As of writing this blog entry I have now published eight episodes of the podcast I launched the year called Creative Engagement. I've now interviewed ten more guests as I find a good rhythm for editing.
I want to share some of the lessons I'm learning as a part of this podcast.
I consider myself a creative person and an artist. Going into this podcast work I didn't fully appreciate that each episode is a composition all on its own. Just as a song has elements that mark the different elements of a song a podcast has an introduction and a wrap up. The episode summary is a section I create for every podcast. I also have on every show a piece of music, poetry or a reading. Now I think of each episode like an artistic composition.
The thrust of the podcast is to explore how each community leader or artist holds their relationship with creativity. Asking questions about engagement explores how activated creativity is in their lives.
I've spoken with artists in the UK, Scotland, Sweden, Mexico and Finland. I find a lot of similarities as folks describe their childhood and growing up and their relationship to creativity. While many circumstances are very different each of them views creativity in a positive light and attribute creativity with an essential uplifting aspect in their lives.
This became apparent one day I had two guest interviews back to back. Both guests said how important creativity was to them. Yet their stories about being encouraged into artistry were opposite. One had a loving and artistic set of parents and the other remembers a childhood during a civil war and a mother that was less than encouraging.
Themes present themselves even with only eight episodes:
Reminding oneself of beginners mind is very helpful
Starting small and working incrementally helps avoid overwhelm
Engaging in artistry is often described as saving someone's life
There is a great mystery when art is created and it is not always clear how inspiration arrives
Some describe taking risks as saying yes to new things, others are aware they didn't say no
Formal teaching systems are a double edged sword, while the teaching may be high quality there can also be rigid thinking and damage along the way
I always ask guests if they have questions they want me to ask. I tend to ask a consistent question at the beginning: What has creativity and engagement meant to your life? Guests answer this in so many different ways.
I usually ask at the end of the interview, "What encouragement would you offer to those just starting out and looking to honor their creativity?" I love the answers I receive. The answer is usually some form of "Go For it!"
I really believe this is true and I want to be a master encourager! I've seen how people blossom when they take a chance and follow the impulse to create. This has the potential to really lift your spirits, and right now who wouldn't want their spirit lifted?
Check out the Creative Engagement podcast for yourself and see what you might learn!