Beginning a Creative Project

Episode Focus: Getting your creative project across the finishing line.

Creativity: The art of the creative retreat

Podcast chat: Nadine Green, owner of Organised

Productivity: 5 steps to finishing your creative project

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Podcast chat with Nadine Green

Nadine is a professional Organiser. She believes there is a direct link between our physical spaces and emotional wellbeing. Nadine specialises in working with people who are experiencing change in their lives and are down sizing or moving to another home. She is also able to assist people who need more space to start a new hobby or activity. Her main aim is to help create calm, productive and enjoyable spaces in your home and workplace.

Find out more about Nadine at her website: organised.nz

Can’t listen to the podcast? Here’s an abbreviated transcript of our chat, below.

Jordan: Nadine, welcome to the podcast. You’re passionate about helping people to live simply and you talk about a direct link between our physical spaces and our emotional wellbeing. What does that mean for people in terms of managing space to enhance our lives?

Nadine: Well, I think it’s so important to feel happy and relaxed in our home environments. Sometimes, you know, we can feel a bit overwhelmed by the kind of chaotic-ness of our physical surroundings in this can really affect our mood and our energy levels. So it’s good to stop and sort of notice how your spaces make you feel.

Jordan: Do you have a favourite colour palette for interior spaces?

Nadine: I love soft, calming natural colours, but I also appreciate moody, dark colour schemes and dramatic colour schemes as well appeal to me. So I guess I’d love to have multiple homes and use a completely different colour schemes in each, but having well utilised spaces and always as much light as possible would be probably top of my list.

Jordan: So creating spaces that make us feel good obviously has a huge visual component. But what about the other senses? How does touch and smell come into play?

Nadine Spaces that make us feel good are a little bit about how they visually appeal. Absolutely. But function is also really important. If you have a beautifully styled house that doesn’t work for the needs of the people in it, it wouldn’t necessarily be a happy space to live in.  And there’s never a set rule for how things work for people. Everyone’s got different needs. Some people have children that have lots of things or do lots of sports. Other people have lots of hobbies. It’s just about kind of making it work for, for your individual needs.

Jordan: How often do you think we need to take a fresh look at the spaces that kind of we live and work in?  

Nadine: I think there’s no set time for rethinking the way we are living in our spaces. But if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed in that space, then it’s probably a good time to rethink the areas and work out what is or isn’t working well. So, again, there’s no set rules, but a lot of people are happier when items in their home have designated places. So everyone knows where to put things. It’s all about simplifying the spaces you have and trying to reduce that kind of stressful feeling.

 Jordan: How can managing space help creative folk?

Nadine: Having designated spaces for things can help because then it doesn’t all get lost in the pile of of things and unfinished projects. If you’ve got too many projects on the go at one time, they can sort of all meld into each other. It gets tricky to focus on one thing at a time. And obviously, you know, if you’ve got things that you’re not working on and that you no longer want to work on, then maybe rehoming those so that you can create the space for the thing that’s important to you at the time.

Jordan: It makes a space really intentional then, doesn’t it. that makes it really intentional. So you’re not just creating a project, you are creating a space to do it in and getting rid of everything else so you can then focus on it.

Nadine  Yeah. There’s always the overwhelm factor that comes in quite a bit if there’s too many things or too much. And a lot of what I do is just helping people decide what things that they really don’t want in their space and what things they really do want in their space and what’s important to them. And as soon as you do that, everything feels a bit but more more calm. 


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Jordan: Dianne, welcome to the podcast. It’s really great to have you. You’re a local Kapiti artist. How did you come to be here? What’s your history and journey and background?

Jordan: Now you you’re an artist with several talents, so you make jewellery and you paint. I’m really interested in the jewellery making process. You work with found objects quite a lot and you’re inspired by the natural environment. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Diane: Well, I did a I did a couple of courses in Sydney. I lived in Sydney, Australia for 11 years, Sydney for seven. And I did a jewellery design course first. I’ve always been interested in jewellery. I used to make little fimo things when I was, you know, 15 just baked them in the oven. I  had Hawker’s licence. But then I became…. like there was nothing available at that time. I couldn’t become a manufacturing jeweller because I wouldn’t take girls in the workshop. Can you believe it? It’s hard to even imagine that now.


