Making Creative Change Happen - How radically altering my life has opened the door to abundant creativity

A view of Kamloops from the hills of Aberdeen, south east suburb of the city

A little over a year ago, my work situation looked pretty stagnant. I dreamed of a space of my own and a place to peacefully engage my creativity. Our home, and consequently, my home studio situation was not great. Living in a busy town home development with noise all around me, I felt my creativity withering away from the barrage of space demands, noisy interruptions and the endless pressures of a busy city life. A change of perspective and a holiday galvanised me to embrace a change for the better. It meant moving cities from the rainy west coast of southern BC to the drier southern interior of BC. We moved from the Vancouver Lower Mainland to Kamloops in June of 2017. 

I was apprehensive at first, but there were many push/pull factors to justify the big change and the resettling of a family that had already moved all the way from South Africa 10 years earlier. We all needed the change desperately. Where we lived in south Surrey/White Rock, the pressure was on as more and more high density housing squeezed in on us from all sides. It was getting harder and harder to do anything without fighting crowds of people everywhere. The weather was getting me down too. So much rain and snow and slush had made conditions difficult and depressing.

I hit a wall creatively - nothing about my situation was inspiring me to be creative, yet I tried to forge on, willing it to come. It was harder every day and some days can be counted as a complete loss. Outside forces and inner turmoil were conspiring to make me feel like it was time to throw in the towel and surrender to my circumstances. In the meantime, our search for a new home was taking us further and further away from Vancouver, where we’d arrived young, energetic and so naive only a decade earlier. We were full of hopes and dreams for a new life and, sitting in my tiny town home in south Surrey, squeezed between 2 sets of noisy neighbours with the endless, noisy traffic along the main road we lived adjacent to, I saw my dreams in tatters and knew in my heart we had to go. We had to leave Vancouver and all the madness and stress behind or my creative career would be all but over. I redoubled my efforts and we began doing viewings and visits to Vancouver Island and Kamloops.

The house we bought was providence. It’s a small bit of our own, personal paradise of quiet suburbia up the hill and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I have my own studio/office - finally! - and I have been more creative in the last six months in this new environment than in the past two years combined! I am about to do a shared exhibition at a local gallery - my first art show in Canada. I’ve attended painting classes, honing my skills in acrylics; and joined Makerspace, doing ceramic art. I am writing two new books, I’ve painted, drawn, photographed and generally felt more inspired than I have in a very long time. I am thankful to have been blessed with a patient and encouraging husband who doesn’t view my creativity as something to be indulged, but rather as an imperative to fulfill. I find new ways to be creative every day and no longer feel bound by a situation that was causing me such suffering as my creative soul withered. I am free to create and I am finding myself happy, more often than not, because of it.

My advice to you is, if you can, find a way to prevent the death of your creativity. Even if it means doing something as radical as picking up and starting all over again somewhere else. Creativity is at the core of what makes us who we are, and without it, we cannot feel fulfilled.

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