CG | Episode 023 - Tracy Verdugo Artist & Author of Paint Mojo on Breaking the Rules and How to Overcome your Fear of Creativity


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Episode Notes Episode 023

Tracy Verdugo Artist & Author of 'Paint Mojo' on Breaking the rules and How to Overcome your Fear of Creativity 

In this episode I speak with Tracy Verdugo, Visual Artist, teacher and Author of the wildly popular book, “Paint Mojo”. For more than 22 years, Tracy has worked with thousands of people around the world - helping them to find their creative freedom. She shares the insights she’s gained over these years including the one main thing she has found, that she thinks is the key to creating amazing art and how giving it to ourselves can carry over into other areas of our lives changing everything about how we live for the better.

We talk about the power of learning how to break the rules to help us overcome fear & anxiety, to gain confidence in our creativity, and Tracy offers us some really practical ideas, insights and suggestions for harnessing and unleashing our creativity that I think you're going to find really useful AND she also tells us some beautiful stories (she has a true poet’s heart).

This is the kind of episode that fills you up with the feeling that you can in fact overcome fear and get your creative juices flowing, and makes you want to get out your tools and materials and get going right away. 

Tracy’s book “Paint Mojo” has over 25,000 copies in circulation - which is no surprise because when you hear her you immediately recognize her as one of those people that just makes you feel like anything's possible when it comes to your creativity. 

My favourite is when she tells us the story of her accidentally wandering into somebody's backyard and Guatemala and the ensuing conversation about creativity that changed her entire perspective on everything. 

Tracy Verdugo has taught over 100 workshops over the world and has a lot of insights to share that go a long way to helping us understand how to overcome the “I can’t” feelings many of us have when it comes to expressing our creative selves.  

tracy verdugo author of paint mojo quote about overcoming fear when it comes to creativity

Things Tracy and I talk about

-The number one thing she learned in over 22 years of teaching over 100 workshops and classes around the world, about what humans need the most when it comes to creativity

-How giving this one thing to ourselves can carry over into our lives and change everything about how we live our lives for the better

-How traveling to Guatemala and meeting indigenous people for whom creativity was woven into every facet of their lives, was a light bulb moment for her in how fractured and silo-ed we have become in the west when it comes to accessing and enjoying this part of ourselves. 

-The yearning we all have to connect with the world of our ancestors and how creativity is the bridge to that can deliver us there

-Her life-changing afternoon on a trip to Oaxaca when she accidentally wandered onto a private family courtyard

-The three things we can stop doing to find our creative freedom 

-The process she underwent to become someone who could allow creativity to move through her and stop creating from her rational mind. 

-The one main thing she has found after decades of teaching and creating art that she thinks is the key to creating amazing art 

-Her secrets for conjuring flow states 

-The most common limiting belief she thinks we are taught that squashes our creativity


ABOUT Tracy Verdugo

Tracy is an inspiration instigator, prolific painter, bestselling author and lover of the written word, smitten traveler and soaker up of all that is beauty-full. She teaches her Paint Mojo and other creative workshops all over this amazing planet and reminds her students of the wonder that already resides within them. Her works are vibrant and filled with joy, inspired both by global travels and the simple beauty of the focused moment.

Since 2000 Tracy has held 18 successful solo exhibitions and her works are held in collections both in Australia and internationally. Mostly though, she is mama bear to two gorgeous, zest-filled daughters, Santana and Cece, and co-adventurer in life with her amor of 34 years, the talented and brilliant Marco.

Tracy Verdugo website | facebook | instagram



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Tracy Verdugo 0:02
So many people feel like they don't have any gifts. They don't have anything to give, or they don't have anything that's worthy or worthwhile. And everybody does, you know, maybe that's what it's fine fellows know that the more of us that actually can connect with creativity and bring something out something new into the world, a better place that will be.

Kate Shepherd 0:39
Hello, there, how are you know, the other day I found myself imagining what kinds of things you get up to while you're listening to the show or you in your studio painting or working on some amazing creative endeavor. Or maybe you're out on a walk or at the grocery store. Or maybe you're on a road trip, I have no idea. But I would love to know. So if you have a minute, send me a DM on Instagram. You can either use at Kate Shepherd creative, or at the creative genius podcast. And I just love to have a visual of what you're getting up to while you listen to these conversations. It was an absolute pleasure to spend an hour or so talking to our next guest. She's someone I'd wanted to speak to since the very beginning of the creative genius podcast. And I'm so happy that it finally lined up for us. Tracy Verdugo is a visual artist who has also been teaching art for over 22 years, she wrote an amazing book called Paint Mojo. And it was wildly popular and rightly so there's over 25,000 copies of this book in circulation. And it really is no surprise when you hear her, you immediately recognize her as one of those people that just makes you feel like anything's possible. So I'm very excited for you to hear what she has to say she shares some really practical ideas, insights and suggestions for harnessing and unleashing our creativity that I think you're gonna find really useful. And she also tells us some really lovely stories. She's got that poet's soul. And my favorite is when she tells us the story of how she accidentally wandered into somebody's backyard on a trip to Guatemala and the ensuing conversation about creativity that she had with that person and how it changed her entire perspective. On on literally everything. And before we get into the interview, I want to share with you a review that came in the other day because it absolutely made my day it was written by somebody called themselves creative resilience. And they wrote Kate Shepherd is beautiful and inspiring podcast is a love letter to creative and those who are but don't yet know it. Case, warmth, insight, and intuitive understanding of just what unlocks creativity makes it easy to see why the creative genius podcast is such a popular podcast, the world needs this ray of sunshine, give it a listen, and you'll be hooked. And I gotta say, there are days when I'm not sure I can keep going. There's so much work to be put into this show. And it really is just me, I don't have a team. I am the team. And when I'm not sure how it's landing for you, I know I can't be sitting beside you and watching your face when you're listening to these conversations. I don't always know if you're nodding along or if you have a tear in your eye or if it's moving you. And so when I get messages like this from you, whether it's in an email or in a review, it really just changes everything for me. So thank you creative resilience for sharing that gorgeous message with me. And if you're hearing this today, and you are thinking that you've been meaning to leave a review, but you just haven't had a chance, please take a moment to head over to Apple podcasts and subscribe and rate and review. Doing these things really does have the power to change my entire week. And it's the field for me to keep going. And they mean the reviews mean more to me than than you might guess. And on that note, if you are enjoying the show, and you want to do something to make sure that I can continue to produce the show, there are a few things you can consider doing you can buy a piece of my artwork from Kate Shepherd Make sure you sign up for my newsletter when I'm there because I do give away an original piece of art to somebody on my newsletter list every single month. It's one of my favorite things to do. I love it. And I'd love for you to be on that list and have that chance you can buy a piece of my jewelry from love morning I have a whole line of nature inspired jewelry that I've been making for about 15 years. And that line of jewelry actually sponsors this show. And so you know when you buy a piece of that jewelry for yourself or as a gift for somebody, you're helping a small business, you're helping support my family and you're helping to support this show so that you and people everywhere can continue to listen to it. All of those things. Any one of those things or doing all of those things will have a huge impact bigger than you might imagine. Without further ado now as you settle in with your cup of tea or your glass of wine or wherever it is that you are listening to the show. Please enjoy my conversation with inspiring gentle, lovely Tracy Verdugo. Welcome Tracy. Hi, how you doing? Good. How are you?

