an interview with tara leaver…and a giveaway

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today i’d like to introduce you to tara.  she and i can’t quite remember where we first ‘met’.  a blog led us to another blog perhaps, and eventually led us to discover each other.  isn’t this so often how the interwebs work?  no matter, i’m keen on the work she does both artistically and spiritually and i want to share a bit of her magic with you.  she has recently published a book, creative spark: {re}igniting your creativity with everyday wisdom, and she is about to launch her first e-course, creative spark. let’s jump right in…

i love the idea of creative sparks (i believe in them too!).  can you tell us a bit about what you call creative sparks?
Great question! When I was writing the book, I was thinking of creative sparks as what we are, simply by nature of being human, and yet coming from this greater source. Sometimes we forget this as we grow to adulthood, or start to believe that we are somehow the exception; but as sparks we each contain every possible potential within us, and that means we can make choices that expand us in any direction we give our attention to. So for me, a creative spark is the true self, from which all possibilities arise, and my hope is that through my writing and my work I can remind people of that in a creative and artistic sense, and show them that reigniting, or perhaps more accurately uncovering, your spark is not impossible, or even that difficult.

Your question did make me think though, because those moments of inspiration that can hit us at any moment, even ~ and perhaps especially ~ when we’re doing something mundane, are creative sparks too. I had one the other night while brushing my teeth before bed; we all get them ~ that little zing! that makes you rush for a pencil and paper.  You only need one spark and your future is changed.

throughout your book, you sprinkle lessons and phrases you’ve learned from your teacher…and, really, they’re all so good.  do you have a favorite?
It’s hard to pick just one! I think my favourite would always be what is most applicable and helpful to me at any given moment, so I will sometimes stick with one for a while until I have gained some equilibrium in that area.

I always look for relief first if I find myself in struggle; I may not have any solutions but I can at least find relief, and that creates enough space to allow solutions to start presenting themselves. Currently I am being asked to trust a great deal; myself mainly, but also the process of things, so there’s been a lot of ‘Everything is working out perfectly for me; the universe conspires in my favour’ around here lately! That allows me to hand over worries and fears and keep faith that all will be well, so I can just get on with giving my best to what I’m doing, which currently is creating this ecourse.

how does creativity fit into and feed your life?
It wasn’t always this way, but now it would be true to say that creativity is a fundamental thread of my daily life, and I’m not even sure there’s a time when I’m not thinking about it, in the sense that I’ve learned to bring creativity to everything I do.

As part of my personal lessons in releasing old programmes and limitations, I have learned over time to look at everything I do anew. So much of my life before was about appearance and approval, and now it’s slowly becoming much more about filling the well so I am happier and then have more to give!  Creativity is key to that, because thinking creatively helps me find new ways to do things that work with who I am and what I need, as well as in the literal sense of making art, or baking, or writing, or decorating my home, or taking photographs, all of which I love and which bring me a great sense of fulfillment. And now I’m at a point where I’ve gathered a lot of experience and all the little tools and techniques that come from that, and my creativity is extending into how I can help others with it too.

when you are stuck creatively, what do you do to get unstuck?
Great question; and thankfully there are many answers! Especially since the same thing doesn’t work every time.

The one thing I never do is force it. I know that works for some, but for me it’s a surefire road to frustration. My usual ‘go tos’ are mostly simple, and of course there are many ways to approach it, but here are a very few;

  • I’ll go for a walk down to the beach and look for heartstones and seaglass, watch the waves, maybe take some photos and share them on Instagram, which helps me feel connected to other creatives, and there’s always something inspiring in my feed.
  • I’ll get in the kitchen and bake something ~ the process is soothing to me and I sometimes listen to TED talks or podcasts at the same time, which can spark ideas.
  • I’ll have a look at my favourite websites and art blogs, or cruise Pinterest for a bit {this only works if I’m not feeling bad about my abilities as an artist, so you have to be a bit mindful of your mood for that one}.
  • I’ll remind myself of the creative cycle; it always comes round.
  • I tend to have several different types of creative projects on the go at once, so sometimes if I want to do something creative but painting isn’t happening, I can do one of my smaller projects, even if that’s just doodling in my sketchbook while watching Netflix.

for someone who has not explored visual creativity in a long while (maybe even decades), what would you encourage him/her to do as a first step to move in that direction?
Two main things spring to mind. I think it’s very important to have support at this point, whether that’s by working alongside peers taking an art class of some kind, joining an online group of like-minded creatives, or even just playing with some paints with a friend. When we’re beginning something, or reviving something long lost, a lot of doubts and fears tend to come up that can easily prevent us from just starting, so having encouragement from a non-judgemental source is key, and is why I do what I do.

