a creative rhythm conversation with Maryann Devine
I’ve been a fangirl of Chief Curiosity Officer Maryann Devine of Kindergarten Mind for a long time.
She and I connected at a retreat (of course!) and have kept in touch over the years. She always wears arty eyeglasses, which I love. I appreciate details she reveals through her writings, like her
obsession love of perfume and flents as travel essentials. She’s an unapologetic introvert, even calling for Introvert Party Amnesty!
I’ve been a happy, though sometimes silent, participant in several of her programs focusing on project execution. Each one of Maryann’s thoughtful offerings are safe, gentle, playful and highly considerate of each person’s individual process.
From artist to arts marketer to her latest evolution as a “personal awesome-illuminator and perspective-shifter,” it’s been a delight to witness her entrepreneurial journey unfold and blossom.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background & Kindergarten Mind?
Kindergarten Mind is a safe space for you to discover and connect to your creativity, and to celebrate it. If you’re drawn to the idea that every one of us is inherently creative, you can be a part of Kindergarten Mind in a number of ways, from hanging out on the blog and Facebook pages, to taking online classes (both paid and free), to coaching sessions with me that reveal your own most brilliant ideas.
The path I followed there was anything but direct, though.
I went from living and working as an artist to raising money and awareness for cultural organizations to creating arts marketing strategies as a consultant to teaching arts people to use social media to helping artists find an audience to helping people tap into their own creativity, strengths, and resources.
It was a zig-zaggy road, but creativity has been a constant companion on the trip.
What does “creative rhythm” mean to you?
For me, it means tuning in and paying attention to what makes that creative energy flow, respecting those needs, and adjusting when that rhythm changes, because it always does.
You seem very attuned with the creative rhythm within your business.
It’s a work in progress. The recipe for creative rhythm in my business is a combination of my clients’ needs and my own capacity to meet them. And that’s always changing. Just when I think I’ve figured it out, I realize it’s shifting.
So for now, I’m not planning as far into the future. I’m giving myself permission to change plans and be flexible.
What other practices, routines or rituals help you enter that creative space?
For me, creativity is truly a practice — I have to show up for it no matter what — and routines reinforce that for me.
My mornings — creative energy peak time for me — are the same, day after day: oatmeal, yoga, meditation, sometimes Shiva Nata, journaling, and then whatever creative work I need to do for Kindergarten Mind.
Is rest incorporated in the creative rhythm within your business?
Rest is absolutely a part of that, maybe the only part that never changes!
We underestimate how much rest we need following intense activity like creating something new. I know I do.
Now I make it a point to build a lot of recovery time into my schedule, whether we’re talking about the completion of a big project, or the wrap-up of a one-hour meeting — as an introvert I know it’s crucial for me.
I also pay a lot of attention to the process of entry — into phone calls, client sessions, dentist appointments — really everything — which is something I learned from Havi.
Another thing I’m learning and trying to put into practice is: filling back up after all that creative energy has been expended.
If I don’t let myself absorb the stuff that nourishes and inspires me — work by other artists, designers, writers, musicians–I have much less to give.
How does working in this way help your marketing and productivity?
When you’re trying to be productive, it’s hard to give time to the entry and recovery processes, to rest, to inspiration and play–it feels counter-intuitive. But at least for me, I do get more of the right things done when I respect that process.
And I think of marketing as a creative activity, too. It requires you to think in unconventional ways as well as planning the tried-and-true. And it takes energy to execute effective marketing.
Where is your creative energy these days?
I feel so energized at the idea of reaching many, many people with the message that, no matter what they do in life, and no matter what anyone’s told them, they are creative, and life is richer and more rewarding when they tap into that.
With that in mind, we’re making it easy for people to take that step, with a free ebook called “Sow the Seeds of Creativity,” and by keeping class prices affordable. Our next class, “A Play Date with the New Year,” prepares you to cross the threshold in your own, unique way, with comfort and ease, instead of pressure and unrealistic expectations, and it’s only $29 – $49.
A few notes from Joy
“Sow the Seeds of Creativity” is an affirming, gently playful and encouraging ebook about expressing our innate of creativity in a myriad of ways and how to nurture it in our daily lives.
I’ve been a Play Dater for some time, even writing about the experience as part of her Society of the Secret Play Date here. Her offerings helped me get things done in the most playful, open way. And no, I won’t tell you my code name!