Posts tagged creative women
SPOTLIGHT | Kirstin Howell
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Kirstin Howell | “Kiki”

Actor & Teacher

Kiki can be found acting in theatre, film and television, while also coaching and teaching a variety of students in their projects and performance skills.

Kiki is motivated by bringing humour to the table in her work and life and finds a unique way to create and share in unity and abundance for not just the experienced performamce artist, but the new and up and coming.

She also happens to have a way of carrying a gracious, encouraging and uplifting spirit while also leaving you with incredibly constructive feedback and advice that leave you inspired and wanting to strive further in your life and work.

More Kiki

The L.A. Technique

https://www.facebook.com/TheL.A.Technique/

The Insta

https://www.instagram.com/auntiekiki/

WORK | 5 Things to Do to Start Anything
At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

A creative entrepreneur’s reality is that they are often creating things from nothing that are not always easy to communicate to their audience or even, to themselves.

When starting anything here are 5 things to do.

Have an Anchor Point

In any concept an anchor point to the project is what you can keep coming back to & it becomes something that others who are your consumers understand to be uniquely you. Be it a symbol, a mascot, a specific action you do within your ‘making’, make sure it’s there and you know why you do it.

Use What You Have

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to have the right set up, the right products etc. Comparison is the thief of joy. All good things come in time, so use what you have and make do. Podcasts, vlogs, film makers, artists of any medium learn to use what they have and build on that over time.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key. You will never improve or gain traction if you are spotty in consistency. Maintain a consistency that works for you. Once a week or once a day is better than here and there.

Do it For You (& one other person)

Never do anything to impress others. Do the thing to bring satisfaction to yourself and to at least one other person. That one other person doesn’t need a name, it could just be the ‘you’ out there you wish it would have been available for.

Aim To Improve Each Time You Do It

Every time you produce or create or bring forth whatever it is you do, aim to improve it. Ever piece of work you make has a new perspective from something you learned along the way.

When starting anything these five things are not only essential but they are also life rafts when you are unsure of where to go next or how things are going. It’s not always clear where the ‘motivation’ comes from to start things and continue them and circling back around to these foundational things can help remind, refresh and bring revelation to your doing.

SPOTLIGHT | Lizane Tan
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Lizane Tan

Graphic Designer & Part Time Seasonal Flight Attendant 

Lizane can be found using her graphic design skills in freelance projects, working as a part time seasonal flight attendant, while also connecting with others and being inspired by the world when traveling.

Lizane is richly inspired by the creativity in the world that she explores and uses that inspiration to connect us deeper to the stories we are trying to tell with the work she creates.

She also happens to have a grounding presence that allows space for learning, inspiration and a celebration for the unique self within.

More Lizane

Website:

https://lizanetan.com/projects

Instas:

https://www.instagram.com/lizanecrna/

https://www.instagram.com/narrativeincidents/




LIFESTYLE | THIRTY
taken by Jasmine Alexander at ‘The Watch that Ends the Night’ , Dartmouth, NS.

taken by Jasmine Alexander at ‘The Watch that Ends the Night’ , Dartmouth, NS.

Thirty.

The turning over into a new decade. Something worth celebrating.

10 new years to sink deeper into who I am, where I am called and discovering gold in the corners of life.

Many things are being left in my twenties, things that made me new and things that forced me to grow despite my own fear.

What I am taking into my thirties.

That seat at the table

I am not questioning the seats that open up for me anymore, and neither am I going to continue doubting wether the fold up chair under my arm will match enough with others at the table. It’s apparent that I have work to do in this world that is uniquely and specifically mine to show up for.

A unique voice.

I am permitting and embracing my own unique voice to exist outside of my own perceived safety zones. Pushing back and letting my voice represent me has been an incredible journey thus far and continues to bring me closer to the One who made me.

A well rounded intelligence

I am celebrating the intelligence that resides within me. I have had incredible experiences so far, both personally and professionally that have led me to where I am. What I add to a team, a vision or just in conversation is so worthy. Each experience grows us when we stay open to it.

Relationships that go both ways

I am lavish and loyal in relationships. In embracing my unique love languages and how I best connect both personally and professionally, I am enlightened to realize that my worn out spirit has choices. Investing in personal and professional relationships that can thrive with a healthy amount of expressive interaction, space and trust is everything for this next decade.

Delicious food both healthy and indulgent

I am healed by the act of taking in delicious food. I have learned that at the dining table I have found an awareness of myself and others that has left me inspired, encouraged and made new again. To share that experiences with those I love and continue to grow my pallet is an exciting adventure.

That comedic take on life

I am anchored by humour through every season. I didn’t realize how much laughter I had been raised on until I started raising my own child. Finding the laughter in even the toughest season is where I am the best of me.

Embracing every inch of my strong capable body

I am incredibly capable as I am. I am daily practicing to love every inch of what I have. Long legs, short torso, aging hands, crinkly eyes, stretch marks, high cheek bones, sharp eyes that disappear when I smile... All of it. It’s mine to celebrate until I die.

All that strong visioning skills

I can see projects, ideas, concepts, styles, etc before they are created. I have an incredible eye for design & creation. I won’t be letting that sit idle. Time to use it with joy.

Gut instinct

I am insightful and it’s easy to disregard when faced to explain it to someone who doesn’t sense the same thing, but enough life has passed for me to realize that it’s a skill to trust and not doubt.

The raw vulnerability

I have journeyed some incredibly tough situations the past ten years and through it all, what does remain is a raw vulernability that I have learned is a strength. Hard to feel strong about that when in the middle of a ‘storm’ but it continues to be what has kept me going, thriving and learning. That raw vulnerability may feel terrible in the moment, but it has moved mountains I am only just now learning about.

& with those tucked close, onward I go, into the next decade of learning, loving and luscious living.

SPOTLIGHT | Yivii Su
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Yivii Su

Swing Dance Instructor & Urban Planner

Yivii can be currently found dancing and teaching with her partner in Halifax while also dreaming up new ideas and ways of connecting with the community near and far.

Yivii is passionate about enriching the lives of others and creating spaces that allows for easy conversation.  

She also happens to bring a thoughtful and light hearted presence where ever she goes. 


MORE YIVII

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/yivinca/


Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/yivii_su/


*note from Amy:
Meeting Yivii for the first time was a bit like meeting a long lost friend. She accepts you wholly for who you are and takes part in the joy in life. Yivii lights up a room & I am so honoured to call her friend.


WORK | Introducing The Brilliansea Platform
Brilliansea.set

Over the past six months Claire Fraser & I have been carefully collaborating and refining this platform. The development of this is ongoing and we are thrilled to officially share it with you and bring you into our journey together.

What is it?

Brilliansea:
pronounced the same as ‘Brilliancy’

A platform for sharing the voice of women in creative and entrepreneurial positions.

PROJECTS

The Spotlight Series

Through the Brilliansea platform Claire & I are continuing my work with the Spotlight Series by adding a video component that will serve as a way to better share the interviews and to better serve what we see in the various women we find brilliant.

Young Female Entrepreneur Documentary (2020)

While filming for the Spotlight Series we are in tandem, interviewing women for a documentary to focus on young female entrepreneurs. We are excited to bring you into this journey along with us.

How to Find & Join Us

Instagram
Follow us on Insta to get the latest content & personal updates.

Youtube
Follow us on Youtube to get the latest spotlights & video content.

#sheisbrilliant
Join us in our collective work by using the hashtag #sheisbrilliant for resharing , highlighting women you know who captivate you & for your own empowering creative & entrepreneurial process.

SPOTLIGHT | Heidi Collins
Heidi and I met over eleven years ago when I started dating her cousin. I was always aware that Heidi had an ability to allow her interests and creativity space in her life. She was consistently pursuing the various facets of creativity and I have been moved by her excellence in those areas. Heidi never does something without precision and elegance.  Here are her striking words in this months Spotlight Interview:

Heidi and I met over eleven years ago when I started dating her cousin. I was always aware that Heidi had an ability to allow her interests and creativity space in her life. She was consistently pursuing the various facets of creativity and I have been moved by her excellence in those areas. Heidi never does something without precision and elegance. Here are her striking words in this months Spotlight Interview:

How would you describe yourself?

I pride myself on being a hardworking, honest, and dependable person

What role does creativity play in your life?

Creativity is a huge part of who I am as a person, from learning piano at a young age, to my teen years passionate about pastry arts, to my now adulthood pursuing photography as my main hobby aside from my 9-5 work life. Each passion has opened up a new area of creativity for me through rhythm and feel, precision and patience, timing and trying to catch just the right angle.

