The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Marissa Quinn: Hello, my name is Marissa Quinn and I am a 27 year-old self-employed full-time artist.
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
MQ: Great question! I see all of life as threads that tie inspiration into my work. When I’m not at work on a project in the studio, I am usually at the beach for a run, surf, dive, hike or tide pooling. The sea has been my muse since birth, and growing up in a small surf town has taught me a lot about how to live in cycles connected to the moon, tides, and seasons, which can be seen throughout all of my work.
I am also really into beekeeping, and continue to find farmers to teach me a few lessons here and there so that one day I can own my own hives!
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
MQ: I actually do not struggle with this. I decided a long time ago that my professional work and my personal work would essentially be one and the same. I believe that everything is connected (which is a strong theme in my work) and therefore have the inability to live a compartmentalized life.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
MQ: I feel the most creative at sunrise. But also while driving. And showering. And after a good conversation with a fellow creative. Or after cooking a good meal. And definitely after a good long swim in the ocean. And for sure while watching the sunset over the water. And while listening to good music.
Oh, also when I’m so exhausted that I can’t critique an idea to death and just let it flow. That’s a good feeling too.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
MQ: I want to continue to grow in both authenticity and quality.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
MQ: Yes! I am working on an illustrated book full of sketches and writings that I created on a solo trip from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada! It’s called, “The Rewild(her)’s Journey” and is basically a compilation of my spiritual and aesthetic inspirations as I allowed myself to be “re-wild” (literally and metaphorically), through nature. I am planning to release the book at the beginning of 2017 and hope that it inspires others to allow space in their lives for spiritual and creative enlightenment through nature and art, which will ultimately bring collective healing to our Earth.
TCU: What scares you?
MQ: Pollution, environmental degradation, human prejudice, substance abuse, and passivity.
With that being said, I think that fear is an interesting topic of discussion, especially fear’s relationship with creativity….So I would like to interject with a deeper question, “What is your relationship with fear in your creative process”?
My answer- instead of fighting and denying fear, acknowledge your fear as a valuable part of your complete self and get to know it and how it works. I have found that my fears work in cycles connected to the balance (or imbalance) of my body, mind, and spirit. I have also learned how to talk to my fear and this helps me to move into a creative headspace with greater ease.
I’ve been reading a lot of Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert who have a lot to say about accepting the necessity of fear in your creative process, while also protecting your inspiration. In her book Big Magic, (which I highly recommend to anyone who has not yet read it), Liz devotes an entire section to understanding fear. She says, “It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
So take this as an encouragement! Don’t allow fear to stop you in your creative tracks, instead shake its hand and continue to move forward in your calling!
TCU: What does success mean to you?
MQ: For me, success is dedication to my craft, my calling, and my creative spirit. That stubborn dedication is authenticity- which ultimately is the attractor of success.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
MQ: Yep! Always… If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.
“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
If you want to learn more about Marissa and see more of her incredible work, head over to marissaquinn-art.com.