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Daily Art Practice Photo by Shelley Klammer
Shelley Klammer Interview : Part 2 (Page 2 of 2)

Shelley Klammer Interview

continued from from page 1

Q: How did you accomplish this crucial transition — or is it still a "work in progress"? Just curious where you're at with this process…

A: This is more of a work in progress in that I am transitioning out of full-time work into part-time work and gradually into the coaching. I have been very fortunate to work full-time in what I consider is one of the largest and most beautiful art studios in Canada. I facilitate art projects and classes for seniors with dementia. I have had the opportunity to learn a great deal about creativity and aging in the past 5 years.

One thing I have been able to fit around my full time working schedule is what I call "E-mail Coaching as a Creative Process." It is something I have been doing for years. I have found that many creative people love to write, in that writing often allows a deeper reflective process than speaking. Communicating with my clients in this way allows me to sense into their collages, art and writings deeply throughout the week. I get back to them on the weekend and we reflect on the deeper meanings, purposes and directions that are cropping up in their life and their artwork.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in transitioning to this exciting new phase in your career, and how have you worked at overcoming these obstacles?

A: Time, prioritizing, financial constraints — the same things most people struggle with. How I have worked at overcoming these obstacles is to get really clear on what is meaningful for me and to trust that if I am not doing "everything" in a day my life will still progress as it is meant to. I can easily say that I have "over-created" in my life. I went from total apathy in my life to becoming a "create–aholic" for many, many years. My creative process has now become much slower and deeper and more in balance with the whole of my life. I trust that birthing new creative forms takes time and I do not push myself so hard anymore.

Q: Who supports you in your creative dreams?

A: My partner Ondrea — a brilliant counselor and a born creator, who has encouraged and supported me through my counseling training, and who deeply understands and inspires my creative work in the world.

Q: How do you function as your own creative support system, and replenish your heart-well of inspiration?

A: In my nine-to-five job I am surrounded by art every day and this is a built-in creative support system and source of inspiration for me. Each day, I go to a colorful, large, fully equipped art studio and see first-hand how original each human being is, and the power of the human spirit to create despite age and disability. I work with a team of artists and art therapists who speak my language and I always have to remind myself not to take this for granted. As for "replenishing the heart-well of inspiration" — beautifully put Molly — my source of replenishment is the moment to moment choice to be centered in the core of myself. Being poised, present, very alert and wholeheartedly engaged with my life seems to energize and replenish me.

Q: What's next for you, Shelley? This is the perfect time to discuss new projects and workshops!

A: I have re-edited my original e-course Collage for Self-Discovery which is an e-course on spontaneous collage, beginning March 13, 2012, at Daily Om. Of all of the expressive arts I have found collage to be the simplest and the most revealing of the inner workings of the psyche and soul. Picking imagery quickly and "randomly" putting them together in a collage bypasses ordinary thinking and helps access intuition and insight.

Q: I'm interested in your vision for the future, as you continue to walk this path. Any final thoughts or messages for us?

A: Thank you, Molly, for your kind connection and good questions during my career transition this past year. My vision for my future is to do more writing. I love to write and to translate spiritual and creative knowledge into something people can readily understand. Years ago I started to wake up very early before work to write. I have found that my greatest creative inspiration and joy is to write in the early morning hours.

My final thoughts to anyone reading this interview would be that of encouragement to carry on creatively. It is not always easy to be a creative person in this world because creating means thinking new thoughts and implementing new forms and social structures that are not commonplace yet.

I have met many creative people in the past few years who have expressed disappointment that the world at large does not really understand or support what they do. I have also experienced this world-weariness inside of myself. One day I got the inner message, "Do it anyway." I suddenly understood that the world needs visionary, creative people and we enrich our culture with a beauty of spirit that people cannot often put into words, but it makes them feel uplifted, happy and hopeful.

I know this from being an artist in healthcare. Many people say that art and creativity is frivolous and not practical and yet they are drawn to the colors, to seeing people be creative and to the warmth and healing that creativity brings into life. Do what you love creatively and share it with others. Even if the culture doesn't understand or support you yet, being yourself is part of the larger life process of bringing the creative spirit into everyday life. The world needs your authentic creative expression. •

Connect with Shelley Klammer
Shelley KlammerShelley has created hundreds of collages, paintings, drawings and expressive art journals, starting over 15 years ago while going through a deep personal crisis when five close members of her family suddenly died. The compassion and depth of human and spiritual understanding she offers as a therapist, creativity coach, and expressive art facilitator comes from living, embodying and moving through the process of creative self-discovery in her own life. More »

© 2011 Molly Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.

Updated 1/10/14