Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Meet my client Jordana, who's a teacher and visual artist. She's currently writing and illustrating a children's book, and loves to talk about creativity. (Which is something she and I have done together a lot over the course of this year!)
What are some of your most enjoyable creative outlets? Drawing and painting are most enjoyable for me, because that's where I feel like I can express myself in the way I want to. They feel most satisfying and allow me to create the world or the image that I want to see.
I also love doing cross stitch or embroidery as a creative meditative practice that I don't have to overthink. I can follow a pattern and it's easy to create things without a long mental dialogue about it.
Where do you find creative joy in your everyday life?
I find it from nature, just being outside. The sky, and trees, and being in the park really stops my brain from thinking. Being aware of my surroundings and appreciating where I am is so important to me.
Listening to music once I get home also gets me into a freer mental space. I love singing along and feeling that release.
I love to just look through interior design books or magazines as a way to get my mind into that space of colour and composition and using space. I sometimes look through Pinterest and look through colour and interiors as a way to shift into that creative mode of things I love, which I actually end up drawing. I do it subconsciously. It makes it easier to then go and start what I need to start.
How did creativity coaching sessions affect your relationship to your creativity?
To start off with, it helped me realize that a lot of the issues I was having were due to fear. Not in the obvious way of not knowing where to start, but sneaky fear. I thought I was being lazy, but it was actually fear. Creativity coaching helped me recognise the covert ways fear was sneaking in and stopping me from going forward. That was the first layer.
The next layer was helping me connect to my creative intuition. Recognising it and trusting it and going with it, rather than overthinking it, which is a tendency I have.
So those two things together freed my mind to just go with the flow and not overanalyse and question it.
What’s a project you’re currently working on?
I'm working on writing and illustrating my first children's book. The writing is a whole new thing for me, and it's another big learning curve. So I'm experimenting with different approaches. It's a challenge and exciting at the same time. Whilst I'm itching to just illustrate, I need to get the story down before I can move forward. So getting the mental focus on the writing is an interesting learning curve.
What nurtures your creativity? What shuts it down?
Experimentation nurtures my creativity. I love to try new things all the time, which is a blessing and a curse, in a way. So the more I experiment, the more I get to understand about how I work. I get to learn about things that work and things that don't work, which is helping me to connect to my creative voice and creative expression. Mainly experimenting with colours and shapes and textures----that's what really excites me.
What shuts me down is when I feel like I HAVE to finish something in a short time. Like, one hour to finish one thing. If I have a month, I'm fine, but if I think, 'Today I only have one hour,' I start to feel pressure. Having that type of time restriction makes me kind of panic, I think.
I do need a time container, but more of a long term one than a short term one.
What types of creative events do you like to attend?
I love going to exhibitions, of all different types. Not just paintings and things, but any artistic outlet---photography, interiors, product design, any kind of exhibition. I also really love local or small shop pop-up exhibitions. The local jewelry maker or ceramicist, or that kind of thing. I love going to those small shops.
Who do you think creativity coaching might benefit?
It could really benefit anyone, but I think people who are feeling disconnected from trying to create, those people might benefit the most. Because the creativity coaching helps you go back to the basics and find out what you really want to make and connect to that intuitive sense of things, that sense of experimentation and freedom. Creativity coaching helps you get back to that point.
But I also think people who don't necessarily feel like they need it could also benefit, because your mind is exposed to a lot of new ideas through the coaching and other people. It opens your mind to other methods, and everybody has a different process. Sometimes when you share that, you start thinking of new ways of doing things.
What has your experience of Visual Journaling been like, and how has it impacted you?
I wasn't exactly sure what it would be like at first, but I was really curious about it. I wasn't sure if it'd be more based on the work or the spiritual side of things, because I do really love connecting with intuition. It was really happy that it was a nice combination of the two. Dropping into my intuition and connecting with that first thing-----I did find that difficult at first. The journaling has helped me with that
Setting the intention or asking myself that question a the beginning and then starting to paint or draw, I really did get so many insights, which I found quite surprising.
One of the key things for me is that it isn't for anyone other than me. That gives me the mental freedom to express myself in a kind of raw way.
You're also a regular participant in Co-Creation Time. How do you like it?
I'd recommend it to others, because it's a really nice way to connect with other creative people, even for just a few minutes at he beginning, to know that everyone is about to start their own project. Turning off the mic and the camera and knowing that you've got an hour to experiment or write during that time is great. And then there's no pressure to explain anything. You're just doing your own thing.
For me it's a good time to do the smaller things that I want to get done. It's a great time for the start of ideas, and for getting things done.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us, Jordana! I so appreciate you being part of this community.
Might you also be interesting in trying Co-Creation Time? We all gather on a Zoom call and spend a few minutes chatting. Then we turn off our mics and settle into our creative work for the hour. The group energy carries us along, and it's remarkable how much fun, enjoyment, and productivity comes from this time. Curious? Come join us!
Monthly Workshops: Tackling Imposter Syndrome
Have you heard about the new workshops? This online series of workshops is offered once a month to help you learn practical skills to nourish and boost your creativity.
The first one will help you learn how to tackle imposter syndrome, which we all struggle with from time to time. Sign up to add some of these practical tools to your belt!
If you're not in Japan, please check the time for your time zone:
North America Eastern: September 25, 2021, 9:00 - 10:00 PM
North America Pacific: September 25, 2021, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
AEST (Australia): September 26, 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM