Posts in The Creatives
UPDATE | How to Start a Collective
Looking for inspiring notebooks after a meeting...

Looking for inspiring notebooks after a meeting...

I have begun to collaberate with a group of women on a potential project.  It means we meet together on an almost bi-weekly basis and come together with our skills.

It's quickly being revealed to me, that this collective process is a vulnerable one.  Where you have to relinquish your understanding of yourself into a group mentality and allow your thoughts to be witnessed by the whole.

So far I have learned:


Be Humble.

As much as we are all experts in our own fields, talents and previous experiences, coming together for a 'new' idea, requires the ability to set that aside and see what a 'collective' of these skills brings forth.

Be Open.

It's easy to be resistant to what we aren't good at, or perceive to be skills we don't have or aren't interested in.  Coming together often means being open to grow in new areas and taking on something we might not find easy or natural to us.

Be Imaginative.

Thinking outside the box and realizing that in the beginning stages anything can go.

Be Constructive.

It's important to bring constructive thoughts to the table.  Thinking and communicating in a way that brings unity, depth and understanding is important.  Especially in the beginning stages, how we interact and honour each other in ideas sets the tone.

Be Yourself.

Ultimately, be your glorious and unique self.  You wouldn't be at the table if you did not have your qualities and skills backing you up. A collective is about how each individual brings something to the table and that is your job, to be equally confident and humble enough to know what that is.


*I'll be posting on and off about the journey of my own collective experience over time.  
Stay tuned!!

UPDATE | Finding Collaborators

In the world of female creative entrepreneurs it can be hard to find and create an atmosphere for coming together in work.  Be it working in different mediums, being in different life stages or how many projects each are balancing.  The struggle is often finding a way to create a space to honour each others work and skills in a productive manner.

I am in the process of learning how to embrace and honour the women around me whom I have fallen into, chosen to and seek out work relationships with.

Honour and grace are two themes I feel have taken root into my heart for these relationships.  I want to honour the skill set of these women.  I want to pass grace when I feel misunderstood or I have mis-stepped.  I want to enter into partnerships that are about depth, growth, building each other up and giving insight into the work we do on a creative and inspiring level.  

It can be a scary journey.  To begin to align yourself with others and combine your skills to make something collaborative or even just to support each others work, but I think thats where the real stuff lies.  Building each other up and not feeling intimidated by the intelligence and creativity of another.  That we all have room at the table together.  

The Creatives 2014

The Creatives 2014

We evolve.  We know this.

At least, we should be evolving.  Evolving shows growth, adapting to the life around us and depth inside us.  

Over the past year I have been sensing a change and a needed shift for The Creatives.  I have struggled to identify how to create that appropriate change.  We still need each other, that never changes.  And yet, how we interact and communicate needs to change.

Most of the women who began this group with me were students.  Together we faced our lack of knowledge and we levelled up in education, projects and facing fears.  Then we graduated and began the journey of 'now what'.  We rallied, we traveled, we moved, we life shifted and then we were left with those who were still in the area to meet.
The truth.

We have evolved.  I have evolved.

It's time to acknowledge this.

The Creatives has a place in the now and I have to admit that it's place is not in the same format.  It's time for a new and fresh place for this project.  How?  I am not sure yet.


And thats okay.  It's a bit exciting.  To know that the world is wide open for the creatives again.  That in truth there is a wide open space and there is a corner out there for it.  

I need to raise my glass to the women who came around me for this in the beginning.  Jasmine Alexander, Nicole Payzant, Tasia Craig, Breanne Bandur and Danielle Doiron just to name a few.  And those that joined along the way and graced my home and tinkled wine glasses as we encouraged eacother through the fears, the unknowns.  I honour them.  I respect them.  I am in awe of them.  I truly believe that it was those friday nights at the end of every month that allowed me to gain awareness of myself and my craft.  

And to the next phase?  I raise a new glass and pray that I will be able to stay humble, grounded and sensitive to those who will journey alongside with me yet again.  

Stay shiny, stay vibrant and stay tuned.  

