Interviews

An Interview with: Jacquie Blanchard

Freelance Graphic Designer

www.jacquieblanchard.com

I'm a freelance graphic designer living in the North End of Halifax, with my partner and our dog, Indy. I grew up in Sydney on Cape Breton Island, where a majority of my clients remain. I really enjoy working with new small business in the communities where I grew up. I coordinate a monthly local meet-up for creatives, entrepreneurs and small business called Tuesday's Together as part of the Rising Tide Society where people come together to learn and support one another. I'm also eating hoof prints ice cream from the bucket while trying to form full sentences (sun brain?! in this heatwave!)

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What if any boundaries do you have in place for your creative time?

Since I work for myself, I consider it essential that I take evenings and weekends off. Occasionally I’ll work an evening if I need to but turning my brain off at 5pm helps my everyday mood. In addition to this, I try hard to maintain a consistent sleep schedule because that directly affects my focus during the day.

How does your creativity impact other areas of your life?

I think when creativity is part of your job every day there has to be other creative outlets to satisfy the need to make and experiment. If I have a rough day I look forward to making a simple, well-cooked meal and I enjoy being creative in the kitchen. It also takes all my focus so I need to turn my brain off from work. For me, having other creative outlets takes off a bit of pressure from focusing so much on ‘perfecting’ my skills in one area.

Do you have any experience with burnout? How did you or are you overcoming this?

Welll… I quit my job and moved to the other side of the world to freelance.
I wouldn’t recommend that to everyone but it was something I knew I needed and had been thinking about for quite a long time.  After some severe burnout, I approached any issue I had a bit more analytically in that I asked myself, “What is the cause of this problem?” “What can I do right now to fix it or make it better?” Most times the answer is rest, or reaching out to friends or family. I think intentions always have to come back to ‘what matters most, to me’ because it’s very easy to get caught up in what ‘we think we should be.’

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Refilling Your Creative Cup:

Drawing, painting, photography, and whatever I get my hands on. Lately I have a big interest in home decor and architecture so consuming and learning about that makes me feel excited and inspired.

Community:


I use Instagram as my online community by sharing parts of my life and business and think of it more as a conversational community space than just a social platform. This spring I took over running the community group Tuesday’s Together which is serving as a wonderful way to connect and support local creative entrepreneurs in the Halifax area.

Nature and time Outdoors:

Being outside every day has become a necessary part of life for me. Having a dog that needs walking means it does happen most days. I'm a big day dreamer and walking allows any stress, ideas, or anything else to have space and work itself out.

 

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What is something you have always wanted to try?

Carpentry… hm.

What do the words "creative power" mean to you?

Creative Power to me means the magical feeling when you’re truly expressing an idea, or yourself in any form. I’ll call it the ‘flow’ which I don’t think really happens that often. Most times I need to sit down and force myself to be creative, even if it’s for fun. To sit down and draw because I know I enjoy it - even if nothing particularly interesting comes from it. The act feels more important and powerful than the result.

Who inspires you artists? coaches? speakers? authors? people in your personal life?

Most definitely women in my personal life. The extra love, gentle push and ability to be open is what helps me take risks when I’m unsure. Artists, go-getters, writers, poets, gardeners, and most creative endeavours inspire me when someone is really devoted to their craft.

What advice to you have for someone struggling with creative blocks?

If you have time, take the break. Or try something different. Definitely take pause. I think creative blocks are more than normal and necessary parts of living a creative life.  

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Suggestions!

Something to Read - Motherhood by Sheila Heti

Something to Watch - Abstract: The Art of Design, on Netflix

Something to Listen to - I’ve had this instrumental on a lot lately. I love it

Something to Make - A short list of what fills you up when you’re feelin’ down


Keep Up With Jacquie:

Website   Instagram   Facebook   Pinterest   LinkedIn

 

 

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*Thanks for all the great photos Jacquie!! <3


An Interview with: Robin Scott

A social worker from the East Coast of Canada and founder of www.thediaryofanempath.com - A site devoted to Empaths and our unique set of energetic and emotional needs.

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What do the words "creative power" mean to you?

Creative power is the sacral chakra! But also, a power to heal. Because I feel strongly that embracing our creativity is how we heal ourselves and in turn, humanity. Because reclaiming our creativity is reclaiming our power, especially as women. For so long we’ve been told who we are and how to be and creativity is our way of saying, no more. “I’m going to do it my way ~ I’m going to be ME.”

 

You send out a weekly self care reminder to your newsletter list which reminds us to be aware of and honour own needs. In your experience why do you think it so difficult for us to truly take care of ourselves?

As Empaths, our energy system is designed as a chalice (a cup) so it’s easy to pour ourselves empty.

We’ve been taught this is a good thing, but as we learn, we learn it’s not. We need to be balanced. My reminders work to activate the lower chakras by sharing what I’m personally working through  because we are a collective and are all working through the same things. I share what’s happening in my life to activate the lessons in those reading. It’s actually really beautiful and something I never planned! Writing in this way is a big part of my mission on this planet.

