Feature Profile on Wildly Creative
Q: What is Creativity?
Creativity is sporadic. She is impossible to contain, capture or cage. She calls in the middle of the night when you’d rather be sleeping and asks you to take up your pen, turn on the light, and write.
You may complain that she doesn’t stop for weeks at a time, but when she deserts you for what seems like months on end you would give anything to have her back.
Creativity may be shy around new friends and bold in the company of the heart. She is a difficult companion--she is particular about the arrangement of furniture in your living room, office and bedroom where you write.
Wildly Creative: What is your first memory of connecting with your creative self?
I was probably six or seven, and my grandmother was making a painting of the ocean near her house. It was sunrise, and her canvas was full of soft pinks, gentle purple and blue with one tall grey heron standing on the edge of the scene.
I loved and admired her in that moment. Her hair was long and she was barefoot. I decided then I wanted to be an artist, and I already knew I preferred words and pens to paints and brushes. I also decided in that moment that I wanted to work in a place where I did not have to wear shoes. As a writer and yoga instructor, both job requirements have worked out for me so far.
Wildly Creative: What is the advice you wish someone shared with you about pursuing your passions and feeding your creative self?
Own your title as artist, writer, poet, dancer, or actor as a verb. You are a writer when you write. A dancer when you dance, and an artist when you create. DO your art, and let it be the anvil that helps you to carve out your character and defines you. Don’t wait until you’ve published a book, performed on Broadway or sold a painting. Value your process.
These words are inspired by the choreographer Alonzo King, whom I saw during my first semester once I finally decided to allow myself to commit to my writing and invest in an MFA program. He also said you create because you have no choice. A desert rose blooms because it must, and does not care whether anyone is there to see it.
Wildly Creative: What drives you wild with inspiration and passion? What is whispering to you that inspires you to create?
The deep green of the forest, and the soft tickle of deer moss. The surging river, the quiet creek. Rainstorms, cicadas, crickets. I am recharged in nature, and I learn so much there. I wake up, I plug in, and I feel ready to be a part of creation. I am filled with new ideas, countless beyond the stars, and I feel there is plenty of time for each of them. Wild, untouched nature re-sets me and reminds me that the world around me is a work of art. And I am a participant.
I also love paradox, sharp photographs, playful paintings and good stories. The work of other artists inspires me to create as part of a conversation.
Wildly Creative: What keeps you wild and daring to create?
I am dedicated to truth and fascinated by mysteries. I write to explore and to understand a world full of meaning and messages. I write to surprise myself. I feel most alive when I write regularly, and I feel it in my bones and muscles when words are not flowing.
I need to move things through me or I get stuck. That’s what keeps me creating. Then truth is my editor. I always ask myself at the end of a piece I write or work I create: is this true? If it is, I’ll share it. If not, I start over.
Reflections on the wild companion, Creativity.