Creativity

When Creative Destiny Finds You

I haven’t blogged for ages.  This has been for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, I do think that if you are going to blog, make it real REAL good and really contribute something that is worthy of people giving their precious time to.  Problem is, every time I sat down to write something over the past few months, it somehow didn’t feel quite authentic, it wasn’t coming straight from my truth.  So instead of posting something lackluster, I opted to wait until something of worth presented itself for communicating.

While I’ve been waiting for this ‘something’ to arrive, I’ve painted, I’ve drawn, I’ve entered my work in my very first group show, I’ve kept going with my online painting tuition, I’ve completed painting commissions and sold other works that people have fallen in love with.  It’s been a wonderful adventure and it has felt like a new season in my creative life has been ripening.

Painting and art making has been something that I initially started doing again simply for myself, for my own love of creating and also as balm for a healing process I have been going through.  I have shared my journey and other’s have resonated with it.  And somehow, in this time of ‘waiting’ for the inspiration to arrive for my next move with Creative Conversation to arrive, it happened and has presented itself in the most unexpected of ways- a new career direction as an artist, for which I have just launched a brand new website: susannethercote.com

 I love working with my coaching clients and getting deep into the journey with others on the creative business path, I really do, because I have deep understanding of that process and deep compassion for [...]

Cultivating Creative Genius

This year, I have been participating in a wonderful online art community and art course called 52 Paintings, run by the gorgeous Faith Evans Sills and Mati-Rose over in the US.  Recently, Faith invited me to write a post to share with our group about a practice that I do in the middle of the day to cultivate creative flow in my work.  I’d love to share that article with you guys too, I hope you enjoy!

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On most days, about an hour after lunch, I find myself yawning and lacking energy, can you relate?  I could put it down to having two young children, my habit of rising early, perhaps even my need to quit sugar.  My need for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up is always there.

I have been a meditator for many years now, on and off, and I’ve long been sold on the benefits of having a regular practice.  For me that regular time is in the morning, before the household rises, I sit and connect in, with myself, with the divine, with nature.  It’s the most brilliant way to start the day and feels me with beautiful energy.

So when I realised that my body and my sprit needed an energy injections around the mid-afternoon, I sought a way of going about it that would meet two needs – my need for body rest, and my need to pep up my spirit.  I instinctively developed the following practice which helps me to both rest AND cultivate the feeling and attitude that I want to bring to my work after my little rest.

First I lay down on my bed or on the window seat in my studio.  I plug in my earphones to my iPhone [...]

My Winter of Deep Healing

Yesterday was the first day of Spring here in the southern hemisphere and my, was she glorious.  The sun shone and it’s rays had real warmth brewing in them.  This caught me by great surprise as we often don’t see the warmer weather until November around here.  I don’t think I have ever been happier to see spring come.

This winter has, for me, been a deeply challenging time in many ways.  It has been a time where I was led to some pretty dark places within that needed attention, processing and deep healing.  Things that have waited for over 35 years to be felt and let go of.

Such processes are never easy, but they are hugely necessary at times.  And my time has been this winter.

It required me to back right off on my businesses and create space for the unknown unfolding.  It required me to stand completely in my vulnerability waiting for tsunami upon tsunami of decades of unfelt emotion to break upon me.  And then it required me to do it again.

This winter, I gave in.  I really gave in.  I gave in because I know that truly feeling and letting go of the old stories that held me ransom was the only road to truly coming into complete alignment with what the universe has destined me to be. I gave in because there were crusty old skins that needed to be shed, because I am truly done with letting them run my emotional life.

I gave in because I was far enough down the road to my own truth that there was no other way but to confront these deep shadows and let them engulf me – not so that they would [...]

The Space In-between

There is a place in life that many of us come to at least once and often more.  It is the space after you have defined yourself as ‘something’ in the world.  You’ve had some kind of success.  Defined some kind of identity around it.  And then life makes it obvious that it is time to move on from this way of being onto to something new.

But that something ‘new’ is nebulous and shady.  It is embryonic.  It has not yet taken form.  And it takes a good period of unpredictable time to incubate.

