"Painter, Photographer, Muse, people inspirer"
The first time I met Denise was at the 2004 Artella retreat - to me she was the poster girl for Living Out Loud! She was an open, loud, sensual, laughing, wild, giving, loving, emotional artist.
Since then I've gotten to see that there is even more to Denise!
She has a broad knowledge and experience base. She has a brilliant mind - is able to blend logical and creative thinking seamlessly. And she's very articulate.
Where I would flounder - hands waving as if attempting to pull an idea down to SHOW it to her - Denise could clearly speak her ideas, visions and plans.
So now I see Denise as the poster girl for Blooming Brilliant and Highly Articulate Living Out Loud!
Denise loves teaching. She told me:
Part of my art is teaching. Teaching is an art. It doesn't matter what I teach - I can teach anything you ask me to teach. It's inspiration! I can inspire people to be creative.
That love of teaching - added to her love of creativity - drew Denise into being a muse. She is a certified muse group facilitator.
How Do You See Yourself as a Square-Peg?
In my attitude, creativity, humor, ability to live out loud, tell the truth...Most people don't live like that. Most people are afraid to speak the truth. I'm not afraid to speak my mind.
I feel like I can't squash into the confines of "normal". I'm comfortable being a Square-Peg.
What Has Been the Hardest For You as a Square-Peg?
All my life. As an adolescent - confusing time - I didn't want to be too different, but didn't want to be too much the same. I was judging myself ... maybe if I try to be a better _________________ (fill in the blank).
When I was in denial - I dulled myself down for awhile. My divorce was part of this. It's easy to forget who you are.
I asked Denise what brought her out of this hard part of her life -
Experience. Memory. Knowing what it feels like to try to fit in - what it's like NOT to be ok - these are cues.
When you remember who you really are you're not satisfying needs (in your head) that other people have. You have to remember to be present - unafraid to be outloud.
Tragedy - life changing events - divorce - and loss brought me back to myself. I had a long lull, which was a catalyst for the prolific times in life.
Denise said something that echoed what I've heard other interviewed Square-Pegs say:
As I get older - it's less and less about fitting in. I'm at a place where "fit" comes to me more - after a certain time you attract it more.
There's something there about inhabiting your own world - living fully as you are - and that kind of life seems to brings others of the same mindset/heartset your way.
How Do You Maintain Your Square-Pegness (in a round-hole world)?
My children. Wonderful people connections. People who really care - who appreciate me for who I am.
Another thing - trying things - taking steps outside myself. I've photographed myself all different ways - got a good, hard look inside and out. When you don't recognize who you are you can lose yourself.
I have a grounded sense of self love.
Laughing, Denise said: I'm a bit of a narcissist - I used to live like it was all about everybody else, but I've cycled out of that. I do focus on self. It's important to care about yourself.
What Is Your Favorite Square-Peg Trait?
my audacity - nuf said ;)
What Are Your Favorite books?
Laughing again, Denise said:
Twila Tharp's book, The Creative Habit : Learn It and Use It for Life.
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
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(Full Disclosure: we're affiliates of Amazon.com - so when you buy from the book links above you don't pay a penny more, but you help support Square-Peg People. Thanks!)