The Vitality Collective is a space to powerfully advance your creative work as part of a supportive collective.
Weekly Live Sessions will be Tuesday evenings: June 13th-August 15th, 8-9:30pm EST on Zoom
This program has it all: generous teaching on themes related to creative process, intimate space to share work and both give and receive feedback, and scheduled check-ins about what’s coming up in your work.
The Vitality Collective includes access to 20 regular Making Sessions, which are live, hour-long, online blocks of time for collective making. These will be Fridays 12-1pm EST and Sundays 8-9pm EST.
This is an ideal space if you:
- Feel like life is all work and no play!
- Are a working artist or creative who needs space to better hear your inner voice.
- Know you’ll benefit from a stronger sense of community as you face the challenges of engaging with the creative process.
- Have a creative project you're struggling to make consistent time for.
- Don’t consider yourself an artist but want to listen more deeply to the call to create.
We see how effective it is to set such miniscule goals that nothing can impede us from winning them. We see the impossibility of separating our emotional lives from the process of art making and begin to work with that reality. We bring awareness and acceptance to the way that the demands of caregiving and family life are like the tides, moving in and out on the shores of our time. We learn how to take that inner voice seriously when it says “stop looking at the screen, just take me for a walk!” or “have that hard conversation already!” We can distinguish between the times where we hear: “Write that grant! Go for it!” and “Don’t you dare write another grant, I’m so done.” All of it belongs in the chrysalis of showing up to our creative practice.
Slowly at first, and then quite rapidly, we find ourselves having far more capacity, vision, scope and sustainability in our practice.
As soon as we find this flow and vitality, we can scarcely remember our previous state. We learn how a newly attuned system functions. We become tuned to our growth in a way that serves something larger than us. We are lifted through the company of others who are wrestling with similar fears and questions. There is such vulnerable tenderness in asking one another searching questions about both process and content, like: “how do you find vigour and discipline to touch your work every day without beating yourself up when you don’t?” Or “I’m wondering, what questions would you each want answered if you were making this documentary?”
We find clarity about our characters and our storylines through the courageous practice of sharing.
We can then emerge in our fullness, in an environment that has largely deprived us of what we need to thrive.
If you’re on the fence, I get it. It can be hard to dive into something like this when we already feel our plate is full, and when we are already generously giving our time and energy in many other directions. We can also expect ourselves to be able to manage this alone. This creative stuff. When we want to excel at something and overcome barriers, we need support. This is how human beings work. Anyone who becomes excellent in any area has benefited from hours of accompaniment in various forms. There are many reasons we don’t make the time and space to create, I know them well too. Don’t sit this one out if there’s a little voice beckoning you to take a tentative step. We’ll look at these challenges and openings together.
If you'd like to have a conversation about the space and get a feel for whether it would be a good fit for you, do feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll find a time to connect!
We see the impact of asking ourselves how we can help each other get back to the page tomorrow, and the next day.
We see through the lie that good feedback will be critical and painful. The lie that intelligence is evident in our ability to rip something apart. We stoke the fire of our colleagues' curiosity and delight in their project. And we start to see how asking genuine questions about the work and putting the creator at the heart of the process is what allows growth to occur.
"Esther is such a phenomenal mix of creator and pragmatist, this really helped me think about how to functionally action my creative goals." - Katie
I'd love to learn more about your work
What I bring...
* Fifteen years of experience creating, guiding and facilitating creative processes and circles with youth, women and seniors from diverse populations and backgrounds.
* Fifteen years of experience carrying projects from that initial spark, through the messy middles into the vulnerability and triumph of sharing work in the world.
* Five years of partnership with teachers throughout the Toronto District School Board, four years of teaching at Toronto Colleges & Universities and developing e-learning courses for international clients.
* Experience accompanying creatives to develop their own passion projects, from documentary and narrative film to children's books. Developing programs alongside communities that have been marginalized, with the support of the Toronto Arts Council, Artreach Toronto, the Indigenous Screen Office and the Canada Council for the Arts.
* Some legit formal education: I hold a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance (Concordia) and a Master of Arts in Education (OISE/UofT)
* My own creative practice of daily writing and drawing, and the challenge of carving out time amidst work and motherhood. This practice is informed by both my professional training as an actor and writer, as well as by my staunch belief that everyone is here to create in some form. My work is informed by the cyclical nature of the seasons and the female body, my role as a mother, my insatiable curiosity for all things spiritual, the nobility of young people, the potential for collective community creation and the role of intergenerational trauma and healing.
The Vitality Collective
The Vitality Collective
"This has been a time for consistent creative work, for sacredness and to be witnessed. It's felt so safe and the coziest most loving home."
-Laura, fiber artist
"I'm coming out of this with a creative process that is more sustainable. I fully believe I can finish this screenplay now. Before, it seemed like I wouldn't get around to this for years, but I shifted my perspective: I'm not trying to climb Mount Everest, I'm actually just walking down a small bumpy path."
"I'm coming out of these sessions with 1 finished song, 1 almost finished song, what looks like an EP with 4-5 songs in progress and joy and satisfaction."
"I now have a more realistic and gentle understanding of my time and the place writing has in my life. This focused my thinking, like when the optometrist puts that huge metal thing in front of your face and turns dials and knobs and finally FINALLY you can see clearly!"
"It’s rare that I share things until a first draft is finished because it feels important to protect the sanctity of the work as a thing that comes from me but here, the feedback I got was so valuable and helped me understand my own work better."
"I've learned that there are so many people out there that I can draw on as resources and accountability partners. That it can take as long as I need it to and that I CAN make my dream a reality even without any past experience."