What are you currently working on?

Honestly, right now I’m taking a much-needed break. I’ve been busier than I could have ever imagined and it’s been a rollercoaster of a year; starting off with tragic loss and ending with one of my biggest and most exciting life events to date – marrying the love of my life. My husband and I will be taking our postponed honeymoon end of this month to the sunny West Coast and when I come back rested, I’m hoping to jump right into some photography projects.

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

I read a book a few years back called Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. It was truly eye opening for me, as someone who’s grown up being the big introvert that I am, this book gave me a new perspective. I needed to start saying YES – YES to going out on a Friday night, YES to being comfortable in my own skin, and YES to speaking the truth and accepting my voice. 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Pursue what you’re passionate about – whether its performing on stage through concerts or theatre or being that person who’s always behind the camera. Whether your creativity is somewhat reserved or overly expressive, no matter what your passion is, whatever is an outlet for you and brings you pride and joy – just go after it.

WORK | Collaborations with Claire Fraser
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In the quiet of the corners of our life,

Claire Fraser and I have been cooking up and working on a colloberation that stretches beyond ourselves.

It’s early days and I think there is something important about not over sharing our projects too much too fast.

Not because of trust, but for the protection on its infancy. We are just now starting to emerge and begin to walk with it.

What I can say:

We have identified that parts of our individual work and projects overlap.

We have identified that what will help us continue, will be to focus on the process of creation. To be working on remaining present in each moment and each stage of this collaborative journey.

We will be walking this into 2019 and are excited to work with many more women in both the creative and business industries.

Stay tuned…

SPOTLIGHT | Kothai Kumanan
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I’ve known Kothai over a year now and although our lives are each uniquely full, every single conversation we share has been one of depth, encouragement and intelligent inspirations. What she has to share is true and deep insight to reflect and soak in.

How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as creative, passionate and spontaneous. I don't work on a daily basis in the traditional arts community, nevertheless creativity is an important part of my life.  It is a lens I see life through, whether it's to instill an appreciation of the esthetic in my children, to centre myself by engaging in the creative output of others , or to use creativity in my work, which likely appears rather removed from the world of creativity!  Passion is one of my favourite words- my mother used to say that if you're going to do something, do it fully. I think she was describing passion to me.  Whatever I jump into - mothering, a business opportunity or my everyday work, I think it's important to be driven by a higher purpose and to engage in what you do fully.  And finally, spontaneity is a way of embracing change and being resilient in life. To have a gypsy approach to life and to embrace opportunities as they arise is powerful to me.

What role does creativity play in your life?

I touched on some of this in my previous answer, but I do think creativity is foundational to having a healthy perspective in life. Even in the most mundane things- like cooking a meal- creativity is nourishing to the soul.

What are you currently working on?

My professional and mothering life doesn't leave me a great deal of time to work on the 'extras'- yet these two things offer me many creative outlets, too! Outside of that, I am currently working on consulting work  that touches on how palliative care services can best be organized in Nova Scotia. For me research is a highly creative endeavor that also engages my need for critical thinking. While I typically engage in the arts- music, dance, theatre, exhibitions and art shows- as a consumer, I am trying to get back to my first love- Indian classical dancing!

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

I recently saw the movie, The Wife, starring Glenn Close.  In it, she is the supposed muse of her husband, whose literary genius has earned him a Nobel Prize.  As the story unfolds, we learn she is so much more- and so much less.  It left an impression on me as a woman and a mother of daughters: what we are taught to value in society as women and in particular, creatively driven women. As Glenn's close's character, Joan, does, I , too, have considered my decisions and thought more deeply about choices I've made and have yet to make after I saw this movie based on Meg Wolitzer's novel.

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

I'm not sure that I would be qualified to give advice, but from my own experience, what I'd offer is don't let the world or society or others define what creativity means to you and where its outlets are for you that give meaning and depth to your own life.

SPOTLIGHT | Rebecca MacDonald
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I met Rebecca over ten years ago while we were both pursing the path of American Sign Language Interpreting. Although each of us have since chosen different career paths, Rebecca (in Real Estate & helped us get our dream first home) continues to be a woman I seek out to enjoy personal and professional solidarity. We may not share the same profession anymore, but we do share a desire to live our personal and professional lives with joy and excellence. She is amazing in her presence!

Her contact Info :
1 902 210 7653
Rebeccamacdonald@kw.com
Facebook Page

How would you describe yourself?

I'm a #motherhustler. Just heard this the other day and I love it. I love how cheeky it sounds but how it also inspires me. I've been so blessed to work and keep my girl home with me for nearly 2 years but I'm ready and she's ready for different. I'm passionate about my loves, my work and my life. I'm quiet and shy in new situations but a dragon slayer when needed. I'm funny and not afraid to admit it ;) Confident in a modest way. Compassionate, respectful and so honest. I LOVE following rules. I like to do list that I create, and I like being able to ignore them sometimes too. Positivity sometimes makes me cry. And I'm tired. Always have been, seemingly always will be ZZZZzzZZZZZZZ (and I'm done feeling bad about it too) 

What role does creativity play in your life?

Creativity is problem solving for me, my family and my clients. I'm a firm believer that everything can be fixed with a solution that's a win win for everyone in life and work. Communication is key.

What are you currently working on? 

Right now I'm focusing on how to better reach buyers and sellers organically. I want to help people like you make their house dreams come true. I've got a lot of feelings on doing what's right for the client and working in their best interest. I want to not only make a difference for my immediate clients but also for the industry. 

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher and I owe it all to you ;) 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

If you're passionate about something others will see and feel it. Not all creativity comes in the form of a product or something tangible. 

WORK | Striking Gold

Striking Gold is a long term project that has evolved and continues to find it's place in this world out of the souls of two friends.

Jasmine Alexander & I have been forging through friendship, faith, creativity and life's intricacies together for years now.  Heading into our thirties (me, sooner than later...) we have realized that our friendship, conversations and discoveries go deep and we have found a thread of connection and relevancy within our friendship that has surpassed our own understanding.  

Watching and experiencing her discoveries are as awing and moving as if they were my own. And so we go forth, at a distance, discovering together, and discovering apart.

Our journey as friends has brought us and continues to bring us to a place of grace, celebration, empathy and mindfulness.

It's that thread of friendship tangled up with our passion for creativity that has urged us to continue to find ways of creating together, albeit a country wide apart.

We don't know the future of Striking Gold, but what we do know, is that our love for sharing deeply, listening intently, seeking wildly is something that continues to give us great passion and joy....

Join in following our project on instagram:

Where words & imagery collide

SPOTLIGHT | Laura Thornton
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I met Laura years ago when I first began to call myself a writer.  She interviewed me for a theatre youtube channel & I remember her energy thrilled me then.  It thrills me now.  Little did I know she would become a woman whom I consider a colleague and a beautiful example of what it means to have joy for life, work and creation.  Laura continues to amaze me with her work and her outlook on life.

How would you describe yourself?

A loaded question! I’m a free-spirited organizer and an impulsive control freak. I’m a laid back goofball, and weirdly competitive. I think I’m just finally coming to grips with the fact that I’m a complicated and layered human being – which apparently happens once you hit your 30s hahaha! I’d like to think I’m driven and loyal and generally a good person?

What role does creativity play in your life?

Creativity is my life. I grew up in a home that encouraged early and repeated exposure to the arts – performing and fine. And I was really lucky that we were able to afford that luxury. My Mom was a music teacher when I was young (as well as having a music/theatre career between university and getting married and switching to teaching), so I had a diverse and immersive education in music from the jump. Theatre had always been there, and after high school I was able to dive in. It’s my happy place and the petri dish for all the weird ideas my friends and I want to experiment with. I’ve managed to find myself in a place where I live my entire life surrounded by wildly creative an intelligent human beings – and it’s really cool.

What are you currently working on?

At the time of writing this, I’m in rehearsals for Whale Song Theatre’s Fringe Show “The Birthday” – written by local playwright Ali House. Sarah Richardson is stepping out from behind the piano to direct, and we have local up and coming actor Briony Merritt as the other actor. It’s been about 6 years since I’ve done a proper show as an actor (I did a zany little skit for ObstacleFest earlier this year), so I’m nervous! But it’s going to be so much fun. I have a few things in development for Whale Song, we’ve had a pretty whirlwind start, so now’s the time to slow down and make smart choices while we figure out what exactly what the team wants the company to be.

