I'm so excited to share another Free Spirit Spotlight with you. Katina Wright is a mother, writer and artist who shares all kinds of creative exploration and genuine reflections on her blog, Wright Story. Kat's compassionate spirit and positive energy is what I love most about her. Enjoy her honest look at what a free spirited life looks like for her and get ready to be inspired.
Photos provided by Katina Wright.How did you come to a place in your life where you fully embrace yourself as a creative person?
Struggling with my health the past seven years has encouraged me to look at who I am and what is important to me. Being a daughter of two musicians and having been encouraged to be creative I'd always enjoyed creative activity, even done creative jobs but not fully embraced myself as a creative person until more recently. I doubted my skill, worried about not being good enough and imprisoned myself with expectations. When you're forced to be still because illness has given you no other choice it makes you look at life differently; appreciate the moment, be grateful for the small things and turn inwards. I'd always wanted to live life creatively and I knew I had to make that a reality in whatever way I was able to. Now creativity permeates my every day. Being creative helps me mentally, physically, spiritually and is not a separate part of my life, but instead integral to it.
What's your favorite art medium for self-expression?
Writing and words have always been an important form of self-expression for me. I've kept written journals and scribbled fiction in notebooks from a very young age. I joke that some days I'd be unable to get out of bed if it weren't for journaling my thoughts, ideas and worries. But also since childhood I've expressed myself through music, art, crafts and photos. In my early adult years I stopped using these forms of expression but in recent years I've started to explore all these ways of being creative. At the moment, I feel I'm still stretching and exercising my creative muscles through various mediums. I'm allowing myself to branch out, learn and have fun.
What is a free spirit to you?
I feel a free spirit is someone who allows them self to be who they truly are. When we shed our own and others expectations we are free to express ourselves fully. Unless we live in isolation, it is hard not to be influenced by others. However, the way I am learning to trust and express who I am is by taking regular quiet time, listening to my intuition and by having lots of creative fun.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Funnily enough I recently wrote a blog post with the answer to this as my submission to the Inspiration Avenue Weekly art challenge. I think inspiration can be found in everything, everyone and everywhere if we consciously allow ourselves to fully experience the moment we are in. But, as all creative people know, there are times when we feel blocked from appreciating or expressing the inspiration we see. For instance, you may crave a perfect sunset to paint or write about. But often a rusty tool, your children playing, someone on the bus or the latest chart music - the everyday stuff - can provide great creative prompts. My favorite muses though are my children, people in general, music, words/books, nature (especially trees & water) and craft/art materials themselves (especially ribbon & the various colors paint/ink/pens are available in). I'm lucky enough to have been part of a supportive writing group for the past 9 years that has mutated from not just exploring writing but also all forms of creative expression. Their friendship and inspiration have been invaluable to me. More recently I've gained so much from the online connections I've made with creative individuals who are kind enough to share their work. Sometimes though, when I'm stuck, I just need to find quiet, turn inwards and rest. I think it's important to recognize that our creative selves need this time to reenergize, reconnect and stock up on creative energy.
How do you manage to find time and make space for your creative projects?
Ha! With young children and an illness that zaps my energy this can be a momentous feat in itself. My health is unpredictable and children have their own ever-changing lives, needs and emotions. So I'm learning to take each day as it comes and not stress myself with expectations of what I should achieve. I don't separate my creativity from the rest of my life and I grab the chance to create whenever and wherever. I also try and include my children in creative activity encouraging them to work on their own creative projects alongside me or in fun art/music/storytelling joint ventures. I learn and grow as much, if not more, than they do during these times.
It is hard to find space and time when we all lead busy full lives but for me the breakthrough came when I started to plan moment by moment and acknowledge the importance of my creative work as a priority. So my home is generally cluttered with art materials and half finished projects. But when I've been feeling very poorly, trust me, I never once wished to get better so that I could do housework and have a tidy home! So now I try to be grateful for every moment I'm able to create and enjoy my family. Like everyone, I catch myself wishing for more time but I remind myself to make the most of the time I already have, in the ways that mean most.
What would you say to those who want to live a creative life and find their artist within, but don't know where to begin?
If you long to live a creative life and find your inner artist then you should waste no time in living your dream. From my experience, fulfilling the creative urge can bring improved wellbeing and health. It can bring joy not just to you but to those around you as you begin to become the person you want to be. So if you feel guilty because of money, responsibility, housework needing doing or whatever - then don't. You will be a better, happier and healthier person if you allow yourself the room to express and grow. And where should you begin? Pick up a pen and paper and doodle or write with no expectations or judgments. Get a huge piece of paper and some cheap poster paints and make a huge colorful mess. Cut out pictures you like from magazines and get gluey fingers while creating a collage. Take photos of anything you find interesting. Dance, sing, play music...you get the idea. To live a creative life you have to actually be creative and the best way to start is to just do it. If you already create regularly then turn inward and meditate on how you wish to incorporate your creativity more fully into your life. Join local or online groups that are interested in your creative medium. But most of all get to know and love the true you. Offer yourself the space to grow and trust your intuition to carry you forward, moment by moment.
Thank you, Kat, for sharing your beautiful words of creative wisdom with us! You have reminded me that each moment, no matter how big or small, is precious and to be appreciated.
Your Personal Reflection: Are you waiting for the "perfect" time to live your creative dreams? What can you do NOW to start creating and appreciate each and every moment?