Welcome to Lovely & Creative!

I am so glad you stopped by, and hope you find much here to encourage, support and inspire you to live your most creative and joyful version of your life. Here we are all for the ‘amateur creative’! And we are all creative in some way, so that definitely includes you!

I believe that when we create, or engage in creative activities, we connect more, we enjoy more, we relax more and in short get so much more out of our lives. In todays technology age our hobbies, creative pursuits and passions are more important to our happiness, satisfaction and wellbeing than ever before. Alongside eating well and exercise, I believe creative expression should be a key part of our wellness strategy.

And there are so many different, individual, unique ways to live your life with creativity! Here at Lovely & Creative we aim to introduce you to a wide variety of creative pass times. We aim to make them accessible, and by seeing how others fit creative expression into their lives perhaps help you see where you might start playing yourself. If you haven’t already, check out our Interviews with everyday creatives to get a glimpse of how other people make this happen.

We are for the amateur creative. The word amateur originates from the latin and french for ‘lover’ or ‘to love’. How fabulous would your life be if you found and regularly did things just for the love of it?!

How much in your day to day life do you do just for the pleasure or love of it? How amazing would it be to join the growing tribe of people who are doing more and more ‘just for love’? We think pretty amazing. As an amateur we are labouring for love and joy, we are willing to be vulnerable, to not be the expert, to make mistakes and learn. And there is so much beauty, power and freedom in that.

A little about me

For as long as I can remember, I have loved things to ‘look nice’, to be visually appealing, and trying all kinds of things. And I must confess I am much calmer when my environment is ‘beautiful’. Something that took a few house moves, renovations and a stint living out of my sisters spare room to really sink in!

MR Andrea_3

But I haven’t always given that love of beauty and creativity the priority I do now. Rather I took the corporate route, went to uni, studied business and then psychology, completed my Masters and spent years working in a Consulting role in the field of organisational psychology. And I enjoyed it, and by the usual external measures I was successful at it. But that wasn’t enough. I would usually find myself pursuing other interests. There was the year I spent Saturday mornings at a beginner art class in a gallery around the corner from my apartment. That time I stayed with a friend in Sydney for a week to go to an interior design course. All that time spent colour coordinating christmas gift wrapping. The time invested in small home renovations to make my living space beautiful. That year or so where I spent an evening each week learning how to do circus aerials. A macaroon making class here, a sewing class there. All these other things that I loved to do, that life didn’t feel complete without, but still I didn’t give it the priority I probably should.

MR Andrea_4

Then a few things happened that started to get me thinking a bit differently. First of all, I burnt out. I had to start doing things differently. I changed jobs, I tried to slow down, I started meditating and being more mindful, I changed up (and calmed down!) my exercise routine. Around that time a friend said in passing how she felt like it was ok to try stuff without feeling you needed to commit to it for life, because she has seen me do that so many times. Which surprised me for a range of reasons, but also because I always viewed that friend as someone who pursued things she wanted to with more gusto and commitment than I did. Me and my chopping and changing. My experimenting. My trying things and flitting onto the next. It was then that I started wondering what the link between all these things was.

As a part of my role I would coach people and help leaders develop and in that capacity I came across a signature strengths questionnaire. So I gave it a go myself. And my signature strength came back as ‘appreciation of beauty’. Which if I’m honest felt like a bit of a let down. I felt like it wasn’t  that it wasn’t substantial enough. Which was the impetus for me to really challenge how I felt about all my creative pursuits. I realised that I didn’t really think it was a legitimate way to spend my time. That my training as a professional and my analytical side was somehow more valuable. But that isn’t true!

Once I started to think about this differently I started to act differently as well. I started to look for and take advantage of chances to bring this strength into my work.

My Invitation to You

It turns out that these creative pursuits help us focus, help calm our mind, distract our brain enough so it can process some of the really complex stuff we have going on and then throw us up an answer.

What I hope my journey can do for others is remove that belief that only seemingly ‘serious’ things deserve your attention and focus. To help you  believe that you owe it to yourself to spend time doing those things that bring you joy. That we can embrace our inner 5 year old, play more and that it is actually good for us. That it can actually help make us more productive and most important, happier. Because who doesn’t want a bit more of that?!

So, through Lovely & Creative I invite you to take your own journey of creativity, to add some form of creative expression to your life and enjoy all the body, mind and soul benefits that can bring.

To get started I would love you to take a look at some of my favourite posts, ‘Start where you are’ and our interviews section ‘Meet our Everyday Creatives’. I invite you to hang out for a bit, explore and if you feel like connecting, send me a message, say hi and let me know what you love about creating in your life. I would love to connect with you and have you join our tribe!