I've mentioned before my dear friend Kelly Rae, and her wise words to me about following my creative life. I met Kelly Rae this past summer on my trip to Oregon -- in fact, she was the brainchild behind the idea of gathering twelve women, most of whom didn't know each other but who expressed their creativity online, to spend time in artistic retreat together in a large house on the west coast. Kelly Rae is an amazing artist, whose paintings of kind-faced women of all creeds and cultures inspire you to be your most authetic self.
Recently, Kelly Rae published her first book, Taking Flight: Inspiration and Techniques to give your Creative Spirit Wings. I pre-ordered my copy of this lovely book and poured through it when it arrived, and I have to say that I loved it -- and I'm not just saying this because of my affection for the author, either. If you've ever wanted to express yourself artistically, either on canvas or in an art journal, but didn't know how to start, this book is for you: in addition to interviews of prolific artists and how they follow their creative spirits, the book is chock-full of artistic techniques by both Kelly Rae and her guest artists, with step-by-step photographs showing how it's done.
And today's your lucky day: Kelly Rae graciously agreed to participate in my new Authentic You Interview Series, featuring the answers of artistic folks whom I've had the pleasure to photograph, to questions shamelessly stolen, in large part, from the Proust Interview Questions. But that's not all! Kelly Rae has also donated an autographed copy of Taking Flight to one lucky commenter to this post.
Seriously, it cannot get better than this.
So, without further ado, here's Kelly Rae:
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? staying in love for the rest of my life. it's what fuels everything i do.
2. What is your greatest fear? being forgotten :(
4. What trait do you most deplore in yourself? my absolute inability to take care of myself (think daily vitamins, weekly yoga, enough sleep, exercise, healthy food) on a super consistent basis.
5. What trait do you most deplore in others? judgment.
6. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? patience
7. What or who is the greatest love of your life? john, my husband, is the greatest love of my life. he's taught me how love unearths the best parts of ourselves.
8. Which talent would you most like to have? i would LOVE to be a hippified singer songwriter up on stage with nothing but my voice and my guitar - a talent i certainly don't have. anyone who has ever heard me sing can testify to that fact :)
10. What do you consider your greatest achievement? listening to my creative voice, allowing it to be seen, and quitting my day job in order to start my creative business at a time when the world told me it was the worst decision i could have made (because i was the sole household income and my husband was enrolled in an expensive graduate school). i'm happy to report that it's paid off in every way imaginable (both economically and soulfully).
11. What is your most treasured possession? all of my journals and photo albums. they reveal a life in progress, as messy and beautiful as it may be.
12. What is your superpower? oh this is a hard one. i suppose it would be my ability to paint sweet, whimsical women who communicate connectedness.
13. Who is your favourite hero of fiction? skipping this one because everything i read is non fiction!
14. Who are your heroes in real life? the women in my life who live their stories with passion, honesty, and courage. the ones who speak up. the ones who aren't afraid to step into the enormity of their capacity and live those truths. women like you who risk everything for the stuff of love and dreams.
15. What is your motto? brave in sadness, brave in love
16. What do you most value in your friends? i love that my friends and i can pick up right where we left off, no matter how much distance or time separates us. so i suppose i value their openness, their understanding, their willingness to take me as i am which is sometimes moody, thankful, weepy, joyful, talkative, and complicated.
17. Which word or phrase do you most overuse? fuck
18. What is your greatest extravagance? travel and nice jeans
19. What is the quality you most like in a man? a big, big heart that knows not only how to deeply love but how to communicate and express that love in tender, meaningful ways
20. On what occasion do you feel the most authentic? when i'm creating art and when i'm sharing it.
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If you'd love to receive an autographed copy of Kelly Rae's book, Taking Flight, please leave a comment below, answering the following question:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Please just leave one comment. I'll leave comments open until midnight, Monday, October 20, 2008, and pick someone at random at that time. I'll announce the winner on Monday's post.
Song: Ootischenia by The Be Good Tanyas. Today's song brought to you by Kelly Rae.