An Interview with Heather Raikes

🎟 You can get tickets for his upcoming CreativeMornings talk here. Starting at 9AM, Monday, January 30th.🎟

CreativeMornings [CM]: How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?  

Heather Raikes [HR]: For me, creativity is living poetry and an experiential engagement with metaphor. I begin with the concrete starting point of where I stand in the present moment, open up a question or idea or feeling or intention, and reach into the ineffable space of potential in pursuit of a gesture that extends beyond the boundaries of the starting point, and that, in the context of the great history of human creativity, will suffice. I’ve always deeply appreciated Wallace Stevens’ Of Modern Poetry: “The poem of the mind in the act of finding what will suffice.”Applying this take on creativity to my career has produced a trajectory of innovation that has extended for more than two decades so far. It leads me continuously onto frontiers and into pioneering, groundbreaking territory where I’m exploring things that haven’t been done before. 

[CM]: Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

[HR]: I find inspiration in flow. Physical, embodied flow is the most powerful and reliable creative generator for me, but I seek all kinds of immersive, dynamic, wholly engaging experiences.

[CM]: What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

[HR]: On one hand, I wish I’d known that all of the things that support and surround the creative act are as important as the creative act itself - things like sustainable practices, life/work balance, studying great artworks, business development, marketing, PR, networking, etc. But on the other hand I think there is something brilliantly wild, raw, primal and essential about young creative energy throwing itself wholly into the fire, so to speak, as a kind of rite of initiation.

[CM]: Who would you like to hear speak at Creative Mornings?  

[HR]: In no particular order: Ginny Ruffner, Allison Kudla, Ewa Trebacz, Neal Stephenson, Jeff Brice, Genevieve Tremblay, Maja Petric.

[CM]: What practices, rituals or habits contribute to your creative work? What myths about creativity would you like to set straight?

[HR]: I’m meticulously organized and disciplined, which goes against a lot of creative stereotypes. Deep structure is at the core of everything I do, and my best creative work emerges from a highly methodical, even ritualized approach.

[CM]: What are you proudest of in your life?

[HR]: I’m most proud of my daughter, my family, and the fact that creativity remains the vital core of who I am and how I contribute to the world. It is a hard path but worth every challenge. It’s a great and wondrous honor to begin to know maturity as a creative being.