Intimacy and Creativity

My little girl is brilliant. When she was 3, I tried to explain that obvious fact to her new nursery school teacher. “Yes, Mom, we know…. your child is sooooooo smart…” they condescendingly cooed.  But when I picked her up later, the teacher dashed to catch me and asked permission to move her to a more challenging class.   “Well duh.” I thought. “I told you so.”

I tell you this so you understand why collaborating with her on my recent speaking challenge was such an amazing experience. You see, intimacy and creativity go hand in hand. If you missed my previous posts on intimacy, check them out: Relationships and Intimacy and Sex-Intimacy-Power.

Pecha Kucha challenge

My opportunity to speak at the local Pecha Kucha Night threw me into a panic. In Pecha Kucha, there are 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, and they advance automatically. It’s like a haiku for presenters: a very tight format that requires creative succinctness to make your point.

I had a story to tell, but the slide deck was problematic. Over the many years I’ve given talks and taught workshops, I had never created a Power Point deck. Never. Besides, I had no visual concept for this project. And, I had three weeks to pull it off.

My now adult daughter, a professional artist with mad computer skills and a new career as a virtual assistant, knew exactly what to do. And she was willing to help.

Collaborating with someone means you work side-by-side. It’s a with relationship. I create with you.  That is how I expected this partnership to play out when we decided to work together.

I sent her the first draft of my script and she immediately phoned. “Mom! I didn’t know all this!” Well, yes, there are many things daughters don’t know about their mothers.

My story illustrated perfectly how being sidetracked by drama is resistance, and resistance is the Dreamkiller. To make my point required openness and vulnerability, something she hadn’t quite fully seen from me before.. We were in new territory here.

Intimacy and creativity magnify each other

We spent weekend mornings on the phone in design mode, playing off each other. She decided the simplest approach would be for her to illustrate the story through her drawings rather than find and pay for stock photos.  As my talk evolved, the images she created influenced how the story was told, and the story inspired the images.

Those hours on the phone allowed us to step into a deeper level of intimacy. Her deep understanding of my situation and the message I was trying to convey allowed us to stay connected around something larger. Our creative and sytlistic differences had room to evolve.

In a collaborative partnership where both of you are fully present with each other, you create from each other. When you each contribute at maximum capacity, each becomes a creative source for the other. Her suggestions gave me new ideas and my suggestions gave her new ideas.

Time was short, but I think our collaboration created quite a powerful presentation.

You can watch it here.

Please comment below and let me know what you think!


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