Unlock the secrets of your own creative potential as we journey with Patrick Williams, a self-taught painter whose evolution from child artist to creative maestro is nothing short of inspiring. Our conversation isn't limited to the canvas - it's about the creativity that permeates every facet of our lives.
Discover how to rekindle the imaginative play of your youth and harness the inner creative spark that's been waiting to burst forth. Patrick's story is a testament to the universal nature of creativity, reminding us that it's an innate quality we all share, ready to be expressed in myriad ways beyond the traditional arts.
Venture into the spiritual dimensions of creativity as Patrick and I explore how a deeper awareness enhances the creative process. Discover practical techniques for tapping into your creative wellspring, such as focused breathing and immersion in nature.
We reflect on the deep connection between vulnerability and creativity, and acknowledge the fears that often accompany the act of creation. This discussion promises to shift your perspective, illustrating how vulnerability is not just a challenge to overcome, but a powerful ally in amplifying your creative voice.
Finally, we examine the intricate dance of personal development within the creative journey, encouraging you to nurture your creative spark with the care it deserves, and to listen closely to the whispers of your heart as you create your next masterpiece.
𝗞𝗘𝗬 𝗣𝗢𝗜𝗡𝗧𝗦 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗠𝗣𝗦
0:01:56 - Exploring Creativity and Identity
0:06:05 - Defining and Understanding Creativity
0:14:14 - Levels of Creativity
0:20:53 - The Connection Between Vulnerability and Creativity
0:26:27 - Creativity and Improvisation in Creating Something
0:31:04 - Artistic Creativity and Social Media Discussion
0:34:12 - Personal Development and Creativity
"Don't go too fast. Slow down."
Patrick's website: http://patrickwilliams.com/
𝗔𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗛𝗢𝗦𝗧
I am Agi Keramidas, a podcaster, knowledge broker, and mentor. My mission is to inspire you to take action towards a purposeful and fulfilling life.
Get a free copy of my book "88 Actionable Insights For Life":
1. Embracing Vulnerability in Creativity: Learn the importance of embracing vulnerability as an integral part of the creative process. By understanding that making mistakes and taking risks are necessary for authentic expression, you can unlock a richer and more genuine creative voice.
2. Connecting with Your Inner Creativity: The conversation provides practical advice on reconnecting with your innate creativity. This includes engaging in simple practices such as focused breathing and spending time in nature, as well as recalling the imaginative play of your childhood to tap into your unique creative potential.
3. Enhancing Imagination through Practice: The podcast outlines exercises that can stimulate your imagination, such as the practice of drawing circles and making various marks on paper. By doing this regularly, you can train your mind to think more divergently, thereby expanding your creative abilities.
Please note that while an effort is made to provide an accurate transcription, errors and omissions may be present. No part of this transcription can be referenced or reproduced without permission.
Patrick Williams 0:00
Creativity requires immense vulnerability, deep listening to the currents of the invisible and a radical loyalty to oneself.
Agi Keramidas 0:12
Welcome to personal development mastery podcast episode 366. I'm your host, Agi Keramidas. And my mission is to empower you with simple, consistent actions you need to master yourself and create a life of purpose and fulfilment. It's Monday, I invite myself into the minds of remarkable people and I distil their wisdom to equip you with actionable insights. In today's episode, if you want to connect with your innate creativity, if you want to enhance your imagination, and learn how embracing your vulnerability is an integral part of the creative process, then the following conversation with my guest, Patrick Williams is for you. Let's dive right in. Today, I am delighted to speak with Patrick Williams, Patrick, you are a luminary in creativity, innovation and the arts with over four decades of experience as an artist. You are also a TEDx speaker. And your expertise extends to awaken in business innovation, fostering creativity in entrepreneurs and exploring the intersection of spirituality and consciousness in the creative process. You are passionate about teaching the, as you say accessible and trainable skills of creativity and innovation. Patrick, welcome to Personal Development mastery.
Patrick Williams 1:57
I'm happy to be here Agi.
Agi Keramidas 1:59
stone lions very excited for this conversation, you know, exploring with you creativity, imagination, and the spiritual element of it as well, which I'm very intrigued to hear your thoughts. I would like to start this conversation with this specific part of your story, which actually, you talk about it in your TEDx talk. So there was a point that you said that you were, you know, a very young man and moved into a new house or studio and you had your first painting the key tent. And you said that that point that you eau de Shu Slee named yourself an artist that I found that was transformational. So when I heard you say that, I realised, you know, this power of the identity that we give ourselves or is given to ourselves. So I would like to hear a bit about that particular part of your story. And then we will move to, you know, more discussing creativity.
