Lucia Neare speaks September 16th at the Seattle Public Library for our global theme, Magic. 

Tickets are available here!

How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?
I consider myself a professional “imaginer.” In what some call my “career,” I have learned to define creativity as a kind of psychological and, even, spiritual freedom; the mental flexibility and spiritual courage to perceive a situation, puzzle, being, place, or idea through a multitude of perspectives – or to imagine something new by combining what may seem to be unlikely ingredients. Creativity is a practice. When I limit myself by being overly attached to certain ideas, dogmas, or outcomes, I radically decrease my own creative potential. Violence, war and even everyday unkindnesses are all crises of creativity. We narrow our imaginative options when mental or spiritual inflexibility keeps us from the love, beauty and grace that might have been.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration?
The bathtub! That’s the short answer. The more complete answer is that I look to my dream life and to my visions. Ever since I was a girl, I’ve seen things – presences, otherworldly places, beings. As I grew older I realized not everyone saw these sorts of things – or at least they didn’t admit to itin oublic –  but because I thought these visions were normal, everyday experiences, and because they also helped make me make sense of what was a very chaotic childhood, I came to trust their ethereal messages, and found I could truly count on these beings for inspiration.

I also take creative solace beside the Pacific Ocean.

What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
Value process over product. What the audience sees is but a tiny dust mite in comparison to the larger work. And the larger work is The Work. So get to it.

Also, be kind to yourself. And others.

Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?
Vanessa DeWolf, Annette Mateo, Matt Goodrich, Cathy Madden, Dean Paton, Hallie Kuperman

Where was the last place you travelled?
Off the grid, to Polebridge, Montana.

What has been one of your biggest Aha! moments in life?
Back in 2005, when I was contemplating my first spectacle here in Washington State, I was trapped by my fears. Frozen. Though I’d come to understand that I’d developed the set of skills necessary to bring my large-scale visions to life on the civic stage, I was afraid of revealing so much of myself, of my visionary life. I was afraid of being too big, too weird, of taking up too much space. Afraid of being too much. Yes, I had the artistic skills I would need: sculpting, singing classical music, as well as a theatre and contemporary performance practice. Personal and interpersonal skills, too, deepened through decades of therapy and self exploration. Nonetheless I was battling powerful fears.

One afternoon, while singing as I do in my Leschi apartment’s bathtub, I was in deep struggle. I’d been stuck for weeks, and frustrated. Then, in a moment, I saw a reason for moving forward that was larger than my fears: If I successfully brought my big dreams to life and shared them, then maybe it would help others take the risk to share their own big dreams, too. That maybe my example would help people –  girls, women, people who feel like misfits or orphans – make the leap and produce their own creative visions – and then together, through our collective creativity, we would foster a more imaginative, soulful society.