For there is always more where this came from.  


THE CREATIVES | January 2017

In all honesty, showing up to "The Creatives" is a rebellious act towards fear.  I see it on our faces as we gather around a table and silently admit to each other that our fear almost had us not here today, but something inside each of us said, 'showing up is worth more than what fear would have done to me tonight'.

That is what I aim to see cultivated with us even more this year.  It's a silent but 'actions-speak-louder-than-words' type of battle cry.  The battle cry of women.  Women who are creative.

Truly, that is all of us.  For those of us who show up, it is something we dare to embrace.

Hosting these events, I admittedly feel clumsy, awkward and an imposter.  It's the nature of the beast.  "Don't let them see my nervousness, because they might catch on I have no idea what I am doing." 

Thats the truth of it.  I don't know how to host the Creatives.  I rarely ever feel strong in this role.  But it's important.  It gives us life, and so I press on, and I believe and trust that what God puts in my heart to do, will have a place in this world.

And it does.  
The joy we discussed this night was lovely to behold and the struggle to move past our fear was a beautiful part of us that needed us to be tender with it, to hold it gently and give it honour to the energy it takes to be fearless, even for just one minute of one day.

Out of anything for 2017, I sense those who attend The Creatives will deepen in their inidivudal awareness of their own creativity and in doing so we will discover another layer to The Creatives Collective that hasn't existed before.

Stepping into the territory that is ours one day at a time.

The Creatives | November '16

It is forever moving how different women of different creative mediums can gather around a table and a theme erupts.  Naturally.  Without effort.

It's one thing to say it in a whisper to yourself, it's another to hear it said in different ways from different mouths in one evening. 

Being okay with where you are at in the moment. Being okay moving in the direction that seems right, yet not necessarily what was originally planned or dreamed.  Being okay in limbo.

The realness is this:  We come to this space to feel validated, comforted and encouraged.  We come together to be okay.  And sometimes another persons 'confidence' can make us feel less okay.  As if they have something we don't.  In truth, they only have the 'okayness' in themselves that we desire we ourselves also had.  

It's a journey of being real and authentic with oneself.

Whats up for The Creatives in 2017?  

We'll just have to wait and see...


The CreativesAmy LaiComment
The Creatives | October '16

"Creative self-care...what do you think this is and how do we maintain it?"

We find in discussion together that it is first, the awareness of self-care.  When one has an understanding of what one needs to be whole and well, we then can better nurture our creative spirits further.  

Creative self-care can be each-other, quiet, loud, a lot or a little.  It can be doing something tangible like reading a book or doing something intangible, like being quiet and reflecting.

I sense we all need to be supported in ways that will protect our tenderness, yet also push our strength. 

I sense that when we allow ourselves to trust that the season we are in is the right season, no matter how debilitating or brilliant, that we will gain not just the surface from it, but the depths of it.  That brilliance is not just shine, it is quality work.  That debilitation isn't just dark, it is illumination of truth.

I sense that we all want seasons where we are something like creative gold, yet, I also think it's the realness of our other seasons that create that gold.

So may we be gold makers.  Seekers of more than just the shine, but of the deep.

The CreativesAmy LaiComment
The Creatives | September 2016

As with every one of these events, I often wonder to myself before if having our little gathering is meaningful.  Is there a point to all this?  Setting up a table, inviting creatives and seeing what happens?  

There is.

Every time, there is.  

There was no ice breaker needed with these women and we delved right in.  We laughed our way through a provoking exercise.  

Put your personal music player on shuffle.  Write down the first line of the first five songs.  Read your poem outloud.


"If you love somebody


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

It's funny how funny you are to look at

The window is open, so's that door."


We laughed hard and did the exercise twice.

We shared deeply and openly and I was reminded of how important it is.  The sharing thing.  So often we keep it inside, but to share means we make ourselves vulnerable and that is what makes creatives create things.  Above all, the vulnerability is essential.

