Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life

Claire Waite Brown on the Feminine Roadmap podcast

November 26, 2023 Claire Waite Brown/Gina R. Farrar Episode 91
Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life
Claire Waite Brown on the Feminine Roadmap podcast
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Remember the joy of finger painting as a child or the thrill of your first dance recital? As adults, we often lose touch with these creative pursuits, trading them in for routine and productivity. In this episode of the Feminine Roadmap podcast, Claire Waite Brown (that's me!), the creative mind behind Creativity Found, is here to challenge this notion. She shares her personal journey of reconnecting with her love for the arts, culminating in the formation of an online community for creative learners and educators.
 Claire and host, Gina Farrar, dive deep into the topic of creativity, exploring its diverse forms and debunking some of its misconceptions. We discuss how creativity is not only confined to traditional art forms, but can be expressed in our everyday lives. We share insights on how to overcome the fear of judgement, the pressure of perfection, and the power of embracing our unique creative expressions. We also highlight lessons from Claire's dance and drama classes, illuminating the beauty of being present in the moment and the joy of free expression.
 In the final part of the conversation, Claire touches upon the opportunities of midlife, a period ripe for personal growth and self-discovery. She provides strategies to navigate this stage, urging listeners to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new experiences.
 Claire talks about the myriad creative activities to be found at her website creativityfound.co.uk, and the added benefits she gleans from supporting small businesses who want to reintroduce the joy and playfulness of creativity into our adult lives.
 So, why not take a leap and tune in to explore your creative side? You might just surprise yourself!

CreativityFound.co.uk
Instagram: @creativityfoundpodcast
Facebook: @creativityfoundpodcast and Creativity Found group
Pinterest: @creativityfound
Twitter: @creativityfoun

Researched, edited and produced by Claire Waite Brown
Music: Day Trips by Ketsa Undercover / Ketsa Creative Commons License Free Music Archive - Ketsa - Day Trips
Artworks: Emily Portnoi emilyportnoi.co.uk
Photo: Ella Pallet

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Speaker 2:

Hi, I'm Claire, founder of Creativity Found, a community for creative learners and educators, connecting adults who want to find a creative outlet with the artists and crafters who can help them do so with workshops, courses, online events and kits. For this podcast, I chat with people who have found or re-found their creativity as adults. We'll explore their childhood experiences of the arts, discuss how they came to the artistic practices they now love and consider the barriers they may have experienced between the two. We'll also explore what it is that people value and gain from their newfound artistic pursuits and how their creative lives enrich their practical, necessary everyday lives. I have invited some podcast shows that I admire and think you might like to make guest appearances on the Creativity Found podcast feed. I have chosen an episode from each show that communicates something of the Creativity Found ethos. Please enjoy and I hope you're inspired to listen to more episodes by today's guest podcast.

Speaker 1:

Hello feminine roadmappers. Welcome back to Feminine Roadmap podcast, the podcast that helps you navigate the challenges and the changes of midlife and empowers you to live a more vibrant second half. Today, we are going to be talking about creativity. My guest is on a mission to connect the creatively stifled with the creatively confident and instinctive. I want to take anyone from creative suppression to freedom of expression. My guest today is Claire Waite-Brown. She's the host of the Creativity Found podcast and she's the power behind the Creativity Found directory.

Speaker 2:

Claire thank you so much for being on the show today. Thank you very much for having me.

Speaker 1:

