Chelsea Karcher, Creative Coach
It’s no secret that I deeply value creativity and I have no doubt that Chelsea Karcher, our newest featured creative, would agree! I’m blown away by the positive feedback that I received during the last installment of the Creative Command interview series. Danae was a wonderful introduction to the series and I know that Chelsea will inspire, interest and intrigue you just as much!
When I first began to put this project together many more of my fellow creatives reached out to me than I ever imagined. These interviews have opened my eyes to what is possible when you simply “ask” and how taking the first step is sometimes all it takes to jumpstart a new journey.
Chelsea Karcher is a creative coach with a similar mindset. She regularly feeds her creative soul and gives herself the freedom to explore new opportunities and avenues for growth and discovery. If you’d like to open your own possibilities and connect your creative side to your everyday life I can’t recommend her enough!
I make a conscious effort to create to discover new inspiration in my life and Chelsea is someone who finds meaning in the things that we create. Today, take a moment to get to know Chelsea Karcher!
1. Tell us your name, about your blog, biz, or creative pursuits!
Chelsea Karcher of chelseakarcher.com. I help people make meaningful money, hustle with flow and conjure their creativity with a beautiful combination of playful experiments for the body + mind + soul and purposeful, strategic action.
My favorite thing is helping people connect their dots to create a life that funds them AND fuels them. When I’m not coaching creative entrepreneurs and other heart-centered and highly motivated trailblazers, I can be found drinking iced coffee and giving pep talks on Instagram at @chelskarcher.
Fun facts: glitter is my favorite color and I think in color codes and spreadsheets. My Virgo superpowers put me 10 steps ahead of normal people when it comes to organizing ideas, identifying multiple solutions, and taking concrete steps to realize goals and make a positive impact and I only use my powers for good.
2. How would you define “Creativity”?
Great question. I don’t know if creativity can be defined because it takes so many shapes and forms. For me, it’s that feeling you get when you wake up in the middle of the night and have to write down your thoughts or that imagine the possibilities daydream that would be amazing YES feeling when you plan for mondo beyondo dreams.
Sometimes it’s the quiet persistence of a math exam or the way you re-arrange furniture or a mass of protestors changing their tactics or how the sunlight hits my living room wall just right and makes me stop for a minute and enjoy it. Creativity is everything moving and growing and changing. Problem-solving with fire.
3. What would you say to someone who thought you had to be an artist in order to be creative?
Creativity has become a luxury or a privilege of a select few and that makes me so sad. Somewhere along the way something (or many things) happened to each of us that lead us to believe how and what we create was wrong. That we didn’t fit in the box, that we needed to better/different/more educated to express ourselves.
I truly believe creativity is an innate and natural instinct that all humans have, we just have to learn to tune in and listen to ourselves and work consciously to unlearn all of the confines other people have put on us throughout our lives. For most people it happens in elementary school or in another form of education…some adult or some other kid told
For most people it happens in elementary school or in another form of education…some adult or some other kid told you that you couldn’t do something and it deeply bruised your spirit. Healing and loving kindness towards that inner creative will set you free and the flow will come.
4. How has creativity impacted your blog or business?
Last year I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and battled with several physical ailments that left me feeling weak (my least favorite feeling on the planet). Basically, my body and spirit were broken down and I had to find my way home again. Why is this relevant? Because I’m an over-achieving and highly self-aware therapist with access to so many resources and coping strategies …and it still happened to me.
I was burned out and my heart was broken. It can happen to any of us….and there’s a way to prevent and recover it from happening again. I was guided by the words of one of my mentors: the opposite of depression is not happiness, it is expression. I was completely resistant to recovery because I knew it would be hard but as some point, I realized that it was my only option if I wanted to shift from barely surviving to thriving.
I pulled out every trick I knew and immersed myself in creativity. I started small with small doodles, coloring books, and drawings. I worked my way up to painting big again and even tried a new skill of beading. I found learning how to make a strand of mala beads helped me ground in my spiritual practice and also forced me to push through feelings of not being enough like a mofo until I finally figured it out.
There is no better satisfaction than mastering something you’ve been trying and failing at for weeks, I was literally sweating and swearing alone in my studio surrounded by tiny beads at one point as they flung into the air away from my string.
Outside of visual art I also researched methods for creativity that were outside of my comfort zone. I tried yoga, I started using essential oils daily, I meditated to open my chakras, surrounded myself with crystals and powerful gemstones, I burned incense and danced to MIA and Missy Elliot. I started watching baking shows on Netflix and creating my own pies and cakes. I immersed myself in the Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and youtube videos of Kid President…anything to spark interest and bring a little more light into my psyche.
