What is your creative mission?
To just find one creative mission! I have so many… At the moment I’m enjoying mastering watercolour for my illustrations (to be used in an online course for natural health practitioners). Would love to learn animation. But also want my novel published (currently collecting dust).
What do you love about what you do?
A mix of working with creative people and having solitude (soul-itude?) for my own creativity. And feeling you are channeling creativity – i.e. when a great creative surge goes through you and out into the world without you doing much at all. The ‘slog times’ help us appreciate the ‘channel times’.
What have you learned from your successes/ failures?
We also need to f*ck up to learn. A failure can be the best thing that ever happened to you. Successes (i.e. thumbs up from other people) can be helpful fuel to keep going. But deciding what is a ‘success’ can also be a private thing.
How do you keep pushing ahead after a difficult challenge?
(1) Break out and do something different
(2) Tap into other people’s creativity – go listen to some live music, visit an exhibition, etc.
(3) Gather my cheer squad (buddies who ‘get it’) who tell me to keep going
(4) Read – and disappear for a bit – a well-written, funny, touching novel
(5) Order pizza.
Have you ever encountered resistance from family, friends, or the world in general? How did you overcome those kinds of blocks?
All the time. Relatives can be Everest-scale blocks for creative people. I’ve learned not to talk to mine about my creative pursuits. It’s just too miserable. Friends are the family you choose. So I focus on nurturing supportive friendships – that doesn’t mean they can’t give helpful critical feedback. “The world isn’t ready for my greatness” is a nice thing to tell yourself when you hit a commercial wall for your creativity. Who knows? You might be right. But it’s also worth stepping back and having an objective look at what you are doing. Is there a way I can do this differently that might end up being better?
The blocks can help expand your creativity. Hanging out with Aboriginal artists has lead me to my own mantra: “Watersnake Business” – i.e. imagine a snake swimming down a stream, moving around rocks, sliding over logs. It’s the same as a creative person moving through life, around and over those blocks.
How has your art and creativity healed you?
Significantly. Chronic Fatigue had me practically paralysed for over a year. So I forced myself to draw simple, cartoon-like illustrations – deeply imperfect creations that made me smile – with the little energy I could muster. Then I shared those imperfect creations with the world on my sites: www.MyCartoonThing.com and www.MyBurnoutThing.com. It was all about my own healing, but hoped it helped others too.
What are your NFA Bullet points? What steps would you recommend for anyone who wants to kick some ass and get their creative dreams off the ground?
– Talk to people who have done what you want to do
– Set a goal and create mini-goals to get you there
– Enjoy a ‘reward’ for each time you achieve a mini-goal
– Hire a creativity coach to keep your mojo up, and/or…
– Have a regular fortnightly breakfast with another creative keep you both on track (are meeting your goals? if not, why not?)
– Remember to have fun with it
– If you ask for feedback, ask at least seven people (don’t hang too much on one person’s point-of-view, but if 7 people are saying the same thing, it might be worth looking deeper into it)
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