I'm very excited to be here. I'm from a lovely part of the world Oxfordshire, england. Yes, we've had our little talk about what I love, about what I've seen about your part of the country, and we're talking about creativity today. From my heart to yours, I can see how creativity could be inspiring where you live. It's such a lovely part of the world, but I am interested what is it that led you to this passion about creativity and helping other people tap into that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, the big part of it is the helping other people, and especially grown-ups. Well, it's all grown-ups, but especially people who are older and maybe for whatever reason like everyday life and sensibleness and family and job and what have you it's their creative loves that get pushed to the bottom of the pile. And what happened with me was in my mid-40s, so I'm only 50s now. In my mid-40s I really struggled with anxiety and it was at a point while I was seeing a counsellor, and that counsellor showed me this circle, it's like a wheel of life and you've got your pieces of pie, your segments and all of my segments were fine. And then I got to the segment that was you, that was enjoyment, that wasn't about doing something for somebody else or earning money, and for me I couldn't put anything in that segment. So I naturally had a cry. I did that a lot during counselling and I really realised that there wasn't anything there for me. I've always loved singing and dancing. I have a degree in dance and related arts. That's what I love to do. So I started looking for activities that I could do, classes that I could go to that were just for me, that were escapism, that meant I didn't have to think about anything else going on for a couple of hours a week. The problem was I couldn't find anything that really suited me. I couldn't find the thing that I liked. So I ended up turning what was meant to be my enjoyment actually into a whole new project and kind of a business, because I wanted to do drama and singing and dance without having to put on a show, without having to learn lines, without having all of the politics that might go around putting on a show. So I started that as an enterprise. I would hire teachers, hire professional actors and singers to come and teach two hours a week. The sessions didn't relate to the other sessions, so you could come to one session and never come again. You could come one week, three weeks later. It was just you can just come and really escape. And I really really did find that I escaped and absolutely loved making a complete fool of myself in these classes, and this is one of the themes that comes up a lot with creativity, founders. That is the trying something without worrying that you're going to get it wrong. I'm saying in inverted commas here that you're going to not be perfect, you're going to make a fool of yourself and while I was doing these classes and I was meeting a lot of people coming to the classes who were quite low in confidence and struggling a bit as grownups with the idea that they might come and do something and they might embarrass themselves in front of other adults, which we were not all about. We were all about if you do it wrong, what you're actually doing is you're just doing it differently. It's your own interpretation. So then I was meeting people like that. I was also meeting people as I tried to promote the classes, meeting other people who were like yeah, that's such a good idea because I used to love painting, for example. I used to love painting but when I went into the police force I just didn't have time for it anymore and I'd love to go back to it. So I was hearing lots of stories from other grownups, people of my age, who wanted to get back to something creative that they had loved when they were younger but wasn't the most important thing in life or wasn't considered the most important thing in life because it wasn't earning money. Often people will say you can never make a career out of being an artist. You can't make money from it. I don't go and be an actor. It's a terrible life, all of these kind of reasons. So then, when lockdown hit and I couldn't do my drama and singing classes anymore, I decided it would be good to tell these stories so that other people who have an inkling that they want to try something new, creative or otherwise, or have an inkling that they want to do something creative, can hear stories from my guests. And my guests will say, oh God, the first time I did it I was absolutely rubbish, but I kept trying, and they would tell me about the benefits that they get from doing these activities now and from those stories from my guests on the podcast. I then wanted to take it further help people that listen to the show and think I want to try it, help them find the ways to try it and really help people try new things, try something creative and have a bit of a community around you that lets you know that it's OK to do it. Doesn't matter what age you are, it's OK to do it.

Speaker 1:

You know, it is true that so many of us have put that creativity aside. You think about how schools, when they cut budgets, they always seem to cut the creative things first. Right, interesting to me because to me the creative thing is essential to who we are.

Speaker 2:

And they'll also be separated. If you're thinking about school, sometimes, quite often, if somebody is academically bright, they will be led along a path that has none of the creative stuff. You do all the academic subjects, and that's certainly that a lot of my guests have come to me with those stories and if you're not academically bright, sometimes you're like you're just bobbed off on the creative path, as if that is not valuable as being clever and being a scientist. So yeah, but so many people I mean I've got people that I've spoken to who trained in medicine, who were doctors and now as a garden designer, who were engineers and now love weaving, and that they connect together. But they are often separated at school, as if you're good at one or good at the other, and that's a choice you have to make.

Speaker 1:

