Friday, May 8, 2009

Yvonne Houwers - Everyday Creativity

Yvonne came along to one of the Creativity Retreats I facilitate. Her creativity is an integral part of her life. I asked her about her ways of being creative.

Yvonne: Creativity plays part in my daily life. Almost everyday I really like to do something creative. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be physically creative or mentally. Being creative makes me feel good and I get “scratchy” if I cant be creative. It’s an urge that needs to be fulfilled on a regular basis. I have been creative for as long as I can remember. As a child I used to make “gardens” in empty shoe boxes and glue pictures from beads. (Mandala like pictures).

Wayne: How do you express your creativity?
Yvonne: Depends on how much time I have. Sometimes my creative outburst is as little as putting some flowers from the garden together in the birdbath…sometimes I do collage and like making jewelry from all sorts of materials but it will be unique and hard to duplicate.. If I want something that I can’t buy I make it and sometimes I just need a creative answer to a problem. I make little books, photo books and the highlight is to collage the cover relating to the subject.

Wayne: Was there a time in your life when you recognised you were creative? How did that come about?

Yvonne: In my thirties I realized that I was creative. When my children wanted something we always made it. I did a lot of collage with them and at some stage started making cards for friends’ birthdays. The comments were great. My in-laws said to me that I was creative as I always made what I couldn't buy and the cards are in a treasure box. So It was other peoples comments and my children that made me realize I was creative. We usually had a solution to our problem. I got a thrill out of making something unique with the kids (eg a puppet theatre out of an empty refrigerator box, by the way, we had the theatre for years!). When I made the link between the “creating” and “the feeling good about it” I started putting creativity in my daily life and it became a priority.

Wayne: How would you describe your creative process, in particular, any habits that you have that support your creativity?

Yvonne: I have to be in the mood to be creative. I have lots of ideas that I scribble down so I don’t forget them. I get my inspiration during swimming lengths or biking long distances. I’m most inspired and creative after meditation and Healing Touch practice. The mind and body are totally relaxed with no inner chatter, just loads of good feelings, inner peace, that’s when it seems to flow. I usually turn on some soft music and create the mood by burning some aromatherapy oils. I also create best if I have plenty of time with no interruptions so I can be fully focused and present in the moment.

Wayne: Any hints for others who want to explore their creativity?

Yvonne: Play as much with (your) children as possible. They have no boundaries and love everything you do.(They and you will have no limiting judgement). That gets the imagination going and the creative thinking process. Pick a medium you like to be creative with, meditate and then play with it. After meditation you are less judgemental and more likely to go with the flow.

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