(B) Tuesdays with Sarah

Wonder 101 - Creative Hero University, Gen. Eds.

Class two in the Creative Hero University Gen. Eds. is now in session! The subject is Wonder - what it is, how to cultivate it, and what it can do for a creative life. Wonder is. . .

The emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admiration

To be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel
— Random House Dictionary

Wonder involves surprise, delight, joy, and amazement. It is state of openness to the unexpected and delightful. Like Gratitude, Wonder requires that you remain engaged in the world around you.  Rather than passing through life with blinders on your senses, you learn to spend you days engaged, focused, and intent on finding reasons for delight in every situation. Wonder calls you to pay attention to your surroundings, no matter how familiar or mundane they may be.

 Wonder 101 - Creative Hero University

Wonder 101 - Creative Hero University

As Gratitude was a defiance against pain and negativity, Wonder is defiance against boredom and jadedness. Day-to-day life is filled with mundane, routine activities, the required tasks whose regularity grinds like sandpaper on our creative hearts. The constant friction can leave us hardened, forming calluses that slow inspiration’s flow. Wonder acts like a protective coating between our creativity and the doldrums of life, allowing us to remain open to inspiration amid the friction of everyday life. Where most see only boredom, those who cultivate Wonder find joyful surprises in the average things of life.

What does Wonder look like in action? Find a child, and observe how they live. Children have an innate capability for Wonder because the world is new to them; each day is an opportunity to discover new things, learn new skills, and dream up new ideas. The world is fresh! From daisies to dance parties, life holds an endless array of surprises and joys. Children participate in these joys with abandon, unconcerned with the opinions of others or the pressures what they “should” be doing. Public opinion takes a backseat to merriment, and productivity must bow to discovery.

Though this perspective can seem impossible for tired, world-worn adults, the concept is essential for cultivating Wonder. A childlike perspective enables Wonder to become a natural function of creative living. When we throw off jaded self-consciousness, we allow our God-given creativity space to explore, discover, and enjoy the world around us. We don’t have to wish for better views, because we’ve reset our vision to see with Wonder. Boredom gives way to excitement as  possibilities, once so invisible to us, are revealed at every turn. Life is fresh again!


Action:

Practice the Child’s Perspective

Choose three situations that you encounter every day (the more familiar, the better). Challenge yourself to view these known experiences with a child’s perspective, approaching them as if their brand new. What do you discover?  What thoughts, ideas, or responses does it trigger? Does the situation seem new or different from this perspective? How so?


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

Gratitude 101, Part B - Creative Hero University, Gen. Eds.

Welcome to the Creative Hero University Gen. Eds.! First lesson on the syllabus: Intention Gratitude. We put gratitude first because it is such a huge component of creativity and the creative lifestyle. The key to strong, healthy creativity is being engaged with the world around us, and Gratitude is the best way to do that. It’s the ultimate engagement tool. Gratitude fuels creativity by keeping us open to wonder, delight, and enjoyment in the world around us.

It opens us up to find inspiration in even the most mundane circumstances, elevating the daily actions of our lives into a more creative place. It enables to see possibilities in impossible situations, and to find joy in circumstances that are far less than what our dreams. Gratitude is joyful, empowering, and full of creative potential for those who embrace it.

 Gratitude is ACTIVE - Creative Hero University

Gratitude is ACTIVE - Creative Hero University

Gratitude is many wonderful things, but there is one thing it is not: passive. Gratitude is an active state, and only functions in those who cultivate it. As with art, gratitude works when you do. Hoping for gratitude will not bring it about in your life. Gratitude requires action, determination, and intentionality. It isn’t so much a mindset as it is a way of living life. Author Ann Voskamp describes gratitude as a “way of seeing.” In our book, we talk about wearing Gratitude Glasses, adjusting your vision to reframe the everyday aspects of life in the light of hope, possibility, and joy. It’s a daily, intentional choice to find the best in every situation, person, and circumstance.

Like a treasure hunter combing the dirt for buried gold, you can use gratitude to mine the lovely in the midst of the average, the glorious amid the mundane. Ask yourself questions like:

 

Where is the joyful aspect of this situation?

 

What is beautiful here?

 

What can I take delight in right now?

 

When you find gratitude sources, celebrate them! Keep a journal, and list out all the reasons you have to be grateful each day. Write thank you notes to the people (and things) that enrich your daily life. Keep a photo log of the beautiful things you encounter as you go through your day. As you train yourself with gratitude, you teach your vision to naturally seek out gratitude sources at every turn. Before long, even the ugliest situations will hold an element of inspiring beauty, because you’ve taught yourself to see it.

Intentional Gratitude is far more than thank you notes and finding pretty things, however; it is a powerful creative act. It is the ultimate defiance against the dark and painful experiences of this world, and greatest tool to combat the doldrums of the day-to-day life. Gratitude returns the color to a world stripped to grey by stress, busyness, and constant demands. It slows the rush of time, making room for glory and beauty to again have a place in daily life. Practicing intentional gratitude empowers you to see the joyful possibilities around, and to bring them into reality through your creative expression. The beauty that you see through gratitude can become beauty that you speak through your creative expression, and that expression can become a piece of beauty that changes someone else’s daily experience. That is powerful indeed.


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Creative Hero University Now Enrolling! - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers

Congratulations, you’ve discovered your identity as a Creative Superhero! You walked through the unveiling process, from Discovery, to Rising to the Occasion, to Walking in Power to Change the world. You know more about yourself and your creativity than you did before, but did you know you’ve been in school the whole time? Embracing your Creative Superpowers enrolls you in what we call the Creative Hero University.

 Welcome to Creative Hero University!

Welcome to Creative Hero University!

What Professor Xavier’s School was to the X-Men, Creative Hero University is to creative souls. Hero U is where all Creative Superheroes discover, build, and understand their unique powers. It’s the training ground for the creative experience, with opportunities to try new ideas and hone skills. Here’s the best part, though: Creative Hero University isn’t a place on a map, but an experiential process in which all Creative Superheroes can take part. This training ground exists in your everyday life; class is held wherever and whenever you step out in your creative abilities. Talk about flexible learning!

Just like any University, Hero U has “Gen Eds” that everyone learns before moving on to more specialized study. These are the building-block classes, the foundational elements that all Creative Superheroes share. Things like intentional gratitude, cultivating wonder, and honest self-awareness are all part of the Hero U Gen Ed experience. They provide a solid, healthy base on which to build a creative life.

We’ll be unpacking each Gen Ed topic in detail over the next few weeks, and digging deeper into how a healthy foundation enables free creative flow. Come and join us!

The Power of A Vulnerable Leader - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Walking in Power to Change the World

Creative Leadership and Walking in Power to Change the World require great character, developed through experiences in the Creative Journey. We talked last time about how Creative Leaders are humble, balancing a clear understanding of their own worth with a strong desire to promote others sooner than they promote themselves. Humility goes hand in hand with the next trait of Creative Leaders: vulnerability.

Creative Leaders are Vulnerable

Creative Leaders live their lives at the forefront of the creativity community around them. They are the pioneers, blazing a path for others as they walk deeper into their own creative journeys. Leading the way well means not just being in front of the pack, but being open and honest with those following behind. These Creative Heroes lead by example in skills and in vulnerability, willingly sharing their stories so that others can grow from their experiences.

 The Power of A Vulnerable Leader - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Walking in Power to Change the World, Part 3

The Power of A Vulnerable Leader - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Walking in Power to Change the World, Part 3

Sharing stories means more than just running a highlight reel of creative triumphs, however. In fact, the best Creative Leaders know that it’s the hard stories that carry the most power to help others. They don’t hide the painful parts of their journeys, or try to make them better in the retelling. They just tell the truth, and use their own experiences to help others find hope, wisdom, and courage along the way.

Just like humility, vulnerability doesn’t always come easy. Being open to others is risky; it’s easier to keep up a facade of strength and calm than it is to show people where we’ve felt weak, broken, or lost. Unfortunately, that easy facade cuts off all opportunities for community and relationship because it leaves no room for love. Love fuels the creative process, providing the passion and drive to pursue great ideas, make great works, and build strong creative community. Love makes us bold, removing the fear that keeps us from connecting with others. Creative leadership cannot function fully unless it is powered by love, and cannot be expressed except through honest vulnerability.

When Creative Leaders express love and vulnerability, they free those around them to love more and, thereby, create more. Telling their real stories shows that even Creative Heroes are human, and that imperfections and failures are only bumps in the road of the Creative Journey. As pioneers, they lead the way in all creative endeavors, most of all in vulnerability, honesty, and love.


Action:

How can you be more open within your creativity community? What stories from your Creative Journey could help those around you? Have courage to step out in vulnerability amongst your creative community. You may be surprised by the freedom that comes from being real.

 

Creative Humility - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Walking In Power to Change the World, Pt 2

Creative Leadership is a key feature (maybe even THE feature) of Walking in Power to Change the world. Creative Leaders have traveled the length of their creative journeys, learned the lessons of the process, and gained valuable wisdom to pass along to other creatives around them. While every Creative Leader is unique, they all share key attributes that set them apart among their tribes and peers.

Creative Leaders Are Humble

Creative Leadership may seem like a prime opportunity for pride and self-promotion to grow, but the opposite is true: Walking in Power and being a Creative Leader require exceptional humility. Creative Leaders aren’t out to press their own agendas or seek attention for themselves – those actions are born from insecurity and fear. True Creative Leaders know that it takes far more power and confidence to let others shine than it does to hog the limelight. They understand that their identities are rooted not in how much praise they receive, but in the unique facet of the Creator that they carry. Attention, accolades, and praises don’t alter their self-confidence, because their identities are secure on something far stronger. They can step back and give others glory without feeling less sure of their own worth.

Creative Leaders are comfortable outside the limelight, but that doesn’t mean they never enter it. They don’t practice the self-abasing false humility that refuses to accept praise when it’s due. Instead, they know how to receive honor with grace, knowing that they don’t need the notoriety to validate their creativity. Praises might have once made them feel like insecure imposters, but now they understand that creativity isn’t born from praises and it won’t die from criticism. They endured the highs and lows of the creative process to get to this place, and they know that creative life keeps on going long after the glories fade away.

Humble Creative Leaders understand when to step back, and they understand when to stand up. Creative Leaders know that being humble to doe not mean being a doormat. Though they rarely go looking for conflict, they will stand up for their rights, needs, and ideals when the time comes. They know who they are as creative people, and that knowledge enables them to defend their personal boundaries in healthy, positive ways.


Action:

Humility self-check. Where and how are you operating in true humility in your life? Where do you struggle? How can you make humility part of your creative leadership? Take some time this week to reflect and think of ways to add more humility to your creative life. 

Destination: Creative Leadership - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers

Every journey has a destination, and we’ve nearly reached ours. We’ve traveled from Backstory to Discovery, Fun & Games to Ownership, and on through Rising to the Occasion. New skills have been found, fresh passions have been pursued, and old foes have been removed. Now it’s time for the grand finale: Walking in Power to Change the World!

