Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong! Care to share a little about yourself? What’s your “story?”

 Hi Carrie! I’m Michaela, founder of the For the Creators website and the creative designer behind the Field House design label (now retired).

 I’m a bit of a creative junkie and love all sorts of textile crafts, hand printing, design, music, writing and generally anything creative I can get my hands on! You probably wouldn’t believe it now, but I graduated from university a few years back with a business degree and started work at an insurance company. It wasn’t long before I felt the weight of the huge lack of creativity in my life and set out to change it. The last five years has seen me complete a design diploma, start my own creative business and found several writing projects including an arts zine and my website For the Creators!

 Michaela Cristallo (Photographer: Christopher McElligott)

Michaela Cristallo (Photographer: Christopher McElligott)

For the Creators which is a place for creative people of all kinds to come together to share in the joys and toils of creativity. I started it early this year to share my experiences of creativity and the response has been amazing. We’re a growing community of creatives from right around the world striving to do our best creative work every single day. My other creative love is my design work through my design label Field House where I hand make an array of covetable fashion accessories using 100% natural fibre sustainable fabrics.

Carrie: How did For the Creators come into existence? What motivated your desire to create this blog?

I started For the Creators to share my experiences of creating and to connect with other creatives online. Creating can be an isolating experience at times, but what I realised through sharing my experiences is that we are all going through the same highs and lows on this creative journey. I aim to share, connect and help creators along the path, whatever stage they find themselves at.

Carrie: What is one thing you really want people/creatives to take away from your blog?

I want people to feel inspired and ready to do their best creative work. I want creators of all kinds to know that there are others out there struggling with the same creative blocks as them, and that there is a way forward.

Carrie: Where do you get ideas for content?

 My ideas for content come from my own creative work. I spend several days a week in my studio designing for my label Field House, and my posts are usually inspired by the issues I am facing in my studio work. Sometimes I also get ideas for posts from readers who write to me struggling with a particular creative issue. I love hearing from my readers because it gives me an insight into the lives of other creators and how I might broaden the topics I write on to help a wider group of people.

Kimono Inspired Concept Piece in 100% Silk (Photographer: Christopher McElligott)

Kimono Inspired Concept Piece in 100% Silk (Photographer: Christopher McElligott)

Carrie: What strategies do you use when you feel stuck for ideas?

 I take notes throughout my day when I’m at the studio. I write down any thoughts, frustrations or ideas that pop up and keep them for reference. This is where most of my posts originate from so I rarely find myself stuck for ideas on what to write about. If I do find myself stuck, I’ll give it a day or two for inspiration to strike and once I have something that’s worth writing about that really strikes a chord with me, I’ll write. I find I write my best posts this way – authentic and from the heart, based in real struggles and my search for real solutions.

Carrie: What is The Creators’ Manifesto?

The Creators’ Manifesto is a call to arms to unite creators of all kinds and inspire us in purpose every single day. It embodies the key ideas of the For the Creators website – passion, raw creativity and putting yourself out there. It’s a printable poster that people can stick up on their studio wall or keep in their journal to inspire them in their creative work every day. I’ve had emails from readers right around the world who absolutely love the manifesto and have it proudly hanging in their creative space for a boost of inspiration whenever they need it.

Carrie: What is The Creators’ Loop?

The Creators’ Loop is our free membership group at For the Creators, full of amazing creative people from around the world. As a Creators’ Loop member you receive an inspiring weekly email to kick you into creative action, your free copy of the Creators’ Manifesto plus exclusive members only access to new features, guides and training at For the Creators.

Carrie: Can you describe the ways in which you, yourself, are a creative?

 I love all kinds of creative activities including designing, sewing, crafts, music and writing. Today my number one creative pursuit is my design label Field House where I design and hand make beautiful fashion accessories from 100% natural fibre sustainable fabrics. I also love hand printing, paper making, playing the piano and writing.

Patchwork Scarf created from 100% reclaimed natural fibre fabrics (Photographer: Alan Lunn & Model: Stefanie Haglund)

Patchwork Scarf created from 100% reclaimed natural fibre fabrics (Photographer: Alan Lunn & Model: Stefanie Haglund)

Carrie: What’s one piece of advice or practice on your blog that you find indispensable for your own artist practice?

You don’t need to be 100% ready to get started! I learnt this lesson the hard way when first starting my creative business Field House. I am the ultimate perfectionist and spent a long time researching, deliberating and feeling not quite ready. What I found is that when I did finally launch in and start my business that much of what I’d researched was unnecessary and there was still much to learn regardless that I never could have anticipated. We learn by doing and most often the best thing to do is to just get started.

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

I’ve been really surprised at the level of enthusiasm and need for this website from all different kinds of creators from right around the world. So many creators from all different fields relate to the message of For the Creators and can take away something valuable. I’ve also received some really heartfelt emails from readers who have been deeply impacted by the site, which is just amazing. To know that For the Creators is having such a big impact is a very special feeling.

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

My sketchbook! I love writing down my ideas, sketching things out, planning new projects and saving photo clippings that I find inspiring. It’s a great resource to come back to time and time again and helps me to organise my thoughts.

Website: For the Creators

Website: For the Creators

Carrie: How do you define creativity?

I define creativity as the imaginative process whereby something new springs to life. It’s something that comes about by nothing more than the work of your own hands and the thoughts in your own mind. It knows no bounds or limitations, and is something I believe anyone can take part in and experience regardless of their background, experience or skill level.

Thanks Carrie for having me as your Creative Spirit guest on Artist Strong!

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: If you’d like to learn more about For the Creators you can visit the site at Once there, sign up for The Creators’ Loop to get your free copy of The Creators’ Manifesto and weekly creative inspiration straight to your inbox.