We captured themes on accountability, discipline and structure. But mostly, we captured 'solidarity'.  When you swallow your doubts and allow yourself to come alongside others, you find it all a bit less scary and also... when it is the right people, there will only be love, grace and endless support.  

What's the point?  The solidarity.  The unity.  The accountability.  The inspiring minds.  The growth.  The challenges.  The love.  The grace.  The support. 

The Creatives | Autumn '16

The Creatives is coming back to it's original monthly meet ups.  I am working on a new format that will allow for more sharing, growing and hopefully more inspiration. 

This September we may just set our Autumns on fire...


We are a collective group of women who identify as creative in various ways and seek to create a safe environment to share, enjoy and discover.

This Autumn we are going to focus on maintaining our fun atmosphere while adding some growth opportunities. 

Bring yourself, a drink & or food to share and join in on the fun!

NOTE: Colouring may or may not take place at these events in intense ways.

REMINDER: The red house next door used for guest parking is being demolished.   You can park across the street from our place or anywheres on the street that doesn't have a no parking sigh.



The CreativesAmy LaiComment
The Creatives Meet Up | Summer 2016

Our summer meet up happened on a beauitful humid night in downtown Halifax.  One by one each creative woman walked into the doors of 'Obladee', and the conversation flowed with ease.

Each woman present brought so much glow to the evening that I had to pause and sit in quiet awe.  The table was littered with note paper, wallets, wine glasses, charcuterie boards and dips.  The faces were bright, animated and entertaining.  Each voice so different yet, brought unity.  I thanked God, because this unity is so rarely found.  

The Creatives went from monthly to seasonally out of interest to see how that would change the groups dynamic, intentions and interactions.  What it has done is remind those who regularly attend how essential creative community amongst women can be.  It has also created a renewed  energy for the monthly meet ups.

Starting in September we will re-introduce monthly meet ups along with more topics, sharing and inspiring each other with our individual journeys and work.  Our focus this time around, will be to 'flow' with structure.  We want to grow together and leave each event inspired, encouraged and intrigued at how creativity meets with each of us individually.  


I love how when women unite to embrace creativity and flow, they create a hum of something inexplainable.  But I guess that's what unity is.  It is a harmony, that sounds more than just glorious.  It sounds like safe and adventurous.  Warm and crisp.  New and reflective... It captures everything worth capturing in one single moment.

A walk along the boardwalk to cool off by the water and some laughter in our hearts we parted ways with the Halifax Jazz Festival music in the background. 

I love my city.  I love my creative passions, and I love these women. 



The Creatives | Spring Meet Up
The Creatives | Spring 2016

The Creatives | Spring 2016

When spirits collide it is fulfilling not just for those spirits but for those who witness the collision.  This Spring we witnessed a truth telling.  We got real as we coloured and communed.

The wine was passed, the food was shared and in that sharing we found that we went into a natural circle share and got to know each other again.  We are getting to know ourselves again after transition and transition of life has messed with our plans and our dreams.

Many of us women in that circle were ready to 'be raw' again. 

I am blessed by those that filter in and out of "The Creatives"  

May this be a group that welcomes those who are in the journey at any place and becomes a catalyst for spirits to collide and spring forth. 

The Creatives | Spring 2016

The Creatives | Spring 2016

The Creatives | An Invitation

The Creatives is a gathering started in 2013 during a time I needed to be surrounded by other like-minded women.

What is a Creative?

Anyone who finds themselves in the process of making.  

Anyone who strives to take their inspirations and ideas into a new and unique form.  Be it on paper, in a song, or paired with wine...possibilities are endless.

What Happens at The Creatives Meet Ups?

You will find women who make a living with their creativity alongside women who love to colour, alongside women who are searching for a better avenue for their self expression.  

You will find a table that starts out small with its offerings of food, wine and conversation and grows in delicious treats, tinkling glasses and conversation that inspires as the night wears on.  

You will find that our atmosphere is kept safe, inviting and welcoming to anyone.

I am Hesitant

We know that there is a process of coming to The Creatives.  

