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Creative Careers : Cynthia Morris Interview

Creative Careers in the Arts Interviews

An Interview with Artist, Writer & Coach Cynthia Morris

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Cynthia MorrisThis month, I'm thrilled to be interviewing Cynthia Morris, Creative Adventuress Sublime. Her home base is in Boulder, Colorado, but as of May, she's traveling in Europe for six months on her own creativity tour — it's good to be talking to another mountain girl! Cynthia is the powerhouse behind Original Impulse, Inc. She is an artist, writer, tour-guide, and creativity coach who travels around the globe with groups of creative adventure seekers. She also founded the Creative Leap Club, which helps people to realize their creative dreams. Welcome to Creativity Portal's June edition of Creating a Fun, Fabulous Career in the Arts, Cynthia!

Q: Your Creative Leap Club sounds like an amazing idea. What inspired you to create this club?

A: Thanks! I'm glad you like the idea. I've tried to develop offerings for people who have different needs, with regard to time, finances, creative needs. Not everyone wants individual coaching, so I have designed group coaching situations and the Creative Leap Club is one of them.

Q: How does the Creative Leap Club function? Are you still open to new members?

A: It's essentially a group of people who want to work on their creative projects with the support of a creative tribe. We meet once per month on the phone, and discuss where we are and where we want to go. I coach the members and everyone leaves with homework to focus on for the month. At the beginning, we clarify goals for the program and work steadily toward them.

I love this structure because it's not a traditional class where people are learning something; instead it's a structure that allows people of all levels to come together and work on their stuff… a virtual studio with a coach to guide the process.

This cycle of the Club isn't open to new members. Once we get rolling, I've created a safe space and to bring someone new in could be disruptive.

Q: What benefits can participants expect to gain from joining the club?

A: Some of the benefits include the support of a certified coach and artist, and support from a group of creative peers. Coaching that helps to develop a deeper understanding of her unique process, and of course, serious progress toward her creative goals. Ultimately people gain a deep understanding of their own process, as well as a healthy and productive relationship with the project they are working on. It's amazing what a bit of support and community can do to make the creative process easier.

Q: How do you help club members to support and realize their creative dreams?

A: I listen, I ask questions that they wouldn't think of themselves. These questions are avenues to new ways of thinking and creating that can open up new vistas and make creating more personal and enriching. I always balance my coaching with the inner work — what's happening inside the mind and heart of a writer — with the outer work — making concrete action steps toward an end goal. It's a combination that works very well to move creative people forward.

Q: I LOVE the idea of your e-book, Creative Toolkit for Travelers. Can you tell us what inspired you to create this fabulous tool for traveling writers and artists?

A: That's very kind of you to say! I led my first creativity tour, Journey of the Senses, in 2005 with my friend Gigia Kolouch. We were interested in developing a way for people to engage the world through their senses. We used drawing, painting, and writing tools to help people have a deeper and more individualized experience. While on that tour, I created several other 'tools'. Then, when I came home, someone asked me if she could have access to the things we did on the tour. Within days, I'd put it all together in the e-book. It's my best-selling product. I want to help people have a more meaningful and creative experience while traveling.

Q: I am intrigued by your creative travel tours. Could you discuss your upcoming creative adventures in France? Map Paris with Your Imagination: A Creative Adventure in the City of Lights sounds like an amazing experience. And I love the idea of exploring Paris and Arles in Seduce Your Muse: A Creative Fling in France. What led you to create these amazing tours?

A: Map Paris with Your Imagination will allow participants to use my creative travel tools in Paris. My ultimate goal is to allow an environment where each person creates an illustrated travel journal. When they go home, they have a colorful and creative memento that means so much more than a photo or a memory could. So, rather than using a map or a guidebook, we will use our own creativity to map the city. My tours are really about developing a relationship to a place through your own creative lens.

What led me to create these tours? I fell in love with Sara Midda's South of France and wanted to create an illustrated journal. I have a degree in French and love to travel, and the tours seem to bring together many of my skills and passions. They're tons of fun to plan and I love watching people experience themselves and the world in a new way.

Seduce Your Muse participants, Arles, 2007

Q: What should readers know about your tours before they go?

A: We're not going to be regular tourists, sucking down sites and looking for things to buy. If that's what you want, go on a group tour. Be prepared to walk. Get in great physical shape before you go, because if you aren't healthy, it can really dampen your experience.

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