Today’s inspiring subscriber is Kelly Hevel, an American artist and creative coach living in Istanbul, Turkey. Kelly discovered Living A Creative Life in October, and a few emails back and forth revealed a kindred spirit, with philosophies, goals and dreams similar to my own.
Actually, I suspect we were separated at birth.
Well, one thing led to another, and before we knew it, we were joining forces as business partners, bringing to life a dream we’ve each had for years: destination creativity workshops and “arts immersion” vacations in different inspiring locales, starting with Istanbul! THIS FALL! (September 29-October 7, to be precise — mark your calendar!)
Our website’s not quite ready for the public, but I’m hard at work to make it ready, and I’ll post a link here when it’s done.
Meanwhile, Kelly and I didn’t want to wait til the fall to play with you, so we’re taking our act online with a 12-week course, Playing Around Online, which we’ll be officially announcing soon, starting with a free seminar — Living the Creative Life: Fact vs. Fiction. You are totally invited! There will be fun (and prizes!)
(My subscribers have already gotten a sneak peek, AND a shot at a free scholarship spot in the course — want in, too? Sign up at the top left and you’ll get the very next dispatch I send out about the course, including how to get in for free, before I shout about it here.)
In any case, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with Kelly. I think she’s awesome. I’m delighted to share her with you!
Read on to meet…
Inspiring Subscriber: Kelly Hevel
Living in Istanbul is a big part of how I follow my creative bliss. For me, the air in this city teems with creativity, although having spent a few weeks this summer on the Aegean coast and gaining renewed creative energy and direction from that leads me to believe that the creative energy goes beyond the city.
Is it Istanbul? Turkey? The Mediterranean, the culture, the people?
I don’t know, all I know is that I need to be here right now and being here gives me access to my creative energy. When I’m here I write more, paint more, bake more, MAKE more. The process of making, no matter what it is gives me satisfaction and energy to make more!
What Resistances or “self-installed glass ceilings” have have you faced that kept you from following your Bliss(es)?
The “shoulds.” “Shoulds” are the death of creativity and joy.
I should: not start over, follow my established career path, look for an easy, boring, secure job.
Also the “can’ts.” I can’t: learn something new, be an expert, run my own business.
Screw the shoulds and the can’ts!
What allowed you to get past the Resistance and onto your creative path? (Did you have a sudden revelation that things had to change? Did you experience a gradual shift?) What changes did you have to make?
All of the above!
I lived in New York and September 11th changed my entire outlook on life. It made me think about what I was doing with my life and if it was the right thing. Every day, for weeks and months, I looked at photos of those who were lost and wondered if they lived enough, did enough, would have made different choices if they new how short their time was. And I started searching for what I really wanted.
That took some time, and it changes, and I expect it will continue to change. But I always want to remember to make active choices and not allow choices to be made for me by choosing not to choose.
What have you learned by honoring the call of your Bliss(es) that you’d especially like to share?
That my blisses are varied, and change, and that’s OK. Some people have the same bliss their whole lives and that’s OK too.
That it’s OK to try something that seems like a fabulous pursuit and then decide that it wasn’t so great and let it go. Or find that it was great for awhile, but now it’s time to move on. That doesn’t make those non-blisses or failures, it just makes them finished (sometimes just for now).
I have also found that following my bliss gives me superhuman energy and even more ability to focus and concentrate than usual (I have an ex–treme–ly loooooong attention span when I am interested in something). It also makes me forget to eat, which is a not-good thing I am always trying to remedy.
What practices or rituals do you have to honor your creative spirit and keep your toe in the creative stream? (Tips, techniques, tools — whatever works for you. Anything goes.)
This changes over time. I work best if I have a routine: get up at this time, work on such-and-such for so long in such-and-such a place, then do such-and-such. But that routine changes.
For example in the summer I spent a lot of time writing and working at home. I got up at 9AM, worked on my balcony until 1PM, Moved inside and worked until 3PM, had lunch, took a shower (it gets hot in my apartment around 4PM in the summer). Worked for a few more hours, then quit at 7PM and went out into the world to recharge and relax.
My winter routine is completely different, partly because I am doing work which requires running around the city, and partly because of the gray weather. In the winter I work outside of home more, even when I’m writing or working on my computer because if I stay home I’ll just take naps!
Paying attention to what my energy level and body are asking of me help me to be more productive, and I am not creative when I’m not feeling cared for.
What is one more thing you’d like to share to spark up our own creative fires?
I’ll share two. First, creativity should be fun, not painful. I don’t buy that crap that you have to suffer to create art. Is it possible to create art when you’re miserable? Yes. Is it necessary to be miserable to create art? No.
Second, Follow your interests even if they seem silly or random. I love the story about Steve Jobs taking a calligraphy class at university. At the time it was completely random and he did it simply because he thought it was beautiful. But the result of it is that we don’t all have to stare at those weird blocky green letters that used to be the norm on computers. Because Steve Jobs studied calligraphy and offered a variety of fonts because they are visually appealing. So you never know what will come out of those random interests.
Of course, I once spent four months reading everything I could find on chimpanzee behavior just because it fascinated me. I enjoyed every minute of it and would do it again, but nothing useful came out of it–yet!
A Passion Pluralite if ever I met one. Thank you, Kelly! 🙂
In her own words: Artist, expat, art and creativity workshop giver.
Now tell me, what struck you most about Kelly’s interview? What would you most like to learn from a workshop with her? Share your responses below.
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!