Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nurture Your Inner Artist (and a chance to win!)

Free Spirit Spotlight Graphic

Today marks the first in a series of "free spirit spotlights" with some of my favorite creative and inspirational people.  Also, in honor of November and giving thanks, I thought that it would be fun to host some give-aways to express my gratitude for all of your visits and great comments.  (So keep reading for your chance to win a fabulous prize!)

Amelia Critchlow is an artist, writer and educational practitioner.  Last year she launched her first e-course, Experimental Art, and due to its popularity, she has created more opportunities to help you express your inner artist.

I recently asked Amelia to share with us what it means to live a free spirited life-style.

1) How did you come to a place in your life where you embrace yourself as a creative person?
I would say I've always been a creative person and encouraged to be so from childhood.  As an adult, I often found art and creativity slipping as it's not deemed practical or job-worthy, however, I made a decision to take that part of me seriously in my late twenties by going back to art school and doing a degree (10 years ago now) and it really has been the best decision I made.  I have definitely made it work as part of my earning life and of course it's my passion too!

2) What's your favorite art medium for self-expression?
I find it hard to choose one particular medium.  But my favorites are: collage, hand-stitching, and wild experiments with paint, and ink.  Currently I am exploring photography, but mainly where I can set up a scene though assembling, and also acquiring props - creating an imaginative reality and grown-up play really intrigues me!  See my latest post here on play.

3)  Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from artists:  the amazing, wonderful, abundant resources of active artists who have chosen to embrace and honor their passion by doing art and being artists.  I go to exhibitions regularly and am an art book junkie!  Plus, of course, there is now a haven of art and creativity just by looking on the World Wide Web.

4)  How do you manage to find time and make space for your creative projects?
I have to treat my art and creativity as a professional and honored part of my life, otherwise it gets very easily side-lined.  It is not a hobby, it is an intrinsic part of my well-being, life and profession.  As dramatic as that may sound I have chosen to make it that way in defense of people telling me it was neither viable, sensible, money-earning etc.  I chose not to listen to them and instead listened to my own intuition calling.  I set aside 'making' or 'art' days and they are as valid as house-cleaning, any other paid work, or parenting.

5)  What is a free spirit to you?
I feel like a crazy free spirit and it feels good!  My definition is a person who does not conform to the norm without questioning themselves, life, and what it may be about.  A person who chooses to live life by their own rules and discovers and explores what works for them and honoring that without compromising others.


Thank you, Amelia, for sharing YOU with us.

I've been a participant in Amelia's e-course and it's awesome!  Visit her blog to learn more.

Your Personal Reflection:  What inspires you?  Share here by leaving a comment.  Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered for a random drawing to win a spot in the January session of Experimental Art E-course.  And if you want a double shot at winning, join my Facebook fan page today and you'll be entered twice!

I'll announce the winner on Monday.  Good luck!


  1. fabric inspires me - I'm a quilter! Also being in nature. I've been carrying my camera when we walk the dog lately, so I remember to look up at the sky. Gotten a few sunset photos, but mostly it's just a reminder to look.

  2. When I stop to think about what inspires me I have to say there are so very many things that it sometimes boggles my mind but never my creative spirit and which might explain the countless number of sketch books I have filled over the years.
    I am inspired by unusual found items. Old or rusty or broken. I am always looking for new ways to use them in my pieces of art. I love using discarded items like rusty metal, pottery, plates and old jewelry to combine with paints, clays and transform them into new forms. I love turning lost, thrown away and forgotten items into delicious must have treasures.
    I also design and sew. My latest endeavor is making my boho chic purses, bags and pillows using the most incredible designer fabrics with a retro feel to them. These fabrics actually make me swoon. There is no other way to put that. My knees actually get weak!
    The sewing bug I got from my most creative Auntie Carole! She taught me well.
    What I find so difficult is putting aside one medium because I can't wait to start working in another that has inspired me!

