Artist, author, and self-identified “permission-giver” Flora Bowley shares how she blends creativity and spirituality in day-to-day living.
1. How does tapping into your creativity nurture personal growth?
When we create, we put ourselves in the driver’s seat without a road map telling us where to go. From this uncharted place of mystery, we’re required to listen closely to our intuition, trust our instincts, take risks, and be willing to change directions along the way. I believe flexing these muscles in our creative practice allows us to be more connected to them in life beyond the studio, as well.
2. Where do you see connections between spirituality and art?
Spirituality and art both provide access points to something far greater than ourselves. They can move and inspire us to see the beauty and possibility within and beyond our everyday experience, and allow us to feel more alive and deeply connected as a result. In this way, art and spirituality provide a soothing balm for our souls.
3. What kind of mindset do you need to get the most out of the practices you offer?
My approach to painting and creativity requires that you let go of any preconceived “plan,” open your mind to a myriad of possibilities, embrace spontaneity, trust the process, and be willing to surprise yourself along the way. Being gentle with yourself also makes for a much more enjoyable ride.
4. What has been the most satisfying outcome for your students?
I love it when students show up saying things like, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body,” or “I can’t even draw a stick figure,” and by the end of the course they can hardly believe what they’ve created. There’s a real sense of empowerment and transformation that happens when we prove our old stories wrong in this way.
5. How has your teaching affected your own art?
Teaching my Brave Intuitive Painting process has allowed me to understand the ins and outs and benefits of my process on a much deeper level. It has also kept me on the risk-taking edge of my own painting practice, because this is what I’m constantly asking of my students. I feel a strong responsibility to lead by example.