Tracy Verdugo 4:59
Good good to finally get together and chat again.

Kate Shepherd 5:03
I've been looking forward to our time together so much. I'm so glad you're here today.

Tracy Verdugo 5:08
Thank you.

Kate Shepherd 5:09
You're welcome. Thank you for coming. At the beginning of the show, I like to say a few words about why I started this podcast. And it really is because I saw this yearning and people, I saw that it was like this yearning to connect with creativity. But then almost this like paralysis around actually doing anything about it. And so I got for a long time, that made me really sad. And I just kind of lived with that mystery. I'm like, Oh, I wonder why people feel that way. But, but then I got a little curious about it. And what I started to notice was that there's this mountain of limiting beliefs that people have around creativity, everything from what it is, to who has it in them, who can be good at it, who's allowed to use it, who isn't like, what it has to look like, all these things. And there's so many of them. And as soon as we believe one, or any or any combination of them, there's this disconnect that happens, we disconnect with that part of ourselves, which actually is the most magical, sacred, important part of being a human being. And it's actually something we deeply need to function properly. It's our inner GPS, it's our source of inspiration. It's our gut instinct. It's our innovation, intuition. Like all these things come from this place inside of us that we've cut off when we believe these stars. So it just kind of overnight, when I had that realization became my life's mission to do as much as I could to help as many people as I could to remember, what is true about creativity, which is that we all have it in us. And honestly, the more I'm with this work, the more I realize that. And the more I become convinced that learning how to access it. And express it is not only the most important thing we can do in our own individual lives. But I feel like it's the most important thing we can contribute to the world and healing everything that's going on. So I'm really excited to have this conversation with you today. Because I know we share a lot of these, these sorts of feelings and ideas. And I want to get into that in just a second. But before we do that, can you give us just a little so for the person who maybe it's just meeting you today for the first time. Tell us a little bit about who you are, and and what you're all about?

Tracy Verdugo 7:30
Yeah, for sure. So as you can tell from my accent, I'm an Aussie. And I live in a small village of about 1000 people in the beautiful bay called overstay. And it was my husband, we have two cats and two daughters who have both left home. And I've been doing this work for about, well, actually, probably 2022 years. But it started with kids classes. And I ran out of school kids classes for 12 years here in our little backyard, my studio. And that was kind of where I started to realize the importance of creativity and the importance of giving at the time of giving kids a space, to, to not have rules, to think outside the box, and to just have the freedom to kind of express themselves in the way that they wanted to express themselves. And so a lot of what happened during that 12 years of teaching those kids and seeing them develop and seeing them become competent young adults, you know, after like 10 years of coming to these after school art classes made me realize how important it was to be able to express yourself in that way. And not just in terms of making art, but in terms of how it carried over into life, you know, and so a lot of the lessons and they taught me a lot as well, obviously, you know, we learned just as much from our students, and a lot of what I learned from those kids carried over into the work that I'm now doing with adults, predominantly women, but I love it when men join in, you know, it's just it doesn't seem like as many men sign up for these kinds of classes. But there are a few and it's wonderful to have them. But you know, I mostly relate to women with the work that I do. And it's funny, because everything you talked about is exactly how I feel as well. But when I first started the workshops, which I've been doing for 10 years now, I think I've done like 102 workshops and retreats all over the world. So it's pretty, pretty special. But yeah, it took me a while to kind of transition from like, Oh, I'm teaching painting skills to Oh, wow, I'm teaching life skills. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so that's been a gradual awakening for me. Yeah.

Kate Shepherd 9:56
Yeah. I mean, that's kind of dawned on me over about a similar A period of time to Yeah. And I think when you're in it, I don't know if this is the same for you. But I've been an artist my whole life ever since I was teeny tiny. And I think when you're in something, so you don't necessarily realize that the rest of the world isn't in it the same way that you are. And, and that, you know, I forget, and I often don't want to sound like, Oh, I know, something you don't know. But then it's like, well, actually, no, I have to figure out how to share what I know, in a way that's like some people not everybody has, has that has had that relationship with creativity. Be in the in their life in that way? Yeah, yeah.

Tracy Verdugo 10:34
Yeah, well, I actually didn't I just growing up I was, you know, like, we tend to get put in boxes. And it's not anything that, you know, like, I don't feel like my parents did it, you know, in a mean way, or anything there was like my brother was he loved drawing, he just loved sitting and sketching and copying from comics and cartoons and things. And he became really, really good. And he was like, six years younger than me. And I remember, and I was not interested at all, in drawing or anything like that. I was the academic I was the one that got the good marks at school. And I remember once I was about 12, sitting down and thinking, I'm gonna try and do what Jason's doing, I'm going to try and draw a picture. And, of course, you know, having never really done it before, it was like, horrible. But it was like, Oh, well, clearly, he's the one that has the talent. Clearly, he's the one that was born with whatever that magic thing is that you get born with. And it took me a long time to kind of move past that. I went through a whole series of you talked about what people kind of trying to understand what is art, you know, what is creativity. And for maybe in my whole, early 20s, I did a whole bunch of creative things that I didn't consider are, you know, I collected dried flowers and made beautiful arrangements, I love to cook and garden and lots of things with my hands, but not drawing, not painting. And I didn't certainly didn't consider that as creativity. And then it was under them. We went to, I started to travel. And we went to Guatemala, and Mexico. And I saw these cultures where creativity was like an innate part of their everyday life. And they would make these, especially in what the mother, every village has a special wave that they make. And so you know, the fabric that has just fought for their village, and you've got these incredible woven fabrics being made into trousers, and with pillows, women's shirts, and tunics. And the men are out there holding in the fields, you know, in these art pieces that have taken hours and hours to make. And that's life that's, you know, all making or eating their meals from beautifully hand painted bowls. And that's when I kind of realized, well, we've kind of separated this in our culture, we've kind of put that over there and made the artist into some elite group. And the rest of us are not in that group. And it's really to the detriment of, you know, us our society that we've done that. And we've done that not just with art, but with music, with dance, all of those things that our ancestors did, you know, I've been getting into my Celtic ancestry lately. And, you know, like that whole thing about being in an Irish pub and, and everyone sitting around a table singing, like there's a yearning for that.

