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

 artists biggest fear,kadira_jennings

Are you the Eagle or the Little Guy?

An artist’s biggest fear, what do you think it is? Of course there are many different fears that an artist or a creative person might have, however, I think the magnitude of them depends on whether the artist is a hobby artist or a professional artist. The challenges that are presented to a professional artist, of course, are a lot different to the hobby artist, although I can see how some might overlap.

Let’s take a look at some of the fears that lurk beneath the surface.

  • Failing as a creator – a biggie.
  • Not being able to support one’s self financially – an even bigger biggie!
  • Fear of the competition
  • I’m not enough or not good enough.
  • I won’t be able to sell my work
  • No one will like what I paint
  • I won’t be able to find a gallery to accept me
  • I can’t become an artist – people will think I’m weird and different
  • I will have to dress weird
  • People will tell me to get a ‘real job’
  • I can’t afford the art materials
  • How will I find a good teacher?

There are probably a great many more than these but they are some of the more common ones that spring to mind.  I think I’ve thought every one of them at some point in my art career. However, obviously, some of them are much more gut-wrenching than others.

I would say that the financial problem is probably the biggest fear that budding artists face. It is no easy task to become a professional artist where your sole income is earned from your paintings. One of my mentors, It was pointed out to me, that this attitude is, in fact, a very unfair one to burden your fledgling paintings with.

What Would The Ideal Situation Be?

Therefore, in the beginning, most of us need to have an independent source of income, which in fact will fund the launching of our art careers. Now the ideal situation is, of course, to have that funding come from a source that is Allied to the Arts sector in some way. In my case, I have built a reasonably sized art school and my income from this funds my lifestyle and the development of my professional art career.

Now the ideal situation is, of course, to have that funding come from a source that is allied to the Arts sector in some way.  In my case, I have built an art school into a viable income stream, and my income from this funds my lifestyle and the development of my professional art career.  I am lucky in that this is aligned with what I like to do. I don’t have to go out and scrub floors, do ironing or something awful like that. Not only that, but I have found over the years that teaching is very good for maintaining your technical art skills and keeping your eye and hand in practice for your own artwork.

In the future, I will expand on the ideas in this post in more depth.


Pix Credits: bwj727


if you could,job,artists

If you could do any Job In The World, What Would It Be?

If you could do – Any Job – at all, you say. Well let me see, I actually quite like the job I have now. Gracie, my granddaughter brought this subject up the other day.  We were at the dinner table when she asked John and me how many jobs we’ve had. So I began making a list  – and the more I thought about it the more surprised I was. – Here is the list from the time I was 11. Some were paid, some were not. I never realized until I made this list, how many skills I’ve acquired as I’ve gone through life.

1. A paper round

2. Picking strawberries

3. Working for a clothing shop like Lowes – called Williams outfitters. ( I was about 15 and got sacked because I wore my hair in  a beehive to work one day!)

4. Picking apples – a uni holiday job – that came with its own set of perils in the form of an overly amorous owner who had a wife and 6 kids, but thought I might like a dalliance with him – NOT!

5. Working on a bulb farm that sold daffodils and jonquils –  another uni holiday job

6. Working in an electrical components factory ( the most boring job on earth, winding wire around  little plastic coils all day long) – yet another uni holiday job

7. Running a small private school in New Zealand

8. Working in the office of the Poultry Men’s Coop.

9. Office work at Heards Sweet factory in Parnell which is now a bunch of fancy warehouse apartments.

10. Home Schooling my kids

11. Running a business doing painted finishes and wall murals

12. Partner in a luxury fabric, dying and printing business after the style of Fortuny.

Luxury fabric

13. Liming floors  – you know that trendy look of milky white floors. – A back-breaking job if ever there was one

14. Staining floors

15. Making Jewellery – several different incarnations of this  took place over time, – liquid silver necklaces – back in the 80’s, silver smithing, cast resin – hand painted jewellery, Fimo jewellery — made like Venetian glass and then when we came to Australia, Australiana animals, and birds, as well as full on flower creations i.e.  roses, fuschias etc.

16. Creativity coach

17. Published poet

18. And last but not least, winding through much of the above – being an artist and art teacher.

I would have to say that I feel very blessed to have ended up doing a job that is so connected to my passion – creativity and helping others to grow that passion in their own lives. So I’m not sure that if I could choose any job in the world, that I would choose any job other than the one I have now.

This Weeks Question: So I ask you againIf you could do any Job In The World, What Would It Be?

Look For Next Week’s PostAn artist’s biggest fear, what do you think it is?

Photo by allspice1

starving artist photo

An Artists Biggest Fear? What Do You Think It Is?

An artists biggest fear, what is it? This is an interesting question. If you are an artist, and I’m using the term loosely here,  there are several fears which might come in at number one.

  • Is my work good enough?
  • No one will like my work
  • My work won’t sell
  • I’ll never be able to make a living from it
  • No one will take me seriously
  • I’m too old to begin an art career
  • How can I make enough money and still have time to paint/craft/act…………
  • There is so much competition out there and everyone seems to be better than me

And the list goes on.

I think it is hard to really put any one of these at the top of the list. If I was challenged to do so, I think I would have to say that one of the biggest concerns I have had as an artist has been how can I find time to paint and support myself as well. This was particularly challenging for me because I was never really trained in anything. However, when I look back this was perhaps a blessing in disguise because I was encouraged by one of my mentors to think about teaching art. I was very reluctant to do so in the beginning as I felt I wasn’t skilled enough. But, I did what I usually do and threw myself in at the deep end and did my best to stay a step or two ahead of my students. This was pretty challenging at the beginning.
Nevertheless, I now have an art school, with a fluctuating role of between 35 and 40 students. This provides me with a reasonable income, at the same time allowing me time to paint, although probably not as much time to paint as I would like. Still, I consider myself to be fortunate because the work I do is something that I love to do, plus I don’t have to leave home to do it.

