The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the May issue of Creativity Calling! These monthly newsletters are designed to inspire and support your creative work.
Spring has finally arrived in Lake George, New York, where CCA's new headquarters are based. We have had a snow filled winter, and as Emily Bronte once noted, " The brown hills are melting into spring".
We have several thought provoking articles this month, inviting you to look at your uniquely creative self through new eyes.
In the month of May 2007—we have two full moons, making it the infamous "once in a blue moon" which occurs every 2.7 years. True advancement happens with inner reflection. Allow your deepest desires and goals to emerge. Where have you been and where do you want to go?
Don't hesitate to let us know if there are any special areas that you would like to see addressed in a future newsletter. We love your input!
All the Best,
Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association
De-Ozify your Fears
by David Storer
Fear keeps so many of us from doing the creative work we crave. It can stop us cold.
But not to worry. Here's the secret crack in the armor of our fears: Most of them have their origin in our childhood—the time we learn what's safe and what isn't. For example: We touched the stove and got burned, and never touched the stove again. Or perhaps, we spoke up at the wrong time, annoyed a parent, and got shouted down, or shamed, or physically abused, and through this we learned that speaking our mind was dangerous. It makes sense for a three-year-old to do everything he or she can to avoid parental rejection. At that age you literally can't survive without your parents.
But now, when we sit down to express ourselves in our work, those ancient fears come up and stop us even though we're adults. The danger (of parental rejection) is gone, but the fear is left behind.
Remember the great and glorious Oz? Pretty scary from up front. Mesmerizing, like our fear of creating. We stand before him for years, awed; afraid to move—or to do anything we really want to do creatively—afraid that big, bad Oz monster will get us. And most of us don't have a Toto around to pull away the curtain on the old fraud.
It's time to Toto our old fears.
Try this: Do the scary thing, creativity-wise. Knock right on the front door of the castle of your biggest fear. Wake the sucker up; prod it into a full, flaming, screaming, rampaging display, right in your face.
Then pull out your Toto:
Write down just exactly what the fear is
Does it make real sense? Ask for evidence. Find the logical flaw in it. Write down why the fear no longer applies, why any real danger is past. See your fear for the weak, little thing it truly is. Keep this around to remind you the next time the fear tries to stop you from creating.
David Storer is a writer and creativity coach: www.thecreativitycatalyst.com
Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity
By David W. Galenson
Reviewed by Liz Massey
Who would think a book about art produced by an economist would make for stimulating creative reading? Despite having stodgy-sounding origins, the book lays out a very thought-provoking argument for the existence of multiple paths to creative greatness.
Galenson, professor of economics at the University of Chicago, began researching patterns of success (as measured by sales and critical acclaim) in the giants of modern art, and found that most of the major figures could be classified in one of two broad categories as far as their creative trajectory over their lifetime was concerned.
"Old masters" were experimental innovators, working for most of their lives to refine somewhat imprecise yet very deeply held goals related to representing the world as it is. They improvised and revised frequently in the process of creating an artwork, and often made their mark in the world of art after age 40.
"Young geniuses," on the other hand, are conceptual innovators, who often revolutionized an era with a ground-breaking technique or approach. They often saw art as a vehicle to express an idea and made great use of preparatory sketches or other planning tools to execute their work. As the title implies, the conceptual innovators typically made their greatest contributions before the age of 30.
"Old Masters and Young Geniuses" systematically examines these two creative life-cycles, looking at modern and pre-modern painters, then extrapolating the concept to show its fit with a variety of artistic disciplines, including poetry, sculpture, novel-writing and filmmaking. Galenson balances a broad range of statistical data with biographical anecdotes to give a clear portrait of, and argument for, the life-cycles he proposes
The book contains no how-to advice—it is all theory. Some readers may take issue with its categorization of the creative process, even though Galenson admits the two categories form the ends of a broad spectrum. But the book shines in its ability to tease out different patterns of creative behavior and demonstrate that both life-cycles are valid pathways to creative and critical success, as well as artistic integrity.
