Laid to Rest 80,000 Obstructing Spirits, East (detail)


Do you wonder what it feels like to be fully creative?  Do you remember what it feels like to play?  To do and make things, just because they give you joy?

An invitation.  Come, step into your creative life.

Imagine exploring and experimenting.  Imagine letting yourself be curious, then following your curiosity to see where it leads, and finding your authentic self.

Imagine your transformation.

You embracing your unique creativity in all you do. Your open heart and brilliant mind as integrated partners, recognizing your dreams and intentions. You knowing and tapping into the wisdom of all your experiences, and using this to create. You, confident, seeing the possibilities and transforming them into reality through heart-directed action. This is who you are, loving yourself, your life, and the world you are creating.

The first step always begins here, where you are, wondering, ‘Is this me?  Can I do this?  Do I dare?’

I know this place.  I began here too.

I KNOW nothing matches the power and possibility in individuals engaging a brilliant mind and open heart in what they do. Creativity channeled in this way uses all life experience, and transforms possibility into reality. Fully connected with our creative power, we name ourselves, and then we change ourselves, our lives, and the world.

Creativity is meant to be passionate, inspired, active, and shared.  Imagine our world if all of us were fully engaged in this way. This is my vision, to create such a world in partnership with all around me.

WE ARE ALL CREATIVE.  You do not need to be working in the arts, or wanting to be in the arts, to step into a creative life.  Who do you know who is successful in their life?  A business owner,  a school teacher, a gardener, a carpenter, an office worker, a scientist, a mill worker, a parent.  Every one of us engages our unique creativity in some way every day, but we don’t always recognize it.

Learn to recognize your creativity, claim it as your own, make space for it and integrate it into your life. 128MY STORY   When I was eighteen, I tried to become an artist.

I loved school and I believed in school, so I got myself accepted to university and started my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I thought courses and a diploma and those letters, BFA, after my name would make me an artist.

I thought being an artist came from outside. Like being knighted. I dub thee ‘Artist’. One of my art teachers would surely tell me, ‘’Cat, you are an artist.’’

All through that year, I hoped someone would see me, the artist me. I didn’t say it out loud, or whisper it. I never wrote it down on paper or the covers of my sketch books or a bathroom wall. Tell me I’m an artist.

I was so desperate for this, it must surely have been printed across my face. It must have leapt out of every piece of art I created (both the amazing and the dreadful) and every essay I wrote.

It didn’t happen. No one said these magic words.

I left the Fine Arts Department after that first year. I got my diploma in Business Administration instead, and went to work for the government.

No one told me, and I didn’t understand, I had to tell myself I was an artist. It had to come from inside me, and not from my head. It had to come from my heart.

I am an artist. From my heart. Not words. Feelings. A knowing that is like loving someone all the way through.

Hands (from Dancing the Ghosts)
Hands (from Dancing the Ghosts)

Art comes from love. Creativity, creation. All from love.

Maybe my art teachers didn’t feel they needed to explain this. Maybe they thought I already knew, since there I was, in their class, eagerly eating up all they said, creating all and more that they asked of me, lit up with creative ideas. Maybe some of my art teachers didn’t know this, either.

Artist. I know this now, so many years later. This knowing, that is like loving, eventually soaked all the way through me. Rain on thirsty ground. It took twenty years. I left my government job. I went back to art school. This time, I knew I was an artist before I walked into my first class.

You who teach and coach in the arts, for love of art, I am asking through all these words:

Teach more than technique and strategy. Teach love and belief and faith and knowing. Talk to the hearts of your students. Let them feel how knowing they are artists comes from inside them. Show them that’s how you know who you are. Show them it feels like love, and that it is love. Love for themselves, who they are and who they are becoming. Love for their ideas and the art they create, whether it’s amazing or dreadful.

Show them this, and they will name themselves.

I am an artist.