This week on “Living in Creative Spirit,” we welcome Lesta Sue Hardee.
My name is Lesta Sue Hardee, I’m from Myrtle Beach, SC. Born here and raised here most of my life. I retired in January of 2016 from my job of 30 plus years, where I worked in a local public library. Since I’ve retired I have devoted my life to doing the things that lift me up, challenge me and inspire me. I have just completed my Licensed Unity Teacher certification, I work part time at my church, Unity Myrtle Beach.
Besides being a working artist, I am author and co-author of two local history books “Legendary Locals of Myrtle Beach” and “The Myrtle Beach Pavilion.”
I love to challenge myself and learn new things, so I’m always taking classes and exploring the possibilities. While I’m not a therapist I am Certified in Life Coaching and in Art Therapy Life Coaching; I’m also a Reiki Master and Teacher. Being Love is important to me. I express LOVE by spending time with my family and friends, creating through my art and living by my spiritual practice.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
I couldn’t decide – so I’m leaving you two …
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin “There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.”
Emile Zola “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, I will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
What is one book that has inspired you?
Only One? I can’t really say there is only one book – I don’t have “favorites” per se – it is usually a conglomeration of many things that shape the everything that is Me. Mmm choices – I’d say one that had a large impact on me, behind the normal (i.e. The Bible, The Bhagavad Gita, The Koran) would be “The Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda
Do you have a favorite flavor of ice-cream?
I was just speaking of this today, I don’t eat sugar anymore – and the thing I miss the most is ice-cream. If it is soft serve – I love a vanilla in a cone, if it is homemade, I love my sisters Peppermint Ice-cream that she makes. If it is store bought I like triple chocolate anything! Hahaha
If you were a super hero what would your name and super power be?
That is a hard one – coming up with a name. Oh! How about Serenade? My super power would be to calm and heal people with my voice.
What role does spirituality play in your creative work?
Everything. God is. God is in everything I do, everything I say, my thoughts, everything. I am inspired as much by the beauty as the sorrow that I see everywhere around me. When I’m feeling down, I’m inspired as much by what I feel and see as I am when I’m feeling Joy or Happiness. My perception changes – but I’m still inspired by the extraordinary that exists in everything I see. I am guided by Divine Inspiration when I paint or when I work in any creative medium be it painting, writing, clay work, or soldering metal. Because God is in everything, Omnipresent.
What is your favorite creative outlet?
Right now it is painting in acrylics with mixed media. I haven’t worked in acrylics before so I took a class and I work every day painting. I love it! It really allows me to express what is inside, even I am surprised with what comes out. People ask me, how did you do that and I think – well, I painted the background, drew the design I wanted to work with and then I looked through my papers to find what I wanted to use. I tore some of the papers and cut others, then I adhered them to the canvas. I simply know where I want what color and design, and then I know when it is finished. But other than that – it is difficult to explain to someone how or why you did exactly what you did – you simply do it.
However, I also love to make books, bind them, sew the pages together and bind them in creative ways, learning new stitches, and using clay, metal, wood, glass or paper to create the covers. Basically, I love to create. I even like painting on rocks. I like the small canvas of that medium. I love to teach and encourage others to paint on rocks because they are not intimidated by the rocks. People who do not think they are creative will paint on rocks and we’ll all have fun doing it together. Art creates community and that is something I love to help encourage and create. Community.
What inspires your creative work?
Everything. I am a creator. I have to create. I have always been an artist. Photography. Writing. Doodling. Painting. I’ve always felt compelled to create. It is an innate need, like breathing.
What are you passionate about?
Teaching others. I love to paint. Like I said above – to create. And I really love to teach others to paint, giving them permission to get messy, to tear paper and to explore a part of them that might not ever have been explored or allowed to express. I teach fun.
Do you have a daily spiritual practice?
Yes. Besides meditation, prayer and reading inspirational books, I like to sit by the water and breathe, feel the air on my skin and the sun penetrate my bones. And music. One of my favorite bands is Tedeschi Trucks Band – I love to paint while listening to them, their music puts me in a blissful state. Heck, I meditate to their music; Susan’s voice and Derek’s guitar playing. There are a few other musicians I like to listen to Kyle Shiver, Bob Sima, Karl Anthony, Karen Drucker – those are my “positive music” musicians – them and a few others. Music, meditation are the mainstay’s of my spiritual practice. It keeps me motivated, centered, balanced – it keeps me going. It is my fuel.
How do you move through creative blocks?
Blocks? I don’t think I really have “blocks”. I have times when I am busy doing other things and can’t find the time to paint. Or to write. So I’m usually thinking of what I want to create, before I actually create it. Actually before I write or do any type of artwork – I have created it in my mind, so that when I actually sit down to “do” it – it is already done. When it is created in my mind, I’ll usually get up one morning and know that I’m ready to complete it in the physical, to paint it or write it – whatever medium it is – I’m ready to make it happen. Because, it already is.
How do you inspire the Creative Spirit in others through your work?
When I teach I concentrate on telling them how things work and then encouraging them to explore. By that I mean if they ask the question, “can I do this with this?” I’ll say, “why not? Let’s try it”. I’m not much of a “no” person when it comes to the creative spirit that resides in us all. If they say “I can’t”, I’ll attempt to get them to try it – and if that doesn’t work – then I’ll talk to them and see if we can come up with another way to do it. I’ll work with each person – we are all different – we see things differently – and I like to explore that with them. I love to see those “AHA!” moments with people. They, those aha moments, in themselves are an inspiration.
What are you currently working on?
I’m putting together a “Creative Renewal Retreat”. One day, partially silent meditative retreat, incorporating meditation, art therapy (mandalas), creating malas, and movement. You might say Meditation, Mandalas, Malas and Movement. I’m also working on a new art class, teaching people how to incorporate collage into a painting. Everything isn’t finalized yet, so I don’t have dates or any links to anything. I’m always planning, planning. I like to incorporate art into most anything I do – so even for my Prayer Practice Class that I’ll be doing for our community in August – I’ll incorporate some creative art mandalas into the day. We’re planning a youth rock art day, so that they can paint rocks for our new church property, for the garden that they are planting. I’m always working on something. That is what we creative types do: we create.
What tip would you give readers to help them nurture their Creative Spirit?
Don’t put off nurturing and loving yourself. You have to take care of yourself. Even when you are loving others by helping and taking care of them, always take time for yourself. I put my art supplies away for several years and they were the most miserable years of my life. Now that I’ve taken them back out – I can’t stop creating. No matter what your outlet is – everyone is talented in some way, be it singing, writing, playing music, dancing, crocheting, painting – whatever it is – just do it. Do it today. Don’t wait for tomorrow, it may never come. But most of all spread your love – however you feel lead to do.
Where can readers learn more about you and your work?
I have a Facebook page @LestaSueArtStudio – I’ve created that page to post my work and to post when I have classes and eventually some art shows.
About this Interview Series
“Living In Creative Spirit,” is an online interview series featuring creative individuals who blend spirituality and creativity in their lives and work. Interviews are published weekly on Monday at 12:00 CT. The Summer 2018 session features registered members of Unity Artists Coalition. Follow this link to learn more about membership: Unity Artists Coalition.
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