This week Katie talks with her brother Toby about his creative life so far. Toby takes us on his journey through sea kayaking the shipping forecast, using his persuasion skills to go to a seal sanctuary in the dark, climbing trees in Rutland, his professional creative experience in architecture and teaching and more.
We delve into how to live a creative life, what a creative process looks like and how creativity can feed your soul.
You can find more information about Toby’s sea kayaking on his website https://www.m-b-g-l.org and you can follow him on Instagram at @moderatebecominggoodlater
Find our website at www.stepupcreate.com Follow us on Instagram @step_up_create Follow us on Facebook @stepupcreate
Follow my art at www.katieannicecarr.com an on Instagram at @katieannice
Original music written and performed by Jonathan D. Mellor licensed to Step Up Create S.L.
So this week I’ve got a really special podcast for you and I’m going to be interviewing or have interviewed already my brother Toby. This idea came to me not just because Michelle Obama did it on her podcast and it worked out pretty well. But also because when I think of a creative life, he is one of the people that has lived a hugely creative life. Toby is currently living with a terminal diagnosis. But you won’t hearing mentioned that on the podcast interview. In fact, you won’t really hear him mention anything about all of the illnesses he’s dealt with throughout his life, while also living a hugely full life. Because one of the things he’s tried to do is to not be labelled the person with the illness but to get on and do other stuff that make him more interesting in lots of different ways. So it’s been an absolute pleasure to interview Toby to talk about some stuff that we’ve never really talked about before, despite having lots of long conversations. And he’s doing it at a time where he’s not feeling his absolute best, but he was still able to come across with lots of enthusiasm and ideas and creativity oozing out of every pore. So I’ll leave you to listen to this. And I’ll see you on the other side.
Today. We have a special guest on the podcast, and that is my brother Toby Carr. And I have to say that when I thought about the whole creative life and living a creative life, you were one of the first people that came to my mind. There are so many instances of things that you’ve done that you’ve made that just shine creatively whether they’ve worked or not in the end. Things like the Yorkshire pudding installation with the lights in it at a northern party you created the infamous warehouse, which you might want to mention or might want to forget. And just a whole load of fun creative things that you’ve done, as well as having a proper career in architecture. And you are an architect, a kayaker and a university professor. So thank you for coming on my special podcast welcome.
Thanks for that kind introduction. It’s nice to be thought of as someone who leads a creative life that makes me happy. It’s things that I guess I often do describe myself as someone that enjoys doing and making things and sometimes that means you end up doing slightly strange things because you don’t think about it. And sometimes it results in unexpected things that you didn’t, or sometimes it just takes you on a journey that you didn’t necessarily know from the start where you’re going to end up I think that’s very much been the case with my professional life and probably my personal life as well. I’m talking to you from Falmouth, England in the UK right down in the rainy and stormy southwest coast and I’ve ended up here I suppose after a journey through professional practice in architecture, mixed with teaching before that, obviously, long training where I met some really inspirational characters and people that really encouraged and inspired my own creativity and then through an involvement in teaching towards a full time lecturing position, alongside all of my own creative practice as a escape from professional life has landed me on the sea. I think that’s to do with lots of things. Am I interested in related to a sense of freedom, I think kind of sense of exploration which does link back to a sense of creativity. What might lie ahead and ask questions like “what if” or “why don’t we”, rather than thinking of perhaps why we can’t do certain things.
One fine day you asked yourself, what if I kayaked around all of the shipping forecast zones of the United Kingdom which ranges from Iceland, I think at the top all the way down to Trafalgar and south in Spain. That what is was quite a big question.
Yeah, I guess so. It came out of lots of things, really. For anyone that doesn’t know the shipping forecast or wonders what it is, is a radio broadcast maritime forecasts for the weather and sea. It’s an interesting thing really has a practical purpose. But it has also a huge cultural following of people that just like the sound of it and like the names of the places, it’s quite drifty and it’s a sort of oral landscape or seascape I suppose that just trips in and out of consciousness. It’s often on the radio, just before going to bed. Lots of countries are closest coastal neighbours. Also that the same kinds of forecast and some of them also have this same kind of cultural attachment to it. And I just thought it would be a really interesting way to go and meet people, explore places. Find out more about our coastal neighbours, and then a time of Brexit and separation and disconnection isolation, I thought it would be more interesting to explore a wider network of places. So yeah, there are 31 areas. I’ve almost completed it. I’m in the middle of writing a book called moderate becoming good later, to be published by sometime early next year. I think there’s more information on my website as well.
