Celebrating Creativity

Hi I'm Kadira Jennings, welcome to Unfolding Creativity, a portal to Abundance Through Creativity.

I am a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us.

My blog is a discussion, and creativity resource. Please take your time, look around and join the conversation if you would like to.
It is my passionate belief that we all have deep within us a creative genius just waiting for half a chance to get out no matter what field we work or play in.

''There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.''
Martha Graham

Taking A Break

 

Taking a break today – sorry no writing – I’ll leave you with some eye candy instead.

 

taking a break,Sculpture_by_the_sea,High Tide -Tsukasa Nakahara

High Tide -Tsukasa Nakahara

 

Have a wonderful week – and next week I’ll be talking about work/life balance.

 

taking a break,Mythic Journey V - Kadira Jennings

Mythic Journey V 

Have a spectacularly creative week! 

taking a break,Gaia - painting by Kadira Jennings

Gaia – Mother Earth

change photo

Change, Love it or Hate it, You Can’t Leave it

Change seems to be my theme this week. And I guess that’s appropriate at this time of year when many of us are embracing the New Year and wishing to move forward in our lives. The creative process requires us to deal with change on a daily basis. However, unfortunately, most of us are resistant to it, in our art practice as well as our personal lives. And there are many of us who dabble in our creative processes and yet never fully own them. I am very familiar with this story because I spent many years of my life pretending I wasn’t an artist. That label artist seems to scare would be artists to death. I know all the distractions, excuses and rocky stones on this path of Resistance. They are old well-loved friends, hard to leave behind.

Here’s a list of a few of the things that might stop you from doing your true work in the world, the work that makes your soul sing, and is not work at all. That will stop you from  embracing the change that will be necessary in order for you to do so. The things on this list require us to make changes, and deal with the resistance if we are to overcome its hold on us.

  •  I’ll do it later – when I have time
  • When the kids are going to school – I’ll have time then
  • It would be selfish of me to spend that money on art supplies when my partner needs a new widget for his car
  • I’ll just do (x) before I look into it
  • Who am I kidding – me, a film director, dancer, artist ………. fill in the blank
  • I’m too old now
  • Everyone else has a head start – they will always be better than me
  • It’s just a pipe dream
  • I don’t have any talent

You see, we live in a world that preconditions us to fit into the society we are born into. If you think about schools and the things you’re forced to learn even though they may not fit your abilities and personality. We are often brainwashed into accepting a career that we don’t love, and a way of living that doesn’t suit who we are. Not only that, if you are an artist, you are caught up with all the bad press around what it means to be an artist.

I am sure you know how that goes. Artists are weird people, they get into drugs, they are lazy and wild etc. And of course, there is The Starving Artist syndrome that we are all taught, a philosophy of lack and non-abundance.

The idea of their child becoming an artist terrifies many parents.

change photo

The thing is you see, that many artists are different, and are not understood by the general run of society. Why is this? It is because artists are agents of Change, and they often put out ideas that society at large is not ready to deal with. They point out things that need changing in the world and they are on what ‘Abraham’ calls, The Leading Edge. This means that their position in society is often not accepted because after all, people don’t want change. And yet in order to function optimally as an artist one has to deal with change on a daily basis in the course of creating an artwork, and making space for art to flourish within their lives.

 

Is never too late to follow your heart’s desire, but that will require you to make changes!

 

artist photo

 

For more on this topic and a deeper look at our resistance see this post

Photo credits:

TheDigitalArtist (Pixabay)

geralt (Pixabay)

 Larry Lamsa

2018,new year,kadira jennings

 

Looking forward To A Fabulous 2018!

2018 – A brand new year. 

Have you noticed that around this time of the year all the messages you get in your inbox encouraging you to make goals for the coming year, turn over a new leaf and all that stuff? I’m sure you’ve heard all that before, and it’s the same every year.
Well, as far as it goes, the process of writing goals for a new year etc. is not a bad thing, and perhaps you’ve even tried some of those things but they have they worked out?

  • My question is, what kind of things could really make a difference to
    How we go forward into 2018?

In my previous post, I spoke about rearranging the way we will organize for Christmas. I think one of the most difficult things about organizing 4 years planning, does that we start off with a great hurrah and as the year goes by we lose our impetus and run out of steam. One of the things that can make a big difference is really looking at and thinking deeply about one or two big goals we would like to achieve for the year. These can be personal, business, or creative goals.
So a goal in this context is not something such as, I want to complete one painting next week. Rather the goal might be, I want to have a solo show in November 2018. This goal has many elements to it and would require detailed planning and many steps before it came to fruition. This is the kind of goal I’m speaking of.