When we begin to work on our lower chakras and start to meet the lessons we are asked to learn, taking care of ourselves becomes a lot more natural.

We become self-centered, and from there begin to heal from a place of wholeness, not wounding.

Because giving, giving, giving doesn’t make you a good person (that’s programming we are transcending as a community) it means you have energy leaks and deep wounding (from past lives, childhood, etc.) that are screaming for attention. When we learn to give AND take, those who take learn the same ~ just opposite.

And things begin to balance naturally <3

 

You do a lot of work with balancing chakras. Can you give us a small taste of how working with chakras can affect our creativity?

Creativity is governed by the Sacral Chakra, but in Empaths, we have to work on our Solar Plexus. Because we don’t need help being creative, we need support in understanding the worth of that creativity. Especially when it comes to pay. We also have to do work on the Throat Chakra (our authenticity and how our authenticity plays a role in the collective and what it’s needing) to remember that our creativity really does make an impact on this planet and we were given a specific set of skills ~ whatever those skills might be ~ to help others and ascend humanity into a higher way of being.

I walk folks through the Empath Chakra System and give specifics on how to heal each at www.thediaryofanempath.com/chakras. It’s free!

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What if any boundaries do you have in place for your creative time?

One of the ways my creativity comes through is through ‘problem solving’ ~ I’m very creative in how I support people in working through things. And that’s why I love being an entrepreneur and creating worksheets and programs and working with people 1:1,  but for a long time I didn’t value this skillset and spent a lot of time answering people’s emails about their hardships and situations for free because it came really easy to me.

But as my community grew and I started getting more and more emails from people with their life stories I had to face myself and my lack of boundaries.

These days I am selective in who or what I respond to. I feel my way through things so my boundaries are intuitive, not concrete. But I do answer emails MUCH less and feel no shame in sending people my payment links if what they are asking for oversteps my internal sense of worth and requires they pay me.

 

Do you have any experience with burnout? How did you or are you overcoming this?

YES. The fire (Aries) in me burns me out easily. I burn out regularly. It’s just how I work. I don’t plan to overcome it, I plan to continue to heighten my awareness of it; so I can work with the energy when it’s happening. Some things that help are baths with flowers (burnout is an overwhelm of Masculine energy, water and flowers are Feminine so it balances things), going to the forest, journaling, talking with people who get me or -- napping. <3

 

How does your creativity impact other areas of your life?

My creativity is hot and cold and that leaks into the other areas of my life in both big and sneaky ways. One is that I go into a cave and avoid most things when I’m creating. Sometimes eating and sleeping! I learned early on that I don’t ‘work’ in a traditional way and that’s okay. It’s just important I communicate with those around me when I go into the creative caves because being so hot and cold can affect relationships if it doesn’t come with honesty.

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On Embracing Self Care:

YouTube videos! I love watching other Intuitives and learn about what they are going through, it makes me feel much less alone. I also love to sit on the grass and tune into my heart. And visit a spot I found a few years ago that I call the Faerie Gardens. Oh! And time with my dog ~ or any dog. But especially my pup Melanie <3

 

 


 

On Refilling Your Creative Cup:

Though I’m an Earth sign, I have A LOT of Fire in my chart.

Aries, Aries, Aries everywhere,  including my Venus sign (passions) so I like to create things only to burn them down. Again and again and again. So I expend a lot of creator energy in a short amount of time creating things and then refill my creative cup as they burn to the ground.

The release feels really good to me and gives me that space to think up my next creation.

On Nature and time Outdoors:

I’m a nature being ~ an Earth sign, and I have strong spiritual roots in Avalon (Glastonbury, England) the home of the Fae, so nature is so very important to me. I go there every day to ground, especially when life feels overwhelming.

I also sell a grounding essential oil blend based on the feeling of walking barefoot in the forest with my friend Laura in our new line, Oils for Empaths. It’s helped and continues to help me tremendously.

www.thediaryofanempath.com/oils

On Community:

I didn’t mean to start a community when I first started out. I just wanted to shine light on the programming that has kept Intuitives (Empaths) feeling small. I thought I wanted to be ‘an Academic’ and just produce content for others to consume. However, over the past year or so this has changed and community has become very important to me and the diary! It built itself organically because I decided to share authentically  ~ the ups and downs. I share everything and others relate because they are going through the same things. 

I build through writing but also through the creation of free and paid workshops/worksheets and programs.

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I feel strongly that embracing our creativity is how we heal ourselves and in turn, humanity.
— Robin Scott

Who inspires you artists? coaches? speakers? authors? people in your personal life?

This changes daily. My intuition leads so I can adore someone and feel ‘meh’ about them the next day. Because I’m drawn to them as I need them, and then not when I don’t. It’s all based on light codes; a light language. We are drawn to those who have the codes we need to activate our DNA to move us to our next place.

