Misfits is a small contribution to people. It provides the space for people to feel loved individually, and to be treated like equals.'

And what's really important comes down to two things

For Carissa and what she tells other people at Misfits is that it comes down to two things:

  1. What you do with your time
  2. How you love yourself

For more information about Misfits: www.misfitsclubs.org

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