Meet the Creatrix
Hello! I’m Ali; artist, maker, writer. I live in Herefordshire, a wooded rural county on the border of England and Wales.
I describe myself as a soulful creative; creating is in my cells, my bones, my DNA.
I need to be creative. When I don’t allow myself to express creatively, I lose my sense of meaning and purpose. Creativity has helped me through burnout and depression and it has helped me to get to know my beautiful, precious depths.
Is it not possible that middle age can be looked upon as a period of second flowering, even of second adolescence?
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Unused creativity is not benign…it turns into grief, rage, judgement, sorrow, shame
There have been times in my life when I have been distant from myself creatively and, every time, I have for one reason or another felt compelled to return to creative activity of some kind to find meaning and enhance my wellbeing.
I now choose to not only allow my creativity breathing space but to rewild it, escaping the narrow definitions of success and achievement overlaid by our culture and putting it front and centre of my lived experience in midlife and beyond.
Creativity, making, getting curious and exploring ideas are nourishing and vital to me.
I write, I make visual art, I hand bind books, I print, I create felted characters, I connect in nature, I blog, I explore myths and stories, I cook intuitively, I journal, I collage, I drum. I don’t define myself by doing but by being.
I live a slow, simple but highly creative life: by design.
It wasn’t always this way
I followed paths – education, career, lifestyle – that meant that until my mid forties, I overlooked and under-utilised many of my feminine qualities, including creativity, in favour of the masculine (action, logic, reason), particularly in the world of work. Ultimately, this imbalance and misalignment led to burnout, depression and physical illness.
I’ve had to learn how to examine the narrow and limiting perspective that Western society tends to have about achievement, productivity, value and success. Until I was able to do this, my art and creativity were negatively impacted; my focus was on commerciality and what other people wanted and my self expression was hampered.
This process of examining, undoing and re-defining I describe as ‘Creative Rewilding’, and it is something I am actively learning about and engaging in all the time. I write about it and share ideas, thoughts and experiences in the hope that it may help, inspire, support, provoke or encourage others.
Alongside a deeper and more reciprocal relationship with nature – and an easing away from some aspects of economic and social connection which no longer align with me – this creative rewilding is something that I hope will form the backbone of my experience as I move into my fifties and beyond.