Today we welcome Jenny Hahn as our guest on Living In Creative Spirit. Artist and workshop facilitator Jenny Hahn captures the inward journey through bold, colorful expression. She received a BFA in illustration from the Kansas City Art Institute and exhibits her paintings nationally and out of her studio at the Bauer in the Kansas City Crossroads arts district. As co-founder of Creative Nectar Studio, she helps people rediscover their authentic wholeness and has offered workshops across the country for Unity churches, wellness centers, hospitals, and special interest groups. She is one of the founding artists of the newly formed Unity Arts Ministry. Jenny’s regular practice of insight meditation informs her creative process and teachings. Her goal as an artist is to uplift and inspire the world with images that feed the heart and soul.
Thank you for being here today Jenny. Let us start off with a few fun questions before we dive into your creative story.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” –Oscar Wilde
What is one book that has inspired you?
Just one? There’s so many… One of my all-time faves is Be Here Now, the trippy 1971 book by Ram Dass with the entire center section typeset to illustrations. It’s a timeless piece that you can open randomly to almost any page and get a lesson on life and spirituality.
Do you have a favorite flavor of ice-cream?
Usually it’s whichever one I’m eating.
If you were a super hero what would your name and super power be?
Love Warrior. She has beams of light that shoot from her heart to transform any situation to one of loving-kindness. And she is a fierce protector and fighter for the cause of agape love.
Thank you, Jenny. It would be fun to see you paint her one day!
Now we move into the juicy topics. What role does spirituality play in your creative work?
Painting is my connection to the mystery. Whether or not someone sees or buys my work, the very act of creating it is itself a spiritual practice in which I am opening myself to be a channel for that which is wanting to express. It’s an exercise in trust and listening that always keeps me on my toes and keeps me humble.
What is your favorite creative outlet?
Besides the obvious outlet of painting, I also love to get my body moving in creative ways…it gets me out of my head! Dancing and hula hooping are high priorities.
What inspires your creative work?
COLOR. Nature. The divine feminine. Meditation/yoga and dharma practice.
What are you passionate about?
Helping the world wake up to love and beauty. My goal as an artist is to be an inspiration, spreading happiness and empowering others to live creatively and authentically.
Do you have a daily spiritual practice?
My formal practice is insight meditation, even if for just 5 or 10 minutes a day. But my ongoing intention throughout the day is to bring gratitude and wonder to each moment. I don’t always stay there but it’s a good intention to come back to again and again.
How do you move through creative blocks?
I try to follow my energy of the moment. If I’m feeling blocked, it usually means I need to try something completely different. Sometimes that means just getting away or changing up the scenery.
How do you inspire the Creative Spirit in others through your work?
I lead process painting workshops for anyone wanting a deeper connection to themselves and their unique creative spark. You don’t have to be an artist to paint—you just have to be curious. One of my greatest joys is to see people come alive with a paintbrush in hand, completely present to the experience of putting color on paper. It’s a meditation practice that anyone can benefit from.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve been taking the workshops on the road and am scheduled to lead one in Pennsylvania next month (visit www.creativenectarstudio.com for details.) And super excited to be a part of the new Unity Arts Ministry and everything that’s in the works! (www.unityartsministry.org)
What tip would you give readers to help them nurture their Creative Spirit?
To quote Elizabeth Gilbert, “Follow your curiosity.” When you approach creativity with child-like wonder, the world is your playground and you might be surprised where it leads you.
Great advice! As we finish up, can you tell readers where they can learn more about you and your work?
You can view my paintings online at www.jenspaintings.com. And if you’re in the Kansas City area on a First Friday, please drop by my studio in the Crossroads Arts District.
Join us next week on “Living In Creative Spirit” for an inspiring look into the creative life of Whitney Freya. Whitney Freya has been facilitating creative learning since 1996 when she opened The Creative Fitness Center. Since then, she has traveled globally as a creativity expert, published three books on personal creativity, including her latest book launching now, Rise Above, Free Your
Mind One Brushstroke at a Time,
“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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