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc that left an impression on you?

I watch an obnoxious amount of movies and television. I fall in love with different things for different reasons. I’m late to the party but I recently watched the entire run of “The Newsroom”. Aaron Sorkin’s last tv show starring Jeff Daniels. And I was reminded what great writing is. Impassioned, thoughtful monologues, quick pacing and great acting – it was delicious. “Get Out” is a movie that I’ve loved recently and I’ll shout out “SickBoy” as a local podcast that makes me laugh and breaks my heart sometimes. 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

It’s worth it. No matter how frustrating it can be trying to find time to do your art or support yourself while you create, it’s worth it. If you want your creative spark to be your career, find a way to make it happen. Train, practice, say yes to opportunities and keep learning. If you just want to have fun with what turns your crank – lean into it. I think we’re so scared to fail that we forget that being creative is FUN. If you’re not enjoying it, why are you doing it?

SPOTLIGHT | Lisa Klassen
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I met Lisa over ten years ago and although she currently lives on the opposite coast from me, this woman has a way of leaving an imprint in the space she holds, & there is a very clear and beautiful imprint of her spirit here on the East Coast.  Lisa speaks of faith and creativity as a soul unit and I am inspired by her ability to share and express honestly in these answers.

1. How would you describe yourself?

I took some intentional time years back to think about how to answer this very question…through the process I came up with this phrase: I love to go deep and give expression to new insights. I am someone who values relationships and enjoys building community. I am a mother and am learning how that impacts what I’ve come to know about myself. Faith in Jesus is central to my life and empowers me to live with hope and love.

2. What role does creativity play in your life?

Creativity takes so many forms but the main outlet for most of my life has been through music. It has been a very honest and intimate place of reflection as I allow my real-life emotions and situations space to flow out and take form in new ways. This is often a process that has brought about healing, hope, encouragement, perspective, faith…it’s like the exhale after a deep breath in. It is relieving and necessary. Creativity is something I need space for…if I don’t have it, I know it. Creativity is where I stop to reflect, feel and think. Even if it comes in little ways, like journaling, decorating a cake, drawing… I feel refreshed seeing and experiencing something that comes from a posture of pausing from the automatics of day to day.

3.  What are you currently working on?

I am one year into motherhood and it has been an incredible joy for me to invest my life in this way. It has also come with many life changes, specifically in energy and time. The ways I had learned to create and process seem less available to me in this season and take more effort to choose when there is space. Creativity is like a muscle…it is natural to use because its intricately part of your body and you can’t ignore it, but if it’s not used often it takes more effort when it is in use. I used to be someone who spent a lot of time in personal reflection and sitting with an instrument. Now I spend time strumming a guitar with little hands holding down frets and strumming along with me. The most recent song I’ve written is about Selah (my daughter) and she seems to know it’s her song by the way she connects with it.

4. What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

This blog is about honesty, right? So the VERY LAST thing I’ve been inspired by was actually a movie I found on Netflix (a night home alone with the babe asleep) called Begin Again. It revolves around a singer songwriter and captured the beauty of creativity in a way that engaged me. I find especially in seasons where I’m not writing but I wish I was, that I am moved by those that are.

5. What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

My advice from where I currently stand after a season of relatively little time spent on intentional creativity would be to reengage. Don’t wait for time to appear or a season to just open up. Go after it. I need to be mindful of the changes that have happened and the current realities of life so that I maintain an openness to the new season and all it offers instead of just seeing the obstacles. So much is different from what my creative process used to ‘call’ for, but adapting is healthy, especially in this case, because for me to live well is to create.

WORK | The Creatives | Summer 2018
Danielle Doiron - Actor, Performer soaking in the salt ocean air.

Danielle Doiron - Actor, Performer soaking in the salt ocean air.

The Creatives began with a few women I knew & a few women Jasmine Alexander knew.  It was a meet up that multiplied overtime.  

As seasons do, they change and many of these women, including Jasmine Alexander moved away a couple years ago.  Being in the throws of new motherhood I decided to take a break from arranging these meet ups. 

But I find myself missing that simple excuse to connect with other women and create space for inspiration, collaboration and solidarity. 

So here we are back again.

This meet up was an impactful gathering of three.

It proved the point for me, that no matter the size, the location or the reason, anytime women gather to connect and appreciate each other is a time where solidarity and compassion resides.

