Creative Room 4 Talk interview
Last week the incredibly kind people of Creative Room 4 Talk interviewed me. Check out their website for interview with creative people from all over the world.
Here is the interview
Name: Esther de Charon de Saint Germain
Where do you live:
Westdorp (a tiny village with 129 inhabitants) in the North of the Netherlands
Known for: Creative Soul Alchemist, Art Historian and Huffington Post Blogger about art, creativity and creative fears.
Currently actual with:
The Guided Creative Journey. An online program that that transforms (creative) fears into blissful confidence. I’m hosting “The Creative Soul Sanctuary”, an awesome accountability Facebook group for women who want to create (a book, painting, website, movie etc.) but need that proverbial Big Stick to keep them going. In co-operation with Christen McGee – she designs the most gorgeous Art Journals – I host “Big Magic Play”, a Facebook group that uses Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic book and Art Journals as a way to actual create! It’s a true celebration of creativity.
When did you realize that you were going to work with this?
It’s the result of many years of research and my own – pretty horrible – collisions with perfectionism. The gap between Being Afraid and Not Creating and Feeling the fear and Do it Anyway is wider than the Atlantic Ocean. I want to bridge that gap. I want every woman to life in alignment with her creative magic.
If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
I’m in a constant push and pull with Big City Living and Being in Nature. I’d love to think it’s possible to step through a door that connects City and Nature and go back and forth.
How would you describe your creativity?
I feel creativity is who I am. I am a Creative Soul. So are you by the way. I honestly belief that about the whole of humanity. Creativity is not some entity that exists separately from us. It’s also not something for designers or artists alone. It’s like breathing. Or radio waves . You just have to tune in. Thankfully we we all have different unique creative styles. Mine is pretty border-less. Meaning I’m a great starter and a hopeless finisher.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
I’m really good at starting before I’m ready. I guess everything I do is serious from the start. That’s why I need to make art for fun, to keep life playful.
What do you do at the moment?
I am an entrepreneur. At this moment I guide women in the Creative Journey and I coach women 1:1 who want to take big steps in their business.
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
There is a huge difference between being a “maker” and being an entrepreneur. It’s a completely different mindset. Get informed. Find out what works. Really invest in getting to know yourself.
Go deep in finding out who you are. Be specific about who you want to work for and with. Become friends with all elements of your personality. It will be invaluable when your deadline is due and your computer crashes.
Become friends with all your fears. Invest in coaching, a good coach can make all the differences. Dare to fail. You’ll make a ton of wrong choices. They all add up to that one good choice. Be kind to people and to yourself. When too stressed run with your arms wide open.
Tell us how it all started.
My story started when I quit Art School in my final year. I figured there was only limited space for really good artists and I would never be granted access to that Sacred Space. I boxed my art supplies and studied Art History instead. I worked in Art, Design and Branding for the next 25 years as a consultant and coach. In 2010 I became one of the new owners of a prestigious corporate consultancy firm where following rules and blending in was the Modus operandi. It was the worst thing. Ever!
But apparently I needed that experience to realize what I was doing. I had cut the cords between myself and creativity, and carefully removed all creative joy. I left the firm and took time off to investigate creativity. That experience led to me being the Creative Soul Alchemist I am today.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
I’ve got two tables in my office. One with my computer and one with my art supplies and half-finished projects. The most important thing is having the choice to work on both tables. I recently found out Austin Kleon has two tables as well.
What is your favorite film?
Oh dear… I love movies, difficult choice. But these are the movies that shut me up for a couple of hours after the end titles: Apocalypse Now, Breaking the Waves and Magnolia.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
Can I have a whole group of amazing women? I invite Cecilia Bartoli, Tracey Emin, Oprah Winfrey, Neelie Kroes, Elizabeth Gilbert and Pema Chodron. It’s going to be a very interesting evening.
How do you like to spoil yourself?
Buying new art supplies without needing them.
What is luxury for you?
Days without time schedule. Reading books, drinking coffee, time to think about nothing.
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
I think the compliments from clients who tell me I’m a miracle doer. That their life is transformed beyond recognition. That means the world to me.
What do you fear most?
Physical obstacles that prevent me from doing whatever I like.
What is a happy life to you?
My own life. Yes that sounds awful, I know. But I love this life. It’s the best very imperfect life I could have ever wished. I share it with the love of my life and our 10 year old son. It would be great if it had more hours. if I had a real studio, could travel more, earned more money. But I’m horribly grateful for it.
What does a regular day look like for you?
I try to have all my Skype meetings with clients in the morning. I sit at my studio table (with lots of tea and notebooks) and coach my clients. Then I write my articles, work on the design of my programs or art projects. I try really hard to use Facebook as a way of communicating with my Facebook groups (as opposed to reading crap articles about celebrities) and to find the good information for “my tribe”.
Tell us about your dream project.
I would love to work with a group of women for a longer period in a Creative Retreat. Where all we do is make very unimportant art, write stories, share, do crazy design experiments. The kind of retreat that gives you the energy and inspiration that makes a huge difference in your life.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
I don’t have a role model. But whenever the going gets tough and I feel like slouching back into my comfort zone I think about the women who didn’t have all the chances I’ve got. That usually keeps me going.
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
It’s a fine blend of a lot of academic knowledge and a whole lot of hard earned life lessons. If I don’t feel it, I will not use it.
Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
What inspires you?
The Human Spirit. People who are afraid and do it anyway. Art!
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
“The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche. I’ve got a before and after “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” life.