Brenda Johima of Creative Nudge–artist, photographer, coach, and businesswoman
Brenda Johima, whose company is CREATIVE NUDGE Coaching and Consulting Services, is my guest today on Riehlife. Brenda is based in the beautiful Comox Valley, on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. Since my mission is connection through the arts, I was particularly interested in how Brenda balances her variety of creative pursuits and binds them all together into one business. Here's how our conversation went. --JGR
"Genuist," copyright Brenda Johima
Riehlife: Brenda, you are involved in a variety of creative pursuits---as a productive visual artist, marketing your products, and coaching others. Can you give us some insight about how these three aspects--producing, marketing, and coaching---work together and possibly feed in to one another?
Brenda: I choose to work as a Creativity Coach and Creativity Consultant. Graphic Designer and Visual Artist for many reasons. One, I love variety and I like change. The combination makes for a "never-boring" life, and each field requires creativity and creative thinking, and yes, each one feeds off of, and fuels the other.
Graphic Design and Web Design is very creative, but it can also be very"tight" and picky, technical and complex. One is sitting most of the time, and working in small spaces, with small, pixel to pixel movements.
When I am painting large scale abstract paintings, however, I am standing, moving around, and it is, for me, very loose, and very expressive, and I often use music to influence mood and what I paint.
The Creativity Coaching for personal development and Creativity Consulting for business, requires creative thinking, and the ability to move and shift constantly "on the fly." It requires excellent communication skills.
What they all have in common, is each one is, in essence, a business in itself, although for me, they fall all under one umbrella, in my business. So, that requires sales and marketing skills, the ability to do "cold calls" and to sell creativity services and works of art. This all requires confidence and creative communications, depending on who I am speaking and working with.
The other thing they all have in common, is Love. If you do not love what you are doing, especially in the creative and expressive arts, it shows. People pick it up quite easily.
Riehlife: Is there ever a way in which they conflict?
Brenda: Yes, there is conflict at times, but only in the volume of work that comes my way sometimes. It is a constant juggling act, and requires the ability to ride the waves and ups and downs of business. If there is too much "conflict" in demands on my time, then I simply must turn work down, or offer people a longer timeframe for completion of projects, if they are willing to accept it. Some will, and some move on to work with others instead, if they have deadlines to meet. This is all fine.
Riehlife: What is your creative engine? What juices you?
Brenda: My brain is a creative engine. It goes non-stop and I have enough creative projects, inventions and ideas in my head on a daily basis to drive most people crazy, and to fuel me for a lifetime.
My heart and my emotions fuel me. What I see, hear and feel, and the things that touch me, the sorrows, the joys, the successes and challenges all play a part, and all are valuable.
Riehlife: How do you decide what to do next? How do you set your creative priorities with so much going on?
Brenda: My creative priorities are sometimes dependent on income, and the real, practical, day to day financial needs that we all have, and sometimes I too, like most people in the arts, take on projects for income. This is wonderful. In these times, I set priorities on "first come first served" dependent on my client list.
At other times, I just do whatever I want, follow my heart, and just go intuitively, with what I want to do next. If I feel like, and am drawn to go out and taking hundreds of photographs, I do that. If I feel like writing a book, which I am right now, I do that. I am currently writing
my first book on Creativity, to be launched end of 2007 or early 2008. This is very exciting.
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