I’ll include that in the show notes as well and moderate becoming good later website.
I suppose. One thing I’ve just dropped into this is in a way, it was an idea that was hanging around in my mind for a little while. family have been plagued by health issues and different challenges that we’ve all faced. Over the years. And I guess one of the things that really made me sort of just think if it’s an idea that you think might be interesting, just go and do it as the death of our brother that just made me realise that, you know, you’ve got ideas knocking around in your head. if you want to develop a bit further or you want to kind of explore a bit more then really now is the time they there’s no better time now. And you know, you might not have the right equipment, you might not have funding, you might not have the support network around that you think that you might need. It really galvanised me into this thinking that this is an idea you’re interested in, you just need to go for it. So it’s really kindly supported by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in the UK .First. I put a proposal together and then those just started to open but like when you kind of knock a domino. One knocks into another and it just starts a process. Suddenly I was on BBC Radio and some television. Someone texted me saying they’d seen me on the Heathrow Express on the advert. It’s just been a really unusual journey and unusual set of experiences that really wouldn’t have happened if i hadn’t asked questions like, why not try?
So aside from that, you’ve done lots of creative things. Obviously, within architecture I just mentioned to you before the show, I’m not sure about the things that you’ve built and you rattled off a whole load of real buildings which I mean, most of us can’t take credit for real existing buildings, and interesting ones at that. So what is creativity for you? I think it seems like you’ve lived it in lots of different ways.
I think for me, creativity is about asking different questions to begin with, predominantly asking, what if? And I guess sometimes I think about a story that our dad used to tell, and we were on holiday in Cornwall and we were driving around in a rainy dark evening, having is to somewhere on the Lizard Peninsula and I think I was a small child and seen a sign for the seal sanctuary. Or they look after rescued and injured seals. And it was as though it was dark. It was late. It was raining. It was pretty horrible. I was annoying child in the back of the car, saying can we go to the car sanctuary? Can we go to the seal sanctuary? And our dad just said no, it won’t be open. It won’t be open it’s not and be open. And I just kept saying “but it might be” “but I might be” Eventually he lost his rag as you would as a parent and said well, we’re going find out then. And lo and behold it was and we had a visit to those seals. Maybe that wasn’t really connected to creativity. But I guess maybe it’s just about sort of prodding and poking and kind of asking the questions of what if and maybe this might work or can we do it like this? And just not always taking no for an answer. It’s much easier for people to say no to things. Because that immediately closes it down rather than having the conversation about what if or how can we make this happen? And how can we do this? And that’s really important in architecture because you’re often working with clients from lots of different backgrounds. My work has mainly been in the public sector. And so working with schools with communities groups, sometimes with urban designers on sort of transport projects and things like that, but lots of people around the table with different ideas and to be able to promote and provoke the discussion of whatever or could we do it like this is really important in that situation, to make the time to explore options creatively. So that you come out with the best solution, I think is is important.
It sounds to me it’s also like you’re you’re talking about prodding and poking an idea or insisting on an idea, keeping this building the idea forward. But there’s also something internal about that of insisting on keeping your idea open and not letting yourself shut the idea down.
Yeah, I guess so. I think I’m quite persistent, which can be really annoying. I think I’m probably quite annoying to work with
you were quite annoying as a child.
Yeah, well, you would say that you’re my older sister. But I think I’m quite determined as well. And I’ve been through my own health challenges, lots of them, which is reinforced this idea that you know, we’re not we’re not around forever and we we sort of have a responsibility if we’re working collaboratively and creatively to get the most out something and I think that that determination leads to, sometimes pushing things a bit harder. Or trying to explore an idea more creatively, basically, to Yeah, to ask different questions. I suppose we know that you’re an architect. That’s obviously gotten a creative side.
You have told us a little bit about your kayaking, and the way that you design that trip in a way or the way that you set that challenge for yourself. You’re also a university lecturer and I think we can kind of imagine how that might connect. What are the other ways you incorporate creativity into your life? Aside from the professional?