Isn't that the conversation, though? Right Like you're, either are or you are not creative, or you are or you are not an artist or a singer, or whatever that is. When it comes to creativity, we tend to really stick it in a very specific box, as if you can do this if you have the gift quote or you're just, like you said, rubbish at it and there's no point. But isn't there a beauty to allowing creativity to just be an experience, without feeling so driven to have a result?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, because I often talk about the act of producing rather than the thing that you produce, and that is very important. It's the action, it's the state of mind you get into. Also, some are again. I'm going back to my guests. I have such a lot of wonderful experience to draw on. These are all real people and some have said I was really good at drawing, so my mum said you should do more of that, and that put this particular guest off because they didn't want to have the pressure of having a reason to do it, they just wanted to do it. So, yes, there are all these kind of separations and these stipulations put on. Creativity means you create something, not necessarily.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, let's talk about creativity. If somebody's listening to this and it says creativity found and they're instantly telling themselves that story, right, oh, I could never do that. Oh, I'm not creative, I'm very logical, whatever it is that we tell ourselves. And if someone has told us and we think it's true, let's talk a little bit about how you define creativity and what that looks like with your directory.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean that has. It has changed, I have to say, with where I started with my idea for the podcast, which was from the stories I was hearing from real people, and how that has moved on in the last two years since I've been doing it, and that idea has changed because you do tend to think creativity well. That means being an artist, being, like you just said, good at painting, which doesn't necessarily just come out of you like magic. It takes work as well, but it's the expression, which is something, a word that I use in my kind of marketing and stuff. It's that freedom of expression that you mentioned at the beginning, and it doesn't have to be specifically something that you're expecting it to be. Your freedom of expression is what comes out of you, and something else that people struggle with is what will people think of it when they look at it? So there's like an audience whether that be somebody in a gallery, somebody in a theater, somebody with their headphones on listening to your music there's the audience judging, kind of you probably think they're judging what you do and there's yourself producing what you want to produce, probably also judging it a bit as well, and then worrying about what other people are going to think it's just so spirally and secular and it all kind of mixes in. But with regards to people I've met, I had one lady who had always been very kind of geometric and that was the way her life went, kind of the things she produced when she was in work. And then she found great, great help with her traumas past traumas in surfing and that was a therapy for her. But when she wasn't allowed to surf anymore because somehow or other the ocean got closed during the pandemic, she found expression through drawing on surfboards. So she's gone through this various stages that some they've all helped her along the way and then this creative flow has come out that she didn't know she had inside of her. We've got other guests who are writers or social media people, for example, who are there to help you with your brand and to help you get your creativity out, and that's creative, to help other people get creative. So there's so many different ways that it is shown, that it comes out and it might just it might be in what you wear, what you have for breakfast. You know there are so many ways that you can make it your own and be happy to make it your own and to go with the flow, and that can be very difficult as well, I think, to trust in yourself and do your thing and not worry about what other people are going to think.

Speaker 1:

And really, how often do we actually hear what the other people are thinking? Because we've created a story most of the time.

Speaker 2:

But if you do hear, what you do do is you focus on and you keep hold of the negative things more than you will the positive. You could have 50 positive things, one negative thing you like. I need to change everything because that person didn't like it, and that's a process as well of coming through. Not everybody's gonna like what you do, and that's okay.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm, that is that is actually so key, and I think sometimes it includes us as well, because, just because, like when I do my studio time, sometimes I remind myself To just play, to just experiment, to just enjoy the time. It's difficult to get off of the I must produce something of worth at the end of this time and I think if, if we could discuss this idea for a moment, how important it is To creativity, to just play, to remove the quote expectation of an outcome. How do you feel about that?

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely. I mean, this is what I learned doing the drama classes that I was taking part in. I was hiring the teachers to come teachers and we would do improvisation and it literally is, as you know, just thinking on the spot and once you've done that, it's gone, it's not recorded, it's not kept forever, but it was so enjoyable and you feel so satisfied by it and you learn things about yourself that you are able to do these things. So that's certainly one aspect of it. I know a lot of people like to kind of do free writing to kind of warm up and get, get into that creative flow, which I think is super exciting. It that it does usually mean they want to then go on write something that they have to get to their publisher or whatever. So there is always this balance with, and especially if people want to actually make some money from their creative endeavors, then you do have. It goes back to a very business situation where you do have to produce the thing that people like and to meet deadlines possibly. But playing is your enjoyment, but it opens doors to things that you might not have let your mind be open to. I mean, I've certainly done things with the podcast and with creativityfoundcouk, for example. That I hadn't imagined when I started that wasn't my initial plan, and this is something I like to talk about as well is adapting and changing and not not worrying, not thinking that just because you started with this plan, you have to stick with that plan forever. If it doesn't quite work out or you come up with another idea, then you can go and explore that. But I think playing is a part of that releasing new ideas, which is what creativity is all about, isn't it? It's your new ideas and it's how you get them out there.