Diane: So all the way through, even in the jewellery design, when it was a much more technical and metal based one, I saw the whole New Zealand thing with bone was just happening in New Zealand and my jewellery actually sat better in New Zealand really than it did in Australia. So I started doing bone things and found objects stuff right at the beginning and I’ve carried it all the way through. It used to… people just used to think I was odd, you know, like it wasn’t it wasn’t a thing like putting bones next to diamonds and silver, it was just like they were just like … one of my tutors used to go, ‘you just can’t do this.’ And I’m like, ‘yeah, but I kind of really want to’. And it was …just yeah, now it’s just kind of mainstream.

Jordan: How times change.

Diane: I know….How times change in a lifetime.

Jordan:  I wonder if there’s something in that, though, about just doing the things that work for you and not listening too much to other people.

Diane: Well, yeah, I yeah. You’ve kind of got to have a belief in what you  actually want to do and and then you’ve got to fight for the things that are really important to you and maybe let other things go. But yeah… So the found objects have always been there. Bones in Australia. I mean, you used to be able to just go and walk along the beach and they’ll be all nice and white and clean with the like,  whole food carcass. It would be nice and easy to make jewellery from. And then I came back and did a little bit of carving. I got a grant and did that with a couple of people here. But I used to use, not just natural materials, like I used to get slate from building sites and, um, I use rubber, paper. Well, anything really.

Jordan:  So 168 days as a programme is about helping and inspiring creative people to either start their journey or continue their journey. So do you have any tips for creative people that are just sitting out on a creative journey and just discovering the joys of doing any kind of artistic stuff? What are some tips that you’ve got?

Diane: Yeah, I think what we just touched on about. Finding that or having that thing that you really love, like I love the found objects. I love placing them next to precious metal and I like making them… like taking something you walk on,  that you just tread  on and then making that into something really precious and important to someone.

I think you’ve just got to really have that faith in what you do. And that resolve that what you’re doing is the path you want to go down, because there will always be someone there to tell you that it’s not going to work and it’s not going to… I mean, I’ve been told that my whole career and I think always keep everything that you do, like keep all your drawings, keep your or your little doodles, because I always go back, like your style kind of is you.

And even though what I do changes is the essence of something that is still me. And you can kind of see that and I go back and I look at a look at workbooks and drawings from the 1980s and I could have done that yesterday. It’s just quite interesting.

So I think just that resolve, having faith really in yourself. And it’s quite hard because you’ve got to…You’ve really got to be strong to do that, like to say ‘it’s going to be okay, I’m going to be able to pay the mortgage, I’m going to pay the rent, or I’ll get I’ll get money in this time’. A friend once told me when I sort of went full time for jewellery for a while and I was worried about the mortgage and that. And he said, you’ve got to have faith and you’ve got to save in the good times and you just got to act like, you know, you don’t go and spend it all. And then you’ve got to, you’ve got to have faith in the bad times that the good times will be back again.

And I think that’s I’ve walked to the letter box at the end of the month, many a time when people used to post things to you. So you think it’s going to be a cheque there soon. And yeah, I think you’ve just got to have faith in yourself and and do what’s authentic to yourself really.

Jordan: Fantastic. So we also kind of explore a lot of different mindfulness aspects in this course. Do you have a mindfulness practice at all?

Diane:  I do.  I’ve had quite a lot of illness in my life, so it’s very important to me to keep physically fit. So I eat well, you know, most of the time you don’t have to do things , you know, crazily. And I also exercise regularly. So I walk and I swim and I love swimming. I’ve been for one this morning. So that’s in mine. And I also meditate. So I listen to music. So all those things together kind of… And in winter… my sort of routine changes a bit in winter. I swim more because it’s just, you know, because it’s often raining, although I think we’re going to get another nice winter.  I hope so. I swim. I often I put music on, dance around the lounge and, you know, get out, because it’s just that physical…I have to put music on when I’m working. So. Yeah. Meditation and swimming.