So good question, I guess for me in a way it’s always been a balance in my professional career, sometimes that morphs in different ways. So I might have different strands things that I’m doing sometimes I might be doing more teaching less practice sometimes more Baptist, less teaching or more kayaking, and no teacher no practice, or trying to balance things in a different way. I suppose in terms of how I use creativity in different parts of my life. I think in a way being creative or having a creative mindset and me is about being brave. And being strong, but also not being too attached to your ideas and perhaps not taking yourself too seriously. I mean, I think artists are some of the most courageous people because you’re creating something and you don’t necessarily know where it’s gonna end up. And then potentially you’re sharing it with lots of other people. You may not always be doing that it might be the process and we’re interested in each IsValid but you embark on a bit of an unknown journey in a way and you start something you put paint on paint or charcoal or whatever it is to paper or wood or timber or however you’re working or you you know you certain performance or whatever, that ability to just say, well, let’s just knock this idea around for a bit and see what happens. I think is really important. So I suppose when you’re asking about what role does creativity play in the rest of my life? I guess it gives me the ability to, to perhaps take more risks, and to employ that mindset and just kind of thing. Okay, we’ll give this a go. We don’t really know what’s going to happen. The journey will probably be really interesting and may well be more interesting than the outcome, but let’s just go for it and see what happens. And that’s important for me, and it’s helped me through lots of difficult times to build a personal resilience to things because you’re able to imagine different scenarios and different places and different outcomes. If I had to add
some things to how I know you and how you’ve incorporated it into your life. I would say that one thing is a sense of humour. And having that sense of humour that’s a bit self depreciating, maybe a little bit dark, perhaps not as dark as our other brother Marcus’s sense of humour, but having that sort of lightness in moments sometimes when there isn’t much lightness, and it’s quite difficult, allows this ground for creativity, I think. And the other thing, that the way that I think that you’ve incorporated creativity is by having such a wonderful group of creative friends. And that goes for friends that you’ve got around you now and friends that you’ve had around you when you’ve lived in other places or who can’t be with you, close to you now. It just it’s always struck me that your friends are really interesting. Much more interesting than mine, probably. And they all seem to bring very different creative approaches. So I think there’s something about co creation or just being surrounding yourself with those kinds of people.
Yeah, I think so as well. Although I don’t think that should be seen as an exclusive thing because I do think that a creative mindset is something that anybody can embrace, develop. But lots of people will say they’re not creative because they feel like they can’t draw and that’s to do with developing a skill or developing a technique. You know, you can you can learn that. Some people might be better at doing that than others because they’ve done it from an early age or I’ve seen other people doing it. So I think those two things kind of separate. And so I have a large group of kayaking fans, for example, who are really close, and I would say that as creatively minded as my friends that are product designers or filmmakers or whatever, I think that’s what I enjoy about people that think that way because they’re used to asking the question, what if, and so for example, some really close friends of mine and a lot of time on the sea. But they also used to spend a lot of time rock climbing. And that in itself can be a creative act, because you’re embarking again on this journey of where are you going to go you don’t quite know where it’s gonna end up hopefully and up at the top. Don’t necessarily what know what the route will be or you’ve got the contact with a rock face and your physical body and lots of other things to take into the equation. But it’s as creative as doing a painting or creating your performance and so I’ve never exclusively tried to surround myself by quote unquote, creative people, artist, I suppose made friends with people that I find interesting and share a similar mindset. I mean, actually, when I was at university and I was studying architecture, I made a point of not living with other architects because I didn’t want to get immersed or isolated into this kind of one way of viewing things. I wanted to get other people’s perspective and things like that. And I think that’s really important that you, you don’t just surround yourself by the same people that you may be can build a really strong support network help people that maybe share a similar mindset or approach or that or that really challenge you and kind of say, Come on, you can do this or put you in a situation where you know, you step up to it in a way it’s so interesting question. Definitely. And I think having other people around that are making creative proposals or doing interesting things. And part of your network I think does just you want to think if you’ve got an inkling of doubt in your mind, and number one says teaching it the University of Greenwich in the UK, and it was the review session. At architecture school. We get the students to do all kinds of bizarre projects, but it’s all about stimulating creative response to a place. Anyway, one student was presenting a project where she was working in pack I think, and she noted on a Sunday morning, there was all this hair blowing around in the street, like fake hair. It’s a largely black Afro Caribbean neighbourhood. People had got really dressed up for a Saturday night, with hair extensions and braids. And plants and whatever. And then had had their night out and just discarded the bits on the street. And so it is Sunday morning. There was lots of this sort of fake hair lying around. And our project was to collect it all melted down to make some kind of plastic back out. And to be things like glasses, frames and things like that. It was just such an enjoyable conversation. She observed this thing happening and thoughts about kind of what might happen as a result, and I’ve been mulling over some ideas for something at work and I just got back to the work that stopped my desk. I thought if she can propose making glasses out of like discarded bits of hair on the street, not sure that I can propose changing the size of a classroom or I don’t know, locating the windows elsewhere or whatever. So I think, you know, gives you impetus I think to be around other people doing interesting things. So
that’s another thing that comes from being a lecturer or being involved in young people and connected with that will to live which is sort of naive that you get in universities when people are starting out.