Liz Massey is a professional editor and creativity coach whose coaching practice, Creative Liberty, is located in the Phoenix metropolitan area. For more information, see her business profile.
Living Creatively Every Day
by Karen I-Kemper
Last year or thereabouts I was sitting cross legged on the carpeted floor of our home holding a dying bird in my hand. His left wing fluttered, his foot dropped and his breath left his body. No ordinary bird, a small parrot, a Lovebird, I had hand fed and watched grow into old age. For little birds nearly thirteen years of life...
The bird's passing was significant enough an event for me as this little bird and I had traveled cross country together, shared cereal and spaghetti meals, he had even slept inside my sweater next to my breast to be warm. What startled my that day was the thought I had, which interrupted me crying over the loss: "I must draw him!"
My husband brought me my journal (a daily practice) and my woodless pencil which I had chosen for this particular journal's work. And I did just that. I drew my little bird, known affectionately as BABY BIRD ( Francois never seemed to fit ). I saw and rendered all the precious details I had noticed over the years. In this moment this little birds zygo-dactyl feet, two toes in front and two toes behind, became enormously important. I wanted to remember...
Art isn't always pretty or safe and neither is creating. I learned this from Eric Maisel who purports "creating in the middle of things" and though I had years of practice drawing and writing with one hand and eating lunch with the other, the larger concept made so much more sense to me:
It is not just about doing in-between but perhaps about creativity being utilized as a viable option at any time even in moments of crisis. Before the tears dry up, before your brain clears, meaningfulness is surprisingly revealed.
So it was on that day I found myself creating through a great sadness. With pencil in one hand and the still warm body of a small bird in the other, I realized that I was living creatively every day despite it all.
Karen I-Kemper utilized the creative process to help patients heal for more than 20 years. With the same enthusiasm, she now embraces coaching to be a support to those who wish to—with great intention—live their unique creative adventure. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches
Twenty years from now you will be more dissapointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. "
- just starting out in exploring your creative desires?
- a working artist who is stuck on a creative project?
- looking for something new to juice up your creative work?
- going into midlife and feeling that now is finally the time to do the art you always wanted to do?
- already a known artist but interested in taking your success to the next level?
For any of these situations, why not hire a creativity coach? Check out our database of nearly 50 coaches who are ready to work with you and propel you forward. CCA-member coaches specialize in nearly 100 different specialties.
Elizabeth Clontz, CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
Elizabeth is delighted at the birth of the field of creativity coaching. She feels it is a fit for what she most loved about her previous work for many years as a psychotherapist (LCSW). Her work focuses upon welcoming enchantment into daily life via creative and contemplative processes. A preschool teacher many moons ago, she now focuses on reconnecting adults with the vitality of their childlike creative selves.
Elizabeth has worked with individuals and groups since the mid-1980s. Over the years she began weaving expressive arts, guided imagery, hypnosis, body awareness, and sacred play into her work. She views the client's journey from a place of beautiful wellness and wholeness rather than lack. Elizabeth enjoys midwifing an individual's connection with and expression of her authentic self, her joy, her energy and lifeforce, and her journey of transforming her life via the creative process.
Elizabeth offers the ability to create sacred space and invite a person's inner direction to emerge. She trusts that whatever arises within the client and within the coaching process provides the perfect clues and jewels for the journey. Whether you are someone who desires to create her own one-woman show or some other creative work—or someone who desires to show up more authentically and creatively with her life as the stage, she invites you to join her on this path of discovery and creation.
Elizabeth fills her days with creativity coaching for individuals and groups, intuitive writing and art, performance art, dancing, play, time in nature and ever deeper soulful communion with Sprit, relationships, her inner life, her work, and world.
Elizabeth Clontz is based in the US in North Carolina. You may reach her via email at email@example.com or via her website www.wyldavia.com. She is available to work with clients via phone and email as well as in-person.
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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!
This is the end of the May 2007 issue. Send us an email and let us know your thoughts and suggestions.
Note: If you are a life coach, executive coach, literary agent, therapist or any other profession involved with creative people, and you are interested in joining the Creativity Coaching Association, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.