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  • Writer's pictureAlex Rathbun

Interview with a creative human: Hadassah

creative human: Hadassah

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the concept of creativity. What is it? Is it innate or learned? Why do some people have a little and some seem to have a lot? In attempt to explore these questions as well as cultivate my blog into a platform for deeper connection with others, I’ve decided to launch a series of interviews with creatives: creative human. Keep your eyes open for these interviews scattered throughout the next few months!

I hope you’re inspired by my kind, determined, beautiful friend, Hadassah (who also happens to take a lot of photos that are on my site). Enjoy her story and her creativity!

Who are you?

I’m a country girl at heart - give me more Icelandic mountains, please! But I’ve been living in Chicago for almost six years. I met my husband in undergrad, and we’ve been married for a year and half. We have a cat named Peppermint. I am a marketing specialist by day, and a grad student and photographer all the other hours. I’m an avid coffee and tea enthusiast.

What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity is being dissatisfied with the way things have always been. Creativity pushes you against the status quo. Creativity doesn’t help you produce something good or perfect. Instead, creativity helps you make something remarkable, nonlinear, game changing, and artistic. Creativity asks, “why?” and it keeps you looking for new possibilities.

What role does your creativity play in your life?

With my definition of creativity in mind, creativity can and should be in every part of my life. I want to be creative at work, with relationships, meeting new people, and in my craft of photography. I like to challenge myself with taking photos - different lighting, lens, situations. Creativity is also about learning and being willing to make mistakes.

I am happiest when I allow myself to be creative and do something special for a friend, or co-worker, or my husband. Creativity takes time and the ability to notice details other people miss. If I’m honest, when I’m chasing busy (something that’s easy to do when you work 40 hours a week, are working on your Masters, married, going to physical therapy, and 1,000 other things), my mind feels too full to focus on being creative in most if not all of these areas. I am working on reminding myself that I don’t need to honor busy, and when I slow down I can take time to be creative.

What is an early memory of exercising creativity for you?

My mom has a picture of me at around 3 years old, painting on a big easel. I’m covered in paint, and I’m loving it. My mom encouraged all her kids to be creative. I was always doing a craft with her help. Even my birthday and Christmas gifts often involved something creative. Specifically for holidays, my mom had us make holiday themed crafts and projects. That was one of the things that made those holidays special, and I still try to do that now. I think when I was around eight or nine I began taking photos on a disposable camera. I mean hundreds, probably thousands of photographs. Engaging in creativity was a natural part of my childhood, and I’m grateful to my parents for that.

What's your favorite creative activity?

I take photographs if I want a creative activity that can involve other people. I love the interaction with others, and I love the editing process too.

If I want to relax, I usually will make cards or paint with acrylics or watercolor. I like to make art that has a purpose (I think that’s the Type-A producer in me). So making cards that I can give away to someone, or use for a birthday, brings me joy. I saw a quote that said “fads come and go, but handwritten cards never go out of style.” I couldn’t agree more.

What project are you most proud of?

I’ve been able to be a part of a lot of great photo projects, and I’ve had the opportunity to take photos for Food for the Hungry in Bolivia, and take photos in Eastern Europe and Africa. But I think what I am most proud of is the mentality to keep learning and allowing challenging situations to provide growth. I graduated from high school when I was sixteen, and then I moved to Norway for nine months to work with Youth With A Mission. This move to Norway was my first time away from home, and literally my first trip outside of the country. I learned so much from throwing myself into this opportunity. When a work project or life situation seems difficult, I refer back to the adaptability of my sixteen year old self, and tell myself that whatever the problem is, I can figure it out.

What is a dream of yours?

A huge dream of mine is to create art that starts a conversation worth having. Art has a way of creating bridges between people, and moving them to a place of action. I would love to use my photography to start a conversation, especially in the Church, about tough issues like abuse, social justice, the suffering of God, etc.

What is something easily misunderstood about you?

Well I asked my husband his opinion for this question… he said one thing that can be easily misunderstood about me is that I am too intense and goal-focused, and that’s something that isn’t attractive or fun to be around. Insert a mental image of Leslie Knope here - yep, that’s me. I’ve been told by multiple people that when they first met me they thought I came off too strong, too intense.

But I am goal focused, partly because of my personality, and partly because of necessity (hello, grad school!). Most of the time I would much rather hang out with friends, or do something fun. I love being spontaneous when I have no deadlines (this happens about once a year).

Hadassah in the snow

If you’d like to see Hadassah’s photography (I highly recommend it) please check out her website! And maybe follow her on instagram too.

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