 Destination: Creative Leadership - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers

Destination: Creative Leadership - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers

For the Creative Hero, this is the moment that all the efforts, difficulties, and opportunities all lead toward, the culmination of experiences that mold a unique individual into a powerful Hero. This is the time when you come into the fullness of your strengths and talents, ready to take on whatever may come your way. Confidence, experience, preparation, and humility are the hallmarks of Walking in Power.

Walking in Power isn’t just about individual strength, however. This is the time with the Creative Hero becomes a Creative Leader, taking all the wisdom and knowledge gleaned from their own journey, and passing it along to others. Each Creative Leader is unique, but they all know how to be humble, generous, vulnerable, vulnerable, empowering, and legacy-minded (we’ll be talking more about these over the next few weeks).

Just like all of the Creative Journey, Walking Power to Change the World isn’t a static pinnacle. It’s a step into a new way of doing creative life, and an opportunity to grow in ways you couldn’t have grown before. This is your chance to run fast and free towards every creative opportunity, because you’ve made the journey through your creative process to get here. Even better, it’s a chance to help others grow through their Creative Superhero journeys. When you Walk in Power, everyone wins!


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Level Up! - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Rising to the Occasion, Part 6

Imagine you have been given the creative opportunity of your lifetime. You trained and worked for so long, and the moment has finally arrived. You push aside your doubts and silence the Naysayer’s voices, filling your mind with the cheers of your Champions and Tribe as you step up to your new creative endeavor. Everything is coming together! The future is bright! The world is yours to conquer!

But then something goes wrong. . .

Despite your best efforts and obvious potential, your grand creative plan has hit a snafu. Things that seemed certain aren’t working, and those best laid plans have gone terribly awry. Though you seemed so ready for anything, you find yourself stumbling, confused, and unsure where to turn next. Your grand idea didn’t work, and now you have to face the fact that you may have. . . failed.

Congratulations!

Yes, I did say congratulations. No, I am not crazy. I mean it: congratulations, you failed! As outrageous as it sounds, failing is as much a part of Rising to the Occasion as succeeding. Failure is a sign of progress, because it means you have taken your creative efforts up to a new level. Rising to the Occasion is like stepping up to a new level in a video game. It has exciting new elements, but it also has new risks. You don’t know what enemies may await you, or what will be needed to conquer them. Your first few tries at a new level may end in a swift retreat, but that doesn’t mean that you give up on the game. It means that you learn from each defeat, using the losses to learn what is needed to gain the victory later on.

 Level Up! - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Rising to the Occasion

Level Up! - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Rising to the Occasion

The same thing happens when you step up to a new creative challenge. You are indeed ready to step up to the next level; you have trained and grown, and the only way to go is up. You have what it takes to move up, and now you have to learn how to live in your new level. Learning what you need often means enduring failures along the way, but don’t give up! Even the most talented people in the world had to face failures when they rose to higher levels in their craft. Their failures taught them the lessons they needed to be successful in their new endeavors.

Risking, failing, and growing are all part of Rising to the Occasion. As hard as it is to endure, failure is a sign that you are at a new level; it proves that you are moving forward. Rising to the Occasion is about growth, not safety. Failing at your first (or second, or third) go at your new level is still far better than playing it safe in level you long-ago outgrew. Theodore Roosevelt said it best:

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

Action: Reframe Your Failures

If you feel like you've failed (or are failing) at something as you Rise to the Occasion, try reframing the failure. What have you learned from the process? How can it help you be successful in the future? What big risk did you take, and how can you celebrate the bravery of that action? Finding the positive aspects of failing can make an otherwise difficult situation into something that empowers you to seize your creative opportunities!


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Remix the Tape on Your Creative Insecurities - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Rising to the Occasion

Rising to the Occasion is your opportunity to step boldly into your creative future! It’s also a time to step back from self-sabotaging mindsets that keep you from making those bold creative steps. Last week, Emily talked about Rising to the Occasion as the mirror that shows you where you need to grow. It is a mirror, one that shows what you need to possess, and what you need to release.

Rising to the Occasion shines a light on your creative future, while at the same time shining a light on the mindsets that make you your own worst creative enemy. Fears, foibles, perfectionism, procrastination, bad memories and old hang ups - all of these creativity saboteurs come slinking out of the shadows when Rising’s spotlight starts to glow. These are the ugly little Naysayers that whisper (or sometimes yell) all the reasons why you shouldn’t try for the opportunity in front of you. They want to make your moment of glory into a source of dread.

 Remix the Tape on Your Creative Insecurities - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Rising to the Occasion

Remix the Tape on Your Creative Insecurities - Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Rising to the Occasion

Never fear, however! These old fiends rear their ugly heads because you have a genuine opportunity for success. Their presence is a sign of your potential greatness, so get excited when they snap to attention! Remember that the dire predictions they offer only mask the truth: that you have trained, prepared, and are more than ready for this moment than you imagine.

Instead of listening to their litany of woes, remix the tape into a song of excitement and joy for your next steps. Spin the negativity into hope, and flip the fear into passion!  There’s no need to fall back on old habits, or be ruled by old issues. You have everything it takes to take the deal before you and run with it. You. Are. Ready.


Action:

Remix the tape on your creative insecurities. Make a list of the negative thoughts that arise when you think about taking the deal and seizing your creative opportunity. Now write down the positive opposite of those terrible predictions. Make this into a mantra for when you feel unsure about Rising to the Occasion. Every time the Naysayers raise their ugly heads, shout them down with the truth of who you really are: a creative soul capable of incredible things!