Jordan: What does meditation look like for you to do guided meditation or you just sit and…

Diane: I just sit quietly. I don’t like being talked to.  So and I don’t really like the music on,  so I just sit and I just, I just kind of do an ‘Omm’ and just try and go to that third eye and block out. So, yeah,  just to stop that monkey brain, actually. But swimming’s quite good for that, too, and I often resolve problems with my designs and things or come up with a solution while I’m swimming and it happens when I’m meditating too as I mentioned . But but swimming is really good for that.

Jordan: Yeah, swimming is fantastic as well. And I wonder if it’s because you can’t do anything else. You know, you just you just doing stroke after stroke.

Diane: Absolutely. And counting. Yeah, you’re right. And sometimes I do  a little affirmation when I swim. ‘I’m happy, loved, well… you know beautiful.

Jordan: Yeah. Resilient, you know. So I had a little read of your blog and I was really interested in the one that where you were writing about your changes with the seasons. Are you in the warmer times making art and then in the cooler seasons, you’re either enjoying the wintry beach or you’re thinking about the business side of things? So can you talk to that a little bit? What does that look like for you?

Diane:  It changed a little bit during lock down. I kind of I redid my whole website over lock down and it kind of went online, as a shop, which is a lot of artists kind of don’t like, but it just seemed like a really good time to do it.

And of course, lock down was the first time in years that I’ve actually had nothing else to do. Like I usually have a part time job. So I could think about that and just think about the business. All I it was fantastic. Yeah, I just loved it.

But in winter, I tend to do a lot of designing. I still go to the workshop because I’ve, I’ve got a workshop is my garage and it’s actually a metal garage. I never have a heater there. I just rug up, put my little fingerless gloves on, woolly jumper, sometimes a hat. But it’s always ok in there  and so I do spend time there, but that’s when I kind of fiddle you because it’s nice to have something, a new range of work ready for spring. And so then I try and get it out to my outlets and that sort of September time or have a bit of the arts trail.

So it’s an it’s a good time to do some marketing and and just look at your database and who you … or projects that you want to do the following year like, you know, leading into the year. So it’s a bit of a time of reflection, really, and doing all those things, you kind of always put off to the end of the day and then you’re too tired, you just can’t quite get there. So you’re doing some of those things actually during work time instead of night time actually does make quite a difference.

Jordan: Oh, brilliant. And just one final question for you. What does the good life look like for you?

Diane: Oh, the good life for me is. Being happy.  I love being by the sea. I mean, this is my real happy place. Often in summer I swim at the pool in the morning and I have a swim at night after work in the afternoon. And I spend half my time in the shower

Jordan: Ocean swimming in the afternoon?

Diane: Yeah ocean swimming in the afternoon.  So and I just love it. I mean I can, I can sort of drag myself down the really time and just kind of bounce back again afterwards.  And being able to keep doing what I do, which is the great thing about being an artist, I mean, we can just keep going into our…. like I’m 62 now, so you can keep going into your retirement and just keep working as long as your hands are working and your eyes are working. The. But Monet, you know, his eyes went and he still painted and I like that cross over between my painting and that’s what I really want to… painting is becoming my happy place.

Jordan: Yeah. Yeah, interesting. It’s a lovely thing to do, isn’t it? It’s just a different space to be in.

Diane: Yes, it is and I kind of like that I like mixing the jewellery in the painting, too.

Jordan: So do you find that you do can you do both at one time or you have to kind of change head spaces – choose one  or the other?

Diane: Sometimes, but when I’m doing one I’ll think about the other. Like or I’ll think ‘that could lend itself to a piece of jewellery or something and that what I’m doing other work on the bench would lend itself to painting. So it’s like cross over.

Jordan: All right. Well thank you, Diane. All the best. Thank you. Fantastic.