Story and Horse

The Philosophy of Creativity with Patrick Williams

March 26, 2022 Hilary Adams Season 1 Episode 22
Story and Horse
The Philosophy of Creativity with Patrick Williams
Show Notes Transcript

The Philosophy of Creativity with Patrick Williams

Today, award-winning painter, sculpture, writer and Budōka Patrick Williams joins us to talk about his Philosophy of Creativity, the importance of arts in education, and how creativity is our first language. He shares his personal artistic origin story, which was based in a great loss and an equally large gift, and discusses his soon-to-be completed book, with a working title of
Why We Need the Arts

Guest Bio:
Patrick Williams is a passionate and inspiring public speaker, consultant, writer, artist, independent scholar, and visionary educator. He has over 4 decades of experience teaching and facilitating deep learning to a wide range of audiences, including as a TEDx  speaker. 

Patrick is and an award winning artist who has exhibited throughout the USA, Japan, and China.  His art is in public and private collections, and he has been represented by galleries in Chicago, Seattle, Omaha, and Albuquerque. 

Patrick holds black belts in Karate-Dō and Aikidō with decades of experience training and teaching Budō.  His comprehension, experience, expertise, and synthesis of creativity and innovation is unparalleled.  Patrick is the founder and president of Satori Innovation: A Consulting and Ideation Accelerator.

Connect with Patrick:
Websites:
www.patrickwilliamsstaycreative.com
www.patrickwilliams.com
www.celebrationflowerpaintings.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-michael-williams/
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/pmwcreativity/
https://www.instagram.com/pmw_camera/
Watch Patrick's TEDx Talk

Host Hilary Adams is an award-winning theatre director, creative coach and founder of Story and Horse. She is all about supporting creative expression and sharing stories with the world. If you are a creative professional who could use a personal coach in your corner, drop her a note.

Connect with Story and Horse
www.storyandhorse.com
Facebook: @storyandhorse
Instagram: @storyandhorse

Support the show

Outro:

Welcome to Story and Horse, a podcast where we hear stories from creative lives. Meet new people, hear about their challenges and triumphs, and get inspired to move forward with your creativity. Now, here's your host, Hilary Adams.

Hilary Adams:

Hello, thanks for joining me here on the Story and Horse podcast. I'm your host, Hilary Adams, and I'm a creative coach, theater director and the founder of Story and Horse. I offer intuitive personalized coaching for creative professionals, including options with horses. And here on the podcast, we share stories from Creative lives. Today we are joined by Patrick Williams. Patrick is the CEO of Satori Innovation. And he is a painter a draw-er, a sculptor, a writer and a Budoka. Thanks so much for joining me here today.

Patrick Williams:

I'm happy to be here, Hilary.

Hilary Adams:

So Patrick, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you're up to.

Patrick Williams:

Sure. I am a visual artist, I'm now a writer. I do public speaking and, and consulting for creativity. My wife and I have run a nonprofit for 21 years. And and recently, I've delved into the world of startups, building a business on mentoring and coaching and, and facilitating people's rediscovery of creativity.

Hilary Adams:

So tell us a little bit about what what your creativity what your creative expression is. Clearly you have multiple forms of it.

Patrick Williams:

Yeah, so I do indeed, I, I started out drawing. And that's kind of the, when we get to that, if this may be the moment of it's sort of my origin story. So I, I drawn since I was 10. And I taught myself to draw I taught myself to paint at 15. And, and that has been, in a way, as well as martial arts, the Budo is another way to say it's actually translated as martial ways. Bu is martial than do is the way so Budo is martial way, essentially, martial arts. But those two factors were super guiding and important in my life, from art. Early on, and then martial arts, I began training in, in college. And then I actually taught and in a couple different arts. But so so my life has been built around mostly around art, and, and teaching. So I was I never necessarily was an art teacher, like certified with a degree, but I taught art in community centers, and, and, and private lessons and, and special events. For quite a few years, I did artists in residence and visiting artists programs, sort of all the way through my 20s and bits and pieces into my 30s. And then at 40 is when my wife and I met, and, and then we started our nonprofit, which is an arts and education organization. So my whole life has been deeply inside of, of creativity and creative world.

Hilary Adams:

Hmm. And I know that before we started recording, you were saying that the visual arts was sort of your primary form of expression for since you were little Is that correct?

Patrick Williams:

Yes.