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Rising to the Occasion, Part 2

Last week, Emily got us started in Stage 5 of the Creative Superhero process, Rising to the Occasion. This is the time when preparation and opportunity intersect. Often, this will look like a chance to express your creative superpowers in some new, advanced, or more public way. Just as creative expressions take many forms, creative opportunities come in as many forms as there are creative heroes. Today, I’m going to share my story of Rising to the Occasion in my job.

When I’m not writing for or teaching with Bright Ideas, I’m an interior designer. You might call this my Clark Kent job, my Daily Planet desk job that pays the bills and uses a different side of my creative skills. I spend my days space planning offices, specifying furniture orders, and keeping crazy salespeople in line (the struggle is real). This work uses a different side of my creativity than most of my other pursuits, and has had a unique Creative Superhero journey all its own. I walked through the early days of Backstory, worked to find my place during Discovery and Fun & Games, and finally started to hit my stride in Ownership. Then along came Rising to the Occasion to throw a new curve ball my way.

My occasion came as one of my co-workers departed. She was the second designer on staff, my partner and counterpart. The daily workload of design and administrative duties had been split between two people since I joined the staff four years earlier. It wasn’t a perfect system by any means, and my co-worker’s departure prompted a reevaluation of the role. The new plan? Instead of two designers who also did administrative work, they would hire a new assistant and move all the design work to me. It was the golden opportunity I had longed for since I joined the company, a chance to take on a more important role and let go of duties I had never enjoyed in the first place. Talk about win-win!

Yes, I was nervous at the beginning. The role was great, but it required me to rise to a higher level than I’d been at before. It worked, however, because my moment to rise intersected with my moment of readiness. I had honed my skills on a smaller scale for four years, gaining the knowledge, abilities, and connections to navigate my changed role. I might have been stepping onto a higher peak than I’d reached before, but the climb to get there had made me ready. My time of preparation intersected with the moment of opportunity before me, and I said, “Yes!”


Action:

Are you facing a moment of opportunity, but feel unsure about saying yes? Chances are good that you don’t see how prepared you really are for the moment. Take time to look back over you Creative Superhero Journey so far. What milestones do you see? Where have you overcome difficulties or made advances that will help you in this next venture? How have you grown from when you started?

Nothing is ever wasted, so you can be sure that your past experiences will have given you skills to carry into the future. You are more ready than you know!


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers - Ownership, Part 6

The creative journey is a process, a continuous act of moving from one stage of development to the next. Each stage of the creative journey is a miniature process of its own. Ownership begins with owning your identity as a Hero or a Villain, then moves you toward your Mission and Motivator. Once you learn who you are and what drives you, you can start to cultivate your unique expression. The Cultivation part of Ownership is the time when you begin to find and hone your unique creative voice.

Cultivation is a two-part learning process: developing skills and critiquing your work. You work to develop the skills you found during Discovery and Fun & Games, moving them from beginner’s efforts to a more an increasing level of craft. Humility is key during this process, because true growth often requires a willingness to seek help and teaching. This is also a time to invest in practical tools that move your work to the next level. Tools could be literal tools and equipment, or maybe classes or education opportunities. Look to your Tribe during this part of the process - you probably already know people with knowledge or connections that can help you as you hone your skills. Your creative community is often your first and best resource when it comes to growing your skills.

As you grow in technical skills, it’s also important to learn how to critique your work. Critique can be a scary idea, but that’s because it’s often confused with its much less positive cousin: Criticism. Criticism is all about tearing down; it focuses on your inabilities, deficiencies, and all the ways you’ll never measure up. You can always recognize when Criticism is at play, because it makes you feel powerless and unable to grow. Yuck! Critique, on the other, always brings things into a positive light, even when it addresses places that need to grow. Critique looks for opportunities, not inadequacies. It gives you vision for where your work can go, and empowers you to get there. (For more on the difference between Critique and Criticism, check out our book, Bright Ideas: Light Up Your Creativity!)

It’s not uncommon for the Cultivation process to feel like lots of effort with little obvious forward progress. You are honing your voice, learning new techniques, and making the most of Critique’s valuable wisdom. Yet it seems like you’re going nowhere. Don’t be discouraged! The Cultivation process is like running on a treadmill: even though you don’t appear to be going far, your efforts are developing creative muscles that will be there for you when opportunities present themselves. All the miles of “going nowhere” are readying you to run when the gates open before you. Do the work now, when it all seems insignificant, and you’ll have the strength to go the distance when the big moment comes.


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Ownership - Part 4

We’ve made a lot of decisions in the Ownership process so far. Will we embrace the process and be all in? Will we let our pasts shape us into Heroes or Villains? Will we let go of old lies that hold us back from healthy creative futures? Ownership is all about the choices we make about what kind of creative people we want to become; no decision is more important than determining your Mission and Motivator.

Your Mission is the driving force behind your creative efforts, the deep desire that you can’t escape. It’s fueled by your creative dreams, drawing on your inner passions to spur you into greater creative advance. It's what motivates your creative work. Mission gives you the energy and will to keep returning to your creative expression time again, regardless of how hard the process may be.

As you clarify your Mission, it gives you an endgame to pursue throughout your creative journey. It helps narrow your focus and gives you a clear purpose to work towards in your creative growth. Your Mission draws your focus from a million options down to a central point. Instead of scattering creative efforts like buckshot in hopes of hitting your target, you can focus in like a sniper, aiming at new creative goals and seeing them come to fruition.

How do you start to clarify your Mission? The first step is to understand the things that you are passionate about. What makes you excited? What topics bring tears to your eyes? Pay attention to things that stir intense reactions for you, both good and bad, since these are indicators of where your true passions lie. Look for the patterns in your passions, and the places where your creative dreams intersect with your creative talents. Find the convergence, and you’ll find your Mission.


