As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rose Shaw.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
After teaching visual Arts for over 30 years I took a year-long certification course to teach Intentional Creativity©, through the Color of Woman school, as a retirement reward to myself. This involved creating over 5 large-scale visionary paintings, planning, and presenting creativity workshops, and writing a business plan. At the same time, my eldest sister was failing with dementia and needed my help. It was the most difficult year of my life, but this practice became a new way to see how the whole process of painting intentionally and letting the analytical mind rest, can actually calm your mindset and redirect your thought process.
What do you specialize in and why should someone choose you over your competitors in your field?
Intentional Creativity is a unique and totally accessible way to access your inner voice, and quiet your critical mind so you can move forward through difficulties.
Opportunities for creativity have been proven as beneficial for all, for mental health, problem-solving, and even boosting the immune system, but this particular method allows you to tune in to your own personal intuition, become more balanced, and paint in a completely original way, from your own experience.
It brings to light how you talk to yourself, what holds you back, and how thoughts can affect the way we deal with life. It is helpful in the same ways as mindfulness meditation but without the difficulty of long periods of stillness. No experience is necessary.
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I have the additional honor of being an award-winning art teacher (of the year, Florida Art Education Association, 2008) to begin with, so that experience enhances my classes in ways to gently share my knowledge, and bring out my ability at all levels. There are over 400 I.C. teachers worldwide, but I am the only one in Palm Beach County.
What are the three things that mostly helped your online business succeed?
Due to the pandemic, I am still just getting started with this second career! Things are beginning to open up. I have had many testimonies and encouragement from students, who really are surprised at their progress in their thoughts, mindset, and artwork when they complete a class with me. It has been a lot of work to put together a website, and begin to offer these classes online, so I would say flexibility, creative thinking, and a willingness to keep going, and keep giving, have helped me get here!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have always shared ways for my students to become more self-assured through creativity, in my past work, with an inner-city magnet school, as well as now with adults. To open avenues to creative thought, that someone may have forgotten they have access to, is very rewarding!
I am reminding others that they are creative beings, they can use visioning, and painting as a tool to get to a relaxing beneficial ‘flow state’, and use self-expression as a path to rewriting old stories, and becoming their best selves.
My ‘Peace through Painting’ Facebook page is a totally free gift to anyone who asked to access it. I have shared a full Youtube video on making personal affirmation cards to “Recreate Your Own Light” All the lessons are presented in an easy way with videos and photos to use at your leisure.
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I would hope they served many, in the 2 years of solitude through lockdown, and I continue to share new classes online and in person.
My most recent class ‘New Path’ was developed specifically for reviewing the difficulties over the 3 past years, starting with 2020, painting a path, then adding symbolic images, like a rock or log, brambles, that would block the path representing your obstacles, job loss, sickness, or a hurdle to overcome. These are later transformed, as we learn from our difficulties, we assign them a flower, or crystal, feather, or other symbolic of strength, resilience, grace, wisdom, or loyalty, and paint over the rock or log on our path. We then add a face, like the Buddha, or a symbol of our ‘higher self’ our “Muse” we call it, that has accumulated this knowledge now, and has a New Path! We appreciate the important teachings of our hardships, that make us who we are, instead of dwelling on them as a complete loss.
We learn to accept the benefits of the process. We become our own guides.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My own Fine Artwork also brings a spiritual, peaceful presence to any room.
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My teacher, Shiloh Sophia McCloud is an accomplished artist in Sonoma. She started the Color Of Women School, and a global museum called Musea and decided to shift her focus as an artist to share this method with others to learn to use art and creativity in this way – to use our own brain to creatively access better ways to think, serve, and help ourselves become better people. The bonus was, that it really changed the way I paint and pushed me to a new level of appreciation and skill in my original approach to art.
What were your most important challenges? & How did you overcome those challenges?
The biggest challenge was completing the course with overwhelming family issues. My sister was dying of dementia. She had diabetes, liver trouble, broke her hip, and simultaneously my daughter was going through life changes, marriage, and pregnancy at 40, plus my son had health difficulties also. I felt I could not handle it anymore, yet I could put all that into my painting process, ask, and let it go, allow my creative voice, my ’Muse’ to answer it, from the heart, and listen to my inner voice calm me, through awareness, painting, and insight. Through noticing what happens in the steps, through the work, listening, and visualizing open space for answers, you can actually receive and redirect the overwhelm- into opportunities for positive progress.
It was truly watching this practice, in action, while navigating the certification, begin to work in my own life.
