Today on Artist Strong we welcome Leah Kolidas, artist and creator of the wonderful website Creative Every Day. Thank you Leah for taking the time to join us on Artist Strong!
Carrie: Leah, you run two websites I believe, one is an art gallery called the Blue Tree Art Gallery, and the other is Creative Every Day. Which one came first? How did they get started?
Creative Every Day started first. I’ve been blogging a long time! It started as a place to share my thoughts, my artistic journey, and as a place to host creative challenges. As my art business developed, I added the Blue Tree Art Gallery website as my storefront for selling my artwork online.
Carrie: Why be creative every day?
I believe that each of us are unique and have something to share with the world. I know that we are all creative beings and that expressing ourselves creatively makes the world a richer place for yourself and those around you.
Carrie: What has been most rewarding or run about running Creative Every Day?
Beyond my own creative journey, I’m continuously touched by the blossoming of other creative people I get to witness along the way.
Carrie: How did you discover your interest in the arts?
My mom has saved drawings I made when I was 2 years old. I think I was drawing from the time I could pick up a pencil! Creating has always felt like an important part of my life and I knew that no matter what I did, it would play a big part.
Carrie: How would you describe your art to Artist Strong readers?
I’d say my art is layered and flows from my intuition. It comes from the parts of me I can’t express in words. I love working with collage, acrylic paint and inks.
Carrie: How does your life experience and emotional state feed into your art?
It’s everything! Even when I’m not trying to, whatever is going on internally comes out in my work.
Carrie: How do you know when an artwork is finished?
I usually get a feeling of completion in my gut. Sometimes I have to let a piece sit for a few days where I can see it as I go about my day to be sure.
Carrie: What is the piece of advice you dispense on Creative Every Day you feel is most important to your own artist practice?
I often tell folks to allow themselves to let go of judgment and allow themselves to make “bad art.” I use that sentiment often to help me get over the hump of fear and into the creating part all the time.
Carrie: You mention that you’ve been in an Artist Way’s group and then led one online. Can you share a bit about this experience?
I love the Artist’s Way process! It’s intense, but if you commit to it, it can bring a lot to your creative practice. It’s a 12 week process, each week with it’s own theme that help you break through your own barriers, commit to your creativity, and take action. Some of the tools used are morning pages (three pages of stream of consciousness written every morning) and Artist’s Dates (solo, weekly dates with your artist self.)
I loved doing the process with other creative folks in a group and leading a large group online through it. I think it’s a process that’s helpful to do in community.
Carrie: How does that experience now inform your own artist practice?
The experience of the Artist’s Way has helped teach me that there are cycles to my creativity and I don’t have to fight them. It has also taught me that I need to fill my creative well regularly.
Doing the Artist’s Way with groups has also taught me that I thrive with a community and accountability.
Carrie: What advice do you have for people wanting to encourage more creativity in their lives?
I recommend finding a community to share with, it makes the experience richer! And I also encourage people to recognize all the ways, small and large they are already creative everyday and expand upon that.
Carrie: How do you define creativity?
I define creativity as a way of expressing yourself. It could be making something, doing something a little differently, or it might be simply using your imagination. When taken in a broader sense, you can find ways to be creative everywhere. It can be anything from painting, drawing, knitting, cooking, jewelry making, photography, writing, puppet shows with your children, dancing in the kitchen, putting together a fabulous outfit, crafting, art journaling, sculpting, and so on.
Carrie: Special thank you again to Leah for taking the time to share her creativity with Artist Strong readers 🙂
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Don’t forget to check out Leah’s website Creative Everyday and consider taking one of her challenges! Or, view her artwork at Blue Tree Art Gallery.