During this meet up:

We reconnected, deep dived and snacked on food while the temperature dropped.  We chased a seagull, expressed thankfulness for one another and encouraged each other to keep going.

Keep doing.

Keep showing up.

Keep being you.

& that is why these Meet Ups, big or small will continue!

Until Autumn,

- Amy

SPOTLIGHT | June Zinck
June.zinck.spotlight.

Some people have a light that comes off of them.  June is one of these people.  We've only had the opportunity to 'in person' connect a handful of times, but every time I am struck by her joy, her passionate nature and her easy humour.  

How would you describe yourself?

 

Passionate, funny, loyal, creative, spiritual


What role does creativity play in your life?

I grew up in a household with a musician and a painter, so creativity was a central pillar for me then and continues now as an adult. I may not have skills matching my parents respective talents, but I value my time either playing and writing music, or doodling for fun! It brings a necessary balance to my life!


What are you currently working on?

I’m currently on the road, taking Neptune Theatre’s production of Mamma Mia to the Savoy theatre in Glace Bay, and I am starting work on the sound design for an upcoming production with Theatre Baddeck called Pocket Rocket.


What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

I am transcribing interviews for a PhD student on the topic of social justice in our city, and I have learned more from those interviews than I expected!


What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Always make the time for your creative outlet. It should always be a priority, cause that’s the thing that seems to drive us the most.

 

WORK | She Is
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This Sunday I presented a short piece that I was commissioned to write for a Sunday morning service.

Attending Bedford Baptist Church has been a nice shift for our little family.  To attend a church in our own community is new for us and we love how connected it is making us feel. 

'She Is', in my mind, an attempt to capture the life stages of women and present them with varying degrees of perspective.  It's easy to look at youth, middle aged and senior and leave it at that. But what happens when we truly look at a woman in each stage at all angles?

Depth.

In this little piece I attempted at showing the varying depths of a woman.  I was blessed to have  five women stand as representation while leaving an empty chair representing the indigenous women who have been missing figuratively and literally from our societal conversation. 

Even after presenting this, it is not lost on me that I could only present a limited amount of angles on women and there were and still are so many more I could have touched on.  

This piece has me meditating on that depth that is seen and unseen.  We are programmed to see something in others because we personally decide that is what we are seeing based on our own life experiences.  But there is always more.  More we don't know, can't know and won't know unless we get closer and ask each other, spark conversation and dare to get more intimate with one another.  Relationship with eachother, especially as women is, I believe, the main way we find solidarity and peace within ourselves.

bedford.baptist.
SPOTLIGHT | Grace Szucs
Grace and I offically met while being on a blues dance weekend in Montréal. It was there that revealed to me how epically cool this woman is.  She is the beautiful embodiment of class, depth, mirth and thoughts.  I find her wholly unique and wonderful in the space she holds.  Here she let's us in to some of that space.  

Grace and I offically met while being on a blues dance weekend in Montréal. It was there that revealed to me how epically cool this woman is.  She is the beautiful embodiment of class, depth, mirth and thoughts.  I find her wholly unique and wonderful in the space she holds.  Here she let's us in to some of that space.  

How would you describe yourself?

Quirky. Stubborn. Brave.

What role does creativity play in your life?

Creativity is a barometer. When it’s is present, everything I do feels connected. I find a thread of continuity between a genre, a physical activity, a personality, a risk--they inform one another. If I find my crafts abandoned under the couch and work feels like a slog, I am probably approaching or in a depressive phase. I do sure enjoy the ride when it’s flowing, and try to be patient when it’s not.

What are you currently working on?

My latest venture is in website building and design. Right now I am working with templates, but I’ve been taking advantage of the Canada Learning Code (formerly, Ladies Learning Code) workshops to dip my toes into technical skills like Photoshop, HTML and CSS, and concepts like machine learning. I find these basic intro classes to be so incredibly helpful for framing the new ways of thinking you need to learn these skills.

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Here are a few episodes I’d recommend.

“If a Badger Dreams” an episode from Out There is the story of Charles Foster, the naturalist who spent a year living like a badger. 

Mystery Show, by Starlee Kine, is filled with the most excellent writing. Her style is perplexingly familiar and unique at the same time.

