Friday, August 20, 2010

Creative Profile II: Style Inventory and Family Influences

Creative Style Inventory

When did your creative awakening occur?
About 10 years ago. I started writing again and taking guitar lessons.

What talents do you have, naturally?
writing, music, art, teaching

Which elements (fire, water, wood, air) draw you toward them?
Fire and Water. Yeah, a contradiction. I get ideas in a spark and I tend to really go on them.But I also let the ideas go where they take me, flow like water.

Where and when do you create? Where and when do you wish to create?
Where...anywhere. Literally. Sitting in the coffee shop, or the playground or in a park or a campsite. When-evening, after the kids go to bed. If I could, I'd be in a house on the ocean.

What activates your creative energy and what drains it?
An interesting conversation w/fellow writers and artists (in person or on-line), TV programs, a trip to someplace new, a long walk, inspiring books and pictures. What drains it--negativity,obligation, neediness, a rough day with the kids.

Do you use creative rituals?
I write longhand with colored pens and/or fountain pens. I order coffee when I'm out. I listen to music. If I'm stuck, I'll read on-line blogs and sites of creative people. 

What has been your greatest creative hurdle so far?
Dealing with my husband's indifference, finding time to be creative (w/2 autistic kids and 1 toddler), and the energy to do it.(Rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia)

What time of day are you most receptive to inspiration?
late afternoon/evening/night

How does limited thinking and/or the fear of being wrong or looking foolish short-circuit your creative goals?
I end up wondering if anything I write is worth anything. Hubs has said "it's still the same story" even after I've edited it. Is this all a waste of time? The impression I get is "That's nice, but when will it earn any money?" I get the same indifference w/my art. His tacit disapproval used to bother me but I've had to accept the fact that the only one that it matters to is me, not him.

Family Influences

What spiritual beliefs help or hinder you?
I was raised by a strict Catholic mother. "Do as I say, not as I do." The guilt, the hypocrisy, the penance.Taoism and Eastern mysticism has helped me quite a bit.Go with the flow, don't sweat the small stuff. I do try  to get a better handle on my temper. I believe in a benevolent God, not a punishing one.

What skills or philosophy helped you to stay committed to your creativity despite obstacles?
Sheer persistence, and honestly,a "this is for me" attitude.I don't want to end up bitter or as "just a housewife". I want to enjoy life, not watch it go by.

Was your family creative? Were they supportive of your uniqueness and its expression?
My family didn't really encourage any creative work. Mom made crochet tablecloths while Dad was at sea, but she gave it up. She busied herself w/the details of raising the family almost to the exclusion of everything else. It was only in the past few years that I learned she used to play the violin as a young woman.

Dad was a chef in the Navy for 27 years. He loved experimenting in the kitchen and arranged food in presentation. Apparently, the creative gene runs on that side of the family too. My half-brother and younger sister both draw well, my other younger sister was involved in drama, and a distant cousin works as a Hollywood actor.

Creativity was not encouraged. If anything, I was supposed to be "practical": get good grades, get a good job, help the family, then think about what you want.

What kind of messages did you get about your creativity? 
See last question.

Did your home life build or undermine you self-confidence? Did you get a sense of what you were good at?
Undermined, definitely. I wanted to write,but Mom wanted me to go to a nearby college and become a lawyer or doctor. I had a strong interest in music, but that wasn't encouraged either. I was constantly under fire for being interested in the arts and homeopathic medicine.

What is the legacy of women in your family? How have these scripts shaped your choices?
Almost every one is married and a housewife and mother.The only exception I can think of is my cousin Dannie Lynn: single and working in Washington D.C. But my generation is balancing work and family. My sisters are both in the medical field, I'm a writer/artist and another cousin works in Human Relations. 

Who was the most supportive person in your family? What did you learn from him or her?
Ironically enough, no one really encouraged any creative endeavors. My dad came the closest because he always said, "Do what you want to do." I learned not to be so uptight about life from him and that appearances aren't everything.

What impact has your mother's behavior had on your creative courage?
It stifled my creativity. It wasn't until I moved out on my own that I finally had the courage to try. 

All writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010

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