Lynn and Doug Nodland

Doug and Lynn Nodland

How are you creative? Recently, we talked about creativity and how you can explore creativity by being curious and asking the question, “What if?”

This is a start to being creative, but we wanted to know more about creativity. There’s always lots of things growing at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and we found creativity growing with Art in the Garden, a wonderful yearly art festival. There we found artisans displaying their many creative products, including paintings, photography, jewelry, sculptures, woodworking — even music and varieties of food. If you missed Art in the Garden this year, be sure to put it on your calendar for next year.

We asked some of the people at the art fair how to discover and grow creativity and keep creative juices flowing. We met Deb Krekelberg, who has Ally Jane Jewelry, a business named after her daughter. Deb said, “I think for me, I like getting away and going someplace quiet or getting into nature, having some time to just kind of quiet your mind. Get away from some of the commotion so you can think a little more creatively. I always find it inspiring to take classes, like some jewelry classes, or some other classes with creative people in it, even if it’s a different medium. If you are at an art fair, I get inspiration. I put my own twist on it. That’s what helps me.”

Assisting Deb at the art fair was her friend, Connie McCarty-Robinson. We noticed that Connie showed her creativity in her style of clothing. Her outfit was beautifully coordinated and creative, from her straw hat to her whole ensemble — a real-life walking artistic vision. Connie’s style an example of how creativity can be shown in different ways.

Then we met Sadia Tanzem, an accomplished 15-year-old artist, who said she has been painting since she was “7 or 8 years old.” In 2015 she won a second place award at the Minnesota State Fair for her painting of a monarch butterfly. Also, Sadia’s already an entrepreneur with her own business, Once In a Violet Moon, where she sells her artwork.

When we asked Sadia how she gets inspiration, she answered, “I usually get my inspiration from pictures or things I see on social media or different art I see. I get inspired from other people’s art.” We are impressed that she also donates part of her proceeds. She offered, “Yes, 5% of my proceeds go to two different nonprofit organizations. One of them is the Jackson Hole Therapeutic Riding Association. They help people with different disabilities with horses and riding. The other organization is The Nakota Horse Conservancy. They help the horses in the Dakotas because the horses were being eradicated when the National Parks were being built.” We recognize that she helps people and horses as she produces her beautiful, creative works of art.

We also interviewed Anne Moening, who teaches people of all ages to identify and use their creative gifts. We asked her how she teaches people to be artistic. She shared, “It’s an absolute joy that I get to do this. I really listen. It’s all about having your whole life be a work of art. My approach is very much honoring and listening to what is wanted to be experienced. I meet them where they’re at and help them to take the next step, that adventure, whatever the medium is. It can be anything from watercolor, to pastel art, to letter writing to author-illustrator. There’s a variety of ways, but it’s really honoring the uniqueness of each person and their own authentic expression through art.” We appreciate that Anne shared her ways to help people express themselves through their creative process.

We enjoyed talking to these people about creativity. What about you? In what ways are you creative? You don’t have to be a professional artist to show your creativity. Maybe you show your creativity in other ways such as the way you decorate your home, the way you dress, with your delicious recipes, in the parties you host, or maybe even in the way you share humor and relate to other people.

There are many ways to show creativity that we haven’t mentioned. We would enjoy hearing about how you discovered and grew your creativity and how you share it with others.

Chanhassen residents, Doug and Lynn Nodland are success coaches and owners of The Balance Center. Doug and Lynn can be contacted at More information and videos at


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