I was on a hunt for anything and everything that could bring me relief, and I was tireless. I dedicated myself to months of tears and doing it anyway until something shifted. Until I could breathe again. I am truly happier, stronger, and more full of life than I could have ever imagined.
There were days when it was really, really dark and I questioned everything. And somehow, I found my way to the other side. I’m doing my best to practice gratitude as much as I can because if it happened to me once, I know it could happen to me again if I don’t make a solid effort to be kind to myself and express what I need. I’m truly living what I preach, out of necessity.
This is at the core of everything I do in my business now. I intentionally invite more flow and love and creativity in and I make choices that support my healing and allow me to greet the world with the same dedication and focus I had before the diagnosis.
It helps me stay centered in the fact that we all have barriers and struggles and creativity is always a choice – even on the darkest of days and in the most dire of circumstances we have the gift of honoring creativity for just a few moments and it always gives back.
5. What does it look and feel like when you’re in creation mode?
It’s the BEST feeling. I feel totally connected and alive, typically so present in the moment I’m not looking at a clock or thinking about the past or the future . . . I’m just being and playing. For me, it’s typically really messy, I like to focus on the process and let the paint fly and glitter stick to my clothes.
After creation mode, I go into super organized refining mode and that feels more about craftsmanship and taking what I have created to the next level with extra care and attention. I love to listen to music that moves me, especially from women like Erykah Badu or Lauryn Hill who seem to ooze creativity. There’s always music and candles and essential oils.
6. Have you relied on an outside source to get you out of your rut? (eg. support group, coach etc.)
Finding a supportive community has been really impactful for me. Feeling like I can connect to other people that share my identities and share my values and interests has become a necessity. This is especially true for the parts of myself that I may be afraid of expressing sometimes or unsure of how it will be received.
I identify as queer and I’m very vocal about my passion for social justice and equity and anti-racism. I have found that I need people in my life that not only accept those parts of my identity and personality but really respect and value and mirror it back to me. The same goes for my spirituality – I love crystals and oracle cards and believe in spirits and meditation and chakras and I have found a deep sense of gratitude for the people in my life who just get those things and feel excited about them too.
When I sought out my business coach I found someone who expressed themselves as spiritual and had a background in social work – she could hold these two parts of my identity as she offered me support and guidance. It was such a relief to be able to relax and be honest with her. Same goes for my partner, my relationships, my
Same goes for my partner, my relationships, my family, and friends. The more I can find spaces to be my authentic and whole self, the easier it is to let go of fitting in and start belonging. It frees up time and energy to just be and play.
7. What do you focus your energy on when you’re feeling stuck?
I like to step away for a few moment – get a drink of water, take a quick walk outside, practice a quick yoga flow, or do the dishes or some other mindless activity I won’t get pulled into for very long. Then I come back and center myself. I’ll sit and meditate or hold a crystal (citrine is great for creativity and tapping into your power) and just try to feel.
Usually, when I’m stuck it’s because I’m up in my head and my energy is not flowing all the way through my body. The more I feel into my body the more present and conscious I am of what I’m feeling. Then I realize if I’m afraid or tired or hungry or worried or wishing I was somewhere else. It helps me meet those needs and then move forward with clarity and a little more compassion for myself.
I will also break out a piece of paper and scribble. I then turn the page around and around until I see something in the scribble (kind of like a magic eye poster) and I’ll elaborate on the shapes and create a picture. Somehow this gets me out of my own way.
8. What tools or tips would you offer to other creatives (in general or specifically in your field) who find themselves uninspired?
I’m also a huge fan of Flora Bowley’s book Brave Intuitive Painting, The Artist Way by Julia Cameron, and Art and Fear by David Bayles. All three of these books were really, really helpful resources in my own path to unlock creativity and find compassion for myself in the process.
I offer two resources myself – one called Conjure Creativity, a month long coaching endeavor to help people invoke inspiration and tap into their deep and innate desires to discover, play, and create. We use playful experiments to help break through blocks and approach creativity with movement, meditation, different art mediums, treasure hunts, and more.
I also work with people in my Hustle with Flow program, a one time coaching experience that involves incorporating rituals and actions into your everyday life to invite creativity and stress relief into your busy schedule geared specifically at very busy people with tons on their plate who STILL want to feel more creative and grounded.
9. We all have people we look up to. Who’s creative work inspires you?
I find Instagram to be a really inspirational place – My favorite folks to follow are @florabowley, @swoonhq, @viviennemcm and @rupikaur_ . . . their feeds always make me feel inspired and excited to reflect and create.
Photos of Chelsea Karcher credited to Spencer Micka Photography
What do you think of Chelsea Karcher? What are your thoughts on her Creative Command perspective?