Hilary Adams:

Yeah. And so you recently wrote a book, however, so

Patrick Williams:

yes,

Hilary Adams:

yeah. So what is the title of your book?

Patrick Williams:

So it's, it's 80% Done. And I'm just getting back into reengaging with it, it's been on hold for a little bit. We moved recently and you know, there's family stuff that had been going on so I'm, I'm happy to be back into it. The the working title is Why We Need the Arts. So it's, I have over this the course of the last Maybe 10 years, I've started to think and conceptualize a what I'm calling a philosophy of creativity. So with that, I've then started to craft this manuscript that is framework around the idea that since all of us learn through creativity, play and our imagination, then those attributes that we bring to our play, or that when we're children, and that when that we bring to our creativity and our imagination, all of those are what I consider our first language, because we have it before we learn to speak, we know how to play, before we know how to speak, we know how to play and be creative, before we crawl, walk, and do all these other things. So my philosophy is that those are our guiding core ways in which we understand the world. And those attributes, like communication, like frustration, even, these are all things that are endemic to our play, you know, we don't know that we just do it, right. So there, you can certainly really relate to there are very remarkable qualities to theater, that when we're children, we know, we won't have to make believe when we're kids. So that skill is directly related to when you started to develop as as a performer, but those attributes I believe, are central to learning. All learning. So the the qualities that we know as little children when we're playing and when we're being creative, should be and can be directly implemented in people's, in children's learning mathematics and children's learn on social studies or children. Learning in general, if we if we rely on their strengths, which play and creativity and imagination, our children's strengths, they're our biggest strengths. Instead of trying to teach them a second language, which is academics, we can all learn that naturally, suddenly, when you're 6,7,8 years old, academics suddenly become like, that's all there is. But it is it is so primary to so all of us, when we were children. We didn't, we didn't try to play we just played it was our natural connection to the world. And that play was always creative. It was always imaginative. You know, you put you take 100 kids from 100 different places in the world, and you stick them together, and they will invent games. Non stop, you know, so, so this is, I feel so I'm obviously you can tell I'm passionate about this, that that we we can't allow this is pure resource that we all have. When we're we're born with it. It's innate. It's our humaneness, to be playful, to be creative and to be to use our imaginations. So it we, we have to learn how to keep that intact with children. And in the manuscript, I describe how I believe that gets interrupted. So I, I have come up with these I coined these terms, creative colonization, creative collapse, and the creative void. And that encapsulates what happens to lots of children. You are lucky, I'm lucky because we pass through all that creative colonization, and I'll explain that in a second. And we retained our creativity, we retained our play in our imagination. And many people and I'm sure you've heard the stories being an artist. You hear People say I could never be on stage or I could never, you know, learn a script, or I could never do this or do that. And, and I hear the, I can't draw a straight line, you know, blah, blah, blah, whatever it might be, you know, and, and I listened. And I always say I, we all have our gifts, we all have creativity, I'm, you know, everybody has something inside them, you can learn how to draw, if you want to draw, just take some time, as we all know, when you're 678 years old, in school, is when academics start to become more emphasis addicts, I've, I've been less than the classroom for quite a while, but, you know, from what I've read, and what I'm familiar with is that, you know, there's, there aren't a lot of, of opportunities for kids to be in free play, which is super important. Art, or, or make believe play needs to be free. If, if you're given a, a outline of a house, and a garden, and a tree, and you're told to color it in, that is a math project, more than it is a art project, right? You're learning to stay in the line. So you're learning to follow directions and, and, and such, it's not hard when you're when the child is given a piece of paper. And here are some crayons, and you say, do whatever you want, that is art, okay? When when they when you're told to create a play, and the kids create a play, like right there in the middle of the room. That's art. So in, often in schools around seven, eight years old, that's when academics become more and more pressurized, so to speak. And I call an AI the term is is somewhat intense, because I believe it needs to be intensive, it needs to get captured people's attention, that I call it creative colonization. So when we think back to any of the world empires, colonizing other parts of the world, literally they went in and, and pressurize the people that live there into a new modality of living. Right. So you're in are pressurised into academics, over their creativity in place. So that's why I call it a type of colonization, they're, they're being stripped of their natural language, they're being stripped of their natural culture in how they relate to the world, which is exactly what has happened to too many, you know, peoples indigenous peoples around the world. So, so we all have experienced these different levels of colonization, creative colonization, some of them are more intense, some of them are less invasive, but they're, they're happening. We, you know, think back to any part of your education, except maybe kindergarten or first grade. And we have lots of memories of like, Oh, I wish I could just be outside playing on those. Those first days of school when you're like, oh, look, I want to be out there. So, so the creative colonisation happens to us and various degrees. And then I call what happens next? At some point, there's a creative collapse. And I've heard many stories, you probably have heard stories of people you met, or friends that suddenly just stop playing the guitar. They stopped drawing, they stopped acting may have been super into the plays in Junior High in high school and in college. It's like, no, and they were good. You know, oh, my God, they had so much talent. So whenever it happens, it could happen when you're seven. It could happen when you're at any age. That creative collapse happens when either an event happen. A teacher said, that's not a tree you can't color a tree purple and orange. No, that looks horrible and shows the class this is this