The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Dani Kreeft: Dani Kreeft, 31, Writer/Photographer/Entrepreneur/Creative Director
Employer: I am a freelancer, entrepreneur + staff member at C3 Toronto.
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?
DK: It's mostly travel, reading and creative community that keep me inspired and motived in life, in work, in anything, really. Being in foreign places so out of my comfort zone stretches me, reading grants me wisdom and perspective and creative community, well, I live for it. The community of friends we have here in Toronto keeps me grounded and thirsty and enveloped in support. I can't describe it, but it's something you need to have to feel the full richness of a creative life.
But, don't take me too seriously. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into a matinee with a hot coffee and just myself to feel refreshed or times I've hit up Tumblr to get absolutely lost in a rabbit hole of my own thought. Inspiration doesn't need to be polished or pretentious, it just needs to be your own. So pay attention to what fills you up and keep doing it. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
DK: Christ is the one who calls me into collaborations, into opportunities, into different roles. He is the one yanking the levers, calling the shots and pulling us in new directions, so I'm realizing how my role is more to listen, to hustle and to steward my gifts well, not to be at the helm controlling where that's all going. He's directing, I'm following. As I understand His leading more and more, I grow in the wisdom of when to say no, how to stay focussed, where to invest my time, etc... which keeps me in balance to be pursuing the right things.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
DK: Most of my creative these days is being expressed in writing and for that, either early, like 7-8 AM or later on, 9-11 PM. The bookends of the day.
The most productive? 9-noon. In those hours, I've been able to wake up and attack a list, but haven't had enough of the day go down to make me feel worn out or lackluster.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
DK: My creative goals don't exactly have certain mediums they need to be expressed in, but centre more around carrying greater potency and collaboration. The people I'd love to work with and the influence my work can carry spur me on far more than wanting to see my name on the cover of a book or in a certain magazine. That would be great, don't get be wrong, but a book for a book's sake doesn't hold much weight. But a book that carries with it influence because its backed by God's purpose and potential for my life? Yeah, that I'll write. And if I get to do that in a foreign country for a time? Even better.
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?
DK: I am honestly just trying to write more. I have my two official jobs and then pick up creative gigs on the side, but everything seems to be influenced and gain momentum when I put pen to paper more. It's strange.
So if I pour myself into anything purely personal, it's writing.
TCU: What scares you?
DK: Well a lot scares me - mice, horror movies, stalkers, underground caves, dementia - but, in a greater sense, having lived knowing fear only as an enemy, instead of actual wise counsel. Fear is good for us; its voice carries a load of validity for where we should go and what we should do, but our culture teaches us to be allergic to it, to run from whatever it is that gets our heart beating a little faster or could involve failure.
I don't want to be scared to feel fear, to work through it, to be in the middle of it, to act despite it, to go in the direction of it. I want to act in the company of fear because it's so rewarding and challenging and inspiring to be in the same room with it and have the balls to not walk out.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
DK: The mark of a great life lies in developing solid, consistent character that inspires and influences others to do the same, to do the work it takes to become greater, kinder, stronger than they were the week before. Our culture works incredibly hard to convince us that external circumstances and posturing is the best model of success, but it ain't. Internal growth will always outweigh external gain.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
DK: It's the scariest thing to be, especially as creatives, but be vulnerable. People want to know you, to know who you really are, and offering vulnerability regardless of judgement, opinion or the fear of being crushed in the process is the most brave and powerful thing you can do.
So try to do it. Endeavor to always let people in.
If you want to learn more about Dani or snag one of her beautiful products, head on over to www.danipress.com.