grow creativity teaching creative

Growing Up with Creativity

November 14, 2018Susan

It’s funny how life works sometimes. As I’ve grown older I’ve realised it’s much more cyclical than I ever could have imagined.

For example, I had a thought the other night, as I lingered in the place between sleep and wakefulness. It’s not unusual for this to happen to me, my brain is the most relaxed it’s probably been all day and I often get weird and wonderful ideas at the point just before falling asleep.

being creative

I’ve learned to listen more to this part of my brain, be it my instinct or my subconscious, it’s worth listening to because often I can’t hear it during the day.

And often, when I listen and take action on those ideas, magical things happen.

So, back to that thought… This particular episode involved ideas of teaching, or perhaps it’s more like mentoring. Helping people gather, uncover and use their creativity. Something I’ve done in one way or another, officially and unofficially, for most of my life.

I was a teacher, even before I was a teacher.

To be less mysterious; I was the kid going around the classroom making sure everyone understood the work set, aged seven. Especially if it was creative work, definitely not so much Maths.

In secondary (high) school I was the one helping my art teacher set up the lesson, always interested in methods and ideas, and what my fellow classmates were creating. The art and design classroom felt like a second home. So I went on to study Art & Design for two years at college, then went to University and studied it even more, for three years, a Fine Art degree.

Even while I worked as a makeup artist at Chanel and freelance, I was teaching. Showing women how to apply their makeup so they felt more confident in their skills. Taking away any mystery and giving them the knowledge and tools to do it themselves.

I love helping people grow creatively. Later on the inevitable happened and I trained to be an actual school teacher, of kids aged 11-18.

My favourite parts of being an art teacher were opening up the creative side of the students’ minds. Enabling them to listen to that creative voice, and perhaps, occasionally when there wasn’t a creative bean in their body (or they had trouble listening to it) just being able to enjoy the process.

My least favourite parts of being a school teacher? Well, that’s another blog post 😉

It’s only now when I look back on all this, I can see the cyclical nature of it.

  • The six years of training in what essentially is creativity and how to unlock it.
  • The eight years blogging and writing.
  • All the life experiences in between.

It’s like some weird magic formula that has resulted in me writing a book.

So my questions to you are;

  1. What does your subconscious talk to you about at night? Do you listen?
  2. Would you be interested in joining me and a small group to learn how to engage and open up your imagination and creativity?* (Online and maybe IRL at some point)


*Forgive my vagueness, it is intentional. This idea is still very much a seed that needs watering.

Photos by the brilliant Alexander Ward.

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Comments (16)

  • Lucy

    November 14, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I find my ideas come early in the morning. I need to keep a note pad by the bed. You’ve achieved so much over they years – it’s interesting to read about it x

    1. Susie

      November 14, 2018 at 9:42 am

      I get that sometime but it depends how I’ve woken up, my alarm tends to jolt things out of me! Thanks Lucy

  • Kirsty

    November 14, 2018 at 8:59 am

    I love this Susie! I see things in my childhood and I’m like ‘that makes sooooo much sense now!’
    Also I get my ideas in the shower

    1. Susie

      November 14, 2018 at 9:38 am

      So true! You need a waterproof notebook to write them down x

  • Bec – views from my garden bench

    November 14, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I think you’re right about this – cyclical 🙂 It helps to understand what makes you happy too.
    I’m a helper- and I’m finding as I’ve got older it runs through all the roles I had – I’m coming to understand my creativity more as I’m in my 50s – mine is physical tho dabbling in clay and silverclay at the moment. I’d be interested in hearing more/getting involved.
    love Bec xx

  • Fashion Du Jour LDN

    November 14, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    What a beautifully written post and how amazing you were doing what you made a career from all those years and hadn’t realised!!! I must say I agree. The creativity I had as a child has become my career too. I remembered a theatre group coming in and working with us and it changed my life – I thought what a cool thing to do! Now I am that theatre person that goes into schools and shows kids the importance of drama as a workshop leader!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN x

    1. Susie

      November 15, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Wow- thanks and I loved Drama too. What a brilliant job you have! I think its so important to educate creative subjects, especially in childhood when kids often just need a release

  • My Silly Mummy

    November 16, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I came to realise that I am doing now, entirely what I loved as a child. I am a hairdresser and my dolls never went long before they had no hair, I loved photography and writing and went years without doing much of either but now I am I amn truely happy. Its strange that what bought you joy as a child can return later in life to make you feel happy and fulfilled

    1. Susie

      November 16, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      I wholeheartedly agree!

  • Kate

    November 19, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Ooh, love the sound of this! Excited to hear more..

  • Carole King

    November 19, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Yes, I often get random thoughts just before falling asleep. It’s usually about moving the furniture round or re-using something I’ve had for years. Not sure you’d call that creative though. And as I don’t write it down I don’t always remember it.
    I do think we keep gravitating to the thing that we find easy (not exactly the right word but I can’t think of the right one lol) or find interesting throughout our lives. We should listen to our inner thoughts.
    Beautiful post.

    1. Susie

      November 19, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks so much Carole, I think things that come naturally to us can be taken for granted. Sometimes you have to find it again

  • Antonia Ludden

    November 20, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Ooh, this is exciting, I could definitely imagine you helping others tap into their creativity in a really positive way! Good luck and best wishes in however it manifests xxx

  • Stacey Sheppard

    November 23, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I always get my best ideas late at night, after everyone else is sleeping and I’m alone with my thoughts. Your realisations are really interesting and I’m excited to see what you do next!

  • Elizabeth Dhokia | Rosalilium

    November 29, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Yes! I totally find my life is cyclical and even when I think I’ve moved away from a part of myself I end up coming back around to it later in life.

    1. Susie

      November 30, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      Maybe we grow and change but our essence is always something core inside us?

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