Patrick Williams 3:08
Sure, I'd be happy to the transition was when I was 10. And at that point, I was still, we had a very small house. And it's the only house that I lived in growing up. And I, my two sisters had a bedroom, and my mom and dad had a bedroom. And there was no bedroom for me. So I slept in the living room, on the couch. And for the last few years until I was about 13, I had a fold out bed. That was a couch that could be folded out at night and put back in the morning. So the transformation started when I was 10. And then I worked on basically teaching myself how to draw and the bigger transformation happened. The audacious part was more happening when I got my bedroom. And then I had a place to put up an easel. And then I started painting. And I had been I had been making large drawings for quite a few years before that. And, and really, the I knew when I was starting to paint, teach myself how to paint. I knew I was an artist for sure. But I had started calling myself an artist before that. And some of that was the way I was thinking and, and possibly telling myself that I was rather than telling too many people that I was lots of people were calling me an artist because I could draw well and if there was anything in the classroom that needed To be drawn, I was the go to kid in the class, so, so it built from there. But once I started painting, I, I really knew that there was something going on that was bigger than, then I realised.
Agi Keramidas 5:21
Thank you, it was, you know, you're saying it's not only what you say to others are you but also that reflection on how we talk about ourselves and how we refer to ourselves. So it's, I appreciate that, because I have also been in a similar, you know, way of trying to, by calling myself and identity to, you know, step into the role of that. And that's why I'm bringing it up, because I think it is something that we can all use. But I liked very much the audaciously that that word that you used, driven.
Agi Keramidas 6:05
Let's discuss creativity, which is something that I understand you teach that it's something for everyone and not for the selected few. I'm using my own words here. But let's start by asking you, How do you define creativity?
Agi Keramidas 6:27
we're talking about it. But it's one of those words that some people might not explicitly understand the concept.
Patrick Williams 6:35
It's very true. And I'm using the TEDx as a reference, the part of the talk that I completely forgot, at the end of the talk, there's a whole bunch of things that happened during during that day that was very challenging and stressful. And the part of the talk that I forgot, right at the end was the definition of creativity that my wife came up with. And as the story goes, I was writing, I was starting on my manuscript. And I thought, you know, this is a manuscript about creativity. So I need to come up with a definition of creativity. And I spent, I'm not kidding you probably three hours, with a blank page on my computer screen, typing a few words, and then erasing them typing a few and then deleting them type. And this went on and on and on. And I finally thought, Ah, I should send an email to my wife, and ask her for help. Yes, and, and I did that, and literally, I'm not kidding. Five minutes later, she sends me the definition that I'm going to, to read. So this is, and this is the this is the part of the end of my TEDx talk that I forgot. So here it is, I'm thank you so much, I guess I'm able to put it out into the world now, after all these years. Here it is, creativity, the indwelling Spirit experience as feelings and emotions, which must be expressed in all of its genius, originality, and daring. Creativity requires immense vulnerability, deep listening to the currents of the invisible, and a radical loyalty to oneself. There it is.
Agi Keramidas 8:41
If you enjoy this episode, can you find one person you think would find it useful and share it with them? I'd really appreciate it. It helps the show grow. And you'll also be adding value to people you care about. Thank you. And now let's get back to the episode.
Patrick Williams 9:00
It has to do with Accessing Higher levels of awareness. And trusting and pushing yourself to go as deeply as possible, with your imagination, with your mind, with your your, your intellect, as well. And allowing yourself to achieve what is deeply inside of you that's unique. Everybody has a uniqueness to them. And and when I speak about creativity, I don't I'm not necessarily directly speaking about the arts. But the art is the easiest way for all of us to see, oh, that person did something creative. It's more challenging for all of us to recognise and to honour the creativity that we have To express in our daily life, day in, day out week in, week out. So when I, when I speak to people about creativity, I reference the arts, and partly because I'm an artist, but I also assist them in understanding that the access to being creative, and connecting to our own inner creativity is something that we can all do. And we can all express in, in different levels. So when people are starting out, I don't, certainly I don't expect it. But I literally don't want them to start thinking of them as an artist, or that they have to pick a genre of art, like painting, or dance or architecture or whatever it might be, I just want them to start simply connecting to how they were creative when they were children, and remembering what they love to play. And that will give them hints of how they can access their creativity, it's inside, it can't go anywhere. It's always there. And
Agi Keramidas 11:14
we'll get into that in a moment on how we can tap into it, and to bring it back to life for those that might have disconnected with it. I'm very glad that you made the clarification that when you talk about creativity, you don't necessarily mean art, because in some people's minds, it might be completely correlated, but creativity, I like how you described it in daily life, too. Yes. So and I also enjoy it very much that part of the definition that you said that it is accessing a higher level of awareness, and I will keep that phrase because there is more I want to discuss with it. And actually, I want to ask now, so he says this is a brought it up this way that you said is accessing higher levels of awareness. For me in my ear, so in my way of understanding words, it sounds like a very spiritual thing to say. So how does creativity and spiritual I don't know, what is the spiritual aspect of, of creativity?
