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Chris Dunmire Interview : Page 3 of 3

Humorist & Creativity Enthusiast Chris Dunmire

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Chris's Tee Time PaintingQ: How do you keep yourself fresh, focused, and full of juicy ideas? Where do you turn when you need an inspiration injection?

A: I take showers to de-stress. I read a lot. I surround myself with people who lift me up. I spend time in nature. I seek multiple perspectives. I enroll in workshops and classes that expand my perspective, knowledge, and potential. I take long walks with honest friends. I'm conscious of self care. I listen to expansive music and uplifting programs. I spend my energy wisely.

Animals inspire me. Just the other day, I discovered four baby rabbits huddled in the grass in my backyard. Everything about them was tiny and cute. Oh, and children's wonder inspires me. When I dug out last year's vegetable garden to ready it for new planting, I found it chock-full of juicy worms. Neighbor kids gathered around my 'worm garden' and squealed with delight as I turned over new shovels of dirt revealing more wet, squirmy worms. That was also the day I learned there were at least 101 children's questions about worms…

Q: Where do ideas come from? Some people believe that there is an inner source of inspiration; that we generate our own ideas for new work. Others think there is a larger, universal source of energy and inspiration that we "tap into" or "channel." As a foremost expert on all things creative, I'm anxious to know where you stand.

A: I appreciate your calling me an expert, and I think we're all experts in our own right. I see many new ideas that are largely built upon or inspired by existing ones and innovations that come into play after a productive brainstorming or incubation session. Have you ever had an original thought that wasn't inspired by a fragment of another?

I'm open to the idea of our being able to tap into a larger source of inspiration or collective consciousness. Honestly, contemplating that potential inspires me.

Q: What is playing in your stereo or iPod right now? Who are your favorite artists/bands to listen to when you're working on a new project?

A: These days I'm being drawn to tribal, earthy, spiritual music. When I'm doing anything that requires reading and writing, noise of any kind is a distraction. Even my meowing kitty. But when I'm working on something that requires less concentration, I'll put on something that matches my energy level and mood. I especially enjoy high-energy instrumental music with drums when doing art or facilitating workshops. Two CDs I frequently play are "Feet in the Soil" by James Asher and "Tribe" by Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors.

Q: Everyone seems to read more in the summer time. What's in your book bag this summer?

A: I'm a nonfiction pageovore. Although I don't follow best-seller or Oprah lists, I do have a bottomless book bag and average two visits to the library each month. (Confession: I do judge books by their covers, but only after skimming their insides!) Right now I'm enjoying "Living Well" by Montel Williams and have just finished two books by Ellen DeGeneres and a biography by Alan Alda.

Q: I have heard many writers and artists say, "If it weren't for writing/art/music, I'd be in therapy right now." Can you speak to the healing aspect of creative work in your own life?

A: One way I have come to understand creative expression — in whatever form it takes — is that it's a container for human expression. If you've ever experienced the benefits of therapy (or even in talking to a trusted friend), you know a major healing component comes from being able to express yourself honestly and freely to a listener who makes you feel heard and validated.

Creativity allows each of us the opportunity to reflect outwardly (project) what's within. If we're honest, our creative projections are true communications of who we are at any given moment. They reflect our knowledge and expertise and hold up our hopes and dreams. They reveal our shortcomings, fear, anger, and despair. They cup around our depressions and patiently wait for us to process our feelings and fragments to arise with new clarity and a stronger sense about ourselves. So I understand how creative expression can be both therapeutic and healing.

Q: Do you feel that creativity has a place in EVERY profession?

A: Creativity is a multi-faceted concept with many meanings. If we agree that creativity encompasses new ways of thinking and doing, then certainly every profession will benefit from making a place for it.

Q: Can you discuss the sacred or spiritual aspects of creativity in your life?

A: It took me years to begin exploring the concept of "spiritual" outside the context of religious faith and belief. When I was able to equate spiritual with inner and unseen — yet something I could feel and sense — it took on a whole new meaning for me.

I cannot deny the interconnectedness of all things. And I see creativity as an important component to this. I also see creativity as a form of spiritual expression with amazing transforming and healing powers.

Q: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today, Chris. Do you have anything else you'd like to add, or perhaps a few final words to delight and inspire our readers today?

A: Thank you, Molly! I'm a firm believer in our unlimited capacity for creativity and the potential for manifesting many wonderful, useful, and inspiring things. Start where you are… and next time you're offered food on a toothpick at the supermarket, take one for me! •

Enjoy more of Chris Dunmire's creativity-related perspectives at

© 2008 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.

Molly Anderson-Childers is a a highly creative writer and artist from Durango, Colorado. More »