art / community / creativity / expat / play / yoga

Day 11/28: How did Texas influence my creativity?

For the next two posts in this project, I’ll be sharing how certain places (Texas on Day 11 and Guatemala on Day 12) influenced my creativity.

Since the inception of my company #ARTYOGPLAY, it has always been my vision that through this interplay between yoga’s physical movement and the working with our hands as artists I could give others the inspiration and the accessible tools to become creative beings. Through leading yoga classes, instructing art projects and discussing books that inspire creatively authentic lives, I have gotten the chance to inspire this process with students and clients in different cities around the globe.

From my own experiences and helping my students, I firmly believe that you can be creative anywhere.

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Texas

1) Traditional Routes of Learning Art
I developed my creative flow through traditional routes: ballet, tap, piano, choir and also playing the clarinet & bass clarinet into early college. Eventually, I shifted into developing my creativity as a writer, photographer, and visual artist through various courses and learning opportunities in college and through the project demands of my work.

I learned three values: self-motivated discipline (the behind the scenes hustle accomplished through repeated hours of practice), artistry (how to relate and express music or art and how a performer relates to his audience), and professionalism (how to be a creative professional working with various opinions and interests and how to turn in work on time and on budget).

2) Non-Traditional/ Free Form Approaches to Creativity

On the other side of that coin, I think to truly discover your voice as an artist you must spend time doing non-traditional approaches to art. I mean doing things and making things where you are NOT TOLD how to make something through the instructions of an expert or accepted cannon. Our own intuitions lead us to be the creator. It’s where you learn all the rules, and then you are given yourself the permission to just break those rules and make things because it feels good to make something.

I have appreciated artistic playtime. Simply just spending a lot of time on my own playing music in the background, drawing in sketchbooks, writing stories, and collaging in an art journal. This engagement of a freeform creative process is crucial in refining your style.

3) Houston’s Arts Community
I got to learn from some inspiring visual artists in art school and college who inspired me to really try and create your own voice. I’ve also enjoyed connecting with Houston’s art community: seeing friends’ art shows at Spring Street Studios, quietly meditating in the Cy Twombly gallery, or wandering around the MFAH with my sketchbook. I was exposed to a lot of meaningful lessons being a professional in the art world (not as a performer, but in the fundraising capacity). To me, I don’t get the sense of snobbery or elitism in Texas that I get from time to time from other American cities with strong creative classes.

4) #ARTYOGAPLAY
I don’t think I really escaped these traditional routes and rules until I gave myself the permission to explore my creativity more. In a lot of ways my definition of art from the corporate business world had to be broken down to what I wanted for myself. I could no longer accept that writing a magazine article for my job or visualizing the color and artistic influence of a fundraising event to be art that made my soul smile. I craved more.

Through this slow-building creative upbringing, it seems only natural that I ended up starting #ARTYOGAPLAY just only a little over two years ago. Inspired by my reading The Artist’s Way and a trip to the Philippines, I created this vision of building a movement: a movement in our physical bodies through vinyasa yoga and a movement towards getting more people to remove their creative blocks and becoming creative beings. Through leading art and yoga workshops in Houston, it’s been my hope that people see the bridging together of physicality and art in a magical and whimsical way.

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