{take 5 for creativity} elise blaha

Hello, friends. How is winter treating you? Ready for meeting Santa?

Things have been crazy around here, decorating, shopping, drawing lessons, baking, visiting friends and family. But I wanted to stop by and share with you another great interview in my creativity series. Today, we have a very special guest. I’ve been following Elise’s blog for more than a year now, and I am constantly amazed by her energy and, yes, creativity. Elise is blogging from Southern California for seven years now, and is selling things online for almost five. She runs, sews, bakes, makes, documents everything beautifully. She is extraordinary and she turns everything around her in a reason to celebrate, to enjoy. She makes everything look so easy and fun.This is why I am so very glad to have her here, sharing her creativity story.

What is talent? What is creativity?

I suppose “talent” is raw and inherent. It’s a special skill in something that someone is born with and something that they can improve on with studying and training. Creativity is something everyone has within them. Look at little kids! Give any of them a crayon and they’ll make something. They’ll tell you stories and create worlds out of legos and forts out of pillows. Creativity can be nurtured, developed and pushed over and over again.

40 loaves

Does creativity need limits?

Tough one! For me… yes. Sometimes I really need a break from brainstorming or from creative practice because it all becomes to overwhelming. I am very goal driven and like to work through one project before starting another. Too many different paths, ideas or ventures can cause me to shut down and really decrease my productivity. That said, I don’t think you could EVER draw a line in the sand and say, “There. That’s the limit. Do not push past this boundary.”

project life 2012

How do you fuel your creativity?

I work at it everyday. Everyday I write something. Almost everyday I take photos or play with paper or fabric. I read a lot of books. I read other blogs (but not too many!) I follow creative people on twitter. I listen and pay attention to color combinations. I get lots of sleep. 🙂

26 projects

What do you need to create?

I usually need quiet. I do my best creative thinking when I am alone and working by myself. Group brainstorms make me anxious about all the possibilities and I find myself struggling to focus or come up with original ideas. I usually just need something to write with. Paper or computer, it doesn’t matter. I need a deadline, but not too much pressure.

elise’s rubber stamps

What is your advice for people who (try to) create?

Creativity is a muscle! FLEX IT. USE IT. FORCE IT to grown stronger. I used to think I would run out of ideas. But over time, I have realized that the more I make, the more I experiment, the more I write and the more I challenge myself the easier it is to develop new ideas and projects. I absolutely recommend trying different mediums and allowing yourself free time to do nothing deliberate, but something that inspires you. While the end game is important, creativity is about all the steps between A and Z.

The picture above, of a corner is Elise’s house, sums up what Elise seems to me. It fees like she is always testing and pushing her limits and it feels great to be part of such a journey, even if it’s just in the position of a blog reader from the other part of the world. Thank you, Elise, for being such an inspiration and I will you all the best for the year to come and the great adventure you’re now embarking on.

You can find Elise on her blog or website, visit her shop (now closed for the holidays), follow her on twitter or instagram. Do stop by and say hi.

See you again soon, I have a muffin recipe to share. Two more to go, yeey. And, by the way, my weekly muffin recipe is inspired by Elise’s loaves project.

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