I think also it helps to have some kind of framework when you’re starting to explore your creativity, because there’s so much to choose from; when I was starting again after my creative hiatus of several years, I began taking online classes. I didn’t feel confident to take in-person ones at that point, but the classes I found through blogs and creative websites allowed me to explore techniques in the privacy of my home and also to share them with my online classmates when I felt brave enough. Having feedback from a teacher was also encouraging. It also meant I could try several different styles and techniques to find what I really liked.

now for fun…

what did you have for breakfast?
Milky coffee with agave syrup and two pathetically tiny pains au chocolat; it was one of those times when you order groceries and don’t get quite what you’d intended!

what’s the weather in your corner of the world today?
Being England in September, it’s been mostly a white sky and drizzle sort of day, although as I type the sun has just busted through! So yay for that.

what’s your favorite time of year?
I’m a summer girl, without a doubt. Being warm and barefoot and able to soak up sunshine every day is part of my ‘perfect life daydream’. Living in England it’s probably not surprising; I never thought I’d live here for my whole life, and around this time of year is when I start thinking about migrating south, although I have yet to actually DO that!

right now, if you close your eyes, what word comes to your mind?
Oh god, this is going to sound so cheesy and trite, but the first word I heard was ‘divine’. I think it’s because right now my life is finally heading in a direction I am loving, and I do feel blessed in many ways. It’s a work in progress always, but it’s work I want to do.

***and now the giveaway part!
tara is generously giving away one copy of her book creative spark:  {re}igniting your creativity with everyday wisdom.  to enter the giveaway, leave a comment by sunday, september 22, midnight EST…close your eyes and tell us what word comes to your mind.

a winner will be randomly selected and announced back here, in this post, on monday!  
the winner is tracie west (life in the wylde west).  congratulations, tracie!  tara will be in touch with you shortly.  thanks to everyone who played along…loved all the words that came to your minds!!!

sending a little love your way, m

Tara Leaver is a self-taught artist exploring the exciting possibilities of paint from her home studio based in Brighton in the UK. As an artist, energy worker and creative guide, Tara uses her experiences with making art, her intuitive gifts and her knowledge of energy healing to encourage and support courageous souls on the journey back to their creative selves.



29 thoughts on “an interview with tara leaver…and a giveaway

  1. Lovely to read the interview with Tara – she is a very inspirational person. My word ….Rest …..I’m not sure where that appeared from – maybe because I am rushing around today trying to do a few things at the same time – I’ll take note :)

  2. Trust, the first word that came to my mind, (its my “one little word” this year). Yes, and i trust the universe is always supporting me! This was a great interview and i’m going right now to look at tara’s website. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of her book!

  3. Freedom ~ at first when it came to me I fought it. It sounds so alien and a little cruel, to feel freedom as my children are out of the house. Then, when it kept pushing its way to the front of my mind I realised I need feel no guilt about this. My three older children are grown, I have done my share of parenting of little ones. My youngest will always be with me as she has special needs but these moments, these hours each day while she is safely at school I have freedom. For this period I can set, a little, aside Mum and be Lynn.

    Sorry to take up so much space. My word is freedom.


  4. This is an inspiring and encouraging interview. I will be rereading this over and over. Tara is a beautiful, sensitive artist and person. The word that came to me was spirit, which I interpret as learning to connect with and trust in spirit’s intelligence.

  5. I really enjoyed reading Tara’s blog and looking thru her site. Her art work is great! The word that always comes to mind…fortunate. So fortunate to live the life I live! Great interview! I can see why you two would connect!

        1. Hi there,
          likewise: looking Forward to Meeting you in our course with Tara. Very very very much looking Forward to it. Amsterdam is only 220 kilometres from here, so a good Weekend trip Destination. Love this City and its amount of charme. Especially the Jordaan quarter. see you in course! :)
          Nic :)

  6. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Tara a little bit more. I think she’s a fabulous inspiring Artist and is doing a beautiful job of inspiring others. The word that popped into my mind is “peaceful”. It’s quite fitting too as I’ve not long been home from my evening yoga class and was sitting here peacefully with a cup of tea reading this fabulous interview. Thank-you xxx

  7. thanks for introducing me to another beautiful creative mind! her book sounds lovely. I just stood out on the porch this morning with a cup of tea and watched the mist on the field, so when I close my eyes just not the word that floats up is…..serenity.


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