The other day, I sent out a survey and the last question was: "If you could ask Kristal one question, what would it be?" I got so many interesting questions, I thought it would be fun to do a little rapid fire Q+A here on the blog!
Below you'll find a few of the questions I received with my simplified answers. Mind you, these are quick, basic responses; and many of them do require more in depth discussions - which I hope to get to on the blog over the next few months!
Let's get to it...
Why are you interested in these questions and getting to know others?
The better I get to know YOU and what your "problems" are in relation to what I teach, the better I can help you. I have such deep beliefs about creativity and how essential it is in our lives, that I
want NEED to spread the word and inspire as many people as I can to get creating. This mission gives me purpose, and fills me up in so many ways. So in essence, we're helping each other live happier lives. :)
How do I get "unstuck" (out of a creative funk, past a creative block, etc)?
You can’t get past a block if you don’t know what the block looks like. Clarity is always the first step in any intentional change. Sit down with paper and a pen, and start writing. Ask yourself why you can’t create. What’s stopping you? Make a list. Complain. Get it all out. Can all these excuses be boiled down to one fear or belief that doesn’t ring true anymore?
If you have trouble pin-pointing it and moving on, I can help - my Roots Program is a guided experience, though a unique mix of practical psychology-based tools and creative exercises, that has already helped hundreds get unstuck, transform their self-doubting inner critic, and reclaim their creativity! :)
How do you stop worrying about your work being good enough?
I received so many variations of this question. And there are a lot of variations to what my response would be. But, two key things to consider: think about your intention. Are you trying to produce beautiful art and perfect techniques? Or are you creating to have the experience and reap the benefits of creativity? Either is totally awesome, and yes they do intertwine. But which comes first for you? Once you know, you can approach your creating accordingly.
The second thing to consider: when you’re a beginner, you have to start at the beginning. What you create will not match up to what you see in your head. But, this is a good sign. It means you have good taste. You know what you like and don’t like. The more you create, the more you can close that gap and begin to see your work look closer like you imagine. Ira Glass talks about this beautifully HERE.
What should I do when everything I create is rubbish? People say beginners should practice a lot, but not only can I not do much because of my disability, seeing how shit my "art" is makes me wonder why I even bother trying when I'm so ridiculously bad.
See my answer to the above question. Your intention is key. Focus on WHY you create. And I’ll add this: we all need to embrace our natural abilities and way of doing things. You especially, because you have a limitation that is impossible to fight against. Embrace the limitation, and experiment with how it can make your work unique from everyone else’s. Check THIS out!
Why does it seem like many art journaling teachers think that so many people are insecure and lacking confidence?
Interesting question… and the answer is, because there ARE so many people approaching art journaling and mixed media who are lacking confidence. We as teachers get tons of questions dripping with insecurities and fears; we need to address it. And I know, if you’re someone who doesn’t struggle with that, it can get frustrating to hear all the jabber about “believing in yourself”. But the fact is, art journaling and mixed media in general opened up a door into the creative world for all those out there who have always believed that they weren’t creative. It has given them a glimmer of hope that they too can do this. Another reason, is that this art form requires using your intuition, which many people have gotten out of touch with in this product driven world. So in these ways, this creative endeavor is much different than other art forms you might get involved in.
Is it possible to unlock creativity at an older age I have always had ideas but can't get them from my head through to my hands?
Absolutely! See my answer to the fourth question above. You’re a beginner, embrace it!
At 50 years old is it too late to find yourself?
Oh beautiful, it’s never too late!
I've tried to make room for more creativity in my life, but my job is so draining and long, that I am often too exhausted to do something creative every day - is there any way to make more room for creativity with such a job or do I need to quit?
If your job is making you unhappy, then consider your possibilities. But, you don’t need to quit a job to be creative. There are so many other ways to be creative everyday without producing art journal pages or paintings, etc. My Water E-Book might offer you some ideas. :)
Every question I thought of had its own answer! So I guess I need an imaginary wise artist to ask questions of so that I can become aware of the solutions. Thanks for asking me that question and connecting me with my own wisdom!
