On the side with Senior Designer, Lucie Blaze

9 months ago by

This series profiles our DA Friends and the side projects they’re working on to develop new skills, test ideas, help people and communities or just do, for the love of it.

This week we heard from Lucie Blaze, Senior Designer at Spruik, on her creative side project, Born to Create. Born to Create is a series of panel discussions throughout the year which celebrate creativity in all its diverse forms.

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Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re up to during the work week.

Hey there, I’m Lucie, and I work as a Senior Designer at Spruik. By day, you’ll find me collaborating with my amazing team at the Spruik office, working on a variety of exciting design projects. But my creative journey doesn’t stop there. As soon as work wraps up, I head straight to my garage, where I immerse myself in analog sessions, unleashing through painting abstract images. I also squeeze in dance classes and make progress on my Psychosynthesis diploma tasks.

When the sun goes down, you might find me out and about with my mates, hitting up art exhibition openings, or just chilling at home with a good book (or five). Meeting new people is a genuine thrill for me, and those impromptu, off-the-cuff conversations often spark ideas for projects like Born to Create – one of my many passion-driven endeavours.

What does your day-to-day look like? Work rituals? Where in the design process do you spend most of your time? Research / Strategy / Designing / Client meetings etc

On Monday we start work with WIP where we share what we are working on and what needs to be done that week. On Friday we start the day with yoga and whoever wants to join us is welcomed.
I’ve got a set of rituals that keep me rooted, things I make sure to do every day.
Meditation, or spending time in silence, has been a part of my routine for years. It helps me sort through the clutter in my mind. Another daily practice is enjoying a cup of tea. I have this lovely tea pot that I use, and it becomes a moment of stillness for me.

Laughter is a must in my daily life, no matter how tough things get. Having rituals away from work makes me more present for my daily work tasks.

When it comes to design, my approach is quite intuitive. It’s something that has evolved naturally over my years as a designer. While I do appreciate the conceptual aspects, I’m very much a hands-on creator. Hand me shapes and colours, and I’m in my element. Designing is about doing for me.

On the side, we heard you’ve been working on some pretty cool events, Emotions in Motion and Emotions Through Cultures, Judgment and Vulnerability and Turn Your Pain into Inspiration. Can you tell us more about them?

These panel discussions are an integral part of my Born to Create project, which I founded in 2021. It all began with a collection of portraits featuring inspiring women on skateboards. Over time, it evolved into a magazine publication, followed by interviews, events that celebrate creativity in all its diverse forms, and now, these panel discussions. These discussions centre around themes that we contemplate as both creatives and as humans in general. Also, Born to Create is finalist in Best Design Awards in the category Public Good 

One of the key elements I explore is the role of emotions in creative expressions. It’s a crucial yet often overlooked aspect. Additionally, the issue of judgement in art is very real and can deter many of us. I wanted to delve into how we can remain authentic while confronting judgement in a vulnerable way, turning it into a source of motivation for change. Whose judgments do we allow to affect us, and why? Ultimately, I aim to uncover how we can transform potentially hurtful experiences, such as harsh judgments or difficult emotions, into powerful and even inspirational forces. We have a choice: we can either remain victims of circumstances or utilise them as catalysts for growth and self-empowerment.

Each panel features three remarkable panellists and a skilled moderator who guides the discussions. My intention was to gather individuals from diverse backgrounds, providing a platform for women and those who identify as non-binary to share their unique perspectives. I firmly believe that diversity enriches our thinking and pushes us beyond comfortable yet stagnant patterns, propelling us toward personal growth.

Bringing together 15 creative and inspiring individuals for these discussions was no small feat. Now, my mission is to spread the word and encourage people to attend these engaging events.

Moreover, on Friday, September 8th, there’s an exciting exhibition opening at the same location as these panels – 6 Nixon Street, near Ponsonby. The exhibition will showcase my abstract paintings, which are closely intertwined with the themes explored in these panels. You can find more details about the exhibition on the Facebook event page.

Talk to us about the catalysts behind these events, what stirred you to get them going?

I’ve recently embarked on a new series of paintings that act as a release for the emotions I’ve kept buried in the past. Last year, I hit a point of mental and emotional struggle and I needed a way to let it all out. Painting and dancing have always been my go-to outlets for this kind of expression. It was during these painting sessions that I found myself reflecting on the very themes that have now transformed into the focal points of my upcoming panel discussions.

I’ve noticed a certain taboo surrounding discussions about our internal lives, and I’m determined to break through it by bringing these conversations into the public space. 

Also, I’ve heard the phrase “I can’t do this, I’m not creative” far too many times. Yet, the truth is that creativity resides within each of us – it’s our very essence. Just because someone might struggle to draw a picture doesn’t mean they aren’t applying creative approaches to various aspects of their life.

I want  to challenge these preconceived notions of creativity. I think by cultivating an informed and inclusive community, we empower individuals to explore their own creative expressions authentically. 

I’ve successfully organised four Born to Create events so far. During these gatherings, each speaker was given the opportunity to share their unique perspective on creativity within their respective fields. These events laid a strong foundation and set the stage for what’s to come with the panel discussions. 

Have you joined up with anyone else to help bring these events into fruition?

I’m truly thankful to Ockham Collective for generously allowing me to use their Nix space, a venue they often utilise for music classes and other art-related activities connected with their artist residents.

The moderators for these discussions are incredibly vital, as they will steer the entire discourse. I’m grateful to Sonia Wilson, a multi-talented musician; Jeniffer Zea, an artist, musician, and creative workshops facilitator; and Amanda Betts, a mentor, coach, and former supermodel and model agent, for committing to these events.

Currently, I’m in search of sponsors for refreshments and food, and once that’s sorted, I can relax a bit. My previous event was hosted by Watermark Creative, and it turned out to be a success. I want to extend my gratitude to Bettina and Dave for their immense help and generosity in the organisation.

I must also acknowledge the support of my entire team at Spruik. I consider myself fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

Why do you do it (have a side project while working as a full time designer )? What drives your motivation, love for your side project?

I constantly find myself pondering, “What’s next?”. I’m always seeking ways to bring people together, to bridge connections between those who might not have connected otherwise. For me, diversity is where new seeds are sown, paving the way for entirely fresh ideas to blossom. 

I noticed that by nurturing my passions and interests out-of-work, I’m less inclined to seek validation solely from my work achievements. That leads to my more grounded and authentic presence in the workspace

I’ve written a personal manifesto that captures what creativity signifies to me and fuels my endeavours.

Unleash your creativity.

Free it from conditioning and self-restrictions.

Replace it with curiosity and experiments.

Reclaim your own creativity.

Do something different every day.

Use your senses, your imagination, and your intellect.

Think wild!

We are all artists and creators of our own lives.

Let’s empower each other.

Let’s share our insights, our ways of making things.

Create something you love for the love of creating,

for the love of life.

We are all born to create.

Lastly, where can people keep up with your events and any other side projects you’ve got simmering away?

My website https://www.born-to-create.org/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/born_to_create_lucieblaze
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/borntocreatebylb/
Eventbrite  https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/o/lucie-blaze-17131691221

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