When you have something that is really concrete like this, you can then break it down into lots of manageable steps. I find the easiest way to do this often is to begin brainstorming with the Mind Map.

mind map,kadira_jennings

 

This one is done using Mindjet, but you can just as easily do one by hand on a piece of paper.

As you can see, it is possible to add steps exponentially. If I have a large goal, I will make a separate, new mindmap just for that and then link the two mindmaps.

I learned this concept from millionaire entrepreneur – Rich Schefren. He plans and organizes his all his multimillion dollar businesses in this way.

The other thing I’m excited to share is a new Diary, I’ve come across. It was a crowd-funded project that I bought into, and I’m so glad I did. They have put a lot of thought into the whole concept, even down to a unique system for adding and changing pages within the diary.
It is called – The Perfect Notebook – and it almost is. I could recommend a couple of minor improvements but that’s about it.

 

2018,The Perfect Notebook

The Perfect Notebook

 

2018,The Perfect Notebook, Pages

The Perfect Notebook, Pages

 

20018,The Perfect Notebook,Unique Pages System

Unique Pages System

Christmas,,kadira jennings,Xmas

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could reach the end of the year with the same kind of momentum, excitement, hope and possibilities that we launch into the New Year with?

Unfortunately, the end of the year always seems to end in a frenetic, flurry of trying to wrap up work projects and somehow fit in Christmas shopping and attend end of year school functions if you have children, and not to mention the ballet recitals, drama productions and everything else that goes along with having kids. How many times do you hear people say these days, I wish we could forget about Christmas.

  • My question is, what kind of things could really make a difference to
    How we experience the end of the year?

So let’s take a look at Xmas. Of course, if you want to change the way things are, then you have to be prepared to change what you are doing now. And for something as big as Christmas, this will require firstly, changing how you think and secondly a major shift in your organisational planning.
Some of what I’m going to suggest, may not be new and some of it is, so you may or may not be familiar with it, however, if you can manage to implement it, it will de-stress Christmas to a very large degree. So what to do?

1. Begin NOW – Well EARLY JANUARY, by making a list of all the people you would like to honour next Christmas. Divide them into four categories of how you intend to do that, with either

  • a card
  • a present
  • an email or
  • a Christmas catch up

2. The people you want to catch up with, put them into your calendar NOW, yes 11 months ahead. And then take that one step further and talk to them about it. Now, this already gives you a clear idea of what space you have left at Christmas for other things. Of course some flexibility needs to be built into this process, however, it is a start. And you can now forget about it until around October when you need to revisit it and just check in with everyone that they are still ok with those dates. I would suggest that you might get some resistance from your friends about such forward planning, however, you can point out to them the advantages and doing this, of being able to make time for what is really important in life.

3. Next, make a list those you would like to buy presents for. This list will not change much during the year, you may add one or two people, or a few may drop off that list, but usually, it stays much the same.

  • With this list, put beside each person’s name, a gift you might give them
  • Now all you have to do is keep your eye out for that item during the year.   This will allow you to save money by sourcing it cheap online or buying in a super sale during the year.
  • Decide on a date you will have purchased all the items by say – the end of October and review all your purchases then, making sure you have all the items needed.
  • This will also, still give you time to get anything that’s missing off your list.

4. You can buy your Christmas cards now, in the after Christmas sales and keep them ready for next year. All you will need to do is fill them out and post them. Put a reminder in your phone to visit this task in mid-November.

5. With the emails, again put a reminder in your phone, this time to visit the task in mid-to-late December.

 

And that is Christmas taken care of – no rush, no fuss. What do you think? Start 2018, by getting the end of the year in order. How does it get any better than that!

Creativity At Christmas

Creativity At Christmas,Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

 

Creativity At Christmas – One thing I love about Christmas, is that it is a time when many people dip into their creativity. There are numerous ways that we can be creative at Christmas. Here are a few of them:

  • Making our own Christmas cards 
  • Preparing delightful dishes for Christmas dinner
  • Making our presents for others
  • Taking time to wrap gifts thoughtfully
  • Gingerbread houses

We have all become so embroiled in the commercialization of Christmas that it is difficult to retain sight of the fact that Christmas is about giving and receiving. I should add to that the all-important word MINDFULLY, giving and receiving. How often do we leave everything to the last-minute and rush about trying to find something appropriate to give this person and that, not having a clue what they would really like? And that is something else again – why don’t we know what they would really like.  Have we asked them? Our lives are so busy, so rushed – when do we have time to mindfully stop and really consider what we are doing? Gifting creativity at Christmas seems to have gone out of fashion and become steamrollered into quantity versus quality amidst the frantic pace of our 21st-century lifestyles.