Hesitations worth being debunked:

  1. I will be judged for being too much/too little of a creative person.
  2. I will have to share with others before I am ready.
  3. I will have to have it all together.
  4. I will have to know what I am talking about.
  5. I will have to come and stay the whole night.

The above is from our fellow friend 'Fear' speaking.

Why Should I Come?

The Creatives is here to create a flowing atmosphere for any woman who wants to partake in an evening of delicious food, intelligent and intriguing conversation while colouring, making or simply listening alongside each other.  

The Creatives is here to be a welcoming community and take in the journey that each of us are individually in at any given time,

And maybe, just maybe, you will leave as inspired as I am.

The Creatives Meet Up | Winter 2016

Back to basics was what resonated at this meet-up.  We came back to the core women who have built this group and we welcomed back one of us who spend months away in Europe studying and working.

The past year was a growing one for all of us in many different ways.  In some respects, we have more questions than before.  In other ways we know better.  We have discovered that our questions are okay and that when we answer one set of questions sooner rather than later we will be faced with more and the journey will continue.

We coloured, caught up and Skyped with Jasmine Alexander who is currently teaching in Korea and finding a niche for herself until the end of this year.  One of our fabulous ladies brought a grouping of inspirational / motivational cards and we all picked one.  (The fortune cookie lover in me looooooved this)  I received 'Openness' which only emphasized my intentions and goals for this beautiful group.  I desire a safe and open place for anyone to come to and be blessed by the atmosphere of creativity and growth. 

Our Meet Ups are going Seasonal now.  

Monthly meet ups had it's time and place and now I sense a shift.  Shifts are always a good thing when we move with them.


I hope to see these meet ups find a place in 2016 that is deep, rich, intentional and connective.  I started the Meet Ups to be surrounded by 'makers' , now I continue these meet-ups for depth and growth. 

And what better time to pursue growth then the Spring?

Which is right around the corner...

The Creatives 2016

Dearest Creatives everywhere,

I see potential in you.  I see you with your pocket full of creativity and I have a hard time containing myself.  I believe that everyone has a pocket of creativity and I believe it is those of us who dare to take what is in our pockets, look at what was inside, blow on it into the world who will flourish.

It is not about wether you can paint, write, draw, dance or sing.  Those are the words we have tagged on to a creative act, yes, but that leaves out other words.  There are words like, home, organize, engineer, lawyer, fashion, and cook.  These are also creative acts.  In fact, look at your life.  Your life is a creative act.  Because your life is making something.

So this 2016, I am taking a simple concept of what started as a group of women who met up once a month to share good food, wine and conversation about their creative questions, theories, work and more and I am blowing on it as if it was glitter in my hand.  

The Creatives is now not just a meet up, but a concept for a way of life.  This year I will be offering:

  • Monthly Meet Ups: A monthly gathering of creative minded women to meet, listen and share. 
  • A Book Club: A monthly book club meeting based on living creatively.  (4 books over the course of the year.)
  • Seasonal Workshops: Four workshops led by creative and inspirational women. 
  • A Retreat: Info TBA (Mid to late 2016)


  • Creative Mentoring Services: A four-step one-on-one program for those who want to boost their creative discovery, life and visions.

The Creatives started small, has grown, became small again, changed and evolved.  The size is not the point.  The point is for us to take what sparkle of creativity we have in our pockets and blow on it.  Give it the chance to catch a breeze and watch it land in a new and exciting location.

Join with me in the chrysalids of "The Creatives".


Amy Grace


The Creatives - October 2015

We have gotten that crisp Autumn in our veins.  

We went deep.

We gathered small this time.  We gathered with our real and our raw and sometimes that leaves some of us breathless.  

We hesitate with our words, our art hangs in the balance of our honest moments and yet somehow blending it with others interrupts us from our safe place.

We are safe, yet we are in danger.

Us women who gathered were in danger of collapsing into what we are all scared of.


The pain and anguish of releasing ourselves into a wild feminine unknown.  Like lionesses we are barring our proverbial teeth, blood dripping with the kill and we have to protect ourselves from those who want what is rightfully ours to bring to the pack.

