Hello it’s me, Karin. I am the creator of this place and today I want tell you the story of me and my creator heart.
A born creator
From my earliest memories, I have been a creator at heart. In kindergarten, I was so productive that I ran out of space at the art exhibition we held for our parents. While the other children were content with one sheet of A3 paper, I needed three just to contain all my creations. They were not necessarily remarkable pieces of art, but the sheer volume of ideas inside me demanded to be expressed.
As I grew older, I became also interested in photography. Growing up in the 80ies, colour was everywhere and I was lucky enough to receive my first camera in a pink pop design that stole my heart. I proposed a family photo day where each of us took one roll of film (yes, analogue) and set out on our bikes in different directions, capturing the scenes that represented our own views of our picturesque village. After the developed photos were delivered (ah, the good old days), we compared and discussed them, which was a wonderful finish to this little creative adventure.
Another “product” I created was my very own physical magazine. It was filled with news, (mostly made-up) facts, surveys and even competitions. I “hired” my mother to use the copy machine at her school to print out the big sheets, which I then folded into magazines and sold (for 20 cents per issue) to my eager audience of four, my family.
Inspired by my tech-savvy father, I turned my attention to filmmaking. He taught me how to film and cut analogue videos and I started with stop-motion videos featuring Lego figures. I even convinced my brothers to make their own videos. Eventually, I filmed some blockbuster adventures with actors (yes, again, my family) and experimented with special effects like smoke bombs.
Despite all this creativity, reality set in when I had to choose a profession.
Let me tell you, back in the day, I didn’t know a single artist, creator, or even a graphic designer. Entrepreneurs? Forget about it. There just wasn’t anyone around who could inspire me to pursue my creative dreams.
Instead, the prevailing wisdom at the time was to join the workforce and stick to a safe, secure career path. In my country, safety was the magic word. I didn’t feel like anyone thought of me as capable of doing something creative, so I never even considered it myself. Therefore, I ended up with a (safe) business and administration degree and worked in advertising as an account executive. While it was at least a creative environment, I felt like a shadow artist, watching as the “creatives” birthed genius ideas that we then tried to sell to clients.
Never in my life did I think I could be one of the creatives. I just didn’t think I was able to use my creativity in exchange for money.
A life-changing moment
Then I had a profound experience which changed a lot in my life.
Following the recommendation of a good friend I attended a meditation weekend.
Now, let me be honest with you, I’m not usually one for these sorts of things – my mind is always racing and I struggle to slow down. But, something inside me told me to give it a go.
Over the course of the weekend, we did all sorts of things like breathwork, yoga and meditation. But, there was one task in particular that stood out to me. We were instructed to sit in a circle on the floor and take turns talking about our lives for a full 5 minutes each. At first, I thought it sounded like a bit of a snooze-fest, but I decided to play along.
The first person in our group bravely shared her story, but after just a minute, she broke down in tears. I remember feeling taken aback – it was such a raw and unexpected outpouring of emotion. But, one by one, the rest of us took our turn and things settled down. That is until it was my turn to share.
I began by recounting my happy childhood and my early love of creating things. Even as a child, I spent hours crafting and painting indoors, preferring the cool shade of the indoors to the blazing summer sun outside. But as I spoke, something inside me shifted. Suddenly, tears were streaming down my face and I struggled to finish my story.
It was a strange and powerful moment, one that left me feeling utterly spent and emotionally drained.
Looking back on it now, I think I know what caused me to break down like that. It wasn’t the vulnerability of sharing my story with a group of strangers, no, I think I had been repressing my love for creating for years.
And the strange thing is, that moment of vulnerability and release was also incredibly freeing.
Because today I know that making space for creating is crucial for my happiness and fuels who I am. So even though none of my day jobs have ever paid me to create, I won’t neglect my creator heart again.