Patrick Williams 12:35
Yeah, great question. I don't think that there are separate, I don't think you can, you could tease them apart. They're, they're 100% reliant on each other. So I and I'm sure that there are plenty of people who identify as materialists. And I mean that in they believe that the world, the universe is made up only of matter. And then there are all of us, others who, who think that there's something more to existence, that that there is a whatever we call it, there are so many ways to God, the universe, spirit, divine, all those words, many, many more 1000s of 10,000 more, I believe that exists. So when I'm in that role of us being creative, if I'm, if I'm moving toward an idea that I want to express, I have to Well, I don't have to, I choose to tune myself into the part of myself that has a higher awareness. That is, we all know what that feels like. We we many of us may only have tiny glimpses of it every once in a while. But for sure, when that happens, we know that something remarkable is happening. Even even the most staunch sceptics or atheists have those moments of the lightbulb going on, or a huge heartfelt love for a parent or a sibling or a one of their children or their or their partner. Everybody knows those moments when our awareness is more in tune with the divine. The easiest way, well, my way of saying it right now. So in the creative process, so there are there's levels to creativity where creativity can be when you're attempting to ideate something, come up with the idea of a painting or a symphony or a poem, a piece of prose, a dance, whatever it might be, or a widget in innovation. There's the ideation part. And then there's the paint to Canvas or linen or pencil to paper, feet to the floor, if you're a choreographer, those are creativity is happening then also, but those are two flavours, so to speak of creativity, that are that are super important. And both of them have, I believe, both of them need, ideally, in the in the best possible worlds. They, you, you merge with the divine in both those processes, and when you I believe when you do that, more happens, more, more is available to your awareness, because you're expanding your awareness. And you're, you're focusing it in into a receptive level of consciousness. Does that make sense?
Agi Keramidas 16:17
It certainly does. This, well, you you said many things in there. And this I will come back to the the words to tune into I think you said into that part of this higher awareness and let's get something practical here. Because I hear you what you're saying it's great to be connected through this higher awareness. You want to call it divine I will add some more names to the list that you said earlier with the field of consciousness or the infinite intelligence or you know, whatever else it's out there, the directors the great directors of vole. So it's, it's great to end up believe what you said that we have all felt it? Yes, we have maybe we have not realised that it will start but as you said, those aha moments when there is this deeper no knowing it's not knowledge or it is a knowing. So give me one practice one exercise that one can you know, start incorporating into their daily life to be able to tune into that that part of themselves? Sort of the the whole?
Patrick Williams 17:49
Sure, there, there are so many options to Yeah, the IFE I feel like the one of the most basic exercises that not only do we all have access to, but all of us do every single day. We have to is taking some time during the day, and allowing yourself to focus on your breathing. Okay, simply set and clear, find a quiet moment it this doesn't have to be a large meditative process. accessing our creativity is is relatively simple in some ways that it takes a quality of self awareness, introspection, and your breathing is an absolutely spectacular way to do that. There are there are probably 10s of 1000s of tutorials on good breathing on on YouTube. So I'll let everybody who's interested in you know, explore those find, find the one that really resonates with with you, but simply taking 234 times a day to take 10 breaths. And people will think oh, that's a piece of cake. But when you're sitting and focusing on your breath, you'll find that there are all kinds of distractions and all kinds of, of little things running through your, your mind starting to take you away from was that the fourth breath or the seventh? So or was it the third? So these things are common? That and those are good, they're really good things to experience Partly because when, when you're in that state of relaxation and focus on your breath, that is the beginning of the practice, to connect to your creativity. And if you do it, one of one of my core things to focus on is helping people take divergent experiences, and bring them together. So breathing and creativity are two, totally divergent in some ways, ideas and practices and bringing them together. Another very important is to be in nature. At some level, even if it's just a little patch of grass, outside of your apartment, or, you know, if you're in New York City, get to the Central Park, it's, it is nature. Spend time in nature, nature is our biggest teacher. And in my TEDx talk, The woods were my teachers, the trees, there were my teachers. And that experience allowed me to be more in touch with my creativity, I firmly believe. So breathing and nature, the first two, first two important steps, I think is is for your creativity, awakening.
