Embracing the Soft, Quiet Inner Voice: A Journey of Creativity and Connection

Patreon Bonus Episode #47 is out now. And I thought I would share some of what I talk about inside it so that you could get a sense of what these bonus episodes are all about. 
While the Colourful Community Tier is the one that includes the access to my LIVE VIRTUAL Workshops, ALL LEVELS of my Patreon include these bonus episodes and extras like guided mediations and worksheets. It is a beautiful membership and I think you'd find great value in it. I hope you sign up. 

Embracing the Soft, Quiet Voice: A Journey of Creativity & Connection

The past year had been quite challenging for me, as you might know. There have been ups and downs, but it hasn't been the easiest ride. Last January, I contracted COVID-19, and I swear I never fully bounced back from it. It pushed me into a bit of a depressive state, making everything seem tough. During a recent walk with a friend, I was explaining how I felt, and she casually said, "Oh, you're languishing."
That word hit me like a ton of bricks. It perfectly described the feeling I'd been wrestling with – life feeling hard, but also a strange sense of surrender to it. Have you ever experienced this, where everything just feels challenging, yet somehow, it's okay?

Distinguishing Between Creative and Artistic Practice

Lately, I've been delving deeper into my artistic practice. You see, I've always had a creative side, but there's a distinction between creativity and artistry that we don't often discuss. My creative practice involves intuition, meditation, and free-flowing exploration – like the work I've been doing in my workshops, which I'll get to in a moment. It's all about playing with colours, painting, and embracing my intuitive side.
On the other hand, my artistic practice is more structured. It's about learning specific skills, such as my recent endeavour to learn portraiture. I've been taking courses, practicing rigorously, and truly immersing myself in the world of art. It's about honing a craft, like learning to play the piano or, in my case, striving to become proficient in portraiture.

Discovering the Grumpy Wet Owls

One night, in the first days after we lost my beloved Step Mother, Nikki, while  was back in my home town up late with my father at his house, remembering her with stories, something delightful happened. He told me how the two of them would share funny memes, one of which involved a picture of a wet owl. We couldn't stop laughing as we googled images of wet owls, and that laughter was much-needed during those first days after we lost our Nikki. It was then that I decided I wanted to paint a grumpy wet owl for my father. It would be a surprise gift to keep him company and bring a smile to his face, as he was alone in his house in Ottawa.
I named the first owl "Steve," and you can see his portrait on my website. The original Steve now resides with my father, serving as a source of comfort and laughter. The entire experience was magical, and I was hooked, soon I created more owls like Rick and Clyde, each with its own unique personality.

The Pitfall of High Expectations

Whenever creative momentum builds, it's easy to get carried away. Suddenly, you're convinced that you've found your calling, your niche – the thing you're destined to be great at. I rushed out to buy ten more canvases, prepped them diligently with gesso, and geared up for a creative marathon. But then, I hit a wall.
The pressure I put on myself to produce these owls on demand was suffocating. What had started as playful and enjoyable had turned into a demanding obligation. It felt like I'd lost the joy in the process, and I was stuck. And now I was grumpy. 

Navigating Creative Overwhelm

Simultaneously, I have been taking a portraiture course, which has been incredibly enriching but also stretching me in ways that take a lot out of me. Yesterday, I yearned to spend time in my studio, but the entire day slipped by, and I couldn't bring myself to go in. Then, today, when I finally entered the studio, I was greeted by my black and white self-portrait in progress – and it was a disaster.
You know that feeling when you've worked on something for too long, step away at the wrong moment, and return to realize you've messed it up? That's exactly what happened with my portrait. Frustration washed over me, and I was grumpy. It was a sunny day, I had set aside the morning for art, and I had a full two hours ahead of me. Yet, I was grumpy and unenthusiastic.

The Moment of Clarity and Surrender

Amidst the frustration, something extraordinary occurred. I closed my iPad, took a deep breath, and had an epiphany. A simple question arose within me: "What would be fun right now?" It was a gentle reminder that creativity should be enjoyable, not forced.
listened to this inner voice, and it guided me towards working on backgrounds for my poppy paintings. These vibrant, colourful pieces had been put on the backburner in favour of my other endeavours, but now they beckoned to me.

Embracing the Soft, Quiet Voice

What I find truly remarkable is my ability to recognize and embrace the soft, quiet voice within me. I didn't always have this. I have worked hard to understand how it works and to cultivate it.
That quiet voice doesn't clamour for attention; rather it patiently waits for an invitation to speak. It's the voice of intuition, wisdom, and the source of authentic creativity.
I've learned that forcing creativity rarely leads to meaningful work. Instead, I've allowed myself to be guided by what feels enjoyable and fulfilling in the moment, ultimately leading me back to the joy of creating poppy paintings.

Sharing the Gift: The "Activating Intuition and Creativity" Workshop

I didn't always have this ability, it is something I have had to work hard to learn how to see and feel and use with intention. Doing this work has and is having such a profound impact on my life that I feel compelled to share what I have learned with others. I created a workshop called "Activating Intuition and Creativity," drawing from my years of experience in connecting with my inner voice. This workshop has brought profound shifts and epiphanies to everyone who I have ever delivered it to. 
I encourage anyone with a passion for writing, whether it's journals, novels, memoirs, or grant proposals, to explore their inner creativity through this workshop. It's an opportunity to connect with the soft, quiet voice that holds the answers to our deepest truths. It will change your life. 

A Conversation with Martha Anne Toll: Persistence and Passion in Writing

In the next episode of the Creative Genius Podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing Martha Anne Toll an accomplished author whose journey is a testament to the power of persistence and passion in the world of writing. Despite facing rejection after rejection, she kept writing because she loved it.
Martha's story serves as an inspiration for all of us, reminding us that success often comes after years of dedication and commitment to our craft.

Embrace Your Soft, Quiet Voice

In a world that often demands constant productivity and achievement, we can easilt get lost and forget how to hear our truest self. I am here to help you remember that creativity is a source of joy and fulfillment. And that cultivating the ability to connect with the soft, quiet voice within ourselves can guide us toward meaningful and authentic artistic expressions, and live life as the trust version of ourselves. 
Whether you're a seasoned artist or someone looking to explore their creative side, remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. Take a moment to pause, breathe, and ask yourself, "What would be fun right now?" You might be surprised by the beautiful and unexpected path it leads you down.
Join me in exploring creativity and connection by checking out my workshop, "Activating Intuition and Creativity," and stay tuned for my inspiring conversation with Martha Anne Toll.
And may we, together, embrace the soft, quiet voice within and unlock the transformative power of our authentic creativity.

1 comment

  • Elmer Perry

    The story about how you started the grumpy wet owls is very touching. This article hits home for me because I often get that overwhelmed feeling when my artist pushes my genius into a corner. I often need to ask myself, “What would be fun right now?”

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published