My ‘Healing Muse’ is a favorite piece created during this time, it is like a guardian angel to me.
Additionally, the Cultural Center I was hired to share classes in was delayed opening due to lockdown, for almost 2 years, and when it did open due to the pandemic, people were not ready to meet in person, which is what pushed me to start online work.
What do you think is the key to a truly successful online business?
I am still working on it- but allowing someone to set up the technology and marketing part would be my advice. That is what traditionally artists and all people starting out, in general, have difficulty with, and what I still need improvement with. Also diversifying, I have a line of digital prints ready to go that are made from my original paintings and manipulated into new unique digital art.
I have a great gift to share, but getting it out there is my main hurdle!
What’s your business model? How does your online business make money?
I currently offer about a dozen different Intentional Creativity classes and workshops online, with Zoom, and in-person, including ‘Medicine Basket’, ‘Meet your Muse’, ‘Making a New Path’, and ‘Muse of Summer Abundance’, as just a few. I’m open to group work or private lessons, retreats, local church and women’s groups, Business talks for recharging creativity, and also give ‘Red Thread’ creative sessions, to connect as women, celebrate our events, or share what is troubling us in life. I have experience with Arts integration curriculum writing in schools and am open to presenting this process to art teachers in school districts.
Where do you see yourself and your business in five years?
I would like to see myself with more courses available for purchase online, and local studio space to share more in person, maybe a retreat offering collaboration with yoga or mindfulness, to help more people worldwide!
What’s your piece of advice for people who want to quit their 9-5 job and start a business?
Pick something that helps our communities and be conscious of sharing your best gifts.
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting or running your business?
I have to say, time, a lot of my time is taken up with caregiving, now for my second sister, who has Kidney failure, was on hospice, and now has stabilized after moving in with us. So my business growth is going very gradually, in process. But in serving others we benefit because it truly makes us more sensitive and compassionate humans. I am continually surprised at what people, women, in particular, have endured in life. I meet women in painting class that have lost children, had horrific upsets in their lives, and yet are still resilient enough to show up try something new, and move through life with HOPE. It is in the sharing, the connection that is important, and the healing reward of creating is a gift. Recognizing we are inherently creative, and it can be used for so much more than decor is a huge benefit.
The future of the digital world might be ruled by blockchain and cryptocurrency. Do you think it would be challenging for all age groups to gain knowledge about the same? How can we educate them?
I think we need to first educate ourselves, then we can choose to pass on what is important and useful to know. As a teacher, I have always been a lifelong learner, when something is new, it shouldn’t be dismissed without really seeing what benefits are there, and what repercussions too. Another thought is to train the young and then have them team up and train the adults! It’s a win-win. Kind of like the program they have with older folks in nursing homes combined with nursery school! Benefits both.
What do you think could be the future of NFT? How useful can they be for everyone?
I am very interested in finding out more about how my art could be enhanced, improved, and shared in new possibilities, but I have just started to look into it. I am not sure if it is right for me yet, but I am open to learning.
Do you think NFTs, which are open to virtual reality, could adversely impact our health due to increased screen time?
I think eventually science will figure out how to help counteract that, but the key to healthy life includes balance. Food plus exercise, work plus rest, so, maybe the balance to too much technology, could be more creative opportunities in life, right? We know what is good for us, the choice is to do it!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
How to set up payment online for Art and classes, How to connect google SEO to my web page, and how to get more viewers to social media without having to ‘buy’ viewers!
What would you tell yourself ten to twenty years ago that you wish you knew then?
You will learn more from delving into self-taught practice, than in college! Also, learn more about financial management.
Lastly, what do you think this world needs the most?
We need access to use more areas of our brains to become better people. We need the training to help ourselves think more clearly, and escape negativity from so many directions. To quit sabotaging ourselves, and help our own mental health. To train young people to be emotionally responsible. Technology is a huge tool, and a gift, like reading, as a skill for knowledge, we can use it for good IF we choose the right books, and look for positive goals. Because creative actions of dance, music, art, and writing, have been replaced by too much inactivity, and often violence through mindless television, gaming, or screen time that features negativity, like celebrity bashing, and sensationalized news, we need to reconnect to our creative selves as a way to become more compassionate, heal ourselves and be whole again.
We know much more than we give ourselves credit for, and yet we don’t develop that. Intention and visualization are powerful tools. We often praise and feature what is based, on humanity, and offer no way to balance that as a global community. Time to rethink it, time to lift up and choose what is helpful for all.