This may seem dramatic in words... this imagery of female prowess but in truth? It is not.

We Creatives are powerhouses of creation and the spirits we house are wild, daring, seductive and striking.  

Each woman different and dynamic addition to 'our pack'.  

A creative sits on the divide between pain and ecstasy.  We may differ in how we choose to label it, discuss it or entertain it, but it is there just the same.

This month the creatives entered the divide and we came out on the other side one step closer to comprehending what it is we have pitted ourselves up against.

These are the warrior women I am proud to welcome into my home.  These are the spirits who strive to take the divide and make it seen.

I stand in the elements with these wild ones.  

The CreativesAmy LaiComment
The Creatives - September 2015

A new location by the water.

Connected and reconnected.

We began the night by gathering in the kitchen and sharing in introductions, catching up and getting comfortable.  It's the way of gatherings.  First, you gather.  Then you can go deep.

"Why do we hermit?  Good or bad?"  I asked.  The night unfolded.

We've been hermits in our work or from the outside world for various reasons.  No matter the reasons, we often fall into prolonged hermitting due to the fear we have allowed in our lives.

The labels we have allowed and are working to scrub off.  We are actively choosing to be who we believe we are.  Who we were called to be.  And yet we walk everyday in atmospheres, clothes and maybe even relationships that feel old and stuffy.  

Questions swirl:

Where are my real friends?

What is my real job?

What is my 'thing' right now?

Does it matter?


In a way, yes, it matters very much.

In another way.  It doesn't.

Who we are in this moment, today, is what matters.

As one smart woman put it: "Confidence: if you are something, you just are.  This is what I am."

Taking the time and space to begin to connect with our spirits and hearts to find out who it is we feel called to be will create that confidence.  It's an inner knowing that surpasses any judgement, label or preconceived notion of who we are.

Creativity is all around us, and we want to go to the next level.

Join the Creatives in October to level up with us!


Summer Meet Up

We have not done a summer meet-up before, but now we have, and it was exactly what 'The Creatives' needed.

Everyone has been shaken up and around and somehow we are all landing in new places with new visions and aspirations.

All of it, a good thing.

The core of 'The Creatives' are moving on in many different ways.  They are growing, moulding, making and meditating on everything new.



British Columbia



Everyone has a timeline and a place they belong.

For the core, there have been changes and for the new there will be growth and more changes.

Connecting with the old and the new has created a new development of growth and change.

Autumn is bringing us to a new and different place.

For all the development and changes we give thanks.

May Autumn see us, shiny bright and new in ways we have ever imagined.  

The Creatives - May 2015

We didn't realize it then but this was the last meet up before the summer break.  

It was obvious yet my new mama brain wasn't connecting those dots.  If I had I might have held these women together for a few extra minutes before closing the door after such a moving evening.

We sat there as we usually do, eating and communing with each others unique selves.  Food on the table like a feast and glasses tinkling with beverage of choice.  I relish these women, all so unique and vibrant.

Yoga Instructor






Endless light in one room.

We shifted in our seats as we shared the newness of one of us creatives having a baby.  Some of us unsure, and some of us beaming.

New is always so mysterious, so unknown and captivating.

And that's the sometimes heart wrenching thing about the lives we choose to lead.  That our lives are not predictable and our circumstances change in a quick minute. 

Some of us are facing this new season with glittering eyes, and some of us are facing unknowns that make us shiver and quake.  Are we capable of withstanding this wind?  Can we stand amongst all the others?

And thats the thing with Creatives,  We put ourselves out there again and again no matter the weather.  Our directions may change but our surging forth does not.  We may not end up where we started out but we all surge forward and insist on our creative selves having a place in this world.

So we're embarking on a new season of our lives and this time it's real and not a phony attempt at our dreams.  This one is real life and even if it doesn't look like a shiny new pony it will be exactly what it should be.

Until Autumn. 

April 2015

We met early in this month to accommodate the due date of a mini creative who managed to arrive three days into May.

