We welcome today Jane Cornelius. Jane worked for years in the fashion industry in design, sales and marketing. She worked with companies such as Harrods, Liberty and Bébé. After living for ten years in China where she taught yoga, meditation and healthy cooking classes, Jane returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne. She is also a qualified counsellor and Baby in a Backpack is her first book.

Carrie: Thank you Jane for joining us. Tell us a bit about yourself; I have the impression you are a bit of a world traveller.

Yes – I’ve traveled so much and lived in so many countries, I now consider myself a global citizen.

Carrie: You seem to have an avid interest in Instagram. How does it inform and/or support your creativity?

Creative Spirit Jane Cornelius

Jane and daughter Poppy on their way to China

I’m a visual person; pictures tell me stories. I like to see people’s lives instead of reading a one line sentence about them on Facebook or Twitter.

Carrie: Where and how do you get ideas for content for your art?

Life is my inspiration, I see, hear, feel, taste inspiration.

Carrie: What strategies do you use to help yourself when you feel “stuck?”

I don’t get stuck, I force myself to work. If I get stuck on one thing, I work on something related to my writing instead.

Carrie: You have a new book out now called Baby and A Backback. Tell us a bit about this book.

I was dumped by my baby’s father when I was five months pregnant and forced to ask the Social Services for help. I gave birth and felt history was repeating itself; I too had grown up in the countryside with a single mother. Scared of  what my future now looked like I decided to change my family’s destiny. I sold everything given to me to survive and I bought a round-the-world ticket with the money. When my daughter was 12 weeks old we flew out of the country searching for a new life and home. Memories of my parenting were my motivation to never to give up. I had a famous wrestler father (who co-starred with Joan Crawford in the cult 1970 movie Trog), a legally insane gypsy mother (who used to dance with Eartha Kitt) and a Playboy Bunny stepmother.

Carrie: What has been something that has surprised you about working on this project?

That I can write.

Carrie: Can you describe your artistic process to readers? For example, do you follow the same pattern and track when you develop an artwork from idea to product?

  1.     I have an idea for a book.
  2.     I write down story ideas in a list.
  3.     Every day I pick a number off the list and I write 1000 word story based on the heading.
  4.     Slowly the book starts to form by itself…
Baby Poppy

Baby Poppy

If you do the above for 30 days by the end of a month: you know what the book is about, how it starts, where it ends. I then write a more detailed plan of the book adding plot, characters, different story lines within the one story and then I start all over again: writing 1000 words a day until the first draft is finished. Then I start again, the first draft of a book is only the beginning; I edit over and over again; I add color, suspense, laughter, emotion, pace…

Carrie: How do your interests outside of art fuel your creativity?

I socialize a lot, I love people, and listening to their stories. I’m fascinated by people’s lives and how they see their world. For instance my daughter told me yesterday she thought old people smelt of pee and porridge; I will use that line in one of my future books.

Carrie: Have you always known you wanted to be a writer/photographer/yogi/cook/traveller?

No, as a child I wanted to work in a factory placing cherries on top of cakes or be a go-go dancer.

Mother and Daughter today

Mother and Daughter today

Carrie: Advice for people who are learning a new skill?

Do it every day and don’t give up. One day with perseverance you’ll finally produce something good.

Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?


Carrie: How do you define Creativity?

Making something real in the world from simply an idea.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Do you want to be better at something or learn a new skill? Take Jane’s advice: “Do it every day and don’t give up.”

Additional places to find Jane: