We usually showcase creators from digital and visual professions. However, there are so many inspiring people out there, from different industries and sectors and we want to share their stories as well. Therefore, for the first time the creator of the week is an actress and director living in London. We’re happy to present Chiara D’Anna.
Let’s get to know her professional life through her answers to our five creator questions this week:
Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I’m Chiara D’Anna. I’m a London-based actress, director, movement and creativity coach. I was born in Turin, Italy where I studied Geology. I love mountains and nature as much as I love theatre and performing arts. After my MSc I left Turin and moved to London to pursue my career in the Arts.
How did you get started?
I guess I started as soon as I could move! I’ve always loved creating imaginary worlds and characters. Probably this is what all children do… but I’ve kept doing it! I was intrigued by the objects around me. They became the characters of my stories: my pyjamas, my slippers, my blanket and my family’s wonderful collection of kitchen tools (I’m Italian: the kitchen is a very important place!). I played with anything I could find in the house that sparked my imagination. I believe that artists’ main goal is to reconnect with that playfulness: the genuine curiosity that we had as young kids.
What sets you apart?
Perhaps, what sets me apart is that I don’t like to fit into any specific category and ‘conform’ to any specific style. I tend to mix different traditions, languages, disciplines. Sometimes this poses problems especially when applying for funding. But I think as artists we must refuse to be categorised, classified or labelled.
Once I was invited to talk to a group of Master students about the notion of Theatre Lab and ‘portfolio career’. Their tutor introduced me as an artist whose work exemplifies and embodies the notion of Laboratory. I like that. I’m a ‘Walking Lab or perhaps a ‘patchwork’!? Patchwork sounds better, it’s funnier and humorous. Humour is fundamental in my work.
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
In order to pursue my career in the arts I had to overcome lots of practical challenges. Financial issues for sure and lots of setbacks: projects that did not materialise, conflicts and even copyrights issues. But I have good memories of those hard times. At the end we always overcome those practical issues and we get stronger! We learn.
The biggest obstacles are deeper than that. Being creative requires the willingness to be vulnerable and face failure, rejections and judgement. Especially self-judgement. Self-criticism is the worst; that vicious internal voice that tries to convince us we are not good enough. That voice is the worst enemy of creativity. I wrestle with that voice constantly.
Do you have any tips for other creators?
Do not accept labels. We are unique and we find our creative voice by experimenting. This means to be curious, resilient and open. We never create in a vacuum. We learn from others and with others. And, of course, keep working! Because you will always get better. At times it is painful, but you have to go through the pain threshold. (If you’ve ever climbed a mountain you know what I’m talking about. It’s that pain that burns!) It sounds cliché but it’s true. The lesson is always the same, over and over again, after 20 years. I figure out things as I go through life. There is not a ‘manual of how to be creative’ and there isn’t a specific process that we are all supposed to go through in order to grow and learn. There are infinite processes or at least as many as there are people on the Planet.
By the way, creating my website with IM CREATOR was not painful at all! It felt more like dancing than climbing! So much so that I have created a second website for my theatre company: www.pantareitheatre.com
Do you like this interview? You can create your very own site too! Start for FREE!