Desiree East is a Creatively Fit Coach (or as she likes to say, a transformational life coach disguised as an artist). Desiree helps women tap into their creative intuition by using art-making as a vehicle to connect to their souls’ purpose – No art experience required, she helps you tap into your creative potential that is ready to be unleashed to the world. When YOUR creative genius is nourished and pampered, this allows you to create profound changes in your life that IS the art.
Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong Desiree! When did you first realize you were an artist?
I feel like I realized I was an artist at a very young age. I was always attracted to and fascinated by patterns, colors, shapes, and lines, whether it was from nature or something man-made. During my elementary-aged years, I loved creating patterns and designs for fun and also loved to draw silly cartoons. In high school, I took my first drawing class and ceramics class and fell in love with being in the studio, and I took studio art classes throughout my college years, minoring in art, design, and illustration.
Carrie: How did you discover your artistic style?
I have a deep connection to Mother Nature, so I feel like my art is heavily influenced by a process that is somewhat organic in nature. I tend to go-with-the-flow, allowing the creative process to speak to me and guide me in a natural way. I am very much connected to the outdoors, as I love to surf and hike, and being a dancer all of my life might have something to do with my creative process, as well.
Carrie: How do you decide when an artwork is finished?
Honestly, is there such a thing as any art work being finished? Joking aside, there is a sense of satisfaction that fills in my heart when I know a project is complete. With a background in design, it seems that completion for me happens when all of the elements of design happily rests with my visual sense, creating harmony and a sense of peace.
Carrie: What drove you to become a creativity coach?
In 2009, the small Sustainable Landscape & Design business that my husband and I owned (which was directly tied to the housing market) took a hit, and we had to walk away from our home. It was at that moment, I actually had time to pause and reflect about how I really wanted to create a meaningful life. It wasn’t about the 2-car garage, the 2.5 bed and bathroom, or 2.5 financing.
My husband and I decided to down-size, save up for two years, and take care of US. Self-care, for us, meant taking much time needed off to pursue our love for travel and surfing and really honing in on how we could create a life that could give us time and freedom – because, as we all know, those are the new commodities in this new world.
It was then, when I started an Art/Photo/Travel blog and fell in love with the blogging community. I had the TIME to connect with my creative spirit, a part of of me that was neglected over the past few years. Yes, I was a creative by trade, but to be able to take the time to create art for MYSELF was the beginning of a healing process that brought me to where I am a today – the bravest version of my artistic soul, creating a life that is full of profound meaning and one where I could also help others fully express themselves in ways they never thought possible.
I knew how significant art-making could serve as a vehicle to nuture your spirit – but WOW! – to be able to tap into your creative intuition and wisdom has been a huge form of self-care and personal growth for me. I couldn’t just keep all of this goodness to myself, and that’s why I’ve become a Creativity Coach. I had to share the creative love so that I could help people heal and uncover the truest versions of themselves. It was my calling, and I’m so happy to share this gift with others.
Carrie: What’s one piece of advice or practice on your blog that you find indispensable for your own artist practice?
As I’ve mentioned before, connecting to Mother Nature is huge for me. Personally, I need to connect to the outdoors. I live on the beach, so daily walks on the soft sand, dipping my toes in the ocean water, fresh air and soaking in the sun are huge sources of inspiration for my art practice. (It’s no accident that I’ve fallen into the world of Landscape Design, as a creative. Art and nature? How could I resist?) There is definitely a feeling of expansion, when I connect to the outdoors, and I feel this same shift when I sit down to do artwork. It feels very good, and it brings me to the present-moment, allowing creative ideas to naturally flow into my work.
Carrie: How do you think vulnerability affects artists/creatives?
I think that exploring and expressing our vulnerable side is what makes artists and creatives so unique. We all have different ways to express ourselves, we all have had different life experiences, and sharing the stories that influence our artwork is the very thing that makes us human. With that vulnerability, we are able to connect with other people in the most authentic way, and on so many levels. Our very own vulnerability could teach life lessons, it could let people know that they are not alone in whatever journey that are on, and it could simply serve as inspiration.
Carrie: How can people integrate art into their daily lives?
Simply, carve the time out to create on a regular basis. It doesn’t even have to be a full-blown, huge project. It could be as simple as doodling for 10-15 minutes a day, as a form of creative meditation. You certainly don’t have to be a trained artist to do this, and you don’t need any expensive, fancy materials. I like to encourage people to give their left-brain hemispheres a break (the logical, analytical side, filled with to-do lists and deadlines) and tap into their right-brain hemisphere (the expansive, present-moment side, filled with intuition, playfulness, and endless possibilities).
Carrie: How does mindful living impact your artwork?
Mindful living impacts my artwork in many ways especially when it comes to being conscious and aware of the thoughts that tend to surface in your mind. I’ve been bringing a lot of mindset work into my creativity coaching practice, as it helps my clients become aware of the thoughts that tend to sneak into their brain, while they start a new creation. All of the ‘what-if’s’ tend to surface, such as, “What if I make a mistake?”, “What if I do this wrong?”, “What if this turns out ugly?”, “What if no one likes it?”, “What if I don’t like it?”…. Being mindful of your thoughts and choosing to consciously change negative thought patterns into positive thought patterns could help impact both your artwork and your life.
When we become aware of these thoughts, we might recognize that these patterns and thoughts also show up in our real-life situations. The fears, doubts, and insecurities tend to creep up when we are try something new and becoming mindful of these thoughts could help us: first, allow and recognize how this might stop us from moving forward; second, help us embrace the courage and change-work that needs to happen in order to grow as an artist and as a creator of your life, beyond the canvas.
Carrie: What is the most important resource for you as a creative?
The most important resource for me as a creative is creating the practice of tapping into my own intuition. After having gone through years of training, both for professional growth and personal development, I seem to always fall back on listening to my own voice. There is something to be said about always having to rely on external influences vs. honoring and honing in on your own wisdom. Sometimes, we need to quiet our minds and learn to listen to that inner voice who knows exactly what to do next. (Otherwise, Google is my best friend!)
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
My husband, Brendon is a huge inspiration in my life. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, he’s a go-getter, never quits, and is the biggest supporter and best friend that I could ever have. I am so grateful to have him by my side, as a partner for life. We also have a little baby on the way, so I have no doubt that she’ll be another source of love and inspiration in my life!
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
Creativity is a source of flow that comes deep from the soul. I always like to say, “It’s not just about the art, it’s about giving your soul a voice for freedom of expression.”
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Do you harness a connection to nature for your creativity? What do you do to connect with the outdoors? I want to know! Tell me about it in the comments below.