Action: Make a list of things that move real emotions in you. What do you love? What do you hate? What things bring you joy. Write them down, and look for the patterns that appear among them. Now compare these passions with your creative talents/skills, and look for the intersection points.


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Ownership, Part 2

Ownership means being all in regarding your creativity, moving beyond your Backstory and early experiences, and embracing your creative identity. This is the time when you choose who you want to be for the long term. You have creative gifts, but are you willing to pursue life as a creative person? Is this creativity, and your own powerful potential within it, that you really want? How will you shape your life around this newfound part of you?

Ownership is the point of decision. The prior stages were about who you were and what you might be; Ownership is when you decide who you want to become in light of who you’ve been. This is the point where the Creative Heroes and Creative Villains begin to separate themselves. The fundamental question in this time is: how will I respond to my story up to this point? 

Few of us have perfect Backstories. Our histories may be checkered by creative failures, abandonment, rejection, and even outright abuse. Ownership is the time when we must stand at the crossroads of our story, and decide how our past will shape our futures. Will the pain make us bitter, or give us compassion? Will our failures fill us with fear, or move us to press for a better way of doing things? One road leads to life as a Creative Superhero, while the other runs into the shadow land of the Creative Villain. 

The key decision that separates the Heroes from the Villains is how we will view ourselves in light of our backstories. Will we become the heroes or the victims of our stories? Villains see themselves as the victims of their stories. They are the weaker party in every instance, taking failures as the bitter confirmation of their worst fears about their creative gifts. Their creativity is temperamental at best, driven by jealousy, self-doubt, and a desperate need for approval. Villains avoid creative community, preferring instead to insulate their fearfulness behind walls of elitism and criticism. Their end game is power and self-protection.

Heroes use the pain of their pasts as building blocks for their future, learning from failures and growing through difficult circumstances. They know that their identities aren’t rooted in what happened to them, but in who they are inside. They are creative regardless of whether their circumstances are conducive to creativity or because someone gave them permission. They know that creativity is their natural function, and they refuse to let setbacks keep them from using their hard-won skills. Heroes are generous and relational, recognizing the value and power of healthy creative community. Their end game is growth and creative authenticity. 

As you walk through the Ownership process, remember that you are not powerless in your creativity. You have the power to choose who you will become, regardless of your past circumstances. You are not your past, nor do you have to remain who you are at present. You can become the Hero of your story, even if you’ve been playing the Villain up to now (more on that later. . .). Ownership is your opportunity to re-write the story of who you can be. 

 


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Fun & Games, Part 8: Creative Safety

Creativity needs safety if it’s going to grow. Safety is critical for creative growth in all stages of the process, but it’s crucial during Fun & Games. Your creativity is still child-like at this point: young and energetic, but in need of an environment suited to its current skills and strengths. It needs a playground, a cultivated safe place that offers enough risk to grow but not enough danger to be harmful. Your job, as your nurture your fledgling creativity, is to seek out these safe playgrounds where you can explore in safety.

How do you find these safe creative playgrounds? Start close to home. You are the first playground your creativity will ever know - are you a safe place? It sounds contradictory, but you can be your own worst enemy when it comes to creative safety. The beliefs you hold about creativity and yourself in general have profound effects on your creativity. How do you see yourself? What mindsets are you following? Are you fearful? Critical? Perfectionistic? Do you value yourself enough to give your creativity room to grow?

These are hard questions, but they can help uncover mindsets and thought patterns that keep you from being a safe place for your young creativity. When you leave a negative thought unchecked in your mind, you agree with the lie that it’s telling you. The more lies you agree with, the harder it is to give your creativity space and safety. Thankfully, even the toughest lies can be eradicated once they are discovered. The best way to flush out a lie is by speaking a radical truth. What is a radical truth? A radical truth is a statement about yourself or your creativity that you know is true, but that you struggle to believe about yourself. Like a spotlight, radical truths burn away the darkness that shrouds old, negative lies, enabling you to clear them out.

A radical truth statement can be as complex or simple as necessary, so long as it makes something inside you squirm a bit to think it. Try these, for example:

My creativity is necessary and good and worthy of free expression

My creative expression has the power to change me and the world around me

The world needs the unique creative expression that I carry

As you make these radical truth statements, pay attention to the arguments that pop up in your mind (trust me, they’ll pop up). These are good indicators of the lies you are believing. Now you can start unraveling the lies. Since almost every lie is founded on a twisted truth, begin declaring the opposite of what the lie claims you are. Your Tribe and Champions can be a great help in this process, as they see your potential with more accuracy than you. Ask them to help you craft declarations about who you are, and who you can be in your creativity.

With the lies cleared away and the truth in their place, your mind can become the safe place your creativity needs to thrive. Instead of barbed wire, a tire swing! Instead of broken glass, a jungle gym! Just imagine all the ways your creativity can play and grow in a mind that’s made a home for it.


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Fun & Games, Part 3

Welcome back to Fun & Games! By now, you’ve probably realized that this part of the creative journey is all about exploration and delight. It’s a time to try out the new creative superpowers you discovered in yourself, and to test the limits of what they can do. If your life were a superhero movie, it would be time to cue up the music for an action montage. Fly, leap, test your strength! Take your gifts for a spin, and let’s see what they can do!

I have a word of warning before you start out, though. To be more precise, I have a word to warn you about. It’s a simple word, even common, and it may seem innocuous enough at first glance. Be careful of it, however, because it has the power to strip all the joy from your creative Fun & Games. What’s this dangerous phrase, you ask?

