Creativity Portal - Spring into Creativity
  Home  ·   Creativity Interviews  ·   Imagination Prompt Generator  ·   Writing  ·   Arts & Crafts
  What's New » Authors » Prompts » Submit » Creative Careers in the Arts Series
2010 Creative Careers Interviews : JoAnn Bromley Interview

JoAnn Bromley

Creative Careers in the Arts Interviews

'Ask Mama!' Performer
JoAnn Bromley

By Molly Anderson-Childers

JoAnn Bromley, creative powerhouse and the mastermind behind the one-woman show, "Ask Mama," is our guest this month. Ms. Bromley earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre performance, and is currently enrolled in a graduate expressive arts program at Salve Regina. JoAnn has acted, directed, and taught throughout New England and New York. She is a born artist, exploring all mediums — including, but never limited to — collage, mural painting, polymer clay, and jewelry making. She has studied under such great teachers as Doreen Virtue, Sonja Choquette, SARK, and Loretta LaRoche, to name a few. She's also a teacher in her own right, offering classes and dishing out a healthy portion of down-to-earth advice onstage, in the guise of her character, "Mama."

Q: Welcome to Creativity Portal! Can you tell our readers a little more about your upcoming classes?

A: My classes are an eclectic mix featuring art, theater and/or spirit. My mission is to encourage everyone to tap into their creativity, especially those who don't believe that they are creative. We are born creators — the more you do it, the more accessible it becomes to your thought process. My favorite thing is to incorporate play into all activities. I don't even like to use the term "art" because it seems to inhibit most people.

All expression is needed and it is the process that I believe is most revealing. I believe that during the act of any creating we are connected to our purest source.

My class, "Spirit Awakening Water-color Collage," came about through divine inspiration. I came across Marianne Williamson's quote, "Our deepest Fear" and thought I need to be reminded of this everyday — so I thought I'd paint a picture and then write the quote across the work. I purchased a huge canvas, and began to paint with acrylics. l didn't like it, so I washed over that and started again. I didn't like this painting either, so I put it aside.

In the days after I kept getting prompts to go buy watercolors. I had never worked with watercolors, and didn't know anything about using them! I bought a box of watercolors and a pad and I began to play with the colors and the brushes and the water, and created a variety of paintings. Then I was moved to rip them all up — not out of frustration, but as a method — ripping the pictures in a variety of sizes. I decided to collage on my canvas, and I tell you I was awe struck. I loved the art work so much that I hated putting the quote over it — but I did. I was so moved by the process that I realized this is a perfect way to get people to create without limiting themselves by what they imagine the end product should be. It's a great way to play, because when you have to do so many pictures you begin truly letting go and letting the subconscious take over, and that is a beautiful thing.

Q: What is your most popular class?

A: "Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting" is the most popular. This class has certainly evolved since its inception. Reading this book profoundly changed my way of thinking, and I immediately wanted to teach a class based on it. With the author's blessing I began, and the more I taught, the more I discovered the resistance to imaginations big and bold and wild, and the timidity in dreaming and wishing. I realized that people need to get back their childlike playful artistic instincts. The classes are still based on the basic tenets of the book, but I further explore using every possible medium and expression to shake up the dormant cravings that lie within us all.

Q: Any practical advice from "Mama" for our readers who are stuck, blocked or experiencing a bad case of the winter doldrums?

A: Get off your A%#! Go outside, even if it's only for five minutes, and get some sun. You need to change the way you go about things — try something different, eat something different, smell something different. Wake up your senses and I assure you that ideas aplenty will flow when you get outta your own way. Break away from the usual and stretch your abilities, your possibilities. Do something that scares you — something that gives you pause.

Q: Any words of advice for fledgling creative souls hoping to see their names in the bright lights of the marquee?

A: I live my life like a Weeble — do you remember those toys? "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down." That is what I am. I wobble, sometimes more than seems right, but it just gives me more strength to get up and reinvent. I think everyone should have their name on a marquee at least once, and you can make it happen — whether it's the local library or Madison Square Garden. You have that in you — you know you do, because you feel it. Think big, think creatively and think compassionately.

Continue to Interview page 2 »