is not how you draw a tree and boom, children are so powerful in their ability to decide things, that if if a child decides, I will never draw again, because of Mr. So and So or Mrs. So and so said to me, that it is granite, it's like chiseled in granite, until possibly something really animates their, their connection to creativity. So, after so creative, colonization is always happening, it happens in the home, it happens in schools and happens out in the wide world. And creative collapse happens, it could be a moment, or it could be just attrition, you know, after the 20th time, so and so says, You can't act like well, whatever, I must not be able to act or I can't play the violin, you know. So after that moment, whenever there's the decision, to not make art to not play or not use our imaginations anymore, I call that the creative void. That can that can last for, you know, a day, a week, a month, a year, or it sadly happens to last most people's lives. So and I think that people connect to their creativity in, in sort of a, a sideways level. They, they play the in an instrument. They say they played the saxophone when they were in junior high and high school, and they really loved it. But something collapsed their creativity. But they go to every Jazz Festival that they can they listen, they have a huge library of saxophone players. So there's a way that their their psyche is keeping the connection to their creativity, but it's, but it's through somebody else, right? So so people experience the creative void, and then through whatever it might be, through your work through my work. Just a moment when when somebody says, Oh, referring to this imaginary person who loves to play the saxophone, a friend is like going through his, his family's garage and find two saxophones. And, and just happens to say, you know, I got these two saxophones, I don't know what to do with them, I'm going to donate them somewhere and the guy, the woman, or the guy says, Oh, I'll take them and can take the saxophone and starts playing around, you know, and then that re engages them. So but it usually takes on kind of spark some kind of some some level of energy that's bigger than the energy that kept them down. Right. So and that's part of what I have done all through my life, you know, speaking to people and always encouraging people, whatever it is, if it's theater, awesome, if it's architecture, great if it's dance, super, if it's poetry, awesome. And, and just nudging them, you know, it's like, Oh, yeah. So that's, I've done that throughout my entire life. You know, that some of the the work that we've done in our nonprofit, and then a few years ago, I'm like, oh, you know, what, I was hanging around with a bunch of people who were doing startup ideas and, and in the business world, and I was in Boulder and Boulder is, like, you know, a mecca of startup, mostly tech stuff, but, but, but I was starting to get more involved and listening to people and talking to people and I realized that most entrepreneurs are sort of like, artists. You know, they, they're obsessive. They just focus on that idea all the time. They don't get a lot of sleep. There some sometimes they're not eating really well, you know, I've been there. I've lived that life. All these things that that are kind of like wow, you know, entrepreneurs are sort of artists like And there's a connection to the, the inventor, world and lifestyle that's similar. So I thought, You know what I could, I couldn't maybe help these folks. And then I started them, I started reading about the business world and about how how businesses get stuck and how they try to innovate. And they try these things. And they try these methodologies. And I'm thinking, Well, why isn't that working very well, you know, why? Why are all these people talking about creativity. But I thought, I don't think that they really understand. Not, not that any of us understand what creativity actually is. But a bunch of us understand how we step into that landscape. Right? We know how we have a special visa, that lets us enter that realm whenever we want. And, and I realize that these these folks that are in the innovation world, they there's a huge part of what they're trying to do with innovation, that is reliant on creativity. And, and I felt, I still feel like they can't quite comprehend how to be creative. So that's, that's the kind of the the impetus of my startup business, Satori, Innovation is to, to assist people in how to reconnect with what they had when they were children. Because, in a way, the easy part is that, I know that all people are creative. Everybody has that creative spark, because they were all children. And, you know, there are a few circumstances when children are incapable of play, but those are very rare. And they're awful, right? They're, like, very scary situations of, so I know that all children are, are playful. So you're an adult, you were a child, you played so you can play now, you use your imagination, and you can use your imagination, now you use your creativity, then you can use your creativity. Now, the process is, I don't know what that process is for any particular person. But I can assist people, excuse me, in discovering a lot of different ways in which to set up both their environment and parts of their life, to reconnect with their creativity. And part of what is important is for people to remember, and to contemplate and to, you know, free associate about their play when they were children. And also what I I tried to emphasize which is difficult, which you may come across this also is that when, when we're talking about creativity, most people, the only thing that they can think about is art, whatever the job, you know, acting, painting, writing, dancing, whatever, that's all they can think about. And I'm not, I love it, but that's not my concern. My concern is about their creativity, rather than the art. The art is art is easy for all of us to understand that. That's creative. It's more difficult for people to understand that when they pick out their clothing in the morning. That's creative. I mean, it's it's not the same as as the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Right? But it is creative. The way they get to work is creative, what they choose to eat, that day is creative. There are these levels of creativity that once people start to realize that, Oh, I do decide things in a creative way. I do approach I have this client that I'm needing to approach differently, because they don't seem to be on the same page anymore with me. How can I talk to them in a, in a more successful way. So that his core creativity, I believe, and and that's what I think people are longing for. There's a in in my TEDx talk, I talk about how I believe our our loss of creativity is like a sliver in our soul that it haunts us most of our life, if we haven't been lucky enough to, to keep in contact with it, and keep in relationship with it. So that's the that's the essence.