Kate Shepherd 13:27
Yeah. Yeah, there is there. i My Fit. My mother is Ukrainian. And I never really connected with my Ukrainian heritage. And, you know, there's a lot of reasons why we they were from a, they were fleeing a really terrible situation, my great grandparents. And so when they came to Canada, they were very quick to sort of say, Okay, well, we're here now, and just, let's just be Canadians, and let's just put all that stuff behind us. And so, and I understand that I understand needing to kind of put the pain of the past behind that. But what went with that was all of the amazing like, 1000 year of what you're talking about those those the oral traditions, the, the recipes, the drawings, the symbols, the motifs, the and it dawned on me when this situation emerged in Ukraine, that because I was flooded with emotion of like, I was, you know, poring over, you know, how can I help how can I get involved maybe I can, I started to look at Ukrainian artwork, and I was just weeping realizing like, this stuff has been in me, all my life I've I've yearned without even knowing I was yearning to connect with this, this inheritance, this birthright this alive intelligence and history that's in me, I didn't know. It was like meeting. It was like I was telling somebody that I have not adopted and I have no idea what that would be like, but it felt like being reunited with my birth mother, when you're saying that I really feel like and then to finish Be watching it, you know, it being bombed in it, what's happening? Like there's been a lot of I've been working through a lot of grief around that because it's like being reunited with your birth family, but then also look at the trauma that it's in right now. But when you were saying that about, about these cultures where it's alive still and where people have the permission to connect with it still, I'm curious what your experience was like, and what what do you notice is different about the way people are in their lives? Because I feel like the disconnect we have with creativity and with that intelligence in our culture, Western culture, I say we're glitching I say humanity's glitching. And I mostly mean Western culture, but because we've created this false disconnect between us and this deep, deep intelligence inside of us. And so what what did you notice when where people were closer to it, where people still had kind of permission to there? Is there? Is there any observations? You might?

Tracy Verdugo 15:57
Yeah, I had a beautiful experience in Wahaca, which is in southern Mexico. And we were visiting a little village where they make beautiful hand woven, kind of really surreal animals, you know, like, it might be a half Jaguar half snake, like kind of mythical, mythical figures, and then they hand paint them. And we went into this one, like, the whole village is quite sleepy. And there's one major studio which has become very famous. And then if you walk a little bit down the street, there are these open doorways that lead into courtyard, and you kind of like, Oh, can I go in here, you know, and so I went into one, it was this beautiful shade of garden, and there was a guy sitting there with whittling away with his, with his woods sitting on a little bench. And at the time, we were playing with the idea of maybe doing a, like an online course or, you know, meet me in Wahaca, you know, where we talked about the culture and, and of course, it's sitting in my computer, and we've not done anything with it. But we did some filming. And we did some interviews. And so we asked this man, if we could interview him, and my husband is Mexican American. So I speak a little Spanish, but he translates for me as well. So he did the translating. And I sat with the sky. I was so naive. And I said to him something like, wow, you know, you're sitting there for hours on your little stool, you know, doing this kind of whittling away with your with your wood. I said, Does your back hurts? No, do you get uncomfortable sitting there doing that? And he looked at me like I was just stupid. He said something so profound. And I wish that I knew the exact words. But in essence, what he said to me was, why would I just sit here and do this one thing my life is, you know, he's, I'm out in the fields. Some of the day on my horse, I'm picking the call, and I'm, you know, I'm just out in the sun and having the sun Envelop me. And I'm, so he just talked about the totality of having a life that you know, where creativity was a part of it, but it was connection, not just to your creative energy, but to source and to nature and to. And he said to me, the reason you are so sick, in the West, is because you've disconnected yourself from everything from all of these things. And that was just such a profound and you know, he wasn't a very humble household. His mom and dad were probably in their late 70s, I was sitting in the back, they had this massive bag of corn kernels, that the family had harvested, there was sitting there, picking out the ones, the corn kernels that were good enough to be ground into maize for the human food, and the ones that were to be given to the horses. So they're just a small task. And I just don't know, 50 years together, probably, and doing it sitting there just doing it. Like wow, we really, really, really disconnected ourselves from we don't even know where our food comes from, let alone sorting out. So it's a bigger picture than creativity. But creativity is the intrinsic, intrinsic part of that as well. Yeah. Yeah.

Kate Shepherd 19:08
What do you think is? How are we doing that? So I asked you intentionally I'm asking you how we're doing that rather than why? Because I think why we can get caught up in this, like, you know, we can get very intellectual about it. But when we say how are we doing that it's with the intention of so that we can stop and start to do something else? Like what is the mechanism that we do that? How do we disconnect? How are we disconnecting from creativity? Who do you see with your students when you're near when you're an I'll share an example? Yeah, way that I see it happened. I was teaching a class recently and it was with a wide variety of people from I'd say 20 to 75 or 80. And one of the one of the one of the sets was a mom and daughter and And I didn't, I intentionally don't tell people what we're doing for the first little while, because I don't want I know what happens when I tell you what we're making. It's better if you can just have a minute or two with materials. So we're doing underlayers. And we're doing, you know, we're making marks, and we're just kind of loosening up and playing. And there is something that happens. And at a certain point in the class, I have to say, Okay, we're doing a face or we're doing a cat or we're doing whatever it is we're doing that day. And the minute I tell them what we're doing it I can feel it's like a bully just walked in the room, you could feel the energy shift, and it's like, people are terrified now to get it right. Okay, I better not mess this up. I better not okay. And they went from being like free four year olds who are just splashing around with pay to. So there's, there's a how of how we do that there's one of many outs, but I feel like, we are so scared of somebody, it feels like a somebody. But that isn't really there. They're kind of like, it's like a phantom. Yeah. And I want to, I want to shine some light on it. Because I feel like if we can become a little bit more aware that we're doing that, maybe we can notice, oh, look, I'm doing that thing I do. Or I'm tightening up and I'm trying to there is no bully here. I can keep going with these crayons, or whatever it is.

Tracy Verdugo 21:24
Yeah. Yeah, I think it's so different for each person, although I do see, archetypes pop up, you know. And so when I'm with students, they'll often be the one who needs permission. And so, you know, I had one student in Bali. And I and Michael and I do exactly the same, but I rarely tell them where we're heading. Because I hardly ever know where we're heading myself. I'm just reading the energy of the group, and then depends where we are and what our surroundings are, and then what my painting starts to look like. And then it's like, they don't have to do what I'm doing. And so they're often in a state of like, we have no idea where we're going. But you know, something ends up happening. But as much as I say, your permission to do anything, you have permission to go to do the exact opposite of what I'm telling you, you know, so if I say, let's throw some warm colors on, you know, let's work with some reds, oranges, and yellows. And somebody says, No, screw that. I want to put some blues greens, and I'm like, go you. That's awesome, right? But then there will always be somebody who'd be like, Tracy, is that, okay? If I do this, can I could I could I do a little bit of this? And it's like, I'm pretty sure I've said like, 100 times already today, that it's okay to do whatever you want. But, yeah, there's this fear of like getting it wrong. And so it's about fear of judgment, I guess, fear of being humiliated. And then I see other students, no, you see the ones who don't have that at all. And the freedom they have. I remember one lady cheated in Austin, Texas, and she was probably in her early 60s. And she spent the whole workshop on the ground, one leg outstretched, and the other leg kind of bent underneath and bending over and every so often, she would exclaim, that's so great.