David Rakoff’s story “Mister Prediction” on This American Life is about his failure to recognize some impactful trends. Given his perceptive writing and what he was able to accomplish in his life, these stories are a gift.

I’d also recommend Roxane Gay’s book of essays, Bad Feminist, particularly the essay on Scrabble, “To Scratch, Claw, or Grope Clumsily or Frantically.” 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

I don’t want to tell anyone else what to do, but for myself, I’m trying not to aim for the dull plateau of happiness. This year I started to play roller derby and signed up for a four-day camp in the middle-of-nowhere-Nova-Scotia to learn to shoot an arrow from a horse. I hadn’t tried to learn a new physical skill for such a long time--learning to roller skate put me back in my childhood shoes, which is a frustrating, but humbling place to be. I recommend it.

SPOTLIGHT | Amy Trefry
spotlight.amy.trefry

I met Amy just over a year ago now and something about her tenacity was hard to miss.  I saw it again during the Women Making Waves 2018 conference when she pitched her short film 'All the Owls' and won.  She completely astounded me with her grace while addressing her multi-faceted skill set.  Her ability to stand wholly as a woman of many skills and skills yet to achieve was a fierce and holy vision to behold.  I will forever hold close that image of her at the podium addressing the box we put her and many women in, simply because they are acting differently than we had 'imagined' they should.  Her words and work are impactful.  Enjoy!  

Her Work              Her Buisness

 

How would you describe yourself?

I don’t really know to be honest.  I know how others *might* describe me, depending on what context they know me in, but I don’t really know how I describe myself. 

Tangibly and straight forwardly I am a wife, daughter, sister, and aunt.  In what matters to me, I am fiercely dedicated to building community and friendships.  In how the world wants us to define ourselves?  Well, my education no longer categorizes me, but often creeps into my self-identification as a justification of my value as a person, and my work is varied and I hold no specific claim to ‘being’ any one thing. I don’t really have a succinct answer to the opening social greeting “so what do you do?” I am a long list of “used to be/do” that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of. I am an absolutely certain, but always shakeable, “I want to be an actor”. But how would I describe myself? Probably by shrugging, awkwardly laughing and avoiding the question with a quick “I just am who I am”.          

What role does creativity play in your life?

It is the greatest measure and control of happiness and fulfillment in my life.  When I am creating I feel on top of the world.  When I am around others who are creative or get inspired by other people’s work I am able to see a clear path for my own life’s purpose.  But on the other side of the coin, when I question my value and worth as a creative person or the quality of my own work I am at my lowest.  It demands absolute honesty and vulnerability and in that brings both light and dark – as with anything of immense value to anyone’s life I believe.  

What are you currently working on?

I am currently producing a short film ‘All the Owls’ that I co-wrote with Brent Braaten as well as in the research phase of a documentary on bi-phobia that I am working on with Emily Jewer.  I am production coordinating for John Walker’s latest documentary ‘Assholes: A Thoery’ and I always have half a dozen writing projects on the side it seems that are mid project and that I am applying for funding for!   

Outside of making films I am excited for the 2018 film season in Halifax to see what acting opportunities come up! 

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

Book was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro about cloned children who are bred for organ donation and must nurse one another through their “donations” until, at a horribly early age, they “complete”, or die.

Podcast was This American Life: Really Long Distance where Producer Miki Meek tells the story of a phone booth in Japan that attracts thousands of people who lost loved ones in the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. A Japanese TV crew from NHK Sendai filmed people inside the phone booth, whose phone is not connected to anything at all, all of whom place a call to speak to the dead.  

Movie was “Call Me By Your Name” directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by James Ivory based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Andre Aciman. 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Being creative is just like any other job but harder, you need to work at it even when you don’t feel like it and no one is telling you that you have to.  Don’t wait to be inspired or motivated to work, let your work be what makes you feel motivated to create, and let your own creativity be what inspires you.  Surround yourself with other people who are creative that support you and can help you feel like you are part of a community of colleagues and collaborators.  Never let fear or uncertainty or self-doubt prevent you from saying yes to an opportunity, even if you don’t know how to do it – that’s what google and questions are for.  Find one or two people who believe in your ability more than you do and have their numbers on hand whenever you start to question your own value so much that you feel like giving up.  Celebrate your achievements no matter what scale they are on.  And no matter what stage you are at, make learning your highest priority, if you do that you will enter every situation with humility, an open mind and the ability to connect with others and you will always walk away having gained something.  