Hilary Adams:

I think that's amazing. I think I love the idea of the philosophy of creativity. And to me that it speaks to like the philosophy of life, because because as yours, I love that also the framing of it as a first language, because it's a powerful language. And it's a it's a language to me when children play, and they use their imagination, and they're going through all of those natural instincts and expressions, they're practicing life is what they're doing at that point. And they're practicing a very powerful set of tools for life. And instead of encouraging that, and nurturing those and applying those to the academics, and then also further into life skills, both as young people and as adults, like you said, like, there's this colonization, there's this collapse of it, there's a void that they end up in, where and so in a way, what we're doing is removing the power from children, right, you know, from from their natural way of being in this world. And then, as you were saying, as adults, the work you and I and many other people do is about helping people reconnect with this first language, whether it's in an artistic, traditional artistic expression, or whether it's in their daily life expression. I've had a lot of people on this podcast who do things like make biscuits, or candle makers, and people who are raising children, things that are highly creative, daily life activities. You know, it's about applying that philosophy of creativity and getting to express it as you can, and just starting to make time and space for it in a way that works within your life and lifestyle. And knowing that, that then has this sort of bleed over into the rest of your life that as you start to re engage with that creativity, as you said, like everything, you sort of have a first language that you get to start working in the world with again, and it's I think it's I agree, I think it's our most powerful language. And I think it's the way that we are designed, if you will, to it's the way we're made to work and be in this world.

Patrick Williams:

Absolutely, yeah.

Hilary Adams:

So would you like to share a short story with us?

Patrick Williams:

sure.

Hilary Adams:

You're creative world. I know, you've got many of them.

Patrick Williams:

Yeah, I have a whole bunch. And what's interesting is, when I first started, when I was encouraged by my wife to start writing, writing, I'm a I journal every day, and I journal every day, since 1999, when we first met it was a big step for me to think that, Oh, I do have stories. And once I started, like thinking of like, oh, that's a really good story. Oh, that's a good story. So I started making a list of stories to write to, to use in the manuscript, but also, when so in so that, I'm segwaying into the origin story, but I, I thought to call it that, for today, of, of my creativity, and, and I came across this when I was when I had gotten a spot to be in the TEDx cu lineup in I was accepted in 2015. And our talk was in April of 2016. So I had been writing for a little bit, and with the idea of it being a manuscript, just the beginning of my conception of it, so I had gathered a few stories and I had written a few that I had put on my websites, and one of those was called the woods and was about me growing up out in the country north of Omaha, and the woods that was literally right outside the driveway, you know, on the other side of the driveway, and there was a a, a trail that went back, like a two lane path that went back to an area that my father rented land to raise corn for, for feed corn usually. And in between that area and our house was it was like 200 acres of woods

Hilary Adams:

Wow,

Patrick Williams:

just raw nature. And that was my refuge. Right? It was both my joy to play there. But it was also my way to escape the hardship at home, you know, home was there's a lot of neglect and, and alcoholism was one of the big issues. And so it was my place to go. And so all my life up until 2015, I would talk about how awesome the woods were. And I would often talk about when people would ask, you know, when did you start getting? When did you know you were an artist, and I would say, at about age 10. And it wasn't until 2015 When I started thinking about all these stories and how they interrelate that I realized that because I started thinking, what, what was it that happened when I was 10 that sparked this, like, I was always drawing when I was in school and at home, my mom has little watercolors that I did when I was three years old. She saved on paper when she'd be making bread, and I'd be at the kitchen table, making these little watercolors. So I had always been making art, I'd always been drawing and interested in it. But something happened when I was 10. And it wasn't until I was putting these things together, that I realized that it was when I was 10 that these woods were destroyed.

Hilary Adams:

Oh, wow.

Patrick Williams:

They were literally pushed over by bulldozers into huge heaps and set on fire to then put in an interstate. So interstate 680, which was a, I can't think of the name they not auxilary. But secondary interstate that goes around the city of Omaha, they just happen to choose my backyard basically, to put this woods in to put this Interstate in where the woods were. So when I was about 10 I, you know, all this was going on. And I remember my sister was visiting, she had been living in Germany. And she had a two year old and she was pregnant with her, her daughter at the time. And my other sister and my mom walked out, walked down the two lane path to the edge of the decimation. And we sit there and cry.

Unknown:

So I realized that, oh, that's when I started to completely focus on making art. That it was it was markedly different. Because at that point, I decided I was an artist, and I was going to figure out how to draw, I didn't have the the conception as a 10 year old to be like, I'm going to figure out how to paint, I somehow knew that figuring out how to draw was the first step. That's what I started doing everything, I started to try to figure out how to make a hand look like a hand how to make a cup or ball look like a ball. And just dove into that. And it was the loss of the woods that I believe sparked this, this quality inside me that just amped up, you know, it was both a sense of, of all the joy I had in the woods, climbing the trees and running around and just raw nature, and then the tremendous loss of them being just pushed over and burned. I think I just grabbed that and, and made it my own. You know, I it was both kind of I look at it as a kind of honoring them. All all of that which they taught me as, as, as my surrogate family in a way. They gave me all this. And you know, of course, I wasn't conceptualizing this as a 10 year old. But now when I look back, it's like oh, yeah, that makes total sense that I that I dove into something. And I was thinking of this before we connected this morning. I was thinking about how so often it seems not necessarily 10 year olds, but it happens that that could have gone a very bad way. You know, it could have gone into severe depression and and self harming or, or the start abuse of some kind, you know, chemical abuse or whatever I mean, back in those days, there wasn't a lot of access for that to happen, but I'm just thankful that for whatever reason, that divine so something got transferred from all of those trees to me I that's what I that's how I make sense of it now how I, you know, it's still devastating, you know, I see a, I see a tree being cut down now and it's just like, oh, I can feel it's heart wrenching. You know. So, that's the, then that that fueled in a way the, the TEDx talk, it's how I, I entered into that space of a, you know, the that sense of, at some point, you got to grab the audience, you know, like, if that doesn't happen, it's, it's the the performance, the whole theater people just get like, like a slowly sinking ship. We missed the moment. Don't have them, you know, and you feel when when the audience isn't Connect? Yeah, right. So I knew I, I knew I needed something to grab people's attention, about loss, and about something which can be found. And that's, to me, that's what creativity is, it's something that, you know, that many people lose, but all of us can refined, it can restore. And that, you know, I kind of, you know, I gave bits and pieces about what that led to, after the after I dove into drawing. And then teaching myself how to paint, which was a wild, wild step. So it's in an eye, and I feel like, I feel like the loss that I experienced with the woods is somehow similar to what I feel people lose when they lose their creativity and hence the passion. So...

Hilary Adams:

thank you. That's a beautiful story. I'm sorry for the loss of the trees. It sounds like they give you a gift.