Yay! That is so awesome that you recognize this. Everything you need is right inside you. Perhaps you can make a poster of your inner wise artist to talk to when you’re feeling stuck. :)
Any free books or courses?
Do you LOVE me :)
Of course darlin’! ;0)
How old are you?
As of writing this (May 2015), I’m 34. My father says we Nortons age well. lol
What kind of study/employment background do you have? :)
What course of study did you use to become a coach?
I worked as a dental assistant in my younger years and studied graphic design and fine arts in college, but fell just short of finishing my degree when I became pregnant with my first child. It was then I began building businesses so I can stay home with her, and then decided not to return to traditional schools. I now continue my education through research and unconventional programs. Two out of the many that I’m proud to mention: Courageous Coaching Training Program by Kate Swoboda and IGNITE by Connie Solera. These two intense classes by these amazing women changed everything for me! (PS if you happen to join one, be sure to let them know I sent you!!)
How did you get started doing what you are now doing?
What was the turning point for you to decide to make this your career?
How did you know this -- teaching/coaching -- was your path?
As I mentioned above, I started my first business (Rags-n-Tags) because I wanted to stay home with my daughter. My plan then was just to create and sell, which turned out pretty well; but after years of doing it, I got so sick of creating the same thing over and over that I had to quit. My next idea was to just move on to another medium and stick to the same type of business plan: create and sell.
But along came an intensive business course by Katie Freiling (which, unfortunately is no longer available), and that turned my whole outlook around. She helped me bring out my passions, see my purpose in this world, and how I can better contribute. From there I began blogging and researching like crazy about creativity. I became obsessed with people’s stories, how we create, and internal blocks to just do it already. The more I learned, the more I realized that it has a lot to do with how our minds work, so I delved deeper into learning about that – which included coaching.
This of course is the super condensed version of my story. But basically, through the help of a talented coach to get me clear on what my passions were, and feeling the excitement it gave me to help someone be creative, I followed that path until it led to where I am today!
What makes you feel/why do you consider you are qualified as "art therapist"/how did you get started with your first online class?
Well, I wouldn’t consider myself an “art therapist”. When forced to put a title on it, I often use the term “creativity guide”. I considered going back to school to get a degree in art therapy, but after researching and talking to a few who’ve gone that path, I decided it wasn’t for me. Too many rules, covering your ass legal stuff, and limitations. I found coaching is a better approach for what I do – helping people get past the self-imposed blocks to creating.
So, getting back to your question – why do I consider myself qualified? Well, I spent a year in intensive coaching training, and have been studying creativity officially for about four years now (as of 2012). I’ve also worked one-on-one with hundreds of women to test out my theories and what I’ve learned. It’s a never-ending journey though; I continue to learn more every day.
In answer to what I believe is your underlying question: no matter what you do or where you are in life, there are always people who can learn from you. I started teaching art journaling before I felt like an “expert” in it (still don’t!). But I knew, that what I learned so far was more than what complete newbies knew… and they could benefit from what I’ve learned.
How do you deal with balancing the "business" side of an art business with actually creating art that you love?
This is a toughy! As you can see from my personal story, I totally failed at this with my first business. My creating was all for the biz, and it burned me out. I wanted desperately to quit and just create for myself again. Which I did, and now I don’t sell much of my art at all. I create for myself, and use my art as a supporter for my biz. I think if you just stay true to what you want to create, the right people will find you and fall in love with it.
If you have ever got "lost" creatively how have you refound your path?
Yes! If you read my above answers, you’ll see how I got so drained from creating primitives for my first business that I just had to quit and start creating freely for myself again. I had a calling to try out mixed media, but I was scared and lost. The only thing that helped me get started was to simplify, shut myself away from all the “inspiration” online, and begin following my intuition. Click HERE for a video of me telling my story on how I floundered starting art journaling.
Will you develop another art journaling course beyond Roots?
Oooooh Absolutely!!! These past two years have been dedicated to learning. When I’m done with Ignite, I’ll be teaching like a maniac!! lol
Have more questions? Comment below! I'll be back in a few days with round 2! :)
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