Speaker 1:

You know, what's really fascinating to me is how we've gotten into this idea of like to do lists, check boxes, getting things done, and I think creativity is a completely different way of using our time and our energy and our gifts and our abilities, and I think it's you said it yourself people didn't even know they had that gift and I think maybe it was there. Or maybe, just as we evolve as people in our lifetimes, things that we might not have thought about before become interesting to us, and I think it's part of creativity is being curious about how would I like to express myself, whether it's like you said, flower arranging, fashion, food, interior design you could, you know, remodel your house, you could. It could be smaller things like I just met a lady I taught a paint and sip class the other night and she makes cards and she's 78 years old and she is so creatively constipated and I was, so I was as people got into the painting and they were all just chatting with their friends. I kept stopping by and chatting with her and you know, it's as you talk to people who desperately want to create, but they've got this whole book of reasons that they're either not good enough, it doesn't look good enough and I, you know she would look up for things on Pinterest, for example, and she's like it doesn't look like theirs, and this is what I'd like to talk about, and this is kind of an artsy conversation but your creative voice. It's like I was trying to express to her that we're not supposed to produce or create something that looks exactly like something else, because then we're not being our creative self. So let's talk a little bit about we would call it creative voice that ability to allow whatever you create to exist in the world without having it to have to be compared to someone else, because only you can create it the way you create it, right? Even in a scene in a, in a movie. That's why they do auditions, because you have 50 people who are going to decide how that character is going to look, act, speak, and they're all different. They all have the same script, but you're not getting the same result from those 50 people, right? So there's this, this freedom of expression that I think maybe people aren't aware of. It doesn't have to look like anything else or sound like anybody else, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think the problem with that for people is their own. It's not the actual activity, it's not the talent, it's not the skill, it's the mindset. And I do tend to think this is more female thing, but I may be being, you know, putting woman kind down a bit there, but Certainly I always feel like I should be doing something that's worthwhile, that's useful, that's good and from like even, you know, when there's a bit of time, when there's a bit of free time, the first thing I'll think is is there something I can do that will save me time later on a job, on like the to-do list you were talking about? You know, I don't think, oh, I'll go and play on the Xbox, which certain people in my family can do very, very easily, which is absolutely fine. But I always tend to think I need to do something worthwhile, something that's got meaning, something that's got a reason, it's going to tick something off a list. So I definitely think there's that. That is what is difficult to get over for people to think I'm just going to do it for the sake of doing it. So I don't think that comes down to whether you can or not. It's whether you can allow your brain to, because, I mean, I teach some dance as well and I say all the time in the dance classes that it doesn't matter if you do something different to me, because that's just you, just go with it, let the body go with it. Try not to think too much, and that's another thing that we find difficult to do is to not think, and, from a dance point of view, I really like people to just let the bodies do it, and, more often than not, if you're not thinking, you're more likely to do the steps that your body knows you should be doing, because those are the steps we've learned, rather than thinking and thinking, oh, I'm going to do it wrong, oh, this is how I do the step. You know, you don't think. When you walk, you don't think right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, but you do when you've learned some new dance steps, and even if you know the dance steps really well, you still often think, and I tried to get people to look out of the window while they're dancing, so they've got less chance to think. So there's that side of it as well, the actual being able to switch off and let yourself just play an experiment and just be without thinking, which is why I did the drama and singing classes and even though they do give you a schedule, it gives you those two hours. So theoretically, yes, I'm going to a class and therefore this is useful for me because I'm going to gain self confidence, it's going to help me speak in public in the future, blah, blah, blah. But when you actually get there, it's completely free and and you can just silly, muck around, and that was very, very interesting for me. So I can see the importance of it. But I can also see how very difficult it is to switch that switch and say I'm just going to do this to play and see what happens.

Speaker 1:

So, in this paint and sip that I just taught this is the conversation that you're talking about right now is, as I demonstrated. You know, you have the sample painting and then you demonstrate, and I stopped my painting halfway through because it was like one of the things that I feel and I think, where kindred spirits is, the goal is to get them started, to get them into it and then to give them permission, because we feel like we need permission for some crazy reason. And I said, okay, so it was a sunset with a palm tree. I said if you don't like these colors, do different colors If you don't. And then a lady in front said I don't like palm trees. I said well then, don't paint a palm tree. I said our goal here is not to make this painting Exactly. That's not our goal. You know, obviously, if you haven't painted before, this is easier because you don't have any decisions to make and you know, just so. It's this idea that I said go rogue, that was my phrase and somebody's like I'm going rogue. I said, okay, yay, you know. And I had a handful of people who literally just they started with me and then they got inspired to use different colors or to change the direction of the palm trees or one gal the colors look Southwestern. And I said, hey, that really looks Southwestern, I think you should do cactus. And she was like, oh, that's a good idea. So she ended up with a mountain and cactus and you know that was not even close to what we started. You know, the sunset was there and that was about it and I thought this this is what creativity is, it's having something to spring off of it. If it's hard for you to come up with something like Pinterest or whatever your inspiration is, is to just give you a place to start, not a place to end. Would you agree with that?