Patrick Williams:

They did. Yeah, it's a gift that I'll always have. You know, it was like a second family in a way. And there's still a tree that that exists. One of my favorite trees was actually on my parents property. And my mom and dad bought the place in 1950, when they were married. And we sold after my mother died in 2007. We sold the family place and and the tree is still there. I haven't driven by since we've moved back. I hope a tree is still there. But it was this huge, huge oak tree. 40 feet tall probably. And I could once I figured out how to climb it, because it took me it took me until I was a little bit stronger and more tenacious, I guess to get up into the street. So I was probably 12 By the time I could climb that tree. I could climb lots of other trees back in the woods. And but what's interesting is that if if I climbed as far up as I possibly could, I could see Iowa. So we're we're five miles from the river. Where were my folks group where I grew up. And I eventually married a woman from Iowa that grew up right near that area. Well, somewhat close to to the area that I could see so so that was that's always like this very cool premonition of my future that I was kind of searching for all the way back then. I think that trees still it's a huge old old oak tree, you know, it has to be, well, it must be 100 plus years old. So...

Hilary Adams:

that's a beautiful story. There are so many things we could talk about, we'll have to do a part two of this, I have so many, so many things. We haven't talked at all about how people can reach you. And so what? How can people connect with you?

Patrick Williams:

Sure. My, my art, I have two art websites. So in a way, it's kind of my, my gravitas or my my cred. My street cred is people looking at my art and hopefully, you know, people will say, Oh, wow, he, he does know something about painting and creativity. So Patrick williams.com is my main art site that I have a small selection of work on, you know, there's a decent amount of work, but it's, I have a lot of work over the years. And celebration flower paintings is a website with only flower paintings on it. And a painting of a cat, or, or first or first cat that my wife had before we were married. And but then we had for years after that. And then my my business site, my startup business site is is can be found at Patrick Williams stay creative.com, which is a mouthful. But if you type in Satori Innovation, it will pop up that way, also, and my email is Patrick at Patrick williams.com. So emailing me is is the best way to, to connect.

Hilary Adams:

I will put all of those links in the show notes. Okay. Before I wrap up, um, do you have a tip? Know you have several of these, but do you have an inspiration take away something to offer to the listeners if they're interested in you know, nurturing, connecting, reconnecting with their creativity?

Patrick Williams:

Absolutely. My, one of my largest encouragement for people is to purchase, whether, at first, well, I was going to show you but nobody can see that. So for people to purchase a journal, and begin journaling, not on a computer, not on a little note, you know, pad kind of app on a phone, but purchasing a blank journal, and starting to, I highly encourage daily journaling find it can be two minutes, you'd be surprised at how much you could write in two minutes. Everybody has two minutes. At some point during the day, people have two minutes to write. But I highly encouraged people to start writing in a journal because a journal is a repository of our life that we can hold in a sacred way. Just for us, nobody, it's nobody else's business. Nobody else will read these. They're only for us. So we it's it's it's it's permission for us to write down all those things that we're feeling thinking, wishing for hoping within, you know, anything and everything. And it will become something ideally, that you that a person can reflect back on. So it becomes a kind of personal history that you can reflect back on. You can say, You know what I've been? I've been working on this project for a year. Let me go back and, and look at how I progressed because sometimes or a lot of times when you're inside of a project, hmm, like, I'm, I'm not getting anywhere, but if you go back six months, it's like, oh my gosh, I've gotten so far. I was lost then I know a little bit more now. So journalists do that the kind of the big takeaway for me is, I, as I move into doing work with people, it's it's one of the main requirements for reconnecting to creativity. But you know, it's one of those things that it's, you, you mentioned it earlier, this is not just for people's creativity, this is for their life. Journaling assists your entire life, to have a place where you can put it down and think things through, you know, we all think, think things through, but, you know, maybe because I'm super visual, my thinking is, you know, it's just over here, and then over there and over there. And if, if I don't have time to like, write it into my journal, then it's just going to scatter off some, which is fine with most things. But it's like, oh, that was a really good thought, I need to write this down. And I and I also have lots of little papers like this. I have 1000s and 1000s of those that I write ideas down and, and, you know, you know, I have one that says, when I'm supposed to be on your podcast, you know, everything, grocery lists, all those things. So, so I'm very, very focused on writing things down and, and I believe it needs to be a pen in hand on paper. Because there's, there's a, there's something special that happens when you are making letters and words. I believe. That's my, that's my takeaway.

Hilary Adams:

Thank you.

Patrick Williams:

Sure.

Hilary Adams:

I really appreciate it. Can you just tell me why - I'd love to know why flowers.

Patrick Williams:

Oh, that's all that was one of my stories. Yeah.

