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Creativity Stuff and Stuff

July 2, 2009

Yesterday I had a coaching session with my youngest client, a lovely 23-year-old grad student. She, like many people, is struggling to find a job she likes. She got undergraduate and graduate degrees in education but quickly decided that wasn’t where her heart was, and is now seeking a happier life.

She wants to write and she wants to take photos, but hasn’t been doing anything the least bit creative because she’s so miserable at the energy-and-soul sucking job that is currently paying her bills. Plus she feels she should be spending all of her free time searching the classified for a better gig. Ick! What a terrible feeling.

Our first session was last week, and we talked about job hunting stuff, but also about how she can fit more creativity into her life, since that brings her joy and gives her energy.

This week, our second session, she seemed much more energetic. Some good things are happening as far as the job search goes, and she’s doing more for herself like playing guitar and practicing yoga. She hadn’t started writing yet, though, so we talked about how to get her back into it.

I had so much fun coaching her on this! Her enthusiasm bubbled to the surface when we talked about what she wanted to write about and I enjoyed our session so much! The experience got me thinking about my own struggle to be creative, specifically when it comes to making art. It also clicked with me that this topic is something I really, really want to coach people on. Some of my best life coaching experiences ever have been helping people to get back to a creative activity that they feel passionately about, whether it’s drawing, singing, writing, or any other pursuit they’ve put down because they think it’s not worthwhile.

I have been an artist forever. Since I’ve slid into adulthood, though, I seem to have stopped calling myself one. I don’t make money making art, so I can’t call myself that, right?ย  Not too mention I don’t create nearly as much as I used to. I realized this week that I need to make art again, otherwise I’m going against the grain of my being.

I have loved colors and painting and drawing and make pot holders out of those band thingys for as long as I can remember. In high school I took painting classes and two years of AP art. When I was a senior I painted a mural on the all at my high school. It was wonderful; I made art all the time! When I went to college I started out with the intention to become an art teacher, so I still took classes like two and three-dimensional design, drawing, crafts, art and aesthetics, and art history. I transferred colleges my sophomore year and switched my major to studio art, thinking I’d take graphic design courses and become a graphic designer.

I think that’s when I started to kind of lose my mojo. I still took art classes, but mostly they were on a computer, not on paper. I still enjoyed some aspects of design on a screen, and even worked at two different newspapers designing ads. It wasn’t all that soul-fulfilling, but I’d convinced myself I wasn’t going to make a living making any other kind of art.

Once I finished college and hunted unsuccessfully for a job in graphic design, I started traveling. I lived and/or camped in about 10 different states from age 22 to 25. As you may have guessed, I didn’t exactly have an art studio set up in my unfurnished apartments/and or tent. I certainly wouldn’t give up that experience, but once I stopped using my artistic skills they faded a bit.

I’ve been settled down in one town since I was 25, and living in my own home since I was 26, so I’ve had plenty of time and space to make art in the past four and a half years. And I certainly have made some! Check out this post for some pics, and see below for more of my more recent creations.

Yarn Sun

Yarn Sun

Yarn mountains

Yarn mountains

Weaving with shells

Weaving with shells

Crazy Weave!

Crazy Weave!

Felt and yarn beach scene

Felt and yarn beach scene

Polymer clay tree & inspiration

Polymer clay tree & inspiration

When I was a kid I used to draw much more than I do now. I used to be able to draw objects like fruit and furniture and trees and such very well. I was never great at drawing people, and I’m much more of a loose, fast artist than a detail-oriented one.ย  As I’ve gotten older I’ve developed a love for art that I can touch, I like using yard and polymer clay and really using my hands and shaping a piece.

You know what I just realized? Most of those pieces were made at least two years ago. But I think I’m heading back in the right direction. When I woke up this morning I felt so excited to create again. I think I stopped doing it because I felt I should be concentrating on the things that I want to make money doing, namely life coaching and writing. But cutting off my creativity has really taken a big piece of me away from me. I don’t know what role art is going to play in my future, but I know I have to keep creating. And I’m going to start calling myself a life coach, writer, and artist.

I think somehow I’ll end up combining all three. I want to have a grown up coloring class. I want to help people bring out their inner creativity, even if they’ve kept it locked up for their entire adult life. I think making art gets our energy flowing, gets us talking, thinking, living, in a way that we normally don’t. And that’s all I have to say for now.

What sparks your creativity?

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 6, 2009 10:46 am

    Those are so adorable, I love that last one!

    For me, I get creative with scrapbooks ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve only ever started one, and it’s not finished,…but I get lots of ideas!!

    And believe it or not, birthday planning ๐Ÿ™‚ I love making it perfect for that one person ๐Ÿ™‚

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