Right now I am inspired by Stacia Ashe, a poet and member of my soul family.

I am also drawn back to Rebecca Campbell and her work with Rise Sister Rise.

And because I’ve been in my Feminine and needing to rely a bit on the Masculine around me, I am feeling deeply inspired by my Twin (Flame) and his courage and ability to stay grounded through challenging things.

 

What advice to you have for someone struggling with creative blocks?

Walk away.

And listen to your body;

If your body is stressed or acting funny, it’s trying to tell you something. It knows what is right or wrong (for you) long before you do consciously. Pay attention, and know that what you are wanting to create will be created in perfect timing.


Suggestions!

Something to Read - Your own surroundings and what the external world is trying to tell you about yourself internally.

Something to Watch - How you react to others and if it’s coming from a place of empowerment or a place of wounding.

Something to Listen to - Your own heart, the deep whispers of your intuition.

Something to Make - Changes to your life, it’s okay to let go of things.

Somewhere to Visit - Home, whatever that means. Be it the stars, the earth, or home with blood family.


Some links:

New to the Empath journey? Here's a great starting place.

Still searching for your purpose? First find these four things.

Curious about the Law of Attraction? Learn how being an Empath makes you amazing at manifesting.

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*Thanks for all the great photos Robin!! <3
Taken by Briana McCarron and Lisa Delorey.


An Interview with: Danielle Bryson

Health and Wellness Practitioner for 20 Years • Compassionate Care Assistant • Yoga Teacher & Nidra Teacher • Reiki Master

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You're an advocate mental health and wellness. In what ways has building a community around your creative business benefited you and the women you work with?

Mental Health & Wellness is top priority for me. Our minds and energy swim together like two fish. Where one goes, the other follows. I try to lead by example and strive to offer a space that allows for a clear mind and positive energy. In the hopes that you take what you’ve experienced with me and share it with others. Good medicine multiplies when shared!

How does movement and yoga play a role in fostering your creativity?

Movement medicine is my main creative outlet. My body, energy & presence are fed by this movement. This is my canvas, to create a shape or sensation. To loose that internal chatter, even for a few briefs moments, is BLISS! I can reach that place best through Yoga, Dance and Song.

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Do you have any experience with burnout? How did you or are you overcoming this?

Burnout can come on slick and fast. So if your not paying attention to the amount of energy you dispense and where.....Burnout shows up knocking on the door with a fat fist and you weren’t prepared for visitors. We become short & angry when we aren’t fuelling ourselves. Check in with yourself often, ask where your engaging your energy and if your being nourished. 

How does your creativity impact other areas of your life?

As a care giver CREATIVITY is very important. Going with the flow & thinking outside the box. Creativity doesn’t always mean a physical product will be the outcome. Sometimes my creativity produces a “Feeling” and I’m all about creating a fabulous feeling for others.


On Embracing Self Care:

I schedule time for myself, the same way I put aside time for others. I define self care as ANYTHING you do solely for yourself. And I make it a priority/ like a special event marked in my planner.

On Refilling Your Creative Cup:

I surrounding myself with inspiring ladies! We are so blessed to live on such a talented and creative island. One day I’m fuelled by a walk in nature with great people. I’m moved by the wicked support I receive from my Archery Club. Or perhaps it’s signing up for an embroidery workshop at Victoria Country Creates. Filling my cup on CB is easy, sometimes it’s finding a big enough cup to hold all that is on offer is the hard part. 

On Nature and Outdoors:

I crave the fresh air above me and the solid ground below me. It reminds me of the “Big” beautiful picture. Settles my mind and ignite’s my spirit.
 

On Community:

My greatest passion and honour in life is to share healing tools. I created Black Stove Studio so my community had a safe and supportive space. This lil space in Big Baddeck is inclusive, welcoming and definitely represents my giving quirky personality.

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To me, "creative power” means standing in my truth, and sharing that truth with my community.

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What is something you have always wanted to try?

I grew up hearing the ladies in my family talk about weekly ceramics classes. Molding something with my hands and sealing it with fire! That’s something I’ve always wanted to do CERAMICS/POTTERY

What advice to you have for someone struggling with creative blocks?

Dance, Dance, Daaaaance! Shake it off siSTAR! Don’t get stuck on being stuck. This to will pass and the creative juju will once again flow. Because all blocks can be shook lose with a good solid BOOGIE!


I’m extremely fortunate to have a group of inspiring and creative ladies around me. Living on Cape Breton Island is like being a box of Light Anywhere Matches......it’s super easy to get fired up! 
— Danielle Bryson

Suggestions!

Something to Read - Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Something to Watch - The Fall By Tarsem Singh

Something to Listen to - Bat for Lashes

Something to Make - A self portrait 

Somewhere to Visit - Gampo Abbey Buddhist Monastery/ Pleasant Bay, CB

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Thanks for all the great photos Danielle!! <3 Check her out on Instagram!