Yeah, I think I think that’s really true. And I think in professional, creative context, you’re particularly in something like architecture where it takes quite a long time from an initial idea about something to see that through into a final building, obviously, because it’s quite complicated, involves lots of people involved lots of approvals and lots of hoops to jump through and every stage there’s another sort of Pandora’s box of design challenges that pop out that you need to resolve at another level of detail. And what that means is that you have to maintain a sense of energy and enthusiasm and, and creativity I suppose around your approach to the project, even if it lasts sort of five to seven years. I think what I really like about working with younger people or people at the start of their career is that they’re not jaded by the world of planning or building regulations or rules of kind of naysayers crashing you down, which can happen. I think, if you spend too long in certain places, or too much of your career surrounded by certain people. And so I think for me, it’s really refreshing to again, go back to that question of of what if to see so many people may be asking that and not being held up by all of the reasons why why not? In a way so yeah, I mean, I find teaching hugely rewarding, and I think I’d see my role much more as a sort of enabler for Support Act to students because it’s their creative energy and ideas and it’s time goes into developing projects, ideas, and I think what we really need to do is be supportive and challenge students so they can develop their own narrative and their own strong responses to people that will inevitably come along and kind of say, No, we can’t do like that. You can’t do this and to develop that sort of strength and resilience against those sort of arguments.
They need to be able to say, but it might be it might be, but it
might be, because I’m assuming it’s such an annoying child. You were, our dad definitely had its flaws. But probably if that was me with a charter this would have stopped the car and put the child outside and driven away. So not not so supportive.
So now that you’re talking about childhood, so we could maybe go back to the idea of how your creativity or your approach to creativity has changed over your life so far.
I suppose when you’re young, I don’t think you really have any. You don’t wouldn’t separate anything. out that you’re doing as being creative or not creative. I think we grew up in a really supportive community where we were able to go out, play outside and we met other children. Nobody really worried at all about pH of anyone. You just got subsumed into this kind of group. We weren’t really overseen by adults. We were kept an eye on and it’s before the days of mobile homes and things so sometimes you might end up at someone else’s house having tea. And sometimes you might be your house that the other people they’re having tea it I guess for me it felt like there were no boundaries, really. And it was a small safe community as I say, it never felt like there were that many boundaries at all. You were in and out of people’s houses and our parents were friends and there was a lot of trust around and I think that was really important because play I think is a really important part of developing a creative mindset and sort of learning through doing and thinking like, Oh, I’ll try and climb this tree and then falling out the tree and realising you might have tried to climb it too high or whatever you kind of learned by those things is important. Our mum and dad were really keen dinghy sailors had a strong connection to the water and the coast. I think that was also important because it was another outlet. It was a small boat I’d often described as being like a floating caravan and that was often where holidays and some. I mean, I don’t want to paint a rosy picture of this
tell you my memories of the holidays on the boats were basically like, just two weeks of having buckets of cold water thrown over your head and being shouted out for being on the wrong side of the boat or in the wrong place.