Speaker 2:

Definitely and that's exactly what I feel with the website and with the directory that somebody can go there and say I quite like that illustration style of that and she teaches online so I can go to one of her online classes, she's going to tell me what to use and I can follow her verbatim, or so it's. It's the fear of the blank page, isn't it? When we do the writing exercises, free writing, it's because there's a blank page there and exactly right. So you've got kits as well, for example, where they've already done the pattern for you and you do the stitches. For example, if it's embroidery or if it's crochet, we're going to make crochet bunting. That's going to teach you how to do the stitches. That's going to teach you confidence. That's going to teach you a bit about color, like you said, about the paint sip and paint and all of those things. As you say, you spring off of it. It's a springboard. You do that. You think, oh, actually I like this, I can do this, I really like those colors, or I want to do this for my friend's birthday. You may also go oh, I don't really like this very much, go and try something else. You know, like I said earlier, you don't have to stick with it. You might try this style of bargello embroidery, for example. You might try a freestyle type of embroidery and prefer the the regimen of a bargello embroidery pattern and the geometric effect that that that brings. So yeah, I completely agree, a helping hand definitely, that you can then grow from if you want to, if you know what? to. You don't have to. You can change to do something else, or you can continue and follow patterns the whole time. You're still getting all the endorphins of the actual doing and of the thing that you do produce. If you do produce a thing, and the way you're moving and the way you have time for yourself as well. You get all of those benefits in whatever activity you try. I mean, I've been. I had to take some of my own medicine because one of my previous podcast guests and she's a member at creativityfoundcouk she said oh, come to one of my printmaking workshops. And I went and to myself I said oh god, no, I can't do that. And I was like no, claire, this is exactly what you're telling other people. They shouldn't be feeling and they shouldn't be thinking about themselves. So I am going to that at some point.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I wish I could come and go with you. Oh, you live too far away. Can you imagine I've got to go to England? I have to take a printmaking class.

Speaker 2:

Well, is it oxygen as well?

Speaker 1:

Oh, so tempting. I actually have Coca Cola and a grease pencil because I got a book from the library on how to do etchings oh, okay, with aluminum foil, and I have all the directions and it's like here's the thing and I think we're on the same page. You just try it. If we could allow ourselves just to do it. To do it because you know you could quilt, you could sew, you could paint, you could draw, you could dance, you could write, you could throw paint. Literally throw like get a canvas, go outside with a drop cloth and throw paint at it and see if that doesn't. You know it doesn't.

Speaker 2:

There's the pouring as well, the paint pouring. That's like you don't have to make too many decisions.

Speaker 1:

Let it let it kind of what do you call it? Like it's it's. You find emotions. I don't know about it, about you, claire, but sometimes the creative process can draw things out of you you may not expect and it's can be very therapeutic and helpful just in life. Even if what you make is, like you said, rubbish to you, the process might have been gold in your life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, definitely, I had some. I had a couple of them, experiences in some of the drama sessions that we did. That really bought something out from goodness knows where deep down inside of me was, and it was really, really helpful, even though I didn't realize I needed that. If you know what I mean. It's not at the forefront and this bought something out. I'm really glad that that's come out and I feel so much better now, even though I didn't know it was there to come out in the first place. There's so many elements to it. Lots of people say, well, I'm going to do my embroidery because that's mindful time. This is stuff that you know. This is stuff you're getting told absolutely. But, like you said, there could be all sorts of other stuff and all sorts of other reactions that come out from you, because you are you. You're not somebody else. What you make is going to be you and how you feel when you make it is going to be you.

Speaker 1:

