It’s another Listener Spotlight today! Listener Spotlights are exactly what they sound like: I feature a podcast listener whose life has been changed for the better in some way, big or small, from the podcast.
Today’s featured listener is Janet Fowlow, who applied for the Listener Spotlight by writing an iTunes review, and sending me the following email:
I’m a huge fan of yours, and a long-time listener of your podcast. I found out about you through Cory Huff (TAA). I wanted to officially raise my hand to volunteer to be a listener interviewee for your podcast.
There have been so many times I’ve listened to your show, but the one thing I have taken away from it is to practice my creativity as much as I can, “tiny and daily”. This has been very important in my life, and very therapeutic, as I have a very rare brain disorder called Intracranial Hypertension (literally too much water/fluid on the brain), and I have severe anxiety and depression as well. I also work long hours serving others with disabilities.
Sometimes I just come home, and to unwind, I take 1 hr to myself, put on your podcast, and paint/create something. As Martha Stewart calls it, it’s a “good thing” that I look forward to.
I also wanted to thank you, no matter if I’m picked or not so speak with you on the air, for your support of the arts. So many people see the arts as frivolous or luxurious by nature, and they have no idea how important and therapeutic the arts are to our survival, to our sense of expression, and to our sense of ourselves as individuals, communities, and cultures. So for that, a sincere thanks.
Below is my review as posted on iTunes:
“As a long time listener, and fellow “passion pluralite”, I have nothing but good things to say about Melissa. Even more so, I applaud Ms. Dinwiddie for her commitment to the arts, and to understanding her many hidden audiences. For example, I myself have multiple disabilities, and am often encouraged by Melissa’s candour, wit, honesty, and mostly, practice of self compassion. Her first commandment of creative practice: “tiny but daily” has been a therapeutic life saver for me and, I am sure, countless others. So hop on board, hear about her daily artistic practice, struggles, successes, and well-earned life lessons. They will be sure to inspire you for many years to come.”
Janet L. Fowlow
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Needless to say, Janet’s application was an easy yes. We had a video call the other day, which I recorded, and I’m delighted to share it with you.
Some of the themes we touched on include:
- Going from having no issues with creating, to being stuck as a professional due to disability and depression, and how that has changed some of Janet’s view and purpose for creating.
- Making and creating while being disabled (specifically, Janet has shortened times of focus due to Intercranial Hypertension).
- How “Think tiny and daily” helps keep Janet motivated despite depression and anxiety.
- The therapeutic and cathartic nature of creativity (“Think process, not product”).
- Working with the disabled and seeing how creativity has changed their lives beyond the idea of art as commodity: a) art as communication (letters to others – Learning Disability), b) art as self regulation outlet (colouring – Autism)
Hailing from Springdale, Newfoundland, Canada, Janet L. Fowlow is a respite support worker and emerging artist who has an enduring love for the outsiders of society. A disabilities and homelessness advocate, Fowlow’s work surrounds themes of mental health, disability culture, and the social thought structures that surround prejudice, justice, and poverty. She has a BFA and a BDes (Honours) from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (Halifax, NS); as well as a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Humber College in Toronto, Ontario.
Janet’s Facebook page
From Janet: Children Full of Life, a short documentary about a 4th grade class of Japanese children and their teacher, Mr. Kanamori, who uses writing, everyday humor, and compassion to teach the children the most important subject in school – how to be happy!
From Melissa: Marsha Shandur’s Yes Yes Marsha newsletter, filled with stories, stories, stories, and brilliant lessons on how to be a better storyteller.
Want a creative kick start?
Check out my book!
What would change for you if you could totally revel in the joy of creating? You CAN, with The Creative Sandbox Way!
- Melissa’s 10 fool-proof guideposts that have helped thousands get joyfully creating.
- 5 reasons why creative play is good for you, AND for the world (it’s neuroscience, baby!)
- Why “I’m not creative” is always a lie, and how to bust it.
- How to turn creative blocks into friends.
AND you’ll get creating right in the book itself.
“It’s one part field guide, one part creative practice—and I loved it. The Creative Sandbox Way is an adventure packaged as a book.”
NYT best-selling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup
Hear ye, hear ye! This is to serve as official notice that all links to anything for sale, be it books or courses, are likely to be affiliate links. What this means is that if you click through said links and make a purchase, although it won’t affect the price that you pay, a few coins will jangle into my coffers, enabling me to buy a packet of hard gluten-free biscuits to feed myself and my husband for another day, or perhaps a pen with which to create some artwork. Or perhaps they will contribute toward paying a fraction of my web hosting bill, so that this blog and podcast can continue to exist. Thank you kindly for your attention.
Thanks for Listening!
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
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Now go get creating!
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