Kate Shepherd 23:25
I love her.

Tracy Verdugo 23:28
And she would just give herself this, like, she was talking to her grandchild or something. And she was talking to herself and giving us that these lovely affirmations. And of course, when she did, everybody looked around and smiled. Like, I could see that they wished, you know, how good would it be if we could all give ourselves that love and that affirmation? And yeah, yeah, so there's different things that come up with different students in different workshops, but a lot of it is around that fear of judgment, not being good enough. Comparing yourself to everybody else, you know, and why do we do that? We're, we're all at different stages of learning. And so you know, there are people in the workshop that have painted for 30 years and people that are absolute beginners. So it's kind of silly that we would go Why is it minus good is

Kate Shepherd 24:17
Yeah, well, I think that is one of the limiting beliefs that we just automatically believe around art, we don't do it with anything else. We we believe we believe that the artist came out that way, you know, whereas the musician you know, had to learn how to play the notes and read the music and and that's okay, because but with the artists there's this like, it's a lie that we but we believe it, it's widespread. It's like you had to know how to draw when most people who are excellent at any of those things if you ask them, they it that is the result of a probably a fairly in depth practice. Yeah, for doing that. I wanted to quickly before I forget, go back to something that you said when you were talking about what happens in the class around, not knowing, often you said you don't often where the painting is taking you. And I want to talk about that for a minute, because I think that that's the magic that creativity is offering us. And we skip over it so quickly, we skip over being led, we skip over, we think the rational we're so used to the rational mind being in charge and driving and running the show that we're we give it the reins, and then we're like, okay, what are you want me to paint today? Oh, a horse. Okay. And where does this guy have to go? Okay, and where should the trigger? We go into the work? Believing we understand. So what? What was the process like for you? To undo that to allow yourself to be somebody who could let yourself be moved by creativity, such that the painting that wanted to happen could happen through you rather than you were? Do you know what I mean, rather than you were doing? Yeah, I remember.

Tracy Verdugo 25:57
Yeah, yeah. Um, it was. So back in 2011, I had an artist called Flora Bali come out, I was she came out to Australia. And I hosted her. And she did a workshop here in Australia. And that was the first time I had actually ever been to a workshop like a two day immersive workshop. And that was also the first time I was introduced to the idea that you didn't have to have an idea before you started painting, that you could have like a conversation with the canvas, and that you could just make marks and that you could see what would come and then you could kind of just have this back and forth, you know, kind of conversation with your work. And then I started to research and lots of other artists who worked in the same way. And it just intrigued me, it's a little bit of a it's funny thing, because it's a little bit of a love hate relationship. Because sometimes I don't want to work that way. Sometimes I want something that's safe, that's secure, I want to go back to something I know how to do in, for example, my little lies and wonky owls that I make love making them. But there's a certain process that I follow. And it's not, there's no uncertainty in it. So it's like, sometimes I crave some certainty. And then other times, I'm happy to kind of go into the, the abyss of possibility. And so I guess it just depends on where I'm at, also in my life, but when I'm teaching, I'm really I don't know that I love to be in that space when I'm teaching. And I even find myself challenging myself, because I know that I'm putting my students in the space of not knowing what's going on. And so I can't become too comfortable or have you know, you know, too many ideas myself, I want to kind of be in the same space, as they are discovery and possibility. And so often I'll do something like that painting will be coming along and it will be looking like it's birds or something, you know, something is coming out. And then I'll say, You know what, I'm just gonna turn this upside down and see what I can see and what else that might become. And it might become an underwater scene with fish everywhere, or, you know, I think people love to see that they love to see that you don't have to be stuck with the thing that is there, that there's always a way to kind of change it up and that it's okay to do that. So, I don't know, I just think it's been a gradual process for me is becoming comfortable with that. And still I'm not always comfortable with it. Does that make sense?

Kate Shepherd 28:43
Oh, totally. Yeah. And I think I mean, as you were saying that I was thinking well you know, some days you want to be at home in your pajamas and in your comfortable you need a day to just relax and rest and like your owls feel like that to me it's like this old friend this comfortable place where you you don't have to because it's all you know when creativity is moving for you it can be intense it can be you know it can ask you to look at things you haven't seen before it can it's work I mean we there's a reason we call it work and and I feel like it's okay to have those places where where you rest this episode of creative genius is brought to you by mourning Moon nature jewelry, instantly familiar yet unlike anything you've ever owned. This extraordinary handcrafted heirloom jewelry is famous for its incredible detail of actual textures from nature, get 15% off your first order and feel the Wonder use coupon code creative genius, at love morning When when you're in that space of uncertainty and unknowing and tell me if this is true for you or not. I feel like there are certain paintings that exist already and it's just my job to write bring them in, or whatever it is that I'm bringing in conversation shunts even I mean, it's all like that anything that you create can be a part of that. What does it feel like for you to listen to what's trying to happen? Like, what does it use to communicate with you? Because it, it we. And I feel like for the person who's listening to this who's like getting into art of making things, it's not a rational mind thing. It's not like you get this idea that has a square shape that like you can. It's we have to cultivate and the, our practice can help us cultivate these alternative listening devices within our being to get these met. So what are yours? What are they? How does that stuff come to you?

Tracy Verdugo 30:40
I think sometimes it's just about momentum, and movement and actually getting out there and starting to move your body and move the pain around. Because I find that I can, especially the last year or so I can feel blocked, I can feel like I've been working quite small, and kind of taking just small amounts of time getting out there and doing small works on paper. And I have like 25 canvases out there that are all in various, you know, stages that have been sitting there for a long time. And the longer I left it, the more kind of scary it became to go back to them the more I over analyze, and over thought and sat and looked and turned and, you know, just became kind of overwhelmed with what I might do. And my daughter then our eldest daughter, Santana, she had an old painting that I did for her of a dear, which was a quick, quick painting I did years ago. And she said her Mom, do you think you could do something else on this? I'm kind of past that. And I wasn't attached to it at all right? And she had she had it in their studio, which is an Airbnb and, and so she wanted something a little bit abstract. And sure, that's fine. They're all good. And so I got a little bit excited, you know, like, what kind of clothes Shall we do? And you know, what do you like that kind of underwater feel, you know. And so I took me to space, cleared the space, put that huge canvas on my table, started to work that day on it felt just an exhilaration as I as I started to move through it, I wasn't overthinking anything I wasn't trying to, I wasn't worried about what was going to happen. It just felt like once I started moving the paint around that it was just a natural thing for me to do. And then as one layer dried, I pulled out one of those other canvases that had been in a state of AI and started to work on that the same flow and the same field. I went through about four or five canvases that day, adding things that felt good. And that felt right. And I was I was in that flow, you know, and it doesn't happen all the time. Like, I wish that it happened more, and I intend for it to happen more. But I'm just not there at the moment. Like I'm spending a lot of time doing other things. But yeah, when it happens, it feels like freedom feels like connection and freedom and belonging. And there's no anxiety. Yeah, it feels good.