Do you find that sometimes, when people are creating something there's there's just a strong self consciousness or like a feeling of being naked emotionally, if you will like. There's some kind of vulnerability to the creative process that scares people?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, I'm I'm one for putting my head in the sand a bit like the ostrich. I know there's things. So, for example, certainly when I went to counseling, but also sometimes you have coaching Like I had a free freebie called with a business coach and I was like I know what the business coach is gonna say, I know what I should be doing, I just ignore it and I don't wanna face it, and that's the same thing. Yeah, definitely, you might not know it's there, but you might know it's there and you might. This is gonna tap into something that I don't want to tap into. Possibly, or definitely, there's a self-conscious, there's the self-confidence. I think something I also try to do with the community at Creativity Founder is to make it a community so that it's not just here's something you can do, it's here's some people you can talk to as well about doing this thing or not, about doing this thing. For example, I've started doing where I can and within the website so that people can connect with each other. I call them creativity catch ups. So if you want to go to an event, an exhibition, a show, for example, my family don't like to go to the kinds of things I like to go to. They'll go with me because they're nice but they're not really into it. It's not as enjoyable as if I went with somebody else that is into it. So we've started doing creativity catch ups. We've started with the community generally, letting you get to know other people that are interested in what you're interested in, cause other people may go well, that's not really important, or you know, and then you feel more self-conscious. Then if you haven't got people around you to say, oh yeah, no, it's great. No, do that. No, you should do it. If you want to do it for yourself, do it for yourself. You've got that cheerleading around you. And if you don't have people that feel the same way in real life around you, then you should get them from another community if you can. And that's part of the big reason of creativity found as well is to give you those other people that kind of understand what you're going through and can give you a bit of encouragement.

Speaker 1:

There it is. There's something about being with other people who are on the same creative journey that the only word coming to mind is embarrassing. Like if you're being creative in a non-creative environment it feels more vulnerable than if you're with somebody or a group of somebodies who are willing to go there as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, completely. I think people let their guards down. You know, when you do drama, you do stupid things on purpose, but nothing terrible happens. You get your guard down and you're with like-minded people and you'd usually end up having quite a laugh and producing something spectacular from nowhere, coming up with this wonderful piece that you can then go. Yeah, that was good because you brought that out and you did that. And working together and talking with each other yeah, absolutely. It's a whole different ball game. If you are lacking not even if you're lacking confidence, even if you're full of confidence, it's to be with other people who can share that with you.

Speaker 1:

You know what's interesting? I had a friend who took acting classes and she wasn't becoming an actress, she was just really enjoying taking acting classes, you know. Yeah, she learned so much about herself. And I think acting specifically is you get to kind of play a different character, so it allows you to explore a little bit more, maybe parts of yourself. You know that maybe you don't get to access in your day-to-day. You know accounting, job or whatever it is that you do.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I do the dance that I teach. It's a dance fitness class and it's based on the ballroom and Latin American dances, so I absolutely love telling the people in the class you know, listen to this, pasadoblame become the Matador. I've always, when I did dance for my degree, I've always loved becoming a different character within a dance. That you don't do when you're walking down the street. You know you don't walk down the street like you're in a tango, but it feels so good to do it and you change your whole body language, you change the way you think, and I do say to people in the class as well if you believe it a bit more, if you believe it in your head, it actually shows in your body and your posture. It's quite remarkable that thinking can change being can change looking, can make your whole persona a bit different. You become this Matador or whatever it may be, this coquesca salsa dancer, or we're sabboring down at Rio de Janeiro, at Carnival, and you take on those characteristics as well. You get the confidence or you get the strength or yeah.

Speaker 1:

And there's something okay. Dancing specifically there's something about moving our bodies. That feels so good. You know, our bodies need to move like that and I feel like it does affect how you walk, it does affect how you carry yourself and people might think, well, it's just dancing, but you're creating movement with your body. So I feel like the idea of creativity, if we could hammer a little nail here. It's not just drawing, it's not just painting, it's not limited to if we think art, we think so narrowly. So if people step back and go, what is creativity? It's creating something new. The medium, whether it's food or dirt or fabric or music or whatever, and like singing, for example. You could sing, take voice lessons or guitar lessons or piano lessons, not because you expect to be in Royal Albert Hall at any point in your life, but just for the joy of that expression, because creativity is just it's fundamental base expression. And I think that's where what you do is powerful, because a lot of people are really disconnected from the freedom of expression in that way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I hope so. What I really hope is that people listening hearing stories of other people, so the people listening to those stories get the understanding we're talking about community again here, get the understanding that they're probably not the only one feeling this way and that hear our stories that relate to them. And it doesn't end there, so it doesn't end with hearing the story. That story continues as inspiration for the listener to do something, whatever it may be for themselves, and it might not be straight away, and it might be very, very small, or it might build up, or it might just be having the confidence to say hello to somebody at the bus stop, for example. Just hope that it shows that lots of people, what you see might not necessarily be what's happening inside that person. So, like we were talking about copying Pinterest or whatever, what you see on the screen has loads and loads of work behind it, but you don't see that. You see that and you think somebody's just done that because they're so talented and they're so amazing. I couldn't possibly live up to that but you don't know what's going on inside or what's going on in the background, or all the work that's gone into it possibly years and years of practice, and it's the same with ordinary people in any situation. You look at them and think that person's got it made. Not necessarily you can't always judge by what you see on the outside. So I just hope that, and for grownups as well. Obviously it is all about the grownups, but there is value in doing something for yourself, creative or not, and there is value in doing something that doesn't necessarily have a quantifiable outcome, such as money earned or whatever.

