use the voice

Calling the authentic Creator out of hiding

Month: July, 2012



“Tulip” – color drawing series, 2006

This weekend, thanks to a course I am taking with the Training in Power Academy to unlock creative blocks and access more of my expression, for the first time in years, I made a drawing. Sitting down with my pen and music playing, it was both strange and familiar, I found myself wondering – why haven’t I been spending time here?

As a child, my mother kept my hyperactivity at bay in waiting rooms and church services by carrying a small note-pad and pen in her purse at all times. These “doodle books” became my sanctuary in the boring adult world as well as a focus tool that I would use through all my schooling career. It’s only been in the last few years, as creativity has become more and more the focus of my life, that I haven’t needed the doodling to feel calm. Perhaps with the creative Voice being well heard, it didn’t have to constantly tap me on the shoulder to carve it’s impulses out in scribbled lines on the back of receipts and restaurant napkins.

What I also recognized, is that as I have gotten older and taken a professional stance on my life as an artist, I grant myself less and less time to play and wander. Thanks to my class assignment this week, I was able to find my way back to a sense of origin, one without agenda or need for perfection, something to simply delight and express my feelings.

How many times as creators do we get to ‘business like’ with our work? I’m all for be professional, but I am grateful for the rejuvenating quality of creating just for play, just cause – like children do. How do you connect to your origins?



Featured Creator – Bree Zorel

Living as a creator is rarely isolated. I don’t know where I would be without my fellow creators and artists who I share this journey with. Collaboration, support, solace and yes, even whining rights is all a part of what we give to each other. More importantly, I’d say we teach each other too, often without realizing it. Who better then to learn from those who are fighting the fight alongside you?

This is the idea behind a series of shot videos I’ll be featuring weekly of “Featured Creators”. I’m so excited to kick it off with Bree Zorel, an amazing Visual Artist and Arts Educator.

Check out her at

The rest of life

It is a bit humerous to me that after writing two heroic posts about hiding being an illusion that I dissapear for almost 2 weeks. Funny how we process what we write about, funny how life gets in the way.

Life, the rest of life. You know:  eating, drinking, cooking, technical problems, jobs, feelings, hot weather, bad days, good days, television…you name it, everything that isn’t the art. It is all the necessary parts of being human and as artists it can sometimes feel like our worst enemy.

How many times have you said to yourself, “If I could just do this full time I would be ______” Fill in the blank. Happier, healthier, saner, calmer, cooler, smarter…maybe even richer. The funny thing is that even the artists I know who do it full time still spend a lot of their days dealing with the rest of life. I think sometimes we can get caught by the illusion that necessities take away the purity of what we have to say, of who we are. If only we lived in a world that would leave us alone to be our genius selves, then harmony and brilliance would reign.

And it probably would. But maybe not. Maybe we need the rest of life to ground us, to make us reach for the truth in the present moment. I love getting obsessed with my work, but if I do it for to long, it gets one dimensional. When I can extend my perspective, my ‘artists eye’ in my day to day life, everything gets better. On the bus, walking the dog, in a lineup at the post office, the Voice is seeking out it’s references to tell me what it wants to say. The strange look of a woman’s hair, the alignment of a city landscape, a flash of connection between strangers…Moments are seeking us out everywhere, but often we are to caught up in just getting by and surviving that we can’t see or feel it.

What if art starts by how we are, not what we do? Perhaps then the rest of life could be a part of the creative life. After all, it is the one thing we have in common…

A work in progress. How is the rest of your life?

Hiding is an illusion (part 2)

Even if we don’t look, we are often seen

So why is hiding an illusion? And why should you stop?

Maybe it’s worked so far. You’ve kept the ‘creative-you’ a secret, tucked away for you and perhaps a select few, a quiet affair that no-one need to know about. It’s fine.

It’s Fine.

In my early years of spiritual training as a would-be New Age devotee, one of my first and still wisest Spiritual teachers shocked me with her very non pious response to a fellow student when she described herself as doing fine. “You mean F***ed-up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional? Oh, I know all about that…”

Damn. She wasn’t just talking about my fellow student. She could see right through us, what we thought was nicely tied up and hidden behind our various masks of control.

And that is why we often stuff it down, isn’t it? Trying to maintain control, to move away from the chaos of our feelings, impulses and more vulnerable parts of ourselves. While I’m all for self-dominion of ones emotions, especially when it comes to projecting onto others, a lot of what we stuff down is the nuggets of our expression.

So while we put a lot of energy just trying to keep it all together, what are we really keeping from getting out? What about the good stuff? The genuis? Our unique gift that only we are here to share?!

It has been my experience that often it is often easier to see the potential in others then ourselves. Even if they have low self esteem, somehow it seeps under the cracks of those closed doors, unable to hold back its slivers of brilliance.  Do you think you are any different? No matter what level of creative wellness you are at, your Voice is more present then you probably realize. It will do whatever it can to get out there despite your efforts otherwise.

Consider it, what is really under the surface that would love to get out? What would be the worst thing if it did?

As an exercise, ask your closest friends to describe you as a creator or artist and see what they say, you may be more transparent then you think….