For the pregnant mama in me, I must say we had a feast and as always as we feasted we talked the night away.

We had a chance to catch up with a few who hadn't been able to make it the months prior and found out that our visual artists have been finding their post graduate sea legs and discovering the everyday dedication of their practice.

It is so thrilling to see them in art shows in Halifax and know that their hard work is paying off.

Making the decision to make art that inspires you over what would make an easy dollar is a challenge in integrity.

We have to applaud ourselves for pursuing the depth in ourselves and the attempt at producing it .

We were left with the inspiration to continue pursuing what is our depths.

And left with the warmth of the women who fill the room every month with thoughts, concerns, updates and nerves of the artist.

May we always embrace the nerves.

They keep us solid and real.

March 2015

The delays of updates have been vastly due to an amazing amount of life happening on this side of the screen.  

One would think with the almost birth of our first child that life would slow down for the Creatives?  

Not so.

When is that ever so?

We had a hiatus in February due to scheduling conflicts but reconvened very happily in the month of March.

We sat around a table and ate and ate, and while we ate, we discussed the weight of things.  

There was a deep winter longing that was within our spirits that only a snow covered East Coast winter brings.  A readiness for spring, yet the long winter had not yet passed.


Yet as we shared I had the sense that the food we consumed was not as nourishing as the words being shared.  That is what I fell asleep to that night once the candles had been blown out, the crayons back in the box and all the crumbs swept up.


Sharing our journeys is more important than our desire to stand out.  We share to relate and find the sameness and that is what creates our ability to be unique.  It is our connectedness that makes us so different.

So we connect to be different.

And are different, so we connect.


January 2015

A new year for The Creatives means more than just a number, it means embracing the unknown and in many cases, being okay with where we are now.

There wasn't an agenda set forth or any particular way to go about how this group collectively shares and communicates.  That's how it has become.  It ebbs and flows with those that join and the room for an openness is expected.

There are close knit friendships, there are newly met aquaintences, and there are unknown faces that sprinkle the room.  With a third trimester belly, I do my best to sit back and observe as I so often tend to do.  I take in the dynamic of the room.  I monitor for safety, and I monitor for vulnerability.  Sometimes I sense a sensitivity and work hard to watch out for it.  Sometimes I notice an eagerness in a newcomers eye and I hope for it to be blessed.

The Creatives is a scary concept.  It isn't for those who wish to pretend that they are 'normal'.  Whatever 'normal' means.  These women gather and display all their differences and journeys without hesitation and those that are new to it, I hope are wrapped up in safe arms and feel moved.

What took place on this first gathering of 2015 was the knitting together of these women.  One by one, each and every woman shared and nodded with the journey of 'acceptance'.  It isn't about where you can't seem to get/reach, but what you are doing today.  And 'doing' today is the movement that will bring you into 'tomorrow'.  

One actor-woman has the voice of a true singer and there is merit to this talent and dream.  It isn't just 'you sing well' , it's a 'that's natural and beautiful'.  And there is always a struggle for artists/creatives to feel validated enough to go out and do, but there is a whole group of women behind a voice saying 'do'.  And we want us all to 'do'.  Not for the pressure, but for the love of it.

And there it was.  Our reasons behind ourselves.  We crave to do these things, yet feel incapable, inferior and as if we've missed that boat.

We were made to do these things.

We are capable.

We are skilled.

We are on the boat.

There are seasons where we will be quiet, and restful in our passions, and there are seasons where we will be loud and busy in our passions.  Neither season is to be ignored or seen as better as the other.  In the quiet we are given the ability to see things, do things and expierence things that we need to be present and acceptant of.  In the loud, we are given the ability to take all of ourselves and put it into something that makes, does, is, and will affect others.

Ultimately , we move where we are at.  No matter what that looks like we will be moving to the beat of ourselves.  Comparison isn't for us.  It destroys us, so we say no to it and anything else that may block us from where we are and need to be this year. 

We do 'Dreams' like we do 'Now'.


We do 'Art' like we do 'Life'.