Speaker 1:

I think it opens up parts of ourselves. It can be such a powerful journey to allow yourself to explore with something, and I think taking classes is a great way. Nowadays, shoot, you've even got the opportunity. If you're too shy to start with a class, you could start with YouTube until you gain a little confidence. But that community piece is important. So explain how your creativity directory works. What is it and how does it work?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, and it is still developing. So I started this in January 2022. So, basically, what it is is a website, which, again, is something that I've built knowing nothing about it, the same as doing the podcast. I had no idea how to start such a thing. You know, you use your bravery to give it a go and try my stuff and nothing dreadful happens. So I've built the website. I absolutely love it. It looks gorgeous. I went out. I've been approaching people. I've seen people's work, like people who teach courses, teach workshops or have creative kits. I've approached them and said that I want us to get together and I want to be able to support you personally, as well as with a page on the website, with any promotion I can do on social media, with any promotion I can do on the podcast itself. But I want us to be a community of small creative activity businesses who can help each other and can give each other opportunities, maybe introduce each other to other people that can help to other events, things like that. So it's a whole community. From the viewer's point of view, if they go to the website, they go to creativityfoundcouk. They've got a home page. You can click on the page that shows you all the classes. You can click on a page that shows you art supplies and kits. You can find the podcast there. You can find blog posts from me and from some of my members as well. So all of our members have creative activity businesses, small businesses that can help you as a grown-up to get creative and, like I said, it might be an online, which is great. As you said, if you're not feeling terribly brave about going into a real room with people that you don't know, is an online setup, maybe one that you do for yourself a self-learning class or going on Zoom and meeting people that way. So I put lots of opportunities out there so you can go to that website. I fancy doing this activity. Let's have a look. Who does it? This is other than the online offerings, of course, which has been wonderful, since lockdown has opened new doors in many ways. In-person ones are generally UK-based right now. Obviously, you can do online and buy online courses. So that is basically what I'm just trying to widen as well, to get more members to be able to have more activities. Say, look, here's something you can do, here's something you can do, but use small businesses, come and join us. We have meet-ups once a month as well. So we might talk about a business activity that can help you on this business, or we might just be chatting to have a moan with each other or have a cheer with each other. So, from the viewer's point of view, come to the website, find some creative activities to do Fabulous From a small business point of view. Join the community, have your offerings on the website, have some adverts on the podcast. Come and join us for our meet-ups and we'll support each other. That's fantastic.

Speaker 1:

I hope that makes sense. It does. It's basically like a class directory for people coming to it, so it's a good place to start if you want to see what it is you're interested in, because I think for some people, really Claire, they don't have any idea what they're interested in doing, and so it's kind of the word that comes up for me is curiosity, just getting curious about what is interesting to you and why do you think that's interesting to you and why not give it a go? You don't have to buy everything you need. Like you're going to start a business, you can. Like you said, those kids are fantastic because it's everything you need. You can try it before you go crazy and start investing in stuff that you're never going to use. But like, you could repaint furniture, you could make Christmas bows, you could make Christmas ornaments, you could. You know there's wood burning, my gosh. There's so many things that you could do, like I think it would be fun to do, like regional theater, like musical theater, like just in your area, so it's literally like the community theater and you know something like that. There's so many things you can do. And even that the creativity you wouldn't have to be on stage. You could do the sets, you could do the sound, you could do the lighting, you could do. There's so many things you can do, and I think I get excited about the conversation about creativity because, like you, I feel like we lose our playfulness sometimes as adults, and creativity is a great doorway to playfulness, isn't it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I hope that well, I know that with because creativity found is for the grown-ups that it's a very safe place for grown-ups to go and look at things that grown-ups can do. You know, certainly in the UK there are loads of arts and crafts and performing arts classes for kids to do. There are lots of things for adults, but where do you go to find them? So I really hope that this, but also with this is that these are all small businesses that I know, that I know it's quality stuff, I know the teaching is good, I know the people that run the businesses and I know what they produce and I know about their heart and what they want to do in the future and how they feel about how creativity has helped them, how their particular art form or craft has helped them and how it can help others, which is why they want to share what they do, because they know how it can make you feel. So there's that added thing there that it's for me. I know these guys, you know and I know it's good. So, you don't have anything to worry about about coming and giving it a go.

