LIDIA: Why are you interested in alternative approaches to creativity or creative process?
LIZ: I'm fascinated by creative process because it's this wild untamed mechanism that very much affects me at any given moment. Like many artists, I yearn for the feeling when I am in the flow and I can struggle very much when I am feeling halted or stuck. So I'm always on the lookout for ways to unearth new ideas and get into a place of creative motion. I studied art and poetry as a teen and young person and worked as an artist's assistant after college before abruptly leaving the field to study Chinese Medicine as a post-9/11 response. Being a helper to artists fulfills a deep purpose to me. Now, in my forties, I help artists make their work again, but this time by sharing some of the principles and theories I've learned from Chinese Medicine and energy flow theories to integrate the body and the mind. It is in theses acts of imagination and embodiment that I've found we can discover and source new material and also learn to be more at peace with ourselves.
LIDIA: Can you describe creative embodiment and why it interests you?
LIZ: When I began to integrate guided visualization into me acupuncture practice, I found that for some people it was a game changer. We respond strongly to words and images. When we are guided to heighten our senses and bring the imagination into the body we can enter this mystical or liminal space that is unlike 'reality.' It's a dreamy place where images and information just pop into the mind and body from the subconscious. In my office we strategize this as a fuel for healing, and in the classroom with writers we use it as a source for creativity.
LIDIA: Describe your own creative process a little?
LIZ: My creative process continues to fluctuate between flow and halt, but now I have a lot more tools and resources to reach for during my blockages, like these embodiment techniques. It's always a learning process. One of the main things I'm learning is how to get out of my own way. It was a revelation to me to realize that I, with my self-doubts and self-criticisms, am the only one blocking my writing or painting from getting made. When I am blocking myself I feel locked or closed down like I've limited myself to a narrow way of seeing. When I use visualizations and energetics to get into my body I shift my perspective which is a very useful tool to affect creativity as well as one's emotions and thoughts. A shift in perspective changes the view, opens the aperture, and takes us from a closed sensation to an open one where there is lots more to discover.
Liz will be leading a two-part Embodied Creativity workshop January 22nd and 29th at the Corporeal Center in downtown Portland. Workshop meets from 6:30-9pm both days and costs $100 total.