Kate Shepherd 33:18
Could you i This is something I asked everybody and I and in one way or another and I think it's fascinating because we all have a different relationship with it. But flow states like how do you can you and there's almost like two camps? Like do you feel like you can conjure them? Or do you feel like you're just sort of like, open and like, better be there when they're ready? Because I think it was the Canadian poet. I forget her name. But maybe it was Mary Oliver. I don't know. But it talks about poetry. Like she used to be like hanging her laundry up on the line. And she could see them coming across the field at her and she thinks oh god, I better go get a pencil. Because if I miss this, I she had enough experience knowing that when you miss it, you just miss it. And you miss that amazing. Yeah, but so what's your experience with the Kenyan? Are there things we can do to increase our chances of bumping into that space?

Tracy Verdugo 34:10
Or org? Surely, sure. They're all I'm not showing there. Yeah, I tend to be a little. My youngest daughter has joked with me this year that that I might need to get tested for ADHD as more and more women to understand to come out and find that they have those tendencies. And so I definitely tend to flit from one thing to another, rather than focusing in on always kind of half finishing a job and then moving on to the next thing, the next thing, the next thing. And so, I think, you know, for me, it's always my husband is the meditator of 30 years every morning, you know, and like, everything would be better if you just meditated your health would be better everything. Just really hot.

Kate Shepherd 35:00
But He's not wrong.

Tracy Verdugo 35:02
He's not wrong at all, you know, and so but I can manage like five minutes of maybe two minutes of actually no thoughts before that level and kind of popped in. So my meditation is, yeah, when I can get into that flow state when I'm painting, when I'm walking in nature when I'm in the ocean, all of those things. And for me, it doesn't feel like something that is coming. It feels like something I have to pursue. Yeah. Yeah, I don't doubt that there are people who have, you know, managed to get to a space where they can have it kind of just as an integral part of your life.

Kate Shepherd 35:41
And I think everybody has their own, like creativity is, and the way it moves in each person seems to be so unique to that particular body, right, like, and so of course, it's gonna have a different rhythm and cadence. And, you know, as you're saying that about ADHD and flitting from thing to thing, it, I might have just had this epiphany in that moment. Because I've, I've talked to quite a few people who talk about being ADHD and being an artist and, and then I was just kind of had this flashback to your artist who was on the bench, on his stool carving, the guy that you just told us about it a minute ago, and how you said, you know, how he told you? Well, you know, I'm not just sitting here all day doing this, I'm on my horse, I'm in the field, I'm doing it. Isn't that a little bit of that? I mean, isn't that wisdom. I mean, I feel like we're kind of the people who talk about ADHD and not being able to focus on one thing, as a bad thing. I'm starting to see that actually, it may be a part of the creative genius that, you know, I was taught in school in art school. When I that when you're working on a painting, if you focus on one part for too long, now, this was like sort of more like landscape kind of like intentional, whatever realistic things. If you focus on one part, you're not going to have a balanced composition, because you're going to be then the next day you can, you're going to come back to the studio, and you're gonna be in a different house, because a whole thing you'd be like, Yeah, so my teacher would say, you know, do a little, like, work a little bit on everything every day, rather than on one little corner every day. And I feel like it's kind of the same. So this whole story we have that it's, you know, that we should shame people who don't focus on things. Let's get rid of that. Because actually, I think it's deep wisdom to be moving around. from thing to thing.

Tracy Verdugo 37:28
Yeah. But then again, you know, what you're saying about role different? I just don't think there's any one way to be, but I shouldn't shame each other. Right? You know, so for example, my husband is a musician. And he, we're opposites in so many ways. And he's the ultimate focus in and do the task that you're working on. And he could, you know, like, we used to make music together, I sing as well. But it just didn't, it wasn't fun after a while, because we just work in such different ways, you know, and so he would want like, 30 takes of the same thing. And I'd be like, Oh, God, I got it. Right. The second time. I know, the second one was the one and I'm so sick of doing this. Like, really? You want me to do it again? He'd be like, what's the problem? Like, why? We're just gonna get it right, you know, we're gonna get it perfect. And so he can spend hours and hours on the one task without it being a bother to him. But for me, that's like, how we just different?

Kate Shepherd 38:28
Yeah, and we talked about that in another show. Because I've been thinking a lot about archetypes, too, lately, and how I feel like there's, I mean, for me, I'm more of like the adventurer, I want to try a little bit of everything. I want to do watercolor and I want to weave and I want to do textiles, and Ooh, there's silk over there. What happens if I learn how to dye silk tomorrow? And like, you know, I want to do everything. And that's my nature. I have to I have to expect I want to experience as much of life as I possibly can through my hands. And but then, and then there's the master who's like, No, I'm in love with this one thing, and I'm going to dedicate my life to it. And I'm going to, and thank goodness we have both because it would be so boring. If if we Yeah,

Tracy Verdugo 39:11
yeah, absolutely.

Kate Shepherd 39:16
What do you think I want to talk a little bit about what you have noticed with your students around the sort of the most common limiting belief like if you had to put a name on it, what do you think people like is that what is the most common thing that we're telling ourselves?

Tracy Verdugo 39:35
Probably, that there is a right way to do this. Yeah. And that I'm that I'm really scared that I'm not going to be able to do it in the right way. Or that I even know what the right way is. Probably around rules and and we are taught that without you know, we're taught that there are rules. But I just feel like But I feel like if we can just open ourselves up to the possibility that actually in our gut, in our intuition, we know what those rules are. Like, we know what a balanced composition feels like we know where to put often do something when I'm teaching where it's like, okay, if I'm going to place three colors on the canvas to start with, you know, and I'm just going to start with something simple, like we'll do a big shape and medium shape and a small shape, all in the same color. And so I'll do the big shape down here on the bottom, I'll do the medium shape over here. And then I'll just say to them, tell me where the small shape should go in this color. And everybody will point up to the top right corner just a little bit to let you know, they'll know where it should go, if they just know. And so, yeah, if we can just get out of our own way. overanalyze overanalyzing everything I used to talk about left brain and right brain, but apparently, that is so much new research now that everything we've been taught with regards to that is not is not correct. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. So I just want to learn a little bit more about that before I even say it again. But it's much more of a cohesive collective thing, I think. Yeah, right.