This moment is what I like to call the space in-between.  I’ve just been in one and it’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while.

The space in-between is where all possibilities lay.  It is exciting and petrifying all at once.  But it can also be lonely, because it exists only in your imagination so no-one else can share it with you yet. And no-one else can assure you that it will ‘all work out’ because they don’t know and you don’t know if it will.

And yet the space in-between, if we really understand it correctly, is possibly one of the most special places to be in life and your creative journey.  It is like a magical land of possibility from where you can conjure your destiny.

I’ve conjured many an incredible journey from this place – each perfect for it’s time.  And for the past few months I have found myself in this space once again, this time for a time longer than my urge to ‘make stuff happen’ usually allows me.

This time I made a conscious choice to slow the process down. To allow the gestation to really take root.  [...]

Interview with Clare Bowditch on Being Resonant

Part of being creative is that I LOVE trying new things.  As I’ve been creating my new e-course, I’ve been recording podcasts and video interviews galore, which has been new to me and so much fun. And I thought, since the early bird prices end on the course registration this coming Monday 9th Feb, that I might give you a little taster of the general awesomeness that you will find in the Holistic Business Mapping e-course that starts on March 2nd.

This little interview with singer/songwriter and entrepreneur Clare Bowditch was such a treat for me to do.  I’ve long thought Clare was pretty ace, from way back at my CERES market days in Melbourne when I would sell my clothes at my little market stall and she worked the organic fruit and veggie stand.  From little things big things grow!

Late last year, I had the pleasure of spending some time with C.B. Bali.  I think there are very few creative professionals out there of such calibre as Clare that are so generous with their time and information.  But you see, Clare is one of those success stories who remembers that once upon a time, she knew nothing about being a creative professional either.  This was one of the big inspirations behind creating her labour of love Big Hearted Business, to help others connect with the information they need to make their creative dream a business reality.  And it’s one of the reasons I love her too, as it was at her very first conference that a fire was lit under me to start Creative Conversation.

If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you will know that I often focus on how important it is [...]

What is it about Creativity?

What is it about creativity that so fascinates us? What is it about creativity that makes us feel so deeply satisfied when we practice, and makes us revere it when we see it expressed clearly and unabashedly in others?

When I started my clothing label some 15 years ago, stuck at it, and made it a success, I can’t tell you how many times I would find myself looking into the starry-eyes of someone saying how wonderful it must be to be creative every day. When I started out, this was the very thing that spurred me on – my love of the creative act and my desire to earn my living from it.

At the time, I was being creative by making clothing, so that is what I built a business around. That business allowed me the scope to investigate my creativity in a number of ways, far beyond the act of designing and making clothing. It also taught me that making a business out of something you love can take you away from the act of being creative more than bring you to it, but that is story for another day.

In a way, the act of creating a business is one of the ultimate forms of creativity. You are creating your life and your living on so many levels, from every single decision that you make, that sometimes its actually hard to make a move, in case you create the wrong thing.

I’ve been really taking my time with the development of Creative Conversation, partly because I am aware that I am capable of creating what I set my mind and heart to, so I want to ground my mind in my heart in the [...]

Is Creative Business A Spiritual Path?

I’ve been mulling something over for quite some time, wondering if I should express this point of view here (the brave and honest thing to do, in my estimation) or just leave the whole thing alone (otherwise known as the cowards way out).  But I have to say it, because I’ve been around long enough to know that if you are going to put yourself out there in the way that I am with Creative Conversation, you have to be 100% honest about who and what you are about, otherwise isn’t it all really just bullshit?

So here it is…drum roll please….I think that the creative business path is really one of the most spectacular spiritual paths you can be on.  There.  I said it.  I think business is a spiritual path and that is the way that I treat it. And thus, it is the way that I want to communicate about it.  And if you think that’s a load of BS, then I bid you a very warm sayonara, it’s been nice knowing you.  Because from henceforth, I will not be talking about business in a way that about a million other business coaches today are.