For a long time, there has been The Starving artist myth floating around, and this is probably one of those urban legends that would best be put to bed. If you know anything about the law of attraction, then you know that focusing on the fact that you’re a starving artist really contributes to that reality. It is time that artists started thinking of themselves as successful contributors to society instead of focusing on the fear of being hungry and homeless. And the problem with this fear is that it stops us from doing our art, from taking those sometimes scary steps into the bigger reality of who we might be.

This Weeks Question: What is your biggest fear around your creativity and how do you deal with it?

Look For Next Week’s Post: What’s the best job I’ve ever done?

Photo by sonewfangled

comforting criticism,criticism,critics

Cut To The Quick – Is There Such a Thing as Comforting Criticism?

Comforting Criticism – well that’s a kind of paradox, isn’t it? Nobody really wants criticism – we don’t want to be told that our fledgling creations aren’t quite up to scratch, that we didn’t get it right.  Is there any value in criticism at all, we might ask? There are two things at stake here – one is our precious ego, and the other is our fear.  That fear that we are being seen for the fraud that we really are ( well so we tell ourselves), and the fear that we won’t be able to get it right at all. The fear that we are so bad, so dumb that we won’t ever get it right stops creativity in its tracks.

Man, that gremlin – does he sit on your shoulder sometimes, because he’s certainly spent a lot of time sitting on mine in the past? So this leads me to Comforting Criticism. – Just what is that really?  I have heard it described as an Oreo™ cookie. Why? Because you give some pithy comments upfront, followed by something mushier and follow-up with a last, slightly challenging sentence. In other words, your criticism is offset by some encouraging comments.

There are different ways to view criticism. We can take it too hard and get upset and even angry with the other person about their observations. Or we can be a bit thick skinned and say to ourselves ‘well is that true? What do I honestly think about that? Of course, any persons critical viewpoint is their opinion about the matter at hand. So obviously some criticism is going to be more valuable than others. If you are taking an art class and your tutor comments about something in your work that could perhaps be changed, and they explain why it needs to be, this is a lot more useful than one of your classmates commenting on your work, when they don’t necessarily have that much experience. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you have to dismiss the criticism out of hand, particularly if they have painted for longer than you have.
The trouble with criticism is that our fragile egos don’t like to think that we haven’t got it right, and it’ll go to bat for us, when that may not even be helpful at all. And the problem with comforting criticism is that we may be receiving a watered down version of the truth, which is not helpful either.

It is my belief that criticism certainly has its place in the scheme of things. And my positive response to it rises in direct proportion to the regard with which I hold the criticizer.  If it’s someone who I consider knows more about the subject than I do, I’m very happy to listen to their thoughts on the subject at hand.  

This Weeks Question: What has been your reaction to criticism of your work? Do you find it useful or do you fear it?

Look For Next Week’s PostAn artist’s biggest fear, what do you think it is?



Natures Expression,kadira_jennings,art_studios_gallery


Natures Expression opened successfully at the Art Studios Gallery last Saturday the 6th of May and closes Today Sunday the 14th of May.

The opening was a great success with several of the artists selling work and a great crowd turned out to celebrate the opening with the artists.

Above you can see my painting Dauntless Resilience and the sculptural works are by Lisa McArthur-Edwards.  Her works tell the story of man’s overbearing influence on the natural, sculpted forms of nature, comparing their ugliness with nature’s natural beauty.

The show was opened by celebrated artist and gallery owner of Me.Space Gallery in Sydney, Debbie MacKinnon. She gave an inspiring talk about our connection to nature and the way in which the various artists had approached the common theme of natures expression. Below is a lovely photo of Debbie with Lisa, after her opening speech.  Thank you, Debbie, for your wonderful words and for taking the time to come all the way up from Sydney to open our show.

Debbie MacKinnon,Natures Expression,kadira_jennings,art_studios_gallery


I would like to offer special congratulations to Kate Landsbury, who produced all the work she entered in this exhibition, in two weeks.  What a mammoth effort Kate, we are all so proud of you and to be rewarded by several sales is an awesome thing. Well done!

Kate Talks about her work,natures_expressions

Above we can see Kate pointing to her painting in the background which she had just sold! Below, Art Patrons are enjoying the exhibition.

Art Patrons Enjoying the exhibition,natures_expression


As a final word, I would like to thank everyone who took time out of their day to come and view our works, Debbie MacKinnon for opening the exhibition,  my fellow artists for their many and varied contributions to the exhibition, and Cathryn McEwen and the artists at the gallery who helped us hang the show and manned the sales and other bits and pieces on the day.  You all contributed to our success and a great exhibition – thank you.


This Weeks Question: What did you enjoy most about this exhibition?

Look For Next Week’s Post: Is There Such a Thing as Comforting Criticism?

Award Winning Painting,Dauntless Resilience,seascape,landscape,competition,light_space_time_online_gallery


Fantastic News This Week – Award Winning Painting Dauntless Resilience, makes a splash at the online gallery Light, Space, Time’s annual Landscape competition. It received a Special Merit award.  The work was chosen from 658 entries which were submitted from 19 different countries around the world.

Award Winning Painting,art prize


This came as a highlight in a very busy week, the least of which was hanging the exhibition which opened on Saturday at The Art Studios Gallery – 391 Mann St, North Gosford. The exhibition runs until 4pm on Sunday 14th May.


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