Speaker 1:

So if you were to give three takeaways to the audience today, what would those be, Claire?

Speaker 2:

Oh God, um, okay, I'm trying three of them, you see, and I'm trying not to make them the same thing. It's quite difficult because they all kind of merge in. So, um, I guess, don't think that you're the only one. You're not the only one. Whatever it is you're feeling or whatever you're wary of, other people have been there and other people are there, so don't ever feel you're the only one. Look for, look for those people who bring you up, who support what you're doing, and, as we've spoken about much of the time through this chat, is not to worry about the result, to do it for the doing, and if it looks different to what you thought it was gonna look like, or if it looks different to the one that the person next to you's done, or the one that the teachers done, it doesn't matter, it's not wrong, it's different yeah, it's not wrong, it's different.

Speaker 1:

That is a really important thing to hang on to, isn't it? Yeah, because we do tend to quantify things as right and wrong, good and bad yeah it just is when you're creating something, it just is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah just like I have quite a laugh sometimes if you teach someone like you were saying about the palm trees, or if I've taught someone a data salsa step and then they do it differently and I'll be like well, if you want to do it that way, you know you've got your own interpretation. That's lovely. I love the way you've interpreted that yeah, yeah, and exploring.

Speaker 1:

Exploring what it feels like, and exploring what you like and don't like, because sometimes, the way we move our hand when we paint, or the way we move our body when we dance, or the way we move our voice when we sing right or we take up space in any kind of movement, it's interesting to become mindful of how that feels. What do you like about it? You know, just becoming very aware of how these things make you feel, not that the emotions in that sense, but just connecting to what brings you joy. What's more difficult? Is it difficult, bad or difficult? Like I, this is hard, but I want to do better. You know what I mean, like really getting connected. But anyway, I tell you we could probably talk for another hour. How can people find you if they're interested in knowing more about what you do? Claire?

Speaker 2:

absolutely so. The podcast, as we've mentioned, is called creativity found, so that is on any podcast app. Then we've got creativity found dot co dot UK. Everything is there. I am on the majority of socials. On Facebook and Instagram it's creativity found podcast, and on Pinterest I believe I'm just creativity found, but generally if you use the phrase creativity found, you'll probably find what I do fantastic.

Speaker 1:

Well, claire, I want to thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing your passion and your insight into creativity and the power that it has in people's lives, and for doing hard things yourself and creating this platform where grown-ups can come and tap into something that many of us have lost touch with or maybe have never been brave enough to give it a go. So thank you so much for taking the time to build a website you didn't know how to build and to start a podcast. You didn't know how to start and to give people that permission to be creative.

Speaker 2:

It's such a beautiful thing that you're doing in the world it means the world to me to hear that as well, to hear that other people want what it is I think they want and what it is I'm doing. But thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share that, and we've just had an absolutely super chat. So just thank you for a lovely afternoon's chat yes, that's right, it has been amazing.

Speaker 1:

And, friends, if you enjoyed our chat, if you head on over to wwwfemininroadmapcom, forward slash episode 328, there will be links to Claire there. But if you're looking at her lovely smiling face here on YouTube, just look down. It's right there in the show notes, so all you have to do is click and I'll take you straight there. Friends, this has been a great conversation with Claire weight Brown about creativity and finding that part of our self that maybe we never connected to or we've forgotten all about, and finding the joy of allowing yourself to explore a different part of you, things that bring you joy, just for the sake of bringing you joy. You know, this is something that both of us highly recommend. You just open the door to something, just pick something. If you've always thought, oh, I wish I could you find yourself watching videos on Instagram of people painting or people dancing or people do, that's probably a good indicator that maybe you could take a class in that area and give yourself the freedom to explore what kind of joy that would bring into your life. Just because, as adults remember, when we were kids we would play, we would do something, just because we had no expectation. Let's tap back in to that just being and experiencing it. This season of our life and midlife, my friends, is a whole new world, so we look forward to hearing about what you're doing. Please reach out to Claire, see what she has to offer, see if there's something there that doesn't spark your interest, and let her know how this has impacted you today. Thank you so much for joining us. We look forward to sharing more inspirational people, strategies and conversations in the weeks to come. Take care, my friends, bye, bye.

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