Kate Shepherd 41:20
But I love that we're discovering that, as there's also this sort of, I think you've talked about it. And I want I want to talk about your book a little bit in a minute here. Because that that is such a beautiful book. And I'm so glad that it. Thank you for writing it. As we're because you talk in the book about you feel like we're on the I don't know if use the word precipice, but you feel like we're kind of on the verge, I think you said, have a great remembering. And I feel like that kind of pairs with that. Because I mean, in my words, I would say that that great remembering is about unifying the right brain, the left brain, what we used to call the right brain, left brain, whatever that is, the rational mind versus the more creative mind. Yeah. And I think we have divorced them. And we've disconnected ourselves from one which is what's causing us all this pain and suffering. And so I love that neuroscience is also like, Oh, yes, by the way,

Tracy Verdugo 42:11
that Yeah, absolutely. This is the thing like this excited me probably excited me the most for the last 30 years is this whole, you know, as I've been on my own spiritual journey, this whole coming together of science and spirituality, you know, as quantum science kind of emerged in like, Whoa, this is what the old sages was saying, 1000s of years ago, and just, it's just such an exciting time to be in, you know, and, and also, like, not just the left brain, the right brain, we're learning about the gut brain, and the heart brain. And you know, and that we are, what's the word? It's I can't remember the word now. But, you know, we're talking about not just the microbiome, but the fact that we are a collective bacteria, viruses, just everything that makes us up. There. Were a whole community of organisms that are all interacting and communicating with each other. It's very mind blowing to think about.

Kate Shepherd 43:14
Yeah, we're so much more on every level. We're so much more than we maybe originally thought. Yeah, yeah. I often feel like creativity is Bossa for me, it feels like a living, breathing intelligence. It's a presence that I can feel in the room with me. It's it's formless, but it it, it, we can't talk about it. We can't, we can't name it properly. But if it's a thing, it's a thing. Let's just say it's a thing, for lack of a better term. And it's trying to get our attention. And it's putting a lot of effort into getting our attention, you know, all the little whispers go play with that color. Or you want to learn how to do this or you want to go and big fat or you want to write this thing or like it's putting all it's planting all these things inside of us. Yeah, yeah. And I feel like I kind of want to know what it's trying to show us. It feels like it's trying to tell us something and it's trying to show us something or take us somewhere or what do you what do you think? If it could have a voice with words, what do you think it would say to us?

Tracy Verdugo 44:30
Just what came into my head, just then as you said that was that the world is ripe with possibility. And you were talking about planting the seeds. And so then it is about creation and co creation and what we the gifts that we can put out into the world. In lots of different ways. I think so many people feel like they don't have any gifts. They don't have anything to give or they don't have any Anything that's worthy or worthwhile. And everybody does, you know, maybe that's what it's trying to tell us, you know that the more of us that actually can connect with our creativity and bring something out something new into the world, the better the place that will be. I think I talked about this in my book, lady, it was a story on Oprah years ago. And it was a woman that had been a singer and had been on Broadway. And, you know, she had gotten work for many years, but she never quite hit, hit where she wanted to be. She'd never become famous. She just made, made do and she paid the bills. But she was now like, in her 60s, and she realized she was never going to be at the level she wanted to be out with that Korea. And she started to volunteer in a hospital in the, in the maternity ward, with babies who were born prac addicted and drug addicted. And she would sit there and hold them and sing to them. And she realized that, that, if that she was putting into the world, through her voice in those moments was the most important work that she had ever done. And that more than any thing that she could have ever pursued, right? It just hit me like, wow, you know, like, those kinds of I need to reframe. And yeah, we all have something that we can put out there that can do something good.

Kate Shepherd 46:40
Oh, that's beautiful story. Yeah, and I'm just imagining, I mean, it, what it brings up for me is that even in our interpretation of our gifts, we have to watch how our rational mind wants to get involved. You know, because for her, for her, she had this gift, and it's this beautiful thing, and it was soothing and healing and loving and nurturing. And, and but there's something in her mind that was like, Okay, you better, you know, operationalize this and make it into your get famous and do the, it has to be big. And it has to be because that's, you know, we're, it's the knee jerk reaction in the culture that we're in, right is like you have to now but can we slow down even with how we're listening to how we should be or not should be, but how we can be like what this gift could be doing? That's so beautiful. What a beautiful story. Yeah.

Tracy Verdugo 47:30
And it's, um, you know, and that's, that's another thing that comes up with students as well. It's like, a lot of people are like, Why am I painting? Like, if I don't want it to be a career, or I don't want to make money out of it? Or they try and then middle and sell. And then they're like, What am I going to do with all of these paintings? No, right? Well, maybe we just recognize the value of just painting for the painter for the same canvas all the time, if you wanted to, maybe we just recognize the value, putting it out there. And just doing whatever it is that's coming through us, you know, and I often have several canvases in my studio, that are just like play canvases that don't ever have to have a resolution that I can just pull out and just add some marks to and, and sometimes just something great happens. Like, oh, wow, look at that. That's actually really good. You know, I'll stop on that one now. Actually, we're working on putting a thing on YouTube. Very soon, it was a 30 day process that I did of painting on the same canvas. And so we'll be putting that up in a few weeks. And just showing each segment of what it was like each day and painting over some days, you know, you ended up with something that was like, that's pretty good. I'm only on day 10. You know, can I really? Can I really do something and paint over this tomorrow? And I would you know, and you did that you did over? Yeah.

Kate Shepherd 48:51
What's that? Like for you when that happens?

Tracy Verdugo 48:55
When you get what's the second time I've done this challenge now. And my friend Judy wives did it back in 2016. And so I did it. She inspired me to do it. And I blogged about it. And it was equal parts exciting, scary. Like, but it was also just so transformative. Because it made me realize that no matter what's happening on my canvas, I have somewhere else I can go with it. You know, so mostly in the bad parts and the ugly parts, you know that it's like it's okay. I'll come back tomorrow and okay, what is so ugly about it right now? Well, it's too dark. It's got all of this. Okay, bring some light in. Without worrying about where it's gonna go. Let's go with some lemon yellow. And let's grab a stencil or do some marks or just, you know, add some things in with lemon yellow and just see what it looks like then and you look at and you're like, Well, okay, that just solved the problem of, it's too dark. Now when I look at it now, what is it? Oh, maybe it's, the energy's a little too scribbly oh, what can You do to kind of counteract that? Well, let's bring some calm and what can be Tom oh, maybe I'll just drip some white ink over and just spray it into stuff in some areas No. And so just piecemealing in, like, what? What are the problems and then coming in and going, let's just pick one, one thing, and just solve that little one problem. And then we'll look at it again, you know. And I think that's another thing that that I find often is that we tend to want to think ahead to the nth degree. And so I always talk about, you know, just find the one thing that's bothering you about your Canvas right now, and then just decide what is the next move I'm going to make? Because often students will say, walk around the room, and they'll say, All right, so I think I'm going to do this. And that's bothering me over there. So once I do that, then I'll add that in, and then I'm going to do this. And then I think I might do some stenciling. And, and they'll have a list of 15 things that they're going to do. I'm like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Because when you do the next one thing, it becomes a different painting. Yeah. So maybe step two, step three, step four won't even work anymore, because it's now a different painting every single move that you make. So that's about the slowing down. And just looking and seeing, what does it need, you know, having that conversation.