Should

That’s right, I said, “should.” Filled with obligations and perceived duties, should stands in polar opposition to the Fun & Games process. It clings like a wet blanket, weighing down your leaps and grounding your test flights. Should tells you that your creative play needs a purpose before it can be allowed, and reminds you of all the things you must do to make your new creative gifts into something acceptable. You should practice more. You should be more orderly in your work. You should be further along by now. It drowns out your excitement with a moaning laundry list of all the obligations, duties, and expectations that await in your creative future.

Don’t listen to him!!!!!!!

While duty can be a good thing, and some obligations must be met, they have no place in the Fun & Games process. Your creative superpowers are babies, fresh hatchlings whose only obligation is to grow and learn. The best way to grow and learn is to play. Your sole job in this process is to try out new things, test your skills, and discover how your powers work for you. The only way to do this is to refuse to listen when Should tries to lure in with his lies.

Emily and I have a phrase we use to snap ourselves out whenever we feel Should’s wet blanket weighing down our creative discoveries. It goes like this: “Don’t should on yourself.” It’s ok, you can chuckle when you say it. That’s the point. When Should and his obligation list become something to laugh at, they lose the power to crush us under their depressing weight. Creativity thrives in freedom and joy, and those are best cultivated in a “should-free” environment.

So, go ahead: be creative! Run wild and have fun with your new creative powers. And when Should creeps up to rain on your parade, just smile and send the little you-know-what right back where he came from.


Action:

Where are you “shoulding” on your creative play? Make a list of the fun, creative things you want to do but aren’t doing. Why aren’t you doing them? Pay attention to reasons that involve obligations, self-imposed limitations, or things you think you “should” be doing. If you find those, ask yourself, “What can I do to stop shoulding on myself in this area? How can I make this fun?” Pick at least one creative thing, and do it for the joy of it this week.


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Fun & Games, Part 1

Welcome to Fun & Games! By now, you’ve walked through your backstory, and discovered the wealth of treasures waiting in your creative garden. You’ve dealt with hard things, put the past to rest, and opened the door to a new creative future. The road may not have always been easy, but you did the work and made brave choices.

Now it’s time to have some fun!

After all the effort of Backstory and Discovery, Fun & Games is the. . .fun part. Now you get to play, to try new things, and to watch as your new-found creative talents blossom into skill sets. Take a swing class, dabble with some water colors, maybe even try your hand at improv. The opportunities here are limitless!

Fun & Games has only one rule: don’t be too serious! It’s easy to get hung up doing everything perfectly and excelling from the start, but this isn’t about going from newbie to pro in no time flat. Fun & Games is about giving yourself time to learn, develop, and discover more about your uniqueness and talents. You have plenty of time - a lifetime, in fact - to develop your skills and grow in excellence.

We will talk more this month about how Fun & Games works, what creative play looks like, and how to avoid the perfection trap. In the meantime, you’re invited to play, to explore, and to grow in all your beautiful creative gifts. Let’s have fun!


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Discovery Part 8

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Exploring your creative garden can be a challenging, surprising process of self-discovery. You have given yourself permission, and stepped in the Discovery process. You may have ideas about what you will find, assumptions that you’ve developed through your backstory, culture, and personal experiences. You walk through the gates, armed with all you think you know about yourself. What awaits you, however, is often quite different than you imagined.

Wonder of wonders, the small plot of your imagining is bigger than you could have dreamed! You may have pictured an herb bed, perhaps even a rose trellis or two. Little did you know that there lurked inside you a vast, undiscovered country of creative giftings. Hedge mazes, orchards, hot houses, and arboreal forests abound. Strange plants of all varieties challenge your notions about your creativity and potential. Some are lovely, but some look more like weeds than lovely flowers.

How do you deal with the shock of finding that your creative garden contains more variety and abundance than you thought was possible? Before you can sort and cultivate these just-discovered plants, you have to learn about them. This is step two in the Discovery process: Self-Investigation. It’s a time to examine, observe, and and study your new surroundings, like an explorer cataloging discoveries in an unexplored land.

Self-Investigation is a time to try your new gifts and discover how they work. Ask yourself questions like: How do I most like to spend my time? What creative actions make me feel alive or inspired? How do I like to work? What modes of creative expression do I most enjoy using? Take notes about the things you Discover as you explore your garden.

Don’t worry about achieving specific goals in the Self-Investigation process. This time is about observing, not producing. There will be plenty of time along the way to produce all manner of things with these new gifts, but you can produce anything if you don’t take to time for Discovery and understanding. It’s also tempting to make the Discovery process unearth the skill or talent that you think is most appealing or acceptable. You may long to find a talent for music, but your discovery process reveals that your true gifts lie in poetry. The goal in Self-Investigation is to be inquisitive and hands on, without succumbing to the temptation to manipulate the process to a specific outcome. Do not be deterred if your gifts seem like disappointments at first. What appears to be a weed at first glance may become your garden’s greatest prize in time.


Action:

Start a Discovery Journal. Grab a notebook or journal (pick out something you really like; this will make you more apt to use it), and start asking yourself some of the Self-Investigation questions listed above. Pay attention to your tastes, preferences, and interests. Note the things that you find, and look for trends in the process. This will help point to out some of your true creative gifts.

Feel free to share your discoveries with us in the comments below, or through social media! Use the hashtag #mydiscoverystory so we can follow along!