Hilary Adams:

The podcast, part two, the short,

Patrick Williams:

the short version is I was standing at the Golden Pavilion in Japan, with a karate a friend. We were there for a giant tournament in 1991. And he and I had gotten away from Tokyo to do a little traveling see a friend. We're standing at this place July, it's hot sweating. And Pat, he says, this is this trip is going to change your art. And I said no way that quickly, that emphatically. And my lesson was never ever say no way that quickly when somebody says something like that, because I get home from Japan. And I'm like, Oh, look at that bone. I think I'm gonna paint that bone. Look at that shell. That's a cool shell. I'm going to paint it because I had all these little things that I collected all over my studio. And then I looked at a flower and I thought I can paint that I'm gonna see if I can paint that. And that just exploded. So I had sold from 20 From 19 I'm in the last century from 1974 to 1991. I never painted anything realistic. Never tried. And then suddenly this trip when my friend said this is going to change your art. I started painting I started painting flowers I painted bones I painted shells. And then painted flowers and I painted maybe 150 flowers and and my wife and I have I think we have three three left. The others have been you know given away or sold or

Hilary Adams:

so do you know was that it was at the intuitive hit by your friend like just the dispatches had this feeling?

Patrick Williams:

I guess? I never I never really I I have to ask him you know? I never thought of asking him it's like why do you why did you say that? I just wanted to like know forget about it. Are you kidding me? I'm not that kind of artist. You know so. So but I loved it. You know and it came we we had a big studio 2000 square foot studio in Chicago that we had our nonprofit in we did. Hip Hop performances, dance performances, film performances, visual art shows. We did mentoring there. We did awesome. kinds of stuff there. And I would paint there too. Sometimes, I was doing a flower. And one of the kids, kids, one of the college students that we were mentoring, walked into the studio and stood behind me for like, I don't wait 15 minutes. And he walked around and I said, Oh, Aaron, what's up? And he said, wow, it's like, you just show up. And it happens. And, and that is exactly how flowers have always come out of me. I just, I make a have some yellow ochre wash, and I make the outline. And then I just start, like, at one end, one corner and paint all the way around. And then it's done. So they, they've always they've been, like, a kind of blessing that emerges out of me.

Hilary Adams:

I'm struck by the fact it's another natural element like your woods.

Patrick Williams:

Yes, true. Yeah, I think you're right. That's a great insight. Yeah. Thank you for that. That's beautiful. Yeah, it is truly it's a way that I've that that nature connection. Came comes out of me. Thank you for that.

Hilary Adams:

Well, thank you, I have - we're gonna have to do a That was great. part two, I have so many questions. So if people want to reach you, again, they have with multiple websites, and they're going to be in the show notes. And you said email was the best way for them to connect with you.

Patrick Williams:

Patrick williams.com

Hilary Adams:

Patrickwilliams.com calm and you can connect from there. And if people have a business or a startup or something where they feel like they could use some creative assistance with some mentorship, that is something that you're available for. I mean, so they can, yeah, so they can connect with you there also along with individuals. And your TEDx talk will be linked to also in the show notes so people can refined some creativity through that.

Patrick Williams:

I have not not. For part two, I can tell the the trepidation of the beginning of my TEDx talk.

Hilary Adams:

Oh, yeah, we'll have to tell that story.

Patrick Williams:

It's a good one, because it's relatively, there's definitely funny parts of it. And hiding under a bag of potatoes.

Hilary Adams:

Do you just say you are hiding under a bag of potatoes

Patrick Williams:

contemplating hiding under a bag of potatoes.

Hilary Adams:

I know, I've heard that TEDx can be pretty high pressure. So I look forward to that story among several others.

Patrick Williams:

I have so much. I have so much respect for all of you in theater of memorizing an entire play.

Hilary Adams:

Yeah, that's a whole skill set.

Patrick Williams:

Yeah, it's impressive.

Hilary Adams:

And there's a lot of different creative ways to go about it. Speaking of creativity, so yeah, absolutely. So if everyone listening, please, make sure you check out the show notes or figure out how to connect with Patrick. And if you'd like to connect with Story and Horse, you can find us at storyandhorse.com and Facebook and Instagram @storyandhorse. And Patrick, thank you again so much for being with me here today.

Patrick Williams:

Thank you so much, Hilary.

Hilary Adams:

And everyone who's listening. Thanks for joining us stay creative, and if you can help support somebody else's creativity. And I look forward to you joining me for the next episode of the Story and Horse podcast. Thanks, Patrick.

Patrick Williams:

Thank you.

Outro:

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