A Passion for Creativity Fueling Your Every Day

How did you feel when your alarm clock went off this morning? Were you dreading the day ahead or were you excited to get it started? If you’re like most people, your answer probably depended on how you felt yesterday. If you felt energized and ready to tackle whatever came your way, then getting up early and starting your work probably wasn’t too bad. 

So let me ask you this question: What are you passionate about outside of your work?

This passion can help to fuel ALL of your work. 

Mary Ann Lucas, our A&D Market Director here at COE, has a passion for creativity and believes that having a creative outlet is essential in helping to bring our best selves to work each and every day. Creativity allows us to express ourselves in unique ways. It can be a way to connect with others and share our thoughts and feelings. When we’re creative, we’re also tapping into our intuition and imagination, which can help in developing new ideas and solutions to problems in fresh, new ways. Maintaining that creativity can sometimes be a challenge, especially when we’re bogged down by day-to-day tasks. Here’s a recap of our conversation with Mary Ann and how she uses her creative side as more than just an evening leisure activity.

Tell us a little bit about your creative side.

{Mary Ann} In college, I was a Fine Arts major. I received my degree in interior/environmental design at Ball State University. I loved this program through the fine arts college because it gave me an opportunity to be creative in various classes. I also had a creative education before college with private painting lessons and art classes in high school. I suppose where my creativity really began was with my mom.  We were always making something or putting things together. She taught me to explore and to be resourceful. Part of the downfall of being creative is that you like so many different things and tend to get bored, so I’ll paint for a while, weave on my tiny loom, design jewelry for others, or learn how to do something new. My side hustle settled on jewelry creation because I love it so much. It has become a way for me to be extremely creative, and to make things that are affordable. If you love what you make, then others will love it too. My creativity is big and a little ridiculous sometimes, but it’s fun and I enjoy it a lot. 

When it comes to your creative work, describe the energy or experience that you get from that.

{Mary Ann} I think part of what I love so much is that I really learn by doing. I wasn’t a kid who could read something and remember it and take a test and pass it. I did fine in school, but I had to work hard at it. I learned so much more by doing and I think that’s part of the fun for me.

My creativity is an exploration and it energizes me. Most of the time exploration comes in the form of research. I’m always looking at fashion magazines, travel blogs, and Instagram accounts from around the world, as well as new colors and textures in nature. All forms of design help me to learn what the next “thing” is going to be. 

One of my guilty pleasures, believe it or not, is the Chanel runway shows. They are pretty incredible, usually unique, very creative, and take place in a really beautiful venue. I get a lot of inspiration for what’s coming next.

I think my creative work makes me better all the way around because it lets me get my creativity out and it’s not sitting there constantly stirring inside.

How does the time spent on your creative work impact and fuel other areas of your life?

{Mary Ann}  If you have your own side hustle business, it really can make you a better employee in the long run within your day job. It makes me appreciate them (my employer) more, understanding some of what they may be going through in the decisions they have to make. I wish everyone could have their own business, even if it’s teeny-tiny, to give them a glimpse of what their employer goes through. No matter whether a business is small, medium, or large, decisions are made every day by leadership that could also be very similar to a decision I have to make in my tiny business.  

I often wonder what I would do if I didn’t have my creative side.  My answer always is “I don’t think I could survive without the ability to make”. 

For people who haven’t found their creative outlet, or a hobby that brings them alive, what would be your mentorship advice for them?

{Mary Ann}  If having a blank canvas is exciting to you, then you need to find something that you love to make.  If you create something that you love, there will be someone else who loves it too. 

Find a technique or a product that you can become an expert in. If you’re passionate about what you do and you approach it in the way that you do your day job, you will become the expert.  I fell in love with baroque freshwater pearls 15 years ago, sourced the product from around the world, and learned about how they are made and now people love them and want to buy what I create with each beautiful pearl! 

Finding that balance of what your customers are willing to pay, yet making sure you’re making enough to pay for your time and the talent that you have can also be key. Don’t sell yourself short! Being creative is a great reward in itself, but I feel like the money that you get for it is the icing on the cake. Finding that balance can really make it even more worthwhile.