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Discovery, Part 6

What do champions have to do with your discovery process? Just like any part of the creative journey, we are not in this alone. Creative life doesn’t exist in a vacuum; we live amongst other people, and they will always play a part in our creative process. While there may be negative experiences with certain people in our creative journeys, there are also opportunities to find creative champions. It’s these champions that help us make the most of our creative journey experiences, especially during the tentative, exciting process of Discovery.

Champions come in all forms and often from surprising places. They might be friends, mentors, coworkers, even family members. Whatever form they take, they all have one defining characteristic: they celebrate and care about your successes and milestones as much or more than they do their own achievements. They care about you, your creativity, and your creative journey. These champions have spotted something special in you, and their great dream is to see you live to your fullest creative potential.

So how do you recognize the champions in your life? Like I already said, the hallmark of champions is that they care about you and your creative future. Champions will look for ways to support you in your creative endeavors, often through providing some form of physical, emotional, or educational resources toward your creativity. Maybe your Champion is the aunt who always gave you art supplies at Christmas, or the teacher who pushed you to explore poetry. The Champions see your burgeoning creative gifts, and they want to help you make the most of them

How else do champions help you in the Discovery process? Champions help by enabling you to see. They are most often the ones to recognize your gift even before you discover it yourself, and they are eager to help you seize the opportunities to try your gifts. They are often the first to give you permission to pursue your gift, coming alongside you in that moment of decision between your current life and the creative gift that beckoning you to step out. Just when you feel too afraid to try, they declare you to be ready and able. Even when you can’t see your creative potential, they can, and they won’t let you hide from a chance to do something wonderful with it.

If you already have Champions in your creative Discovery process, wonderful! If you haven’t found champions yet, don’t despair. They’re probably lurking right under your nose, quietly encouraging your gifts, even if you don’t see them. Pay attention to your relationships, and make a point to pursue connections with people who make you feel encouraged, capable, and equipped in your creativity. These people will make your creative journey richer and more complete, and will enable you to achieve things you couldn’t accomplish on your own.


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Discovery, Part 4

Here’s a secret about the Discovery process: it will require you to do something you think the you cannot do. At some point along the way, the new creative gifting you’ve uncovered in yourself will force you to take a step that you think is beyond you. You may have to try a skill set you’ve never attempted before, or admit to a desire you think is too risky to express. Or maybe you’ll be forced to let yourself have something you think is too much to ask for. You may have to give yourself permission to reach for the creative horizon before you, even as everything inside of you screams in doubt against your action.

That was my story, at least.

Remember the my ballroom dance story from last week? Well, that was only the first half of my Discovery process. I had struggled through the battles of self-awareness and honesty, seizing an opportunity to try something I’d always wanted. I gathered my courage and stepped out, but I still had another hurdle in front of me: permission. Yes, I was brave enough to walk through the door. I tried something new, and found my desire ran deeper than I had expected. Would I commit to pursuing my new-found desire? I wanted to, but I had to overcome barriers of fears, doubts, and unexpected insecurities to make the choice  I’d dipped my toe into the waters; would I give myself permission to swim?

My great struggle wasn’t with a lack of desire to dance, but with a deep fear that what I wanted was somehow too frivolous, too impractical to be pursued. As far as I knew, the creative garden planted in my heart was made of practical plants - vegetables, fruit trees, herbs.  Coming from a long line of practical creatives, it was only natural for me seek out art forms that could be somehow applied for useful purposes. All of my creative gifts had an element of the practical about them. They could be used to earn money, solve a problem, or benefit someone else. I could prove that my efforts brought useful results, and were therefore worth the time, energy, and resources I devoted to them.

If my other creative gifts were a vegetable garden, then ballroom dance was an exotic orchid. It was expensive, time consuming, and seemed to offer no benefits beyond my own pleasure. I couldn’t sell it, feed myself with it, or use it to help anyone but myself. Where would I ever be able to use a waltz in real life? What benefit could I gain from knowing how to rumba? Dance was pure frivolity, beauty for beauty’s sake. It seemed there was just no way to make this frivolous longing jive with my practical mindset. Yet dancing made me feel alive in ways no other creative outlet could touch. Was personal enjoyment alone enough to justify something so costly?

I struggled to reconcile my desire and my practicality until I realized something important: my creative gifts didn’t all have to serve the same purpose. The purposes of my gifts could be as unique as the gifts themselves. My vegetable garden was wonderful, but that wasn’t all I was allowed to grow. Dancing’s exotic blossoms were just as worthwhile a creative gift as any of my more practical talents. Perhaps I could have a greenhouse full of orchids, or plant a field of wild poppies. My creative garden could house a veritable jungle of gifts, passions, and skills - all I needed was to give myself permission to let my them grow. So I gave myself permission, and watched my creative garden grow lush with new dreams and new gifts.
 


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Discovery, Part 2

Discovery is a funny process. Unlike Backstory, with its clear placement in the past, Discovery is fluid, even changeable. It can happen at any point in life, from childhood to adulthood. It can even happen more than once, as long-hidden giftings work their way to the surface of our lives. The Discovery process is often unique from one individual to the next, but it does have common elements that we all experience. Self-awareness, opportunity, honesty, permission, and play are all part of the Discovery process. They may come in different order, and with varying degrees of intensity. Engaging with the discovery process can be scary, but it can also open a door to amazing new creative experiences. I’ll show you what I mean with an example from my own life.

I’ve been involved in the arts for as long as I can remember. I started drawing almost as soon as I could hold a crayon. My creative gift was so strong, so determined, that there was little “discovery” involved in my process; it was just there. I grew up, gained skills, and made visual art a natural part of my creative expression.

But there was something missing.

Something I wanted in secret, but refused to pursue.