 

WORK | Women Making Waves 2018
womenmakingwaves.2018.byamygrace

Over the weekend I attended the Women in Film and Television Atlantics (WIFT-AT) yearly conference 'Women Making Waves' at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax.  

I attended last years' due to being accepting into the New Waves Program where WIFT-AT accepts emerging and exploring film-makers into a five class workshop series.  Needless to say, I LOVED it.

Since the New Waves program I have been working to hone and focus my writing into the performing arts (learning screenplay writing and culture etc) and it was exciting to attend this years conference knowing that my projects and visions were even more aligned with the industry.

 Re-connecting with peers, hearing from other creators and celebrating the work that comes out of women who are aiming to collaborate, work, and essentially make a difference through their medium of passion was the refresh I so desperately needed.

It was hugely inspiring to be able to hear from Carmillas co-creator Steph OuaknineMohwak Girls Creator and director Tracy Deer, Ava creator and director Sadaf Foroughi and 'Bens at Home' creator and director Mars Horodyski about how they created, were impassioned to pursue their work and how they pushed through to get them where they are today.

This weekend I learned these things:

1. Keep showing up for your work and always put it out there.

2. What you are passionate about has a niche.

3. Find that niche and hone it.

4. Work with those whom you click with.

5. Know why you do it. 

6. Anyone who attempts truth telling is extrodinarily brave.

I am so thankful for the journey I am on and the opportunities I have along the way that connect me with passionate women, remind me of why I do what I do and keep my feet planted on the ground. 

SPOTLIGHT | Brigitte Truong
brigitte.truong.spotlight

In many respects, I feel as if I have known Brigitte for years.  That if I flew to Toronto, she would be one of the first people I would seek out to grab a drink with.  In truth, I haven't met her in person, and yet, there is something utterly amazing about our exchanges online that has inspired me.  Brigitte has a genuine and positive presence that transcends the pretence and filters of online social media and any media work she does.  I have no idea how I stumbled on her instagram account, but what I do know, is that when a woman is seeking to do her life and work in impactful, positive and joyful ways, it gets contagious!  She is contagious.

Her Instagram     Her Website

How would you describe yourself?

Ooooh I love how we’re kicking things off with a super loaded question!  Well, in a nutshell I’d have to say I’m a free spirited, impulsive but thoughtful goal chaser who tries to live the one life I have (until I’m reincarnated again ;) with an open mind, open heart, and the utmost gratitude every day.

What role does creativity play in your life?

Creativity is the cornerstone of my life, and it was all I had growing up as an only child.  My parents worked really hard to give me a blessed life and because of that, I always found myself alone with a pretty wild imagination. I used to occupy my time by crafting, watching movies, and playing with Fisher Price toys with my imaginary friends.  Now that I think of it, I was kind of a loner haha, but a creative one! I would let my imagination run rampant, as most kids do.  Not much has changed in my adult life as I enter my 10th year as an entertainment host and digital creator. I wake up every morning and go to bed at night envisioning the stories I want to tell, how to tell them, and who I can tell them with.  I wish my brain would shut off sometimes!

What are you currently working on?

There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming down the pipeline on television and with some awesome brands that I’m really grateful for, most of which I can’t discuss just yet unfortunately. Please stay tuned on social media! Outside of that, I’m gearing up for some fun shoots with Cineplex as their VIP Pre Show Host which is always a blast!

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

This is a great question!  Because it’s awards season and we’re a month away from the Oscars, I’m going to give a big shout out to Lady Bird. This isn’t just a coming of age story about a teenager who struggles with her identity and finds it.  It’s a film that I think, everyone can relate to, especially women of all ages.  Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, you’ll find yourself getting lost in the dialogue and scenarios that are so relatable and humbling.  At the end of it, you’ll be reminded of how important home is and the significance of your roots. No matter where you are today and who you are today, you musn’t forget your foundation and those who were part of it.  It’s such a great message!

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Creativity knows no boundaries.  We live in a time where you can create your own opportunities and find your voice and community on a slew of different platforms.  No longer are the days of finding the “right time,” meeting the “right people,” or waiting to have that “perfect resume.”

 It’s 2018.  When your attitude is right the facts don’t matter.  Make it happen.