Well, yeah, I guess there was all of that going on. And it was on the east coast of the UK so the water was brown turned up. It’s muddy and silty. And I don’t think I’d ever seen clear sea water until I was about 15 or 16 and went for the holiday to Jersey anywhere. I think amongst all of that there were kind of opportunities just to slip the mooring and go up the coast. There’s no real limits to what you could do. You could beach the boat on a really nice place and let the tide go out and so we could play on the beach all day or we
could be made to clean the bottom of the boat. Yeah, or whilst the tide was
on the boat as everyone else went to the pub. I think there was also like a bit of sense of freedom to inform me that I remember. And we actually went when we were quite young children with our then mentally disabled mum on board. It’s several trips over to France crossing the Channel. And that was sort of part of our world and I don’t think I really questioned that it was anything sort of unusual until a bit later I realised that other people didn’t necessarily go on a small sailing boat and encounter fairies in the middle of the foggy sea or in stranded in Calais for weeks or whatever. But
talking about courage earlier, there’s no way that I would have the courage even if I was a good sailor to go with my two boys in a small boat across the channel.
Yeah, you know, I think there was a bit of that inherited from from our daddy so I mean I agreed I was so bad at school that
I was I wasn’t saying no bad I was sort of hinting at they would get the resistance and ability to continue anyway.
So I guess in young years, you don’t necessarily kind of think of anything as creative or not creative for me there was a sort of experience of not having too many boundaries, being able to explore places and having a bit of a sense of freedom, which I think was really important. And then as I started to grow up had an affinity with traditionally thought of as creative base thing, if you will, is
better than me, and I was quite good at art, but you were even better
at Yeah, I mean, I sort of tend to resist like this distinction between arts and science and I think it does start to come in when you go into secondary school and subjects become so divided. And we get a lot of students applying for architecture saying I’m applying for architecture because I’m interested in art and science it is and I think in a way that’s really detrimental to the idea of creativity because people think that if you’re Arty, you’re creative, and if you’re scientific, you’re not. And I think that’s just rubbish and I think if you look at many of the inventions or discoveries of scientists and biologists, they’ve happened by chance, or they’ve happened by someone just exploring a different route of testing something or things happening by accident and someone thinking oh, this is interesting, and then exploring the properties of it, and so forth. Science is all about exploring what if Yeah, totally
trying to find out the opposite of that the extrapolation of that which would be something like what happens? What’s the root of so what is the root? What’s the result? And if we’re looking at that result, what happened?
Yeah, or perhaps, yeah, why does Why does this happen? Anyway? Yeah, I think school can be a bit divided, almost this idea of creativity and it’s maybe the first time you come into contact with people sort of either saying, Oh, you’re a creative person or not. And I think that can really shape you as a young adult. If someone says that to you hold that for your life. Basically, in our family, it gets reinforced by things that your parents might say or kind of all like, they’re not the creative one or whatever, and who’s got a lot of answers for in that respect, but I was, I think I was naturally drawn to things like the art room, the pottery studios where you could kind of get messy and dirty and sort of make stuff out of clay. And the art remember lots of interesting books and objects and things and it also had this interesting step in the room, which was it was it wasn’t quite like any of the other classrooms.
It was beautifully light as well. It was just a really nice place to be.
Yeah, so I think that made me realise that I suppose I had a talent or a skill drawing. And I had this aptitude for maths and science as well. And I think I ended up doing architecture. I didn’t really know what it was. To be honest, when I applied for it. We don’t have any relatives or friends who are architects. Nobody else in the family and I didn’t really know kind of what the training might involve, or what kind of eventual job might involves, but I knew that I liked drawing things. I like making things and I like solving problems. I suppose I sat there and I remember when I first went to uni, it was this big expansive, eye opening experience were suddenly something that I thought was one thing kind of opened up into so many other different things. If suddenly we were talking about philosophy, we’re talking about human psychology. We’re talking about the science of how buildings behave. We’re talking about people’s personal experiences, attachment, a space and the way that licen volume and all of those things and materials and everything. It was kind of a really eye opening experience and in a way like a bit bewildering, but I really enjoyed it. And it was almost like three years of sort of exploration of different ideas and different attempts and I enjoyed being alongside like minded people, I guess, is quite a strong studio based culture and architectural training. By which I mean you’re encouraged to work together in a space and be present in a studio environment. And that’s about encouraging, collaborative working. Also being able to share your ideas quickly, not be working with your hand over your exam paper kind of thing. So yeah, I enjoyed that side of things. I didn’t always work in the studio, but that was a different connection with creativity. I met I think, as I said, some brilliant people our first year had a year. It was brilliant creative women Ruth Morrow, who had grown up in Belfast and knew the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland on a really personal level. And so she was all about breaking down boundaries and doing things differently and also engaging in a bit of a political debate around things and using creativity to sort of inform that and fuel it. She’s brilliant. We’re still in touch now. And I worked with her for at the University of Ulster and lots of other great people as well that you meet as part of your education and then without wanting to give us a whole life story of skip between different jobs
in you start out at a company that basically built offices and was really boring, or that’s the kind of impression I got anyway, that wasn’t very creative that I think that’s a trap for some architecture graduates that they end up in well paying but extremely boring design. firms. I don’t know if that was actually true.