Kate Shepherd 51:22
And I love that as a metaphor for our lives, because I feel like creativity is trying to show us through that. That whole dance like this is you can't live your life that way. Either. You can't plan it all out and hold on to every detail and save this over here. And you can't be too precious about it, you have to respond in each moment with what that moment needs and trust that then the next thing will happen, and the next thing will happen. And and so when you were saying like what's your work, students have this question about? What do I do with it? Like you don't? That's not the point. The point is to have the muscle memory around trusting building that trust with yourself and also the universe that it has your back. Right, that it's there will be another thing that something else will come and that it's not all going to be over just because you painted over that little corner that you used or

Tracy Verdugo 52:08
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah, that's a hard one, isn't it? You know, when people lose something beautiful. And then they think that they're never going to find that, again, you know, that's the whole thing about art as a metaphor for life. That was a really massive just analysis, you know, and often when things come up, it does end up being in especially with Lauren retreat, and we have like, some circle time, and, and it does come up all the time. But something that came up for somebody while they're a painting is actually the theme of something that they're dealing with big time in their life, you know? Yeah, yeah.

Kate Shepherd 52:50
Yeah. It's so nice and so loving. And it's almost like it's just there all the time, waiting to show us exactly what we need to see. Yeah, I'm, I'm often amazed. I have this little bowl as a wooden bowl, and it's carved out of wood and the shape of a heart. And I have my little angel cards. in it. I have a little deck of angel cards. And before every show, I started this at the very beginning. I don't know why I just did it one day, I pulled a card for to bless that conversation to sort of because I was pulling in creativity. It's not because I'm an artist, I'm not a I'm not a my podcaster or broadcaster, or, like I just never imagined that this. This was me saying yes to creativity to in its own way. And I just thought it was amazing. When I pulled when I when I started to pull these words how perfect they were it was almost like, Yeah, I used to be like, Oh, it's amazing. Now I'm like, well, it's creativity is here. I called it narratives. And so the word I pulled for our conversation today was faith. Hello, yeah. Yeah. And so I wondered, well, how does faith show up in your creativity? How does faith show up in your in you as

Tracy Verdugo 54:04
well? You use the word trust a moment ago, and I'm going to put both of those together, you know, is that having faith in the process or trusting in the process to me is kind of the same. The same thing? Yeah. And so that, and I know, it's kind of easier, and I do talk about this a lot is, it's easier, the more work that you do, obviously, because the more practice you put in, the more times you're able to rescue something or to find a way through or to learn a new technique that that will help you, you know, move past a certain stuck point. And so it's not for me just about like, oh, just believe it and it will happen. Certain amount of practice that you have to put in as well and it gets easier the more that you do. But yeah, the more that you do the work and the more or the more trust you can have in the process that it's actually going to turn out. Okay, or even if it doesn't, that it was a valuable learning tool, you know that. I think that's been a really important thing to learn, as well as that even when things don't happen the way you want them to happen, there's always a gift. In it, there's always something that, you know, that comes from that. Yeah. Again, I'm going back and forth in my head between creativity and life. Right. Right. Yeah. When I'm painting, but oh, wait a minute. Yeah. There's also this period of ill health that I've had the last year, you know, it's like, that's also been a lot. That's not what I wanted. But it sure has been some lessons in that, you know, and so I think we're gonna be open. Open to that. I don't know if I'm, if I'm answering your question.

Kate Shepherd 55:56
Absolutely. You know, yeah, absolutely. You did? Absolutely did. I cannot believe that. We're at the bottom of the hour already with our conversations. I just like I really feel like I do for granted. I want to know, if you would do us a couple of things. Will you tell us? For somebody for the for the person who has not seen your book, paint module yet? Will you tell us a little bit like describe it, and you're kind of, in a nutshell, what it is so that people can go out and get that book. It's a I feel like it would change your life. If you got this book, like it's, it's a beautiful, lovely, wonderful adventure of a book. So but I'll let you say, your own words.

Tracy Verdugo 56:34
Totally, you know, it's funny, because you just said that you're not a podcasting, but you're like a natural. And I always wanted to write a book. But I also thought, I'm not an author, you know, I can't, I can't light like this person, or that person, or my favorite, my favorite authors. But I just knew that I had something a book in me that wanted to be born. And so when I first started teaching these workshops, it was actually I think, my very first three day workshop, I was called sacred marks. And there was one of my students there, who was an editor for Northlight books, which was one of the biggest kind of arts and crafts book publishers in the US is since has gone bankrupt and bought out by Penguin, Random House, but at the time, it was like the one but you know, if you wanted to write a book that was in that genre, you would approach them. And she loved the workshop so much. And she said to me, if you ever want to write a book, and so she's like, I'll help you put a book proposal together to put forward to the people there. And so we went through a few different ideas. My first idea was creative, wanderlust. I wanted to do something about travel and creativity and an even like, not having to, she said, maybe that's to be shutting some people out. And people that can't travel. I'm like, Yeah, but what about even just traveling around your own neighborhood and finding inspiration there, you know, that kind of thing, anyway, was like a good idea, but she didn't think it was gonna be the one. And then finally, I kind of said to her, what if I just took everything from the three day workshop that I just taught, and kind of pulled it, pulled out the threads of it, and made each thread you know, into a chapter and she's like, I love that idea. That would be awesome. And then I was really scared to do it on my own, I thought I'm gonna invite some other, some other artists to collaborate with me. So this is really how it unfolded, you know, it's like, I got to write this whole book by myself. And so I invited I think it was like, 16 other aspects. And I gave each one a chapter that, you know, I think I started asking them, which one resonates with you, and it just kind of came together. And so in the end, you know, each chapter ended up being a personal story, that kind of spoke to the theme of the chapter. And then another artist who also could speak on that, and then two different kinds of demonstrations or techniques or kind of tutorials in the chapters as well. And so it's a lovely blend of like, life, and imagery and tutorials and collective kind of collaboration community. And I just was so proud of, of how it came out, you know, and I think there's like, maybe 25,000 copies out there in the world. Now, which makes me feel like, you know, so, like, just blown away. Really? Wow, crazy. I still when somebody sends me a picture of my book in a bookstore, I'm like, because I don't see it here in Australia, because just with the with the dollar exchange, it hasn't really been feasible for people to pick it up and sell it here in bookstores in Australia, because it would end up being like 60 $70 and you can get online for like 80 or something like that, you know, so I don't really see it here. So in a way it doesn't feel real, but I know it's out there. are in the world doing it.