Agi Keramidas 21:33
Thank you, both of them are so incredibly simple and yet, so incredibly powerful once someone actually does them. Yes. So thank you. Patrick, there is another element that is connected to creativity, I read something that you had said, and that is, you're saying that embracing our vulnerability enhances our creativity. So can you elaborate on the connection between vulnerability and creativity?
Patrick Williams 22:09
This is a super important part Auggie. And I feel well, there's, there's a, there's a lot of, of my, I have a philosophy of creativity. And this touches on that, that we all experience a kind of creative colonisation and a kind of what I call creative collapse. And, and because of those two items, we often a lot of us feel a kind of vulnerability around our creativity. So we feel, we feel like we don't want to go there. Because it's a little scary. Or we had some experiences when we were children that weren't too good. And we want to avoid yet as, as someone who is starting out to explore their restoration of their creativity, it's super important to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with with the sense that we're also safe, that nothing horrible is going to happen to us in the process.
Agi Keramidas 23:25
Can you give me an example when you say being vulnerable about groups can give me an example? Absolutely.
Patrick Williams 23:33
I'll write from my easel right now. I am I am making a watercolour of a statue of George Washington. Okay, so I have to be there is a vulnerable part, I have to allow for myself to be vulnerable, in my process of trying to find George. So I'll unpack that a little. Right. Making a statue of of my next door neighbour would be fairly easy because nobody knows. Yes, in the world, what my next door neighbour looks like. In the US. Pretty much everybody knows what George Washington looks like. So I have to I have to allow myself all the mistakes, okay, of trying to find the right lines on the paper that will represent George Washington, because everybody will say, that doesn't look like George Washington. If it doesn't look like George Washington, so I have to be vulnerable in my process of that's not right. Being willing to try it again. Try it again. Try it again. Sometimes. Sometimes it happens right away. But sometimes it takes have quite a few tries. I just I had a project recently that it's still sort of, it's still developing, but I painted the Beatles. And John and George came out just fine. But Ringo and Paul? Nope, didn't they? Well, they, they, they weren't at the standard that I wanted them to be at. So I just I painted over Ringo. And I changed Paul into another, another kind of figure, maybe like Paul's great, great, great, great grandfather. So there is a vulnerability that people that people are, are are hesitant to explore. But it's necessary, even as I, you know, I've been painting for a long time, I'm still vulnerable. I'm still the portraits. I've just started doing portraits this year. And, you know, I hardly know anything about making portraits, but I'm, my, I'm willing to embrace my vulnerability, of doing it really, really badly. And then increasing more and more and more and more. So. That was that somewhat explanatory. I
Agi Keramidas 26:26
guess it wasn't okay. You know, it reminded me already i It resonated, and I realised I hadn't thought of it in such a way before. But I'm also with me, I have done many podcasts, however, it's still every single time, I have to embrace the fact that this, this vulnerability as you say it because I might mess up, I might, you know, completely missed the whole lower depths of the conversation and stay on the surface or whatever other factors that I realise now that they are inherent with the creative process, you are creating something so you can't, you know, predict always what will happen or maybe you can't say anyway, so thank you, I got the the explanation, or the example that you said, Excellent.
Patrick Williams 27:23
And you're also being very creative in your process of putting the podcast together, as well as what I love is that the there is a quality of improvisation. That is super creative. Whenever someone whatever the action is, and you're the there's a necessity to be improvisational, then there's a tremendous amount of creativity happening. And what you're doing right now, as we're talking is being improvisational and creative. I love that. You do it really well.
Agi Keramidas 28:05
Thank you, I appreciate it. I like the descriptions that you put on, it is very, I hadn't thought of it like that, but it certainly is and will I will hold that and keep it as a point of self reflection. I appreciate it. Patrick, I would like to squeeze one more, you know, practical or raise excess exercise that the listener can incorporate. I would like to ask for one that is related to you mentioned the imagination. So can you share a practice that we can do to enhance our imagination?
Patrick Williams 28:55
Sure, absolutely. And this is a this is a practice that I do every single day. And I've done for I've done as a capital capital P practice for I think six years plus, but then I was doing it I was starting my journal with circles before that. So it has it has been going on for maybe 10 years or maybe 10 plus years. So and the practice is very simple. You get a piece of paper and are well you'll get several pieces of paper and and and divide the paper in half twice. So you have four squares if you're using a like print paper and in each have start with one square and draw two circles and make marks and then you will maybe know when you want to go to the next square and repeat draw to so Circles and make marks, and then repeat. And do that several times and spend at least maybe 10 minutes on each square, drawing two circles and making marks. Ideally, that's all I tell people, okay, but the connection to imagination is, is for you to make as many different kinds of marks as possible. Does that make sense?