No, very much. So I think my career’s almost yo yo between jobs in larger commercial practice. Smaller, perhaps more creative practice, or at least where you get closer to the decision making the clients and the conversation around why something might be like it is or what the objectives might be. So yeah, I’ve worked in a range of different faces and met lots of different people, again, lots of whom I really respect and seeing lots of different ways of running profession professional creative outlet. I think I guess the challenge in any sort of creative professional, if you like, is that we can talk about the creative process being about exploration and be about the journey and it’s not that important, what the end outcome is, and it’s more about charity and whatever, but try selling that to someone who’s commissioned you to design a building just doesn’t really work. And so there comes a point in the process where you need to stop that mode of creative thinking. And move into a different mode of sort of approaching problems creatively and problem solving creatively as you go through the journey of how something might get built. So it does change through the process. prototyping phase, yeah. Working out, imagining lots of different issues of what if this happens, or what about this problem, or about this issue? What about this issue, and you try to knock them all on the head as you go through the design process? So again, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s not creative, but it’s a different kind of creative work. And sort of sitting down at the beginning of the project and sketching ideas on a site or something like that.
That’s one of the nice things about the creative process, isn’t it? There’s lots of different stages but particularly that then all this open super crazy loads of ideas phase. Actually, there’s a innovate within the box, design the solution based on those ideas or not. There’s part which is actually implement that and there’s the way before which is all about the research and being able to understand complex information.
Yeah, I mean, I think the most interesting outcomes often come from a project or process that has lots of constraints. And it also makes it a bit easier to work because you don’t necessarily have a blank canvas. And you have things that you can respond to or you can have someplace to start off on. I think it can differ broadly from a sort of exploratory act to something that is really about focused problem solving. But again, just asking those questions, so what if we don’t set like this? Or what if we change our perspective, and saw it in this way? So I think it’s part of the same process but potentially comes become much more focused and knowing as you move through
project, it sounds a bit like as you were talking about the different parts of creativity that you’ve seen in your life. So starting out with this playfulness and there’s no limits and then moving into this more of a structure and being told you are creative or you’re not creative, then going to university and opening up to all these different influences and all this different information. And trying to make sense of all of that. And then moving into practice and going okay, now I’ve got to like produce something it’s got to make sense. It’s got to work as well as all the rest of it. It sounds like that. Those are different phases and creative process in themselves.
Yeah, so I’ve never really seen it like that. But I guess I’d agree process could be endless. But sometimes if you want to create something or make something from it, you have to have some time limits on it. And so at the moment I’m going through writing this book, and it’s in a way it was quite neatly divided into sections because I’m writing about the different areas of forecasts that I’ve paddled in, and so they have a geographical distinction. In a way thinking about those different areas helps to split it down into different bits, and then going through a process of just gathering information or as on the journey. I kept notes every day and recorded audio of what I’ve seen and who I’ve met and different conversations with people and all sorts of things, different sound clips and things like that and all of that helps to conjure up what it was like to be there as that phase which could go on in descriptive terms or ever, because there’s so much detail in it, but you have to sort of limit it and edit it and think about your audience who’s it for and what they’re going to be interested in reading or learning from it. And and so I suppose there is this hope as again a broadening out of things.
still focusing in on a key bits are the key message of what you’re trying to get across. So the key idea, I suppose, and thinking about how you’re going to do that, but it can’t be an endless process, it has to be limited in some ways. If you’re looking to end up with a thing, the end of it. It can, of course, be an endless process if you’re just going through that journey as part of your life and you’re not trying to create anything from it. And that’s nice too. I think as soon as you want to arrive at a goal at the end of a creative process, it does immediately start to put other constraints on what you’re doing and how you do it.
