Creative Conversations – Discovering and recovering your creative self

Creative Conversations – Discovering and recovering your creative self

It was 15 or possibly more years ago that I first became aware of the book ‘The Artist Way’ by Julia Cameron. Designed as a 12-week programme, The Artist Way is a course in discovering and recovering your creative self.

The first time I read this book and actively participated in the programme I was in my early 30’s and for some reason I recall feeling a little embarrassed about talking about it. Why? I have no idea… perhaps because of what I thought people may think of me. First time round I read the book solo, diligently reading the chapters week-on-week, and doing the suggested tasks and exercises. Flicking back through the pages, I recall enjoying the process but understand now that I wasn’t fully involved or truly committed to the process.

Fast forward to September 2021 and I get the ‘whisper’ to check my bookshelf, look for this book again, and flick through the pages – I guess hoping for inspiration to strike and it did.

On reflection, I’m sure reading this book and doing the programme solo did create some shifts in me and in how I did things back then. Yet I recall wondering about the power of sharing the experience with a friend or with a like-minded buddy, creating a group with whom I’d be able to bounce ideas around with, share synchronicities, highlight and discuss resistance to certain exercises, and what ‘doing the work’ was creating for me.

Moments of synchronicity

It’s funny that I now spot moments of synchronicity every day. It’s actually strange to think there were so many before but I was blissfully unaware of them. Having heard and acknowledged the ‘whisper’ and found the book in my lounge, I messaged my friend Adeline who I’d been on holiday with in August – the ‘All of you is welcome retreat – and asked her if she’d heard of the book, and if she had, would she consider doing The Artist Way together.

I love the way the book is described on the back cover…

The Artist’s Way helps to demystify the creative process by making it part of your daily life. It tackles your self-doubts, self-criticism and worries about time, money and the support to pursue your creative dream. It has already helped thousands of people to uncover their hidden talents – it can help you, too.

This was back at the end of September, and in the first weeks of October she’d ordered the book, felt similarly inspired to dive into the programme, and so our joint adventure of ‘The Artist Way’ commenced.

Moments of inspiration

Throughout the book, in every chapter, Julia Cameron highlights several quotes. Some resonated more than others. Here’s a selection of those that really caught my attention.

“No amount of skilful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.” – Edward Hopper

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.” – Edgar Degas

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

“Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.” – Linus Pauling

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

“With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.” – Keshavan Nair

“Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.” – Ovid

The power of sharing

If you’re reading this article, you may be wondering ‘Why is she sharing all of this?’. And the answer to that is having gained so much from doing The Artist’s Way a second time, and sharing the experience with Adeline, some of our friends have been asking about what we’re doing as they’ve recognised changes in us, a transformation if you will, in the past few months.

Many people in my friendship groups are interested in personal development, in challenging the norm, experimenting with new structures, and like to try on new behaviours that serve them better than previously held patterns, learnt from years of unconscious conditioning from those around us.

The Artist’s Way gives a fresh perspective. So, in response to friends asking if we’d do the programme again with then, we – myself and Adeline, will join them in supporting and exploring their journey as the new year unfolds.

In real terms, what this means is we’ll host a weekly check-in for those interested in doing The Artist’s Way and are looking to gain from the support and energy working in a group brings. We won’t be offering any advice, but we will hold the space for you to explore and discuss what you’re learning so that what you take away, truly lands and makes a difference in your daily life.

Join our weekly check-in

If you’re keen to find out more drop me and Adeline an email. We plan to start the weekly check-ins on Sunday 6th February, 60 minutes in duration online, 6-7pm GMT, and we’ll host them for 14 weeks. Why 14 weeks? We’ll use week 1 to frame up and make introductions so everyone feels comfortable in the group, weeks 2 – 13 will be for the 12-week programme – each week has a theme and topic as you’ll discover when you purchase and start reading The Artist Way, and in week 14 we’ll do a completion – a process we’ve learnt from our coaching endeavours at Natural Success. This process helps to concretise what’s been learnt and what you want to carry forwards.

A new adventure and refreshed creative ‘you’ await in the wings – take a leap of faith and join us on a journey of creative discovery and recovery.

