My Creative Community: Amanda Viviers

I met Amanda around 1999 and she inspired me then, and now. She was a part of my journey into becoming an author and has become a dear friend and confidant. This short interview hardly scrapes the surface of the amazing creativity of this lady.

 

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About Amanda:

Amanda Viviers is a writer,  innovator, curator and collector of green tea cups. She is a novice mum, knitter, sewer and crochet addict. She loves creativity, spirituality, cooking and often combines all three. Author of “Capture 30 days of inspiration 1 & 2”and “30 merry days”, she has been in professional musical theatre shows, produced many large scale events in Western Australia and overseas.

She worked on staff at Riverview Church for 12 years working with the creative portfolio, the youth, young adults and children’s leaders, serving on the leadership team and as creative director.

Amanda writes daily on her blog www.capture30days.com and is a presenter on radio for www.kinwomen.com a network created especially for women.

She was a finalist in the Telstra Young Business Woman of the year and Community Services Awards. She is passionate about social justice and working with children in the slums of Thailand and Indonesia.

Wife of Charl, and novice Mum of Maximus, she lives a creative life, longing to see people lived inspired.

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When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up? 

A ballet teacher, a writer, a singer, a fashion designer or a nun. Actually I think I believed for a long time I could be all of them at the same time. Maybe I am.

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What have been some of the detours you’ve taken along the way?

I haven’t really had any detours, really. Every part of my life has enabled the life I now live.

I love the poem from the ever enigmatic J. R. R Tolkien

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

 Every one of my journeys has created memories and moments that fuel my creativity today.

What did it take to discover to your unique voice? Have you found it yet?

One of my fondest after school memories was sitting down at my overlocker, with my best friend in the whole entire world, in our bra’s and knickers, making outfits to wear out that weekend. We would sew a little, try on our creation, sew a little more, turn up the music, sew a bit more. I made my own debutante ball dress— I made my year eleven and year twelve ball dresses, my own bathers, clothes, anything I needed I made. I think it was moments and seasons like this— where my Mum didn’t stop me from using her expensive tools—but created a free space of expression, that created a creative boldness that I have never forgotten.

My mum would take me to theatre auditions when I was five years old and let me run free on the stage. She was an amazing actor and singer as well, so I grew up falling asleep under the theatre pews  listening to Rodgers and Hammenstein as my lullaby. I had no routine or strict schedule, my life was one big creative playground.

I watched my mum play a red electric guitar at Catholic Mass, I smelled cakes baking at 3am as she cooked for the cafe she started and I literally rolled around in a warehouse of fabrics as she started a Fabric Warehouse. I have never known a time in my whole life where creativity was not a language that we spoke, sung and revelled in.

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What have you mastered? Are there tasks, skills, or opportunities you’ve had to develop, or that you are still developing, in your field?

I am definitely a work in progress. I’m hopeless with grammar. I flit from one creative explosion to another. I am an innovation junkie, always looking for my next fix. I hope to be ever learning and never arrive at a comfortable place.

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If you had all the time and money in the world, what would you do? 

Finish my Masters Degree

Build an outrageous studio on a farm somewhere and run creative retreats

Find a proper publisher and release all the admin of my projects to them

Run a creative arts academy for little people

Travel the world exploring the creative cultures and languages of every country

Start a cafe, that is more like a local arts hub, with workshops, great food, a free public library, a gallery with art exhibitions rolling and family atmosphere for kids to play and express themselves

Be in a musical theatre show again

Publish 25 books

I think I should probably stop, I could keep writing this list all day long. They are all on my bucket list.

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What change would you like to see in the world?

Where do I begin?

Firstly see a revolution of creative kindness. Where every child loses their sense of fear and stays in a place of wonder and free expression, till they find their unique voice.

I think I would kill the internet. Seriously. I love it and hate it at the same time. It is changing the way we communicate and not for the better. Children are losing their imagination. We have more information and less knowledge.

I would make our local libraries in our communities the hub of the community, with free coffee and play parks and noise. Loud, crazy music and noise. Make them colourful and attractive, not monuments to days gone by, that feel cold and terrible and uninviting. A revolution of reading for our next generation.

I would advocate for young women who have lost their innocence and petition for the end of slavery. I would create programs that help young women see their creative expression and their amazing flare, that makes them absolutely unique. I have seen creativity heal young people who have been exploited. I would change the world one child at a time, by helping them find their voice. Creative education. Creative opportunity, teaching them how to think, not what to think.

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In what you are doing, how are you changing your piece of the world through your creativity?

The main way I am doing it at the moment, is staying home with my son. A massive change for me, but I cannot go out and change the world, unless I begin with one person at a time and that person in my now is my son Maximus the brave and his soon to be born little sister. If I cannot change and minister to my own family, I cannot live the large life that I desire.

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If you had one day left, how would you spend it?

In the slums of Thailand, sitting on a dirty floor, with my husband, my son and the community there, with a blank canvas and a pile of paints. I’d eat stir fry on the floor, we’d sweat from the heat, breathe in the crazy smells from the sewers, hear the sounds of the traffic and the people. We would be in heaven.

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Describe a typical day in your creative life?

It starts with a quick listen to the news as I drink my coffee—I like to feel connected to what is happening in the world. Then I will eat my vegemite on toast whilst watching a crazy children’s show with my son. We turn the tv off after a little while and turn up the music. Then we often go across the road to the beach, or to a dancing class or build lego. Then I get a few house jobs done or mostly will flick through instagram/ pinterest/ twitter/ facebook.

I try to convince my son into his bed at after lunch and then when the house is quiet. I sit. I breathe, I light a candle and I write. I work on my two networks: www.capture30days.com and www.kinwomen.com I soak up the moments I get. I revel in them.

Then my day kind of unravels from there. After the scrambled mad hour, where my toddler is washed and fed and we get all the house stuff done, I turn down the lights, I put music on again. He  jumps in the bath, I get him to sleep for the night. It is then that I fall into my rocking chair and I crochet. It’s kind of like my creative meditation. I fall asleep and it starts all over again. That is my life at the moment. Sometimes overwhelmingly monotonous,  and other days I am overwhelmed at its simplicity and blessings.

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I’d encourage you to follow Amanda’s creative journey at  www.capture30days.com or www.kinwomen.com. You won’t regret it.

 

 

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