So you are someone who was labelled early on creative even though you’ve fought against it in a way or embraced it in other ways. I feel against it. I mean, you’ve widened your knowledge and welcomed lots of people from lots of different places into your life. What tips might you have for someone who feels like they’re not creative? Or they’ve either been labelled early on or they label themselves as as not being very creative? How can they become more creative or how can they develop their creativity?
I think, first of all you need to you do feel like that developing your creativity needs to happen in a safe space that you can trust and also allows you to do things that you might not be happy with, to start to come to terms with the idea that are not necessarily any right or wrong answers or outcomes from a creative process. And so there might be your way of doing it that is different to somebody else’s. I think that needs to be developed in a supportive way with other people and in terms of if you think you’re not creative, I think just trying to not let yourself be labelled is important. And perhaps the word itself, whether you’re a creative person or not, is a bit off putting and scary because it might be a bit of an unknown world or undefined thing. And I think again, like asking questions like well, what if we did it like this? Or what do you think about doing it? So how would you go about this? Then reflect to in house go tivity has come into that’s important. And last question, how you might encourage someone to be more creative. I think again, it’s about supporting people and I think having a sense of humour not putting too much pressure on himself being ready just to try things out with no particular outcome is really important. And then also as you develop your understanding of what creativity is for you because it might be different, lots of different people. There isn’t one creative way of doing things. Once you start to develop that. I think being able to develop a sense of criticality, perhaps, about what you’re doing, and not get too attached to certain things. So you kind of develop an ability to sort of edit your own work, think is also important or edit your own processes or prevent yourself from getting to last too many rabbit holes.
Is there anything that you would like to add or that you feel like we haven’t talked about that you would like to talk about on the podcast?
No. I don’t think so. It’s been interesting to reflect on sort of how my connection with creativity might have changed through life. And I guess it’s something that I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about, because it’s just part of what I’m doing and who I am and where I’ve ended up but I do think there needs to be an element of fun. The ward and one of my previous bosses used to describe it as able to do the things that feed your soul. And I think that’s a nice way of thinking about a creative process or a way to weave creativity. into your life in different ways that making sure that there are things that you’re doing that really enrich you and and help you develop are also fun and enjoyable. It’s probably been
especially important for you and I’m sort of putting it on you but also it has been important for me as well, for some of the challenges we’ve faced as a family and challenges that you’re you have faced and you are facing with health issues and things like that, but how does that fit together? Well, I
think first of all, being aware of the things that you like doing and that do eat your soul or things that you enjoy. And the thing that I find really difficult is making sure that you consciously make time for those things to happen as part of your everyday life is really critical. I think so yeah, might sound really basic, but I think lots of people might not be connected so much with the things that that really stimulate them and really and sort of make them feel better about themselves and build competence and all of those kinds of things. And so first finding what it might be that could do that is really important. And then making the time and finding the time in your life to do it is important. And I guess in a way that’s how I ended up on the icy coast of Iceland with three weeks worth of belongings on my own about to launch into the cold Icelandic sea. So sometimes it can put you in places that you never really imagined. But I think then having faith in where it might take you is really important too.
Yeah. And so that brings that full circle back to what you were talking about in the beginning, which was all about your kayaking trip around the shipping forecast. And just to say it again, if anybody is really interested in this, you have a website which they can go to which is moderate becoming good later. And that detail will be in the show notes. And you also have a book which you’re writing right now, and will be out probably sometime next year. So keep your eyes open for that.
Brilliant. Thanks, Casey and thanks for providing this space for the conversation. I think it’s it’s just something really interesting to reflect on that again, sometimes we don’t find enough time to do
well definitely it’s not something we’ve talked about over the family meal table and things like that, though. Thank you, thank you for coming on the stepup create podcast and for sharing your creative life with us and I look forward to maybe chatting to you again on the podcast.
It’s been a pleasure. Thanks very much
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