Creative Careers : Jill Badonsky Interview
Creative Careers in the Arts Interviews
Modern Muse Channeler Jill Badonsky
By Molly Anderson-Childers
Jill Badonsky, author of the fabulous creativity sourcebook, "Nine Modern-Day Muses and a Bodyguard," started her career in the arts at 16, as a camp counselor. She helped the kids create arts and crafts projects and "really goofy skits." This experience made her aware, for the first time, of her creative abilities. Since then, she has worked as an occupational therapist, yoga instructor, creativity coach, and author, facilitating creative art and writing workshops around the U.S. Luckily for us, she carved some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for our Creativity Portal readers.
Q: What inspired you to become a creativity coach?
A: Three things came into play.
Q: Who is your favorite Athenian Muse?
A: Thalia is my favorite Greek Muse because she is about comedy and playfulness. I believe playfulness is an elixir for the creative process in so many ways.
Q: Who is your favorite Modern-Day Muse?
A: I really love all of them but rely most frequently on Albert, the Muse of innovation and imagination. He has many strategies that make coming up with new ideas easy and fun AND he plays a part in exalting our existence by viewing it through creative spectacles.
Q: What is your biggest challenge as a creative soul?
A: I experience two big challenges (but many more rewards) in my daily creative approach. I am a highly sensitive, creative person. High sensitivity is common among creative souls, as a deep experience of emotions leads to plenty of energy, material, and motivation to channel them into art and writing. It can also use a lot of energy in an amplified experience of sadness, loss, self-consciousness and anger. The other issue is being organizationally challenged it can be time consuming and expensive when checks are lost or materials are hiding.
Q: What are your plans for the future? Can we expect another book, more workshops, or something altogether different and surprising?
A: I am working on two books. "The Muses' Awe-manac" was just accepted by Running Press, and "The Nine Anti-aging Potions and a Spot Remover" is being formulated with help from my Muses. I'm planning more retreats for people interested in gathering with a tribe and experiencing more creative joy and less self sabotage. My Creativity Coaching took on a life of its own and is surpassing my expectations so I am complying with where it wants to take me.
Q: Please give a few details about your training program for creativity coaches.
A: I'd like to get the word about Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching out there, both to train coaches and to help clients. The tools Dr. Maurer and I have discovered make such a huge difference in people's lives. It's so rewarding to see how much they enjoy and respond to this approach. The vision of this coaching model is to respect the mystery of the creative process and the sensitivities of the creative person, prescribe tools that make adopting a creative habit easy, playful, nurturing, and captivating, and to make the session a creative experience in itself with guided imagery and containers for creative expression.
The creativity coach training program is 17 weeks long and includes training, a comprehensive training manual, creativity coaching, marketing support and an intensive training which has enabled the coaches in training to go deeper, with an unprecedented understanding and application of their own creative process. This is an accelerated program for people who have had some professional experience working with others, life coaches, therapists, human resource professionals, and expressive arts therapists are all good candidates for this program.
The Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching (KMCC) Philosophy is as follows:
Q: Do you have any advice for people who are trying to make the shift from "day job" to "dream job"? How did you create your fun, fabulous career?
A: I am a corporate drop-out. I went through a spiritual journey to get to where I am now, and every bit of it was worth it. I can't imagine working within the confines of a philosophy I don't believe in ever again. Take it one small step at a time but stay steady. There's a place in all creative processes, including reinventing your career, where "creative chaos" happens. This is the place that separates the strong from the weak, and the passionate from the complacent. About 80% of people give up on dreams and creative pursuits when things get ambiguous, doubts arise, the process takes two steps back, no one shows up. It is the people that know that this is part of the creative process and keep going with determination, humor and a resourcefulness that comes from their authenticity that rise to the top with confidence, cunning and wisdom. Lay the groundwork before leaving your day job, write down all connections possible.
Q: Please give some details about upcoming writing / creative events you have planned.
A: Updated schedules on my trainings and workshops can be found at themuseisin.com.
Q: Can you recommend some resources for artists and writers who want to create their own business?
A: "Living a Life Worth Living," by Carol Lloyd, is a very good book. Lee Silber also has several books that give good suggestions. If you do not have a business mind, as many of us writers and artists don't, I highly recommend that you find a good business consultant I have one I can recommend if you email me.
Q: I notice you have a lot of fabulous workshops planned please expand on the practical aspects of planning and coordinating these events.
A: To me, this is part of the creative process. I apply to speak at many events and also plan my own. My first step in planning my own is to set a date. Deadlines seem to get things going. I write objectives, then consult my Muses to help me with the best part planning the juicy activities. It's like planning a creative banquet; there are no limits! The more imaginative, the better.
Q: What are some of your favorite ways to beat writer's block?
A: Daydreaming, walking, listening to music, stream of consciousness writing, and pulling words randomly out of the dictionary also work very well. My Muse, Albert, has all sorts of suggestions about not starting with a blank page. I often look at someone else's structure and use it with my own subject matter and voice. Once I build momentum, I go off in my own direction. It's like solving a mystery.
Q: Do you ever feel deserted by the Muses? How can you invite them back into your creative life?
A: One of my Modern-Day Muses is named Lull, to personify the creative principle of letting go of the process every now and then. There are times when the creative process switches off for an upgrade. During this time, it's important to nurture connections with images, intellectual and spiritual stimulation, gratitude and a review of what's worked in the past. The Muses love it when mortals just relax, trusting that connections sometimes happen quietly in the subconscious. Feeding the mind and paying attention to little ideas as they emerge leads to new creative directions. An exploration of creative blocks can provide a powerful awareness of what can stop us, thereby giving us the consciousness to move beyond those blocks. There are so many different ways to re-enlist the Muses for various parts of the creative process, I have come to a point where I am never worried about inspiration.
Q: What is your favorite way to inspire yourself? Others?
A: I like taking a number of words, visuals, and thoughts and combining them to see what arises. I like to be surprisingly and playfully distinctive in coming up with ideas that entertain, amuse and inspire. My philosophy is that if you want to inspire creativity, you must show creativity, not tell it. The Modern-Day Muses show creativity by being personifications of principles with personalities, hobbies, quotes and exercises. It's more creative to approach the process through Muses than it is through dry principles. people just loosen up, "play along with the Muses," and all of sudden notice that creativity has become effortless. •
You can find more information about Ms. Badonsky's workshops, Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching, and subscribe to a free inspirational "muse-letter" at her website: www.themuseisin.com. To contact Jill Badonsky, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2006 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.
Molly Anderson-Childers is a a highly creative writer and artist from Durango, Colorado. More »