This is the first post in a new series I am starting.
I am so, so excited for this.
I will have interviews with different artists and creative women that I ADORE!
I am surrounded by the most talented friends and I just want you to get to know them in a more intimate way.
Believe me….who you think these women really are is just scratching the surface.
For this first installment of “Creativity Takes Courage” I wanted to talk with Serena Barry.
I met Serena two years ago when we were roommates at Brave Girl Camp.
At night the other girls would come check on us because we were laughing so hard.
This girl is beautiful, creative, cool (so cool) and deep.
She is the real deal.
If you struggle with your creativity or where your gifts fit in…I know you will love this interview.
Without further ado….Serena Berry.
When you were a little girl what did you dream of becoming?
I was a pretty free-spirited, wandering soul when I was a kid.
I’m an only child and my mom was working full-time as a glass artist.
So, I basically grew up in the studio. In the building where her studio
was, there was also a jeweler, a framer, a print maker and the town’s
public radio station. I would bounce around each of these studio’s and
made friends with them all. I don’t remember specifically wanting to
“be” something in particular, but watching my mom make art, work for
herself and enjoy what she did for a living definitely influenced me.
Of course, I didn’t really realize this until I was much older.
Are there aspects of that dream that you are still following?
I definitely can see how being exposed to art and a variety of
creative people encouraged me to explore my own creativity. Both of my
parents are creative and self-employed, which is where I want to be.
What are you most proud of in your life?
Having strong, healthy and loving relationships with my family and
friends is something I’m very proud of. Also, having the courage to
go after the things that scare me.
What thing do you hope your children will be proud about you?
That I love unconditionally, dream big, play hard and go for it!
You are a very creative person. How do you think you live a creative life?
Wow! Thank you. I take that as a huge compliment. For a long
time, I used to think that being creative meant being a good artist and
something that you either were or you weren’t. I struggled trying to be
“good” at making things and would be so hard on myself because I didn’t
love what I made. You know…. that old, not good enough feeling that
so many of us struggle with. So, as I began to learn how to let go of
those expectations of myself and look around, I realized I am creative
in many aspects of my life. In my garden, my home, the kitchen,
dancing, taking photos and even….making art. It’s a process and I’m
still learning how to be more free with my creativity. A big part of
living creatively for me, is just exploring new ways of doing things
and taking chances. Oh, and being ok with not having everything be
“good”. Gotta let that go!
How do you make time for yourself and your creative outlets?
It can be tough…. especially with two little ones around all the
time. I have to sneak it in during the day. Wake up a little early to
read blogs and gather inspiration. I keep my projects handy in a drawer
in the kitchen and do a little bit here and there. Exercise and
movement are a big creative outlet for me so I take Zumba and Nia
classes. I always feel refreshed and more centered after a class.
Photography is also a huge creative outlet for me. The iphone has
opened up a new world for me in regards to taking photos. I’m a
Finally, attending retreats has been a game changer for me. Taking
real time away to nurture myself and my creativity has opened many
doors and shed light on my strengths and deepest desires. I come back
more confident in who I am and that allows me to be a better friend,
wife and mother.
You have your first retreat coming up in February. What made you follow through with this dream?
For me, it’s been a process of exploring my strengths and finding
the right avenue to share those with the world. I have always dreamed
of having a retreat center for healing and promoting well-being. I
studied massage therapy after high school in Boulder and that fulfilled
me in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. While I no longer
practice massage, that desire to help others heal and feel good about
themselves is still strong in me. Once I found art and explored my
creativity through art retreats and practice at home, a whole new side
of having a retreat center excited me. I enjoy bringing people
together and entertaining, so I just began to piece things together and
listen to the whispers that were quickly getting louder and louder. It
felt so right in my head and in my heart, that I just couldn’t ignore
it anymore. That’s when I picked up the phone and called you 🙂 I’m
so thankful that both you and Mindy had enough faith in me to support
this creative dream even though I haven’t done anything like this
I want women to feel good about who they are and know that they have
amazing gifts to offer the world. Saying all this, it still continues
to take a lot of courage for me to have faith in myself and my dream.
I hope that I can be a good example for women that if you can put aside
your fears and go for the things that call to you, amazing things can
What sets your retreat apart from other retreats?
I love the dynamics of who you are and what you offer along
side Mindy Lacefield and what she brings to the table. Your art styles
are different, but compliment each other and it will be so much fun to
explore the different techniques. Plus, you both are a hoot to be
around and that counts for a lot. And then there is Tayna who brings
creative movement to the weekend through Nia, which is something that
is unique for many art retreats. She is a lovely and open gal who can
make anyone comfortable with themselves, even if they feel like they
have two left feet. As she says, “Nia really is for every body and I’m
so excited to have it be a part of the retreat”.
The Harmony Hill retreat center is definitely worth mentioning as well.
It is so peaceful there and with the mountains and Puget sound as the
backdrop, it creates the perfect environment for us to explore all our
creative seeds. I actually like to call it a life retreat, because I
feel like it’s so much more than just making art.
What do you hope women will feel and experience while at your retreat?
I hope that each and every women will feel welcome and safe to be
whoever they are. You don’t need to be an “artist” to explore your
creativity. There will be no judgement or comparison. I laugh
hysterically at some of the pieces I’ve made at retreats, but in the
end it never really was about what I made. I came away with new
creative tools, new friends and a new perspective on my life. This is
an opportunity to step away from our everyday lives, reconnect with
ourselves and also to make new connections with other like minded
women. I’m always blown away on how it seems like the right people come
together at the right time. That certainly has been the case for me.
I now have a tribe from all over the country. I also know this
retreat is going to be a lot of fun. Who doesn’t need more of that!!!
Making art is FUN when we allow ourselves to open up and just play.
If you could have one wish for each woman that attends your retreat what would it be?
Just one? But there are so many! Honestly, it is my greatest
hope that each woman will feel more confident in themselves, their
creativity and as SARK says so well….. let loose the wonders inside
them. And I have to say it…… have a blast!
Just for fun. You and your husband are pretty hunky together. How did you guys meet?
Ha ha…. you’re funny! He is a hunk though, right? I’m so
lucky. There were fireworks the first time we met. Literally….. A
co-worker invited me to go to gas works park to watch the Fourth of
July fireworks with her and her roomates. I had just recently moved to
Seattle from a small town in Colorado and was finding it hard to meet
people in the big city, so I agreed to go. I showed up at my friends
house only to find her in a rip roaring fight with her boyfriend. Sam
(who I hadn’t met beforre) and I waited and chatted on the front porch
for them to make up so we could carry on with our evening. After about
an hour of our friends fighting, we decided to bail, hopped on our
bikes and headed to the park ourselves. The rest is history, and the
There is something magical about the first group of women that come to a retreat.
You are the first and you are making this dream a reality….and I think you are lavished because of that.
Lavished in a way that feeds your soul.
I am so honored to be one of the teachers at Serena’s first retreat.
You will fall in love with Serena and definitely fall in love with your creative gifts (even if you are painting for the first time).
Thank you Serena for your open and honest interview (and for being the first post in my new series)!
I hope you all enjoyed this first post and I am excited to share glimpses into the lives and hearts of other creative women.