A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Hi, I'm Jessi. I'm a Finnish woman, living in England. I have a busy life - just like you probably do - trying to fit together the essentials: work, family, health and personal goals.
I used to sing in a rock band. I used to make natural cosmetics. Creating, making, exploring and writing is something I've always done, but as life got fuller, I realised that I needed to consciously make the time for the things that I wanted to do in life if I was going to get them done.
I used to laugh at people who had their whole life planned out. I thought it was boring, and a bit pathetic. I am a creative soul, who thrives when there's a lot going on and I love to just go with the flow to make things happen. Until I realised that it wasn't really happening anymore.
As I've grown older, everything seems to be a bit more complicated and getting anything done takes a conscious effort.
I have things in life I want to do: write, get in shape, learn new skills. There are also things that I need to do better, enjoy my children, enjoy work, sleep enough. This is really basic stuff, yet too often I find myself being just a little discontented, repeating the magic words "I really should..."
One day as I was feeling particularly frustrated about the fact that I had all these ideas in my head, but never time to do anything about them, I suggested to my husband that I started to take "creative nights out". I wanted to take a bit of time for myself to dream, plan, write and create. To stop saying "I should" and start taking conscious action.
So, once a week, after I've come back from work and had dinner with my family, I pack my notebook and my computer in my bag and head out to a nearby bar or cafe. It feels wonderfully decadent and luxurious to take this time out just for me.
I order some nibbles, and I sit at a quiet table in the corner. The smell of garlic and the soft chatter of people in nearby tables blend in with the lounge music and the last rays of sunshine.
I pull out my notebook and read through the ideas that I've been jotting down throughout the week. Sometimes I doodle. Sometimes I just stare out of the window and ponder life, dreams, ideas, goals, desires.
And then I write this blog.
I write about my ideas and goals and how I go about making them happen. I write about personal growth. I write about the creative process; writing, blogging and my other creative experiments.
May this blog help me to capture these moments and share them with you. Hopefully, they will be useful to you as well, if you find yourself wishing and wanting, but not quite knowing what to do.
My creative work so far...
I'm trying not to make this sound like a CV but I thought I'd give you a glimpse of the various things I've done. My interests have taken me from art classes to rock bands to digital businesses and beyond. I believe that all creativity comes from the same place and it's been interesting to explore various tools, skills and contexts to bring it to life.
The formal part is that I've studied music, performing arts and fine arts at various academies, although not very successfully. I finally graduated with a BA in Cultural and Media Studies and an MBA with a focus on branding and innovation.
However, I consider my main education in the arts and business to be my rock band Velcra. We were signed to Virgin Records and released 3 albums. The band was the ultimate creative playground for me and it allowed me to explore almost every type of art. I did album cover artwork, built our websites, organised photo shoots and tours, produced music videos and even designed an outfit for one of our them. I also took care of most of the band's business side of things.
This was our first video:
This was our last. This one was scripted, produced, shot and edited by us. I was mostly improvising.
I was a full-time musician for a few years, but most of the time I’ve also worked in media and telecoms companies developing cool digital services. These include adventures in digital music and TV, e-learning, gaming, and mobile phone apps. Check out this little blast from the past:
Then a few years ago I got into handmade natural cosmetics and in a flurry created my own brand Peppy Galore. I developed a range of 18 products and sold over 5000 units of product in the first year of business.
It was one of those "kitchen-table" businesses and I really enjoyed it. However, this was at a time when I was starting a family, and I soon realised that fitting a human baby and a business baby in the same kitchen was going to be a problem. So I wound the company down and decided to keep cosmetics more of a personal joy. I still make all my own skincare products and I love exploring fragrances.
And then there is the writing. I wrote over 50 columns to a Finnish newspaper. This blog is one of many that I've written over the years, and it had its first incarnation in 2009.
And here we are. I hope you enjoy it!