LMG: I think this blog tour is a great idea, we are learning so much about you and seeing other people's creativity into the bargain, which is also a goal of yours - to bring creativity to everyone - well done!
V: Thanks Lara..........it is my main goal! To inspire!
LMG: It's been really great to see all the questions asked by the others on the blog tour, but at first I was thinking to myself 'how can I come up with questions as fabulous and thoughtful as these?' I have been known to get others to check out my blog entries to see if they were 'ok' (how embarrassing). I've been caught by the gremlin of negative thought! Violette, How do you silence this inner critic?
V: For me silencing the Gremlin is an ongoing thing. I still have that Gremlin sitting on my shoulder or on my head.....depending on the day. Sometimes he shouts louder than other days.........some days when the critic is so loud i actually return to bed. That's the truth! One thing i try and do when the Critic is on me is to remember all of the things that i have accomplished - for example the magazines my work and writing has appeared in, my book, the workshops i've taught. You may have heard me talk about my "Warm and Fuzzy Drawer"? Well i have a warm and fuzzy drawer which is jam packed with lovely notes, drawings, collages, postcards and greeting cards from people who tell me how talented i am and how much i've inspired them. I look at those items when i feel really down on myself. Another thing to do is to have cheerleaders who are on your team - for example i have Mr. G who is super duper supportive and reminds me of my talent and how i make a difference in people's lives when i have forgotten. You know the saying "Friends are angels who lift you up when you've forgotten you have wings"? Well supportive friends and family are like that - worth their weight in gold! I know your husband is like that for you - a great supporter of your creative journey. How wonderful!
I have considered sewing a Gremlin from cloth (similar to the Gremlin in Journal Bliss) and to actually stuff him in a glass Jar whenever he's getting to me. The only problem is i'd probably feel bad seeing his smushed little face in the jar that i would liberate him. Because i'm so imaginative i'd most likely hear his little muffled cries........"Mmmmfffffffffffttt...........lemme outta here!" Maybe a better idea is to dress the Gremlin up so he looks very funny and colourful - in essence knocking the wind out of him and making me laugh. That might be a better solution.
I understand what you mean though about getting others to check out your blog..........every now and then i get Mr. G to check mine out and i ask "Does this look stupid?" Silly isn't it?
LMG: I love your outlook on life, you're always very encouraging and marvel at everything! How do you stay focussed and motivated, through good times and bad? Does writing the blog help?
V: Thank you Lara. Well you may have swung by my blog on days when i could not muster the energy to be positive - when i've been down or overwhelmed or on empty. Generally speaking though knowing that people are checking in helps keep me motivated. When i feel like i've helped others it helps me. You know it's like Volunteering - it enables you get out of yourself and do something for others - to uplift them. You cannot help but have that positivity rub off on you! Another thing i believe in is that we are all divinely guided in some way - it's like some unseen force is there helping lift me up with a poke so i'll notice something wonderful or a whisper that everything is going to be alright. The unseen force has me noticing the most bizarre things and helps me see things that most others do not.....for example the other day the large tub of Cayenne pepper was turned toward the tub of Tumeric and they were having a conversation. I just can't help it.....i see humour in so many things......i do believe i am guided by unseen forces - call it God/the Universe/Spirit guides........whatever... so i can smile. That doesn't necesarrily make me focus but it helps me make it through the bad times. And of course simply drawing and painting my feelings is very freeing and liberating. A deadline such as a book deadline is a good motivating factor for me too! Sometimes i set up artificial deadlines so i'll get work done! That works!
LMG: We all get them, the scourge of the creative community - CREATIVE BLOCKS! How do you overcome them?
V: Well i don't really get blocks anymore......i used to.......about 12 or so years ago.....and then i found the TAO (which is a philosophy of living - go with the flow). The Tao taught me to move through my blocks by simply going with the flow (don't push the river). I ended up painting a walking stick in multiple colours and patterns and that was the end of the creative block which i kept whining about forever! I surround myself with paper arts magazines, art books, inspirational notes on the wall and on the bathroom mirror - Mr. G leaves me messages everyday which i put up. And i also surf the net for inspiration.........i'm over flowing with ideas - they end up in several books - one of them being my "idea factory" so that i capture them and they're not totally lost forever. I can't remember where i read it but one of the most important determining factors of creativity is one's belief that they are creative. Well since 12 or so years ago i believed i was creative (in part because my Bohemian tribe believed in me and my art) and the most interesting thing is - that the BELIEF is the driving force which enables me to be creative every day! It's like a miracle............believe that you are and you are!
LMG: When people see my creations, or come to one of my creativity classes, one of my major obstacles is to convince them that they are creative too. I believe like you that it's important for people to embrace their natural creativity, and not to be stopped by fear. What would you say to people who feel they aren't creative?
V: I would encourage folks to broaden their view of the term "creative". We are creative in our everyday lives like when we plant a garden, arrange flowers, make soup from scratch, design and create our childrens Halloween costumes etc. We don't give ourselves enough credit. It's important to realize that creativity shows up differently for everyone....it's debilitating (and i know i do this from time to time) when we compare ourselves to others who are seemingly "better than us". They have a different way of showing up in the world than we do - why don't we appreciate their art and then appreciate ourselves and the manner in which we create? We are all creative, we simply need to give ourselves permission to express it. When you do that you just never know what will appear. For example by embracing your creativity you may discover an ability to create your own lettering. You couple that with an innate ability to write inspirational prose and voila!!!!! You are creating beautiful illustrations on colourful backgrounds of your lettering and prose. Do you see what i mean? It's like magic.......you begin creating and then your soul begins to speak to you in different ways. You may be moved towards making dolls and can express yourself creatively there. The Creative world truly is your Oyster! Just give yourself Permission!
LMG: Now Violette, I love to collect inspiring quotes - one of your favourite quotes is "Follow your bliss" - do you have another quote you would like to share with us?
V: Oh.......here is one of my favourites (next to follow your bliss) it's by Antoine de St. Exupery:
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."
Thanks so very much Lara for this fabulous interview. I loved your line of questioning. I'm so happy to share with your readers!
Thank you Violette - it's always a pleasure to talk with you and hear your take on life and our natural creativity. Yet again you've been inspiring - I'm getting an idea for a cloth Gremlin doll myself that I can sit on my desk and tell to go away if negativity strikes. Of course he will be cute ...
I would urge everyone to take a look at Violette's blog and also the links to the other blogs on this tour - there is just so much creativity out there, and each person has their own unique way of being creative. It's very inspirational and encouraging. (You could be sitting at the computer for a while though, so don't forget your cup of tea ... if anyone asks what you are doing, tell them it's research)
You can buy Violette's book online at Amazon.
You can go straight to Violette's blog from here!
All images in this post copyright of Violette.