I wanted to dance. I’d wanted it since my childhood, as I watched my friends suiting up in their pink tights and beginner’s ballet slippers. I envied their graceful motion, yet circumstances and my own insecurities kept me from joining their ranks. Instead, I pursue the creative expression I already knew, and set the dance dreams in a box marked “I love it, but I’ll never do it.”

Flash forward a decade or so. I was deep in my art, and had branched out into writing and interior design. I was Miss Creativity! But something was still missing. That dance dream still lurked in the back of my heart, never quite going silent. I kept it alive with a diet of dance movies and PBS ballroom competitions. I drew dancers, rendering on paper the person I secretly wanted to become, all the while telling myself that was enough. I was self-aware - I knew that I loved this and wanted it for myself - but I wasn’t honest enough to say yes to my hidden longing. My secret stayed unspoken until my roommate happened across an ad for ballroom lessons in the mail.

“Why don’t you try this? You love dance, don’t you?,” she asked.

“I do love dance, but I’m too chicken to actually try it for real,” I replied.

At last, honesty! I’d answered her almost without thinking, and came face to face with the truth about my feelings. I loved dance, but I was scared. Would I be any good? Wasn’t I too old now? Was I even being realistic? I wanted to tuck away the old longings, but they refused to stay buried. I’d open Pandora’s box, and my creative dreams were clamoring to be realized. Everywhere I looked, I saw dance fliers, dance shows, and a million different references to the dream I’d ignored all my life. Opportunity was knocking, and I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I had to give it a chance.

Hopeful and terrified, I signed up for an introductory tour. You can do this, I told myself, you’re just gonna walk around the studio and see what it’s like. No commitment, no worries. I might have been honest, but I was still chicken-s*#t when it came down to it. I was so scared I even made a friend come along for moral support!  At last, the day came. I walked through the studio door, shaking inside even as I tried to be cool (or as cool as you can look when you need a friend to keep you from bolting out the door). I did alright, until the instructor said, “Ok, let’s do some dancing!” There it was, the moment of truth. I’d come too far to turn back, so I let him lead me to the floor.

As he taught me basic steps, my terror became smaller and smaller. I was still scared, but my fear was overwhelmed by something new, something stronger. My brave step to pursue my hidden longing had unearthed a hidden gift. A light was going on in a part of me I had never known, illuminating a new world of creative possibilities. I was good at dance, but dance was good for me. New horizons of discovery and expression stretched out in front of me. The longing I had buried became a doorway to a richer, fuller creative experience.

What about you? Where do you have hidden dreams that you keep alive but refuse to pursue? How can you give them room to become new creative gifts in your life?


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative hobbies; when she isn’t making art, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers: Backstory Part 5: Mining Your Creative Culture

Last week, I wrote about mapping your family’s creative genome, searching through your family heritage to find the creative treasures hidden within the everyday lives of people you thought you knew. My premise is simple: even the most mundane of families can hide a treasure trove of creative strengths, but those subtle strengths can only be found when we intentionally seek them out. The same can be said of the cultures and places where we spend our lives.

Towns, cultures, and regions all have unique creative deposits within them. As Emily described it on Thursday, these deposits “flavor” our lives and affect our worldviews. For some of us, these cultural creative treasures may be overt, like living amongst the blues music in Memphis or experiencing the technicolor vibrancy of Miami’s many subcultures. It’s easy to mine creative treasures from places where creativity and the arts are valued and supported, but what do you do when you live in a place with less obvious cultural deposits? The reality for most of us is that life in a cultural mecca is the exception, not the rule.

I went to college in the rule, or so I thought. My alma mater was nestled just outside the mountains of East Tennessee, in the tiny town of Jefferson City. With the Smokies to the south and the Blue Ridge to the east, Jeff City was long landscapes but short on art scenes. The campus made up at least a third of the town’s population, yet the presence of so many young people did little to liven the local atmosphere. It was sleepy when school was in session, and borderline comatose during breaks. The nightlife (if you could call it that) consisted of keg parties at the wrestlers' house and staying out all night at the local TVA lake.

Based on that description, you may be shocked to find that not only did I complete four years there, but I enjoyed the process. See, I discovered a truth that many often miss when they look about them: a place’s outward appearance is often a poor reflection of its inner creative treasures. Underneath the podunk-y exterior of East Tennessee hill country, I discovered a cultural heart that beat with its own unique creative rhythms, counting time for an artistic legacy that existed long before my twenty-year-old soul ever heard the first notes. No, this wasn’t the land of the avant garde or the street styled, but it was a land rich with creative treasures.

This was the land of the storyteller, of well-crafted yarns spinning out like spider silks, weaving in and out about you until you’re forever enmeshed in their tales. Those mountains on every side hid folk artisans and craftsmen practicing art forms whose apparent simplicity belied the maker’s true talents. The hills and hollows reverberated with the sounds of pipes and drums and bluegrass fiddles that sang of times that had passed yet lived on in the hearts of the artists. Just like the mountains that hosted them, these creative expressions seemed small from outside yet mesmerized those who explored them deeper.

Now, don’t expect to find bustling galleries or artists’ communes if you should ever visit Jefferson City, Tennessee. You won’t find them. You’ll find a smallish college tucked between the highway and the lake, with a Wal-Mart and a Sonic for entertainment options. Yet, if you look a little deeper, you’ll also find the stories, songs, and mystery that made me love that land as much as I did. I suspect, too, that you would be equally as surprised by what you might find in your own local culture, if you took the time to dig a little deeper. Go beyond the dull facade, and you might just find a creative goldmine hiding beneath your feet.


Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative hobbies; when she isn’t making art, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!