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Collaborations: Deanna Dawson

Updated: Nov 16, 2022


I know Deanna as a champion of creativity and individualism. She impressed me immediately by being fearlessly, unabashedly herself. She's also a talented and seasoned storyteller with a genuine love for the medium. - CC What did creativity look like for you in childhood?

I loved reading, I remember thinking "I want to create a world in words" at a very young age. I was also very afraid of bad dreams, I'd had some horrible nightmares and in order to avoid them I avoided sleep. I didn't want to be awake alone so I'd tell my sisters stories to keep them awake. Hours of stories and I had to make them so good they'd stay awake. So storytelling has been my creative outlet since I was very young. I would make up worlds that my sisters and I would act out, often we were orphans and some very teary moments were involved. (Storytelling is a talent I greatly admire. I had an aunt who was a brilliant storyteller, and like you, both a quick and sharp thinker and talker. As someone who thinks very quickly, but is not a natural talker -- thank you, Autism -- I am fascinated by the ability to connect the 'think' and 'speak' dots as smoothly and handily as you do. - CC)

How has that changed in adult life? What do you consider creative play these days?

I'm still storytelling. Over the last few years I enter storytelling events. The concept is there is a theme and you prepare a 5 minute story to tell, the story must be true and it must be a story about you. These are live audience events and usually 10 people tell a story. They are very popular so often more than ten people put their name in to tell a story and then they pick a random ten. I love the five minute limit and I like to adhere to the theme, it is a puzzle I need to solve. I do always want to write a book but that takes discipline I have not yet made real. (That's so cool! As one of our species' oldest expressive and communication arts, storytelling is one of the foundations of human culture. What a kick to participate in that! - CC)

In your professional life, where do you feel like you have the most opportunity to think and work creatively? Where would you like to have more?

I feel like a storyteller at my work as well. I'm a Social Media marketer and those channels are about storytelling. (Great point. I've recently fallen in love with content marketing for that very reason. There is so much room to be expressive and draw people in with a story that is organically relevant to them, rather than being 'salesy'. I really appreciate that about Social Media, and I love seeing people really using that power in creative ways. - CC) Visually or with words my goal is to connect with current and new customers. There is a high from putting out a message that resonates with a large audience. I love finding the pulse of a storyline and then getting the feedback that it rang true with engagement from users.

Are there any 'surprising' aspects of your job that feel highly creative to you?

Yes, the problem solving aspect feels highly creative. You are given a puzzle, how do we best tell the story of x product? I love solving those puzzles.

What's inspiring you most in this moment?

The diversity of stories being told at the moment, be they in books or digital content or tv. I love other people's true stories and from the universe of experiences, different cultures, religions, ages etc. I have a fascination with people raised in cults or strict religions and watch them gain freedoms. (Me too! How have we never talked about this? - CC) Peoples ability to be their authentic selves is very meaningful to me. (Same here, and that's a quality I've long appreciated about you. - CC) How do you feel the rise of social media has impacted creativity? Where do you see the most opportunities for people to explore creatively? The democratization of publishing, producing, releasing your creative expression is amazing for creativity. Often in the past you had to 'know someone' or 'be at the right place at the right time' now it's less dependent on that luck or those connections. Because we are so digital though non digital art is so powerful as well. One thing i'm always impressed by is transitory art, those things people do that won't last long but they do them anyway. Like decorate their yards for Christmas or put out a small art fair or circus. I'm so appreciative to see art forms like weaving, knitting, breadmaking etc. stay alive and continue to be learned. (Agreed. It's empowering to enjoy the work of one's hands, and highly therapeutic in the Digital Age. - CC) Local farmers markets are great to see creative endeavors. Check out Deanna's storytelling talents in action: Only One Thing I'm Afraid Of

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