  3. Trees inspire me, as do peaceful people. I have a friend who just exudes warmth. I wish I could be like that.

  4. Lately I have been inspired by color, light, and space! Trying not to fill up the space too much. :)

  5. Nature inspires me. I look at what is around me and instantly want to capture it on film forever...

  6. I am loving the changing quality of light this year and the color of the rich tree leaves compared to the sparseness of the tree limbs, the way the light can bounce of and around my childs face, Fabric and paint and words and the shapes and lines of words how powerful the word can be yet made to mean something entirely different be its line, or how it is formed. seeing the same world through different eyes in different space with an open consciousness. peace Barbara Weilbacher (frazier) aka tripmom

  7. I am inspired by the work of others - seeing how they create something from nothing has me itching to achieve the same. And colour: my world is a rainbow and I surround myself with it.

  8. beauty in nature, artwork, design inspire me. But what inspires me the most and charges me is a person's ability to learn, change and adapt to life. When you think that nothing is going to change and life is at a stand still some tiny word, thought or positive line can bring on a tremendous change.!!

  9. My daughter inspires me. She shows me how to fully live without any worries of how she'll look or be judged. She screams, she cries, she laughs out loud, she dances, she draws, she creates, she makes up stories and imaginary worlds, she loves whole heartedly.

  10. This might be a duplicate as my computer is being silly-not my inspiration!

    My true inspiration is my daughter, Emily. She lives fully in the moment. She laughs, she cries, she hugs, tells jokes, sings and dances, and screams, and gets frustrated, and loves with abandon, all without any fear of judgment or looking silly. She is my inspiration and I learn a lot from her!

  11. What inspires me? It may sound corny, but witnessing life unfold inspires me: the simplest things... from this morning's pink sky to taking a walk in search of autumn around my neighborhood to telling stories that teach. All of these inspire me (and more) because often times, inspiration lifts me right up and off my feet!

    Read my AEDM check in here.

  12. My home - Africa - inspires me. There's wildness here that just speaks straight to my soul.

  13. I like Amelia's ethos and creative energy. I'll visit her web place next to learn more. Interesting interview - thanks Shannon.

    The past few months I've made my focus exploring how creativity affects health and wellbeing. Which explains why I find Amelia's perspective so appealing. Infact I'm hoping to do a series of interviews in the New Year as part of my quest.

    I find my inspiration in many places. I've found engaging in projects like Art Everyday Month run by Leah at have been amazing for connecting and gaining support from other creative people. Nature always inspires me - especially time spent by the sea and amongst trees. Music - playing and listening. My writing group girls. My kids. As a writer I can't help but people watch. To be honest I think inspiration can be found in everything if we remain present and aware.

    I already follow your facebook page. But please please put me in the hat with blog comments.

    Kat X

  14. What inspires me ...Everything and anything, being creative is a good way to find peace and happiness inside me.
    Have a good creative day :)
    ps: sorry for my broken english ;)

  15. The thing that inspires me is getting out in my local community and seeing what my fellow artists are creating :-) It always makes me ancy to get home and start making things!

  16. citrus, warm sea air, camping fires, the light of the golden hour, birds and slugs, crusty bread, cool white wine...... art e-classes:)

  17. What an amazing post! I love looking at Amelia's blog. Color inspires me-dramatic color constrasts and subject contrasts. Let's see children, sun, the beach, water, food, other artists, movies, books.
    Thank you and Amelia for this beautiful and inspiring interview. Hugs to you and yours, Angela

  18. thanks lovely Shannon :)

    I look forward to welcoming a participant on to January's course.


  19. I'm always inspired by the changing landscape outside my window. Right now the trees are dressed in their finest fall colors & the pond is settling in for a long winter's nap-although there's an occasional duck or two that visits! sheilah

  20. Hi..l have done both your courses and you are both amazing people! Amelia is a friend of mine and l ws so glad to see her "speaking" here about her amazing talent.
    I find my inspiration in all sorts of things..colour, nature and people. My Art is my Inspiration and my Inspiragion is my Art!x Lyndax


Thanks for sharing!