Agi Keramidas 30:32
Not not completely okay get a get to set when you see make marks, what exactly do you mean?
Patrick Williams 30:39
marks can be straight lines, they can be squiggly lines, they can, they can be little circles, that
Agi Keramidas 30:47
whatever it is that we want one marks, human, whatever to say, you imagine two circles, whatever I imagine Exactly. This
Patrick Williams 30:56
is the imagination. So, in my practice, I'm, I'm actually this year, I'm drawing a square and a circle. In 2023, I drew three circles every day. And 2022, I drew, I just drew two circles, I believe, I'm not sure. And 2020 I drew two circles, and I use coloured pencil, that was the first time I used colour in the in the drawing. So and I do one every single day at the beginning of my journal. This, this often doesn't work too well. But that gives you that's where and a circle.
Agi Keramidas 31:42
It's very elaborate. Because when I was thinking of what I could create, I mean, it is it looks like a three year old child painting compared to what you just saw.
Patrick Williams 31:55
And, and that is sometimes I don't, I don't show people. Yeah, so so it leaves them in their imagination. And I also have an Instagram site, plan M W creativity that has six or seven years of my column, my meditation drawings, my daily morning meditation drawing, that's the name of this, the the concept. So but the key is to use your imagination. And what I attempt to do is to surprise myself with coming up with something new, something different, how, how can I make marks differently, and, and in the years that I've been doing it there, there are certainly types of marks that I love, that repeat. There are certain ways that I put down lines that are similar, but they're never each one is, is very different. And the idea is to access to access that imagination level that will push you like, oh, I want to try this. And then once you do once you do a couple of dozen, you'll start to get the hang of it. And start to feel like oh yeah, I love making these little squiggly marks. And, and how can I do that differently. To to, to make we want to make something interesting. We want to we want to not, it doesn't necessarily have to be beautiful. And beauty has a wide spectrum of what we we consider beautiful art, I want people to experience something enjoyable. And, and interesting and challenging. Those are necessary. We need to have those in our framework to that keeps us going. For me after nearly 50 years of making paintings. I start like I said earlier, I started making portraits this year. And Whoa, what a challenge. Incredible challenge just like straight up vertical learning curve, but exciting fun and and pushing me which is great. And this is an exercise to to get people's imagination to expand and and to get people used to using their imagination again,
Agi Keramidas 34:37
you have certainly intrigued me very much with it. So I'm going to try this practice for as you said a couple of dozen times at least then I get back to you with my what happens. I love Patrick, where do you want to direct a listener that wants to find out more about you?
Patrick Williams 34:57
Sure. I'm I have to art sites. One is Patrick williams.com. The other is celebration flower paintings.com. And since I mentioned them, p m w creativity is one of my Instagram sites. So a painters photographic I call it, thank
Agi Keramidas 35:21
you. But before we close, I have two really quick Fiverr questions that I always ask my guests. So in one or two sentences for it and the first one is What does personal development mean to you?
Patrick Williams 35:38
Striving, pushing ourselves sometimes gently and sometimes more intensely. That's, that's for myself. That's how I feel like I have developed personally by and of course, sometimes I'm I'm too gentle. And sometimes I'm too pushy. It's it's the wisdom is knowing when, when to be gentle and when to be when to push.
Agi Keramidas 36:13
Indeed, yes, to distinguish between the two to know the difference. That's a quickfire hypothetical question. Let's say you could go back in time and meet your 18 year old self, what's one piece of advice you would give him to
Patrick Williams 36:28
a whole Wow. Don't go too fast. Slow down. And my 18 year old was really studying Picasso. And Picasso was the poster child of going too fast. So he was not the best role model for me at the time. So I, I would tell myself, just slow down. You know, don't don't make too many paintings don't make too many drawings just focus on in a way, making them better.
Agi Keramidas 37:11
But I want to thank you very much for this truly fascinating conversation. I really enjoyed it and believe we got some very valuable elements throughout. So thank you for that. I want to wish you all the very best with your mission and what you're doing. Any last parting words?
Patrick Williams 37:32
Just everyone, be creative.
Agi Keramidas 37:38
And before I close today's episode, an open invitation to you listening right now. I invite you to find me on Facebook or LinkedIn or Instagram and send me a direct message about anything you want. You can tell me who your favourite guest has been so far, or tell me who you would like me to interview next, or anything else you would like to discuss about the podcast and how it can serve you better. So this is an open invitation. Drop me a line and we'll have a chat. Until next time, stand out don't fit in!