I met Tania through my blog, and I have had so much fun getting to know her via email that I thought I would introduce her to you, my dear blog readers, as well! She is very insightful and inspiring, and I think you will love reading her answers to my questions in this interview about creativity, getting stuck, and how to stay motivated.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Certified Life Coach with a background in mental health. My coaching focus is in Health Management including fitness and nutrition, and Work Life Balance. I love connecting with people and supporting them to become healthier and happier. A part of being healthy and happy is having and maintaining the motivation to function at your best. Coaching is a great way to stay motivated and can be useful with creating a satisfying life. More information about coaching can be found on my website:
I love art and all things creative. I love philosophy, poetry and spirituality. I love colour and beauty. I admire people who go against the grain and stand up for what they believe in; those who challenge our way of thinking.
Why do you think creativity is an important part of life?
Creativity, in the broad sense, is an important part of life because it can be a tool for survival. I have worked with people with severe mental health issues who have found creative ways to cope with their illness in order to recover and regain mental wellness. Some of them have been homeless - surviving the streets requires creativity.
As a mental health professional, I am constantly challenged with the task of coming up with creative ways to negotiate outcomes with clients themselves, their families and their health care team to support the recovery process.
It’s also important because it challenges how we view the world. Our upbringing, culture and society have shaped our worldview and the way we look at ourselves. This can lead to powerful inspiration that may end up changing the world for the better – perhaps begin a movement of some sort. The internet has been a platform for putting ideas into motion, particularly with social media sites. Online businesses are an example of creative thinking, as this technology has opened up a new world of opportunities.
The act of being creative also gets us in touch with our emotions. It can be a cathartic process to express our feelings through creative means. Our favourite songwriters seem to create their best work when exploring their deepest feelings such as those associated with personal heartbreak, and report the therapeutic benefits of expressing their pain through music.
Creativity is important because it is beneficial in so many ways...
What are some of your favorite way to express yourself creatively?
I like to sketch. It’s so basic but I like the simplicity of pencil to paper.
I also like to change my living space with new pictures, art and centrepieces from time to time.
How can we fight against our fear of failure and of disappointment when it comes to making artwork?
Eastern philosophies explain that it is good practice to observe our fear of failure instead of indulging the feeling. In other words, try to notice how the fear affects you, where it comes from etc., as though you are an outside observer of yourself. But steer away from criticizing yourself for having this fear – that won’t help you! Failure has been the ingredient for major success for people like Walt Disney and Henry Ford:
Our perspective can determine whether we will experience disappointment. If our artwork does not turn out as planned we can feel disappointment, or we can choose to view it as a learning curve. I believe that we should embrace any outcome with our creation – again, observe the result and try to be more flexible with it, perhaps letting it take us on another creative path and therefore creating something different (something unplanned) and maybe better than we imagined!
Perseverance is the key – stick with your project and work through those fears and expectations. And most of all become your own biggest fan. Your confidence in all that you create is most important – regardless of others opinions.
What are some things we can do when we are stuck on a creative project and don't know what to do next?
The act of being stuck and the process of finding a solution to that problem, I believe, is part of the creative process. We should look at every moment of the creative flow, as well as hindrance, as inspiration. I believe those ‘blocks’ are signs that we should be paying attention to some part of the creative project that needs some fine tuning. Or perhaps we simply need to walk away. Take a break, do something completely different. And return to your project refreshed, with a new outlook.
What are some of your current obsessions? (Art, craft, musical, or completely random.)
I love Candy Chang’s ‘Before I Die’ project. She put a chalkboard on the side of an abandoned house for people to list the things they want to do before they die. She created a toolkit so that other communities around the world can take part in this. The responses to this statement divulge our true feelings of what matters most to us – very simple yet extremely powerful.
I think spirituality of any kind can be inspirational. It can help to make sense of a nonsensical world helping us ground ourselves and move forward with inner balance that helps us to be more creative.
Do you have any advice you could offer to someone who wants to start expressing themselves creatively but doesn't know where to begin?
Talk to people. Look at art. Look at everything in the world as art! Look at yourself as a work of art. We all view and experience the world in a unique way, so essentially what we produce is slightly different from the next person as it has our “touch” to it.
Thank you for your allowing me to interview you, Tania!