Today we welcome artist Chris Zydel to “Living In Creative Spirit.” Chris Zydel, also known as The Wild Heart Queen, is head creative goddess at Creative Juices Arts. She has over 38 years of experience as a compassionate creativity guide and an unshakeable faith in the power of creativity to heal hearts and change lives. She knows deep in her bones that everyone is deeply, wonderfully and gloriously creative and is on a relentlessly love-soaked mission to prove that to the world.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts. ~ Ruth Gordon
What is one book that has inspired you?
What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul. Oriah. Harper One. April, 2005.
Do you have a favorite flavor of ice-cream?
I love straight up French Vanilla.
If you were a super hero what would your name and super power be?
I DO have a super heroine name and that is The Wild Heart Queen. And her superpower is Creative Freedom.
Chris, can you tell us about your creative journey?
I did not grow up thinking of myself as an artist. And in fact I didn’t even start painting until I was close to 40 years old. My first introduction to painting was through intuitive painting classes that were being offered in the city of San Francisco. At the time when I was first taking these classes I was also in graduate school, getting a masters degree in clinical psychology, so the painting was a much needed respite from papers and deadlines, evaluations and the stress of having to accomplish something. And the painting also took me outside of my head. I wasn’t thinking while I was painting. I was just lost in a world of color and imagery and the sensuality of brush on paper.
At first painting was just recreation, a way to keep myself somewhat sane while I made my way through graduate school. But as time went on I started having some pretty wild experiences with the creative process. I would paint, some times for hours and days on end and I would leave the studio and be in a distinctly altered state.
Colors would be more vibrant and intense, things were infused with a sparkling, pulsating energy. The world and myself in it just seemed more vital and on fire. At times I felt like I was on some very cool and trippy mind expanding drugs.
Painting in this way, without listening to the inner critic and with total abandon was transforming my experience of myself on the inside. I was feeling different. Seeing things in a whole new way. I was in a profound process of inner metamorphosis but at first I didn’t realize how far reaching this transformation was going to impact my external life.
Before too long my life outside of the studio also started to change. As I listened to and trusted my intuition through the process of painting I started listening to and trusting myself in other ways. I seemed to know more clearly how to proceed with my life. As I took more risks in my painting I was willing to take more risks in my “real” life.
For example, I was involved with a man who was unable to make a commitment to me and all of a sudden I had the guts to leave the relationship. I had completed my graduate school program and was expected to embark on a grueling internship path that would lead to professional licensure, but I no longer had the heart for it, so I walked away .
I had faced the void so very many times in my painting, not knowing where the next stroke would lead me, but always trusting that something would happen if I just listened for the next instruction. And here I was, living in the same way that I had been painting. It was scary and intense, but also so very alive. And it did work. Instead of getting a license to practice psychotherapy I started my Creative Juices Arts business where i began helping people to open up and live from their own creative source. i was alone for a while, but then I met the man who is now my husband ( and of course, an artist), and it is 16 years later and we are still incredibly happy together.
As I trusted more and more in my own creative energy, the energy to actually create my own life, things just fell into place. My journey during this period was not without fear or sadness or stress, but underneath whatever sense of difficulty I might be experiencing was always a layer of trust. There was something that I was tapped into that was guiding me and it was the same energy that guided me while I was painting.
I had learned so much from standing in front of that easel about being present and not judging. About following my own individual energy and about following my heart. I learned that going into what seemed like dark places always led to some sort of transformation and I learned about the value of surrender to an energy greater than myself. it was a very powerful yet humbling period in my life and it really changed everything.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m working on an online intuitive painting class called Painting With Fire: Art As Wild Creative Freedom. Intuition As A Revolutionary Act. Sacred Blazing As A Way Of Life.
You can find more info here: https://creativejuicesarts.com/painting-with-fire/welcome-to-painting-with-fire/
What tip would you give readers to help them nurture their Creative Spirit?
Trust your first impulses. Don’t second guess your natural expression. And let yourself have as much fun as possible while you’re creating!
Where can readers learn more about you and your work?
You can find out ALL about me and my work at www.creativejuicesarts.com
Join us next week on “Living In Creative Spirit” for an inspiring look into the work of stained-glass artist, Bryan Lewis.
“Living In Creative Spirit,” is an online interview series featuring creative individuals who blend spirituality and creativity in their lives and work. Summer session interviews are published weekly on Monday at 12:00 CT. This series is presented by Unity Arts Ministry, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring personal growth, healing and transformation through spiritual enrichment and creative expression.
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