Sunday, September 21, 2014

This Artist Teaches the Superpower of Courage

All classes are about courage, which is the one Superpower I am big on.  Being vulnerable enough to be able to imagine what is possible.

Have you ever loved an actress, singer or someone creative so much that you have watched all of their movies, know every song they sing, and read everything written about them?   One day you find yourself in NYC or LA, walk into an elevator and see them, to find in that moment you have no words to say to them? You want to tell them how much you love their work and the influence they have had in your life because you feel like you know them.  Yet, when you see them, all those trite things come out of your mouth "I've seen everything you've ever done. No really. I'm your biggest fan."

This was exactly what I did not want to sound like when meeting Andrea Scher for the first time.  I even negated doing our interview by Skype, for fear of my 'fangirl mentality' taking over what I wanted to accomplish with her.  I have followed her and admired her writing for over 8 years.  While getting ready for our interview, I saw something in her description of herself that seemed wrong.

painter, photographer, coach + mentor

What?  She's been blogging for over 10 years and does not consider herself a writer?  Why?  How?  With most interviews I have a script of questions laid out, but with Andrea, I didn't need to know more about her, for I knew I was her biggest fan already.  I decided to do something fresh; omit the script and ask her to just talk and see where it went.  I found my Superhero Mentor a little unsure at the beginning of our phone chat; after all, she's not on a press junket promoting her latest book, and I'm a stranger to her.  I gave a few guided prompts and then the wisdom and one-of-a-kind storytelling that made me fall in love with her and her writing started to unfold.

Like almost every creative I talk to, their formative years started with artistic endeavors that were the road map to their destiny later in life.  For Andrea, it was two things that she recalled to me.  The first one started at the retail store her parents owned in Carmel, CA, where she spent many hours as a child.  To relieve her boredom, she started making jewelry and went around to the other retailers and asked them if they were interested in purchasing it.  When an uber-cool store that sold expensive Italian jeans bought her jewelry, she was a paid artist at 10 years old.  The second thing that sparked her artistic nature was getting an SLR camera at 12. Obsessively taking pictures, she was staging her friends in mock slumber party photo shoots with "lipgloss, Bon Jovi, and a hairdryer on full blast." Talking about this, she added, "My photographic style is still very similar to how I did those early shoots."  

These two events were the beginning of her life's theme:
"The need to make things and the gift to be fearless."

As she advanced in years, life took over.  She was a cheerleader in her teens (which made me squeal, "No way!"), went to high school and college, where she graduated with a degree in Economics (the cheerleader surprised me more, I got to say).  At 21, she did a Landmark course where 3 days into the workshop, she had the breakthrough that she was an artist.  She started to photograph and paint again, but wasn't sharing her work with others.  Moving to New Orleans, she visited a tarot card reader who told her she was an "artist" and then said, "her real work was as a healer.  She would heal people through her art." After this, she had the same struggles we all do when trying to define our creative lives; the epiphany was followed with the 'How am I going to do that?' Ten plus years later, this is how she defines her art.

"I am a healer and a storyteller and
I do my work with creative practices."

To explain and define more about what she does,
I am quoting what her 'Meet Andrea' section says..
I’m Andrea Scher, creator of Superhero Life — where we all learn together to use our voices, share our superpowers and live life in full color. As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

This is how I think she took the healer's proclamation and turned it into her career in four distinct ways: through storytelling on her blog and pod casts, through teaching one of her 8 original e-courses, through her certified coaching sessions, and through live events like "Storybowls" and "Opening the Creative Channel."  She has a specialty service for anyone that is thinking about creating their own e-course or e-book called Super Sonic Sessions.  This is an all day private session with her that you can start at any point in your process of development.  You can discuss things like table of contents, the content arc of the journey you want to take people on, and even the technical options of delivery. When I am ready to launch mine, I have her number.

I have done three of her courses: Mondo Beyondo, Superhero Photo & Treasure Hunt.  Her photography e-courses were some of my most favorite ones, because they didn't focus solely on technical aspects. They taught me theory, styling, new ways of looking at objects and lining up subject matter.  I got so inspired talking with her the other day that I signed up for Mondo Beyondo again because it's time for me to start reaching for new and bigger dreams, not just setting goals. This class teaches you how to "manifest the impossible."

When she teaches any course, she "wants it to be a waking up practice."  In the middle of one of her courses, I started to see the world in c-o-l-o-r and notice the nuisances in my daily life.  I learned how to tell my stories with not just words but to take the picture and then add the words. You don't have to be a photographer to take her photo classes or a writer to attend a Storybowl event.

"If you do not fancy yourself an artist, these classes are here to get you close to the edge of practicing courage by using a creative medium." 

Thank you Andrea for sharing yourself, finding how to heal us with your work, and taking the time to talk with me.  It was an opportunity for me to share another creative's journey to find their purpose.  My favorite blog post of yours was probably this one, and I want to tell you with the biggest fan girl scream, "I love you, man!"  Many hugs to your sweet, kind soul.

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