Creative Process

Untitled by Cindy Trawinski (2013) Tempura onLitho Paper, 20" x 30"
Untitled by Cindy Trawinski (2013) Tempura onLitho Paper, 20″ x 30″

“The moment in between what you once were and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.

This quote from Barbara de Angelis describes the edge between our ordinary identities and perceptions, and the places inside ourselves where we step into something yet to be.

Yet, we don’t teach our children how to find this spot from which we may participate in creating. In fact, as a culture we don’t even have a way to mentor artists, musicians, playwrights, poets or dancers to access their creativity. Instead, we leave it up to chance, trial and error and, sometimes, intoxicants or dangerously extreme behavior. Then, when the creative among us angst or suffer, we write it off to the choice to be a “struggling” artist.

But creativity is an attitude as much as a destiny, skill set or in-born talent. We all have the ability to shift our attitudes and take a creative approach to life tasks, whether they be parenting, folding clothes, raking leaves, grocery shopping or even cleaning a desk drawer or closet. In fact, it is often in the smallest ways that creativity reveals itself. Learning to follow the creative process inside yourself requires listening to tiny intuitions and voices in ourselves, taking small risks, having an ability to suspend judgement and allowing for unpredictable outcomes.

Are you ready to take a chance on the unknown?

Shunryu Suzuki, monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States,  suggested not knowing as an approach to the arts.  “If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are possibilities, in the expert’s mind, there are few. That is the real secret of the arts, always be a beginner.”

More about following the creative process inside yourself.


Creative Wings Studio
Michele Cassou Workshops


Brave Intuitive Painting, Flora Bowley
Point Zero: Creativity Without Limits, Michele Cassou
Unintentional Music, Lan Arye
Life, Paint & Passion, Michele Cassou & Stuart Cuble


Using Awareness in the Creative Process (video 2011)
How do we create? What is the artist, child or inventor doing in the moments of creation? How do we recognize, know and follow our experience in such a way that something new is created or discovered?

In this 17 minute video, Cindy Trawinski demonstrates the experiential painting process developed by Michele Cassou, and attempts to “meta communicate” about her experience — that is, while painting, to report on her sentient awareness, of the interaction with the paint, the painting as well as subtle inner sensations and fleeting associations she has. In the last minutes of the video, she uses a form of inner work developed by Arnold Mindell to unfold her perceptions and associations to an element of the painting.

The video was made by Cindy Trawinski in 2010, in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Diplomate program in Process Work at the Process Work Institute in Portland, OR.  An unpublished thesis on the study of creative process including the video research can be found at


Trawinski, C. (2011). Following My Creative Process. Unpublished article.

Trawinski, C. (2011). Who or What Creates: A personal reflection on painting. Unpublished thesis.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call or email: [email protected] 847-568-1100

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