Sometimes I think we lose sight of what’s important. This year I took a night off work so I could take my granddaughter to a gingerbread house making night. This was great fun for both of us and we spent time together, working and playing together, with her bossing me around as she loves to do. However, she also came to the realisation that in order to complete the task we had to co-operate. (So important learning was also given within this experience.)

I have not attended one of these events before, and it was great to see a whole room full of people, many of whom didn’t know each other, collaborating and having fun together. It was a night of belonging to a tribe, the tribe of gingerbread house makers. And importantly it was a night of creativity at Christmas. There was no competition involved, just everybody creating the most delightful houses that they could.

The less is more principle springs to mind. When you think about the joy we have on receiving a handmade present from one of our children compared to a cheap mass-produced item, there is no comparison really. One year a friend gave me an exquisitely hand embroidered bag that she had made and I was so moved by this gift. There were hours of work in it and the fact that she had made this for me was actually quite overwhelming. This bag must be 30 years old now and I still remember the beautiful feeling I had on opening it.  My friend gave me something far more than just a bag the day she gave me this gift. She gave me a gift that has kept on giving to me for 30 years and it was a gift that said to me – I see you, I know your heart, I love you and value our friendship. 

 

Creativity At Christmas,Hand Embroidered Gift Bag

Hand Embroidered Bag

 

This friend has given me many beautiful treasures over the years, I still have them all, and my heart is filled with joy and gratitude every time I look at them.

When someone takes the time to create something for you, it is a measure of their care and love. It is not about how good the gift is, how ‘perfectly made’, or it will ruin my decor or will I look geeky  if I wear this chunky bracelet – these judgments are all about us not the giver of the gift. 

However, I think we should take note that many of these things are falling by the wayside now, for example, a lot of people now send their Christmas cards by email. Many of my students were remarking just today that they hardly ever get Christmas cards anymore and they were quite delighted to receive mine. Not that I actually made them mind you, well they weren’t hand done, but they were digital images that I created and then had printed on cards, so there was still an element of my own creativity there.  The funny thing was, that they opened them together and didn’t work out right away that I had created the images on the cards until one of them turned one over and saw my logo on the back. Then everyone went back and had a second look at their cards which were all different, and you could see the delight on their faces at something that wasn’t just bought from the store. You can see how gifting creativity at Christmas, rewards both the giver and the receiver.

creativity_at_Christmas,Xmas Card,kadira_jennings

I think there is also another really important point here, which is illustrated by the example I just gave. If we think for a moment about how the students received those cards, at first really only giving them a cursory glance until someone else discovered that they might have more meaning. It was only then that they went back and actually had a really good look at the cards. So we have here a lesson in receiving as well. If you think about how children open their Christmas presents, they rip through them going on to the next thing and the next, and until they’re all gone. And the more presents they receive the less appreciation there actually is for each gift. I wonder what Christmas would be like, if we only gave handmade gifts, which also means that we would probably get far less of them. But how much more might we appreciate them and how much longer might those gifts keep on giving to us if they were specially made just for us.

This, of course, means that we need to be a lot more organised, we would have to begin creating these gifts at the beginning of the year not rushing out to buy them three days before Christmas. We would have to put a lot more thought into what we actually want to give them, and what we think they might like. Then of course, we might have to give up some of our precious time in order to create it. However, the gift in that for us is that we get to use our own creativity, and experience the joy that there is within that activity, that fills the soul like nothing else.

 

 

diving_deeper_into _your_art_practice, kadira_jennings

What Does It Take To Dive Deeper Into Your Art Practice?

Deepen Your Art Practice a free group hosted by me on Facebook.
It is a place for artists of all stages to Dive Deeper, Create and Connect –
If you want to dive deeper into your Art Practice and learn to create powerful artworks while balancing your creative and business energies, come over and join in the conversation at  Deepen Your Art Practice.

Why would you want to Join this group? As you know, there are a lot of art groups out there and what is one more artist’s group? Well, one of the things I noticed that was lacking was a group that really goes deeper into an artist’s life and their Art Practice.  Most groups out there are sharing paintings, business tips and techniques.  I feel that the most important side of our Art Practice is being neglected, so I established this group to start the conversation around what is, really important.

A lot of this conversation will focus on topics like:

  • What it means to be an artist.
  • How do we manage those internal conflicts that arise between our normal life and our artlife?
  • The power of gratitude.
  • Looking at the pros and cons of working in a series.
  • What happens when we only ‘paint to sell’ 
  • The conflict between what we want to paint and what we think we should paint.

 

Dive Deeper Into Your Art Practice,artists painting photo

 

  • How does the medium I choose to paint in reflect what my soul is trying to express?

These topics are just a few of the areas I plan to open a discussion on.

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