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Interviews

Conversations about Creativity with Katie

May 4, 2015

Conversations_Creativity_katie

Creativity with Katie Albania | The Orange Slate

On Monday mornings around here, I interview people who inspire me. In April and May, the theme has been CREATIVITY. Today I’m excited to introduce you to Katie, a fellow blogger and new mommy (she also has two of the cutest dogs!). Katie and I have never met in person, but we have so many things in common that I feel like I know her (among the things we have in common – our babies were born days apart!). I love it when the world of social media feels small and cozy, don’t you?

Have you always thought of yourself as a creative?

Honestly, I haven’t. And I’m not sure even do now, at least not in the sense that it’s my strongest trait, a specific hobby, or part of my career. So I had to think hard about the ways I am creative. I think any creativity I have was developed from two very specific sources when I was a kid- observing my mom and being in 4H. We never had tons of money growing up, so a huge garden and homemade cooking were staples for us.

Watching how my mom tackled everything on the budget {that requires tons of creativity!} was always fascinating to me. And 4H? I know it seems random. But I was in it for 10 years {with projects from foods and gift wrapping to health and consumer clothing}, exhibiting nearly 100 separate projects over that time. I was so stretched to be creative and think outside the box and push myself! Both of those have poured over into my life now.

What are your creative outlets?

I would say I am most creative in how I encourage others. Maybe the sounds silly, but as a social worker and therapist, I have learned so much about relating to others and identifying emotional needs. Every single person needs to be heard and feel understood, but that can look a million different ways.

The way I approach people {whether in actual therapy sessions or in my everyday relationships} is unique and creative. I like to show up for people in ways they maybe aren’t used to and don’t expect, but in ways that encourage them. This could be sending a letter in the mail, dropping off fresh baked brownies on a doorstep, or planning a really fun girl’s night out!

Everyone is so busy! How do you make time to be creative?

Because my creative outlet {relationships with others} is a part of my regular life, I think this just happens naturally for me. Sometimes I’m crazy busy and don’t have time to connect with people in creative ways, but I always feel that gap. I am in a routine of mailing one package a month {a different friend each time!} and two letters a week. Having those constants reminds me to stay creative in loving other people in my life as well.

Who inspires you?

My mom! She is SO creative and is always doing fun things to let us know she cares. Also, Instagram. I’ve intentionally filled my Instagram feed with people who do life in a way that I’d want to- not because I compare myself to them, but because I’m encouraged by them. So I follow women who decorate their homes intentionally, who follow hard after Jesus and share their wisdom along the way, mom’s who raise their kid’s in ways I’d like to, etc. I think surrounding yourself {online and in real life} with people you’d love to be like is so important!

What do you do when you’re in a creative rut?

Read a book or go to coffee with a friend. I’m an introvert, so both of those things fill me up and bring me back to basics!

 Why do you think it’s important to make time for creativity?

Every single person has a creative side- they may just not realize it because they don’t explicitly make/sell artwork on Etsy. Because of that, I think we all need to give ourselves room to create and grow; whether that’s through leadership roles at work, parenting, loving on others, or actually running a handmade Etsy shop.

What are ways you’ve challenged yourself or grown as a creative?

In my professional life, I’ve worked really hard to make play therapy fun and effective for the kids with whom I work. From making up games, art projects, etc, I’ve tried to find fun ways to help kids feel safe and begin to address the issues on their plates. In my real life, I’ve stretched myself to just do something, anything. I think sometimes we second-guess ourselves or think it could turn out silly or we might fail, but there is so much value in the process! I’ve learned the most and felt the most creative when I just simply act on a small idea!

What are some creative goals you have for yourself?

I’d love to start something for women in my community. Maybe a monthly Bible study or mentorship program. Stay tuned!

Check out the other interviews in this series with LindsayMonicaGwen, and myself.

And for more practical encouragement on incorporating creativity into your schedule (especially a schedule involving small children), check out the wonderful book by Amanda Blake Soule (of SouleMamaThe Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections.

NOTES:

Connect with Katie: Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

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  1. Thank you so much for having me, Emily! I’ve loved reading all the other parts of the series and can’t wait to keep following along! 🙂

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