Miranda van den Heuvel talks to creative expats and creative people all over the world about creativity in general and their own creative outlet in particular. Our first Creative Clew is Beata Mordawska from Poland.
1. What is CREATIVITY?
To me, creativity is an internal instinct, something – a force or energy – that urges me to do things my way, or to discover some new way, transforming existing form to a new one.
It can also be an internal need to develop something in order to reach a feeling of fulfillment.
It may not always be socially accepted or supported, and sometimes it may feel like you’re struggling with yourself to keep on going with your idea, but that’s what creativity is. For sure it wasn’t easier for Edison with his ideas.
2. How are you creative?
I started repainting wood in 2013 when collecting tools for my creative Mum’s new workshop space. At that moment I was overworked with reports and discovered that simple painting is the perfect source of balance. It is amazing how art can help cure tensions and insecurities.
Making simple things that do not require great skills helps to relax, and anyone can join!
So now I paint for myself, create some art for sale (like handmade wooden chess pendants), make personalized painting sets (to save time and space on searching and storing the necessary tools) and organize workshops to spread the addiction of wood repainting.
I create baby shower workshops for women to create baby room decorations and useful daily tools.
Another type of workshops are Relaxing After Work workshops for those who want to reset themselves from the computers and serious world of hidden emotions. “There is more to life than simply increasing its speed”, so sit down and repaint a bit.
During my experiments with paints I tried many products as I could not find a jar of paint you can simply open any time and start painting. Therefore I started to make those myself – hand mixed beautiful colors, never the same, this is how I love them most. I sometimes send those abroad to friends who cannot attend my workshop in person because I find it quite an original present.
It is possible to purchase my personalized sets for repainting including Polish wooden objects or just the paints (for example 2 colors + gesso + lack is about 10 euros + 5 euros for international posting). You can also contact me for tips about repainting on firstname.lastname@example.org or on my Facebook page.
3. Suggest a simple creative activity to our readers that can make them more creative
What I find really simple is wood repainting. Try to find some old furniture you don’t like much (chair, table) and give it a personal touch with 3 (up to 5) simple steps.
If your household is fresh new IKEA and you don’t have old ‘rubbish’ furniture, try with a box of tangerines you bought in the supermarket. You can create a beautiful box for Christmas cookies for example.
This is really simple, and what is more – it is relaxing. Just adding the first layer of gesso makes it all nice and white (if not, don’t worry, continue – the second layer will). Before and after remember to take a photo, because it will give you a positive energy – looking at something you did well is always good. At this stage many want to finish because the white option is calming and it feels like from chaos you created peace. You may want to stop, add lack and – ready. But if you have a nice color and some vision, continue with the color. And don’t worry, don’t try to make it perfectly covered, just paint. If you don’t like the effect or preferred the previous white – try one more thing – scratching paper. It very often is the solution to make it from ‘not really’ to ‘OMG, perfect’!
OK, you have your object painted in a color. Maybe you want to give it some décor. Of course – possible; check for decoupage, or paint some Scottish plaid, lines, circles, hearts, Christmas trees…. You may want to finish now. If your paint gives you a harsh surface, finish with a lack so it does not catch dust easily. If not, it is ready to use. Remember to take beautiful photos and to share it with your friends, to contaminate them with creative ideas!
4. What are your top 3 websites for creative inspiration?
I use Goodreads for the quotes. I find myself inspired by the wisdom of famous people and writers.
I am also finding inspiration on Pinterest. Sometimes I also feel inspired to attach some of my own there:
Another thing I like to read is Sens – a Polish magazine ‘fall in love with life’ on popular psychology.
I do not search much what others do, rather try to find inspiration with silence and music. I love Mela Koteluk for relaxing moments of creation.
One: Visit FORMY KOLORY and make your own ceramics (or soaps, or many other creative things). Even better – invite your family and friends to create together!
Two: Make a robot on ROBOCAMP – well, actually this one is for kids 6-13 years old pretending to be engineers, but that’s great creative fun.
Three: Make your own chemical experiment in the laboratory – this one you can make safely at home (or assist your kids).
6. What’s your suggestion to make your country a more creative, innovative place?
I think Poland is in the phase of making money, and in many cases people are simply overworking themselves. The country itself is innovative and invests in new things.
I guess it would be good to focus more on individual development, health and simple happiness. Especially I would suggest for people to start creatively treating their health. Polish people are very much addicted to drugs and nowadays I would say around half of the commercials are pharmaceutical.
I lately read new research where scientists found the correlation between liver and sight. Just a brief lecture of a book of natural medicine (probably any of those) is enough to discover that the Chinese have known this fact for about 2000 years.
Your head aches? Why don’t you do something else than just take another pill. You have a problem but none of the tests is showing anything wrong? Why don’t you check if it might be a psychosomatic symptom caused by ignoring your body’s needs? Why don’t you try a shiatsu massage, yoga or craniosacral therapy? Maybe take blood tests for hidden allergies if you feel like something is wrong (this one is modern medicine, very helpful), experiment creatively with health food, check in the herbal store if there is a perfect tea for you…
And do not worry, enjoy yourself, if possible with as little medication as possible.
Beata Mordawska, interviewed by Miranda van den Heuvel, December 2015