Kate Shepherd 1:00:01
There's one of those is right here on my desk. Beautiful book. And when you said that, that you didn't think of your stuff, I was like, every time I sit down with this book, I kind of shake my head a little bit going. Like to be able to write like that you're you have such a way with words. And so yeah, for everybody listening, we will put links up to that in the show notes. Thank you Your episode page that people can find their way to that book. What else are you working on? Now? Is there anything else you want us to know about? Where do you want us to go and check out what you're doing?

Tracy Verdugo 1:00:31
Yeah, look, I'm just working on a couple of new upcoming online classes. And so one is like, I have a big class out called base destination that is, you know, it's kind of a, it's kind of extensive. And so it's a little bit of an investment. But we're working on like a mini thesis class, because so many people are terrified of painting and drawing faces, it's like, next level field, you know, and so we're gonna work on a little mini class that won't cost very much at all that I can really put out there and help people to overcome that fear. So we'll be doing that, we'll be doing that in May, and probably releasing it like July, something like that. And then I just have a newsletter that I send out every week, which is more like a, like a personal, like, a personal Hello, and what's going on in the world, what's going on in my life. And so like, for example, this week, I talked about my interest in finding out about my heritage and dyeing my hair red. And, and I it's such a beautiful community, like I've already received, like 150 emails back from people who have discovered things with their own, you know, ancestry and that type of thing. So that you can sign up for my newsletter on my website, which is just Tracy do gooder calm? Yeah, look, that's that's about it right now. And I'm just trying to get out into my studio. A little bit more, as well. Yeah, yeah, I

Kate Shepherd 1:01:47
was the balance of trying to find time for the studio. I find anyway, the more or I do, yeah. Good. Well, we'll put we'll put, make sure that we put notes up for everything so that everybody can find all the things you talked about. And then I have one last question that everybody gets asked. It's the billboard question. And so I'll say it again, here for you. Now, it's if you had a billboard that every person in the world who had this longing, who wish that they could feel the things we're talking about, but for whatever reason, just has this idea that well, I, I don't have that in me, or I don't have as much of it in me as you do, or whatever. There's a block between me and that. But they would see this billboard from you. And your words would reach them. What would you put on your billboard?

Tracy Verdugo 1:02:39
Yeah, I have this already made this kind of poster. And every time I put it out, it just resonates with so many people. And it's just to not, don't be afraid to be bad at something new. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thank

Kate Shepherd 1:02:57
you for coming today. I just love you so much.

Tracy Verdugo 1:03:00
I love you too. Yeah, thank you.

Kate Shepherd 1:03:07
How many times have we heard a guest on our show tell us that they weren't the, quote, creative one in their family growing up. And didn't, they just become the ones who ended up shining, the brightest. I think there's a lot to be said for that. You know, I think we deal with a lot of other people's projections as we come into this world. And it's often not until we're in our 30s, or 40s, or 50s, or even later, when we are inspired, and empowered enough to really claim who we are, and be brave enough to allow ourselves to really express those things in the world. And I love how Tracy's work in the world, through her writing and her workshops, and just her presence is all about empowering people to claim that for themselves and let themselves shine. And I really did love that story that she shared with us about that exchange she had with that man in Guatemala, you know our, that his take on why Western culture is glitching being that we've forgotten the importance of weaving creativity into all the facets of our lives, I feel like that was just so bang on. We separate everything into these silos or containers and we sort of collectively forget how to look at creativity as a lens through which we can see everything and instead we sort of think of it as like that is a part of our my life over there that I do sometimes. I still feel like I have stories that I need to undo when it comes to that. When she talks about how the farmers out in the fields are wearing these beautiful embroidered woven garments. I have to say there was a part of me that was like no, no save that. Save that beautiful thing. Let them wear a t shirt. And I caught myself thinking that and realizing that's actually part of it. You know, don't save the beautiful things. Don't save, making beauty or creating beauty or enjoying beauty for a certain part of your day. weave it in everywhere. weave it into when you're out in the garden, getting dirty, where you're beautiful and painted shirt while you're in the studio, getting more paint all over yourself, really live in the beauty. I think that's what Tracy really is trying to say is live in the beauty live in the freedom of the expression. I'd love to know what your thoughts were on this episode, I'd love to know if there was something in particular that Tracy or I said, that was an aha moment for you. And so if there was head over to Instagram at Kate Shepherd creative, or at the creative genius podcast, or you can go to Kate Shepherd And there's a Contact page there, you can send me a message. And while you're over on Kate Shepherd If you want to see the show notes for Tracy's episode, which includes all the resources that we used, in this episode, a full transcript of our conversation, links to her books, pictures of her work, that kind of thing. Head over to the blog on Kate Shepherd And all of that juicy stuff will be there. Thank you for joining us today. There's somebody you'd really love to hear on the show, get in touch, let me know. And tell them to send them a little message about the show and ask them if it's something they'd like to do. Take good care of yourself, and be in the beauty today. Make sure you're signed up for my newsletter. I pick a random person from my email list once every month and send them an original piece of my artwork. It's one of my favorite things to do. It takes a lot to put together the show. Please consider supporting me to do it. You can visit Genius podcast to find out more. And please keep my jewelry or paintings and especially gratitude birds which keeps selling out in mind. Next time you're looking for a treat for yourself or for a loved one. You can find everything I've mentioned on Kate Shepherd Thank you for being here, for opening your heart and for listening. My wish and intention for the show is that it reach into your heart and stir the beautiful thing that lives in there. May you find and unleash your creative genius



  • Jade

    I loved this! I have been following Tracy for a few years. My Friday painting buddy, Cindy has been to her retreats.
    You both speak so calmly. I love listening to you both.
    I really resonated when Tracy was talking about teaching kids which is part of what I do too. I just made a video this week talking about why I love working with kids, next week it will be adults. It is not just the art, it is so much more. Offering them a space to have creative freedom, be themselves without inhibitions, be in a nurturing space which they may not get at school. I have the best job in the world.
    I loved the part where she was talking about the adults needing permission. I hear that all the time too and I think it is really sad that we have had the magic of creativity, the importance of connecting to it drummed out of us.
    I really do love your podcast and the fabulous people you have on.
    I could listen to you all day.
    Thank you!

  • Colleen

    I listened to your podcast for the very first time. I have taken a number of classes online with Tracy and find her inspiring. I have many of the same experiences ( not the creative child in the family, a flower designer, writer….) so it’s interesting to see how art in the more traditional sense came to her. I enjoyed your questions and listening to the easy flow of conversation as I painted. I’ll be listening again!

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