To find out more email:
– Emma – emma@emmapotter.com
– Adeline – adelinesegaux@gmail.com

Getting started – Sunday 6th Feb 2022

If you’re looking to do things differently in 2022 and have a desire to be more creative in all areas of your life, we would love you to join us! There’s real joy in sharing experiences and learning together.

⭐️ The Artist Way, weekly check-in

⭐️ Sunday evenings, 6-7pm GMT (online / Zoom)

⭐️ 14 weeks, one check-in a week

⭐️ Starts Sunday 6th February 2022

⭐️ Finished Sunday 8th May 2022

⭐️ Find out more by messaging me or Adeline Segaux

⭐️ In return for participating we would ask you to make a donation to Mind – the mental health charity.

The book, The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron, is available to purchase in many book stores, online and on the high street.

With love and creativity,
Emma and Adeline

Photo taken at Goring, West Ferring, Summer 2021

Colour of the year 2022

Colour of the year 2022

Every year in December Pantone announce their ‘Colour of the Year’ for the forthcoming 12 months. This year, breaking with tradition, they have created a totally new colour called Very Peri, ‘a new Pantone colour whose courageous presence encourages personal inventiveness and creativity’.

From a global perspective, in the last two years we have all experienced huge changes in our work lives, our personal lives, how we operate in our homes and what we want our spaces to create for us. What seems to be becoming ever more present is the capacity and ability for colour to communicate, to connect, and elicit subtle yet extremely powerful changes in our behaviour.

What the experts say…

It was interesting to see the article shared by Pantone announcing the Colour of the Year and to read what Laurie Pressmen, Vice President of the Pantone Colour Institute said about Very Peri…

“The Pantone Colour of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that colour can hope to answer”.

Executive chairman of the Pantone Colour Institute says…

“As we move into a world of unprecedented change, the selection of PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri brings a novel perspective and vision of the trusted and beloved blue colour family, encompassing the qualities of the blues, yet at the same time with its violet red undertone, PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages creativity and imaginative expressions.”

There are many influences that go into shaping the selection made for the Pantone Colour of the Year from art collections, travel destinations, artists and fashion, to believe it or not, sporting events and technology – who would have thought the latter would even be considered in the process. But it’s technology and digital in particular that have played a huge part in enabling new ways of working in these times, as well as enable the birth of several new entrepreneurial business, both large and small. And especially at a time when people are considering their life choices and how they want to transform and evolve in the year ahead.

The influencing qualities of Very Peri

Looking at the positive effects of this slightly lavender – lilac colour, we can make a connection with spirituality, self-awareness, composure and wisdom. For many our priorities have changed in the past 24 months and colour has the capacity to support our wellbeing and in helping people in making more changes in the 12 months ahead.

Picking up on the positive effects of light blue it’s fair to suggest that Very Peri will encourage and create feelings of calm and serenity. Moreover, blue is a psychological primary colour and affects us mentally, and will often help to give us clarity of thought.

Carrying both positive and negative traits, colour affects us all in ways many would not readily be aware of or even consider. In fact, it affects how we behave more than we realise, as well as influencing those around us in our immediate vicinity. Yet whilst colour subtly shifts and influences our behaviour, our choices, and what’s happening subconsciously around us, we all will relate to colour differently – through personal, cultural and psychological associations.

Colour, emotion and action

In addition to trend forecasts, and consultation with global brands, I believe it’s the psychology of colour that plays the most influential role in choosing the ‘Colour of the Year’ and changing our emotions. It’s what people feel, it’s how they connect with colour that drives change, that drives new behaviours, that causes people to make new, different choices that are more in alignment with their true authentic selves.

At a time when people need serenity and calm, coupled with inspiration and creativity, perhaps Very Peri will be the colour that creates emotions that people can’t ignore – turning these emotions into action. Perhaps this colour will inspire the change that people want to see in many areas of their lives – not only personally and in their work life – but in now they connect with themselves and others – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

For me, I find Very Peri calming and centring. It may not be the colour I’d choose to paint my kitchen and dining room as it may suppress my appetite (not necessarily a bad thing after Christmas), but it would possibly be a good choice for a bedroom or a space I wanted to just ‘be’ or to meditate to encourage awareness and allow whispers of wisdom to appear.

Header image – Photo by Sonny Sixteen from Pexels