I will not be skirting around the edges of something that I think is a fact – You, as a creative professional, made your business because you LOVE what you do.  You feel CALLED to what you do, and you wish to make a commitment, through thick and thin, to make that creative path that you love your main gig.  Sounds an awful lot like a spiritual path if you ask me.

And here is another thing – the journey you are on in creating that business, giving it [...]

Having A Business Means ‘Making it Up’….A Lot!

Last week I was honored to speak at the Darebin Arts Creative Business Seminar Series. It was a 90 minute seminar in which I shared, quite frankly, my top 10 “Things I Wish I Had Known” when I was starting out in my clothing label,  Manque Design, some 14 years ago.

I could do a bit of a breakdown of what the talk entailed, and I probably will at some stage of the game. But what I really want to discuss is something that I touched on in the talk and extended upon rather hugely in my personal development in carrying off this event.

That thing was: “Things I wish I had known: No.2: HAVING A BUSINESS MEANS ‘MAKING IT UP’…A LOT!”

When you start out in a small business, you basically begin a process of exposing yourself to a large number of things that you have never done before. Learning how to do your books, learning social media marketing, figuring out how to have conversations with clients that sell. The list is endless really. And what this requires is a willingness to think on your feet and trust in your natural ability to figure stuff out.  This is what I mean when I say “making it up”.

Some ‘entrepreneurial types’ are unnervingly comfortable with this – their willingness to try new things on for size just part of their everyday swagger. But for most of us, it’s not so easy. Many of the tasks required of us, make us squirm with unease, with a lack of trust in ourselves that we will be able to pull it off, whatever ‘it’ is.

Last week I heard a quote, it went something like this: “For most humans, their greatest fear [...]

The Common Denominator with Successful Creatives

I’ve had a fascination with the creatives for a long time. Back in my university days (in, dare I say it, the early-mid 90’s), it led to me studying art history for six years. The fascination has never ceased, particularly as I have traversed my own path as a designer.

In particular, I have been fascinated in finding some kind of common thread amongst the ‘great’ artists, some secret that they were all onto that the rest of us could perhaps learn from. And there was one thing that became abundantly clear to me the more that investigated incredible creatives, the ones that really stood outside the square and did something truly inspiring and original. THEY WERE TRULY AND UNABASHEDLY THEMSELVES. In their art, certainly, and often in their life in general too.

Lately I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Over summer I took some time off. I was feeling burned out and lacklustre, an all too common trait in my creative cycles that I’d really like to change, or at least reduce. I also realised that I was going down a road in the creation of my new business enterprise that was leading me down paths that didn’t really feel right and that needed tweaking. Having already created one business that went against the grain, this was not something I wanted to repeat.

Those who know me, know that I am all about following my intuition, so I really wanted to take time out just to listen for what was right for me, and what tweaking needed to happen to set me back on a track that is more holistic.

And what my intuition told me was this: BE COMPLETELY AND UNABASHEDLY YOURSELF! Fancy that, the [...]

The True Role of Inspiration, Epiphany and The Muse

Do you know what I love? I love it when I get excited about something. Excited in the way where every fibre of your being tingles with the knowledge that you are doing what you are meant to be doing, despite impracticalities and a smaller voice telling you why such a thing should and can’t be. Do you know what I am talking about? Have you had that experience? This feeling is also known as inspiration, epiphany and ‘the muse’. It’s a moment and a state of being where something between you and the outer world clicks in such a way that an opening is created in the realm of possibility. Whether or not, like Alice, you choose to fall down the rabbit hole in moments such as these is entirely another matter.

I am fortunate in that I have that feeling on a semi-regular basis- enough to know that when it comes around that I need to pay attention and follow my nose and all the signs because it is leading to the next path on what has been a pretty amazing creative journey. And I really love living my creative life in this way because I know that when I am inspired in this way that I am living in alignment with my purpose on this planet. That may sound a bit corny, but I really do! It is what connects me not just to my creative path as a designer, artist and coach but also to my role in the creation of my own life. Because, whether you like it or not, this is what we are all doing every single day!

I love that feeling of true inspiration and connectedness because it [...]