mycreativelifeinterviewsOn this creative path I’ve met and become friends with many wonderful, interesting people across the world. It’s high time I introduced you to some of them.

‘My Creative Life’ is an interview series where we get an insider view of artists and their lives from different disciplines and on different stages of their own journeys. My intention is to ask questions that are perhaps a bit different from the usual – the answers to which might spark ideas or simply reassure you as you follow your own artist path.



Today’s interview is with Lisa McLoughlin, who as you may know makes the most beautiful oracle card decks and creates watercolour and digital illustrations with an incredible sensitivity and affinity with the natural world. I’m so happy to be able to share her work with you; Lisa identifies as both sensitive and an introvert, and I know a lot of us can relate to that. It seems to be part of the nature of the openness that being your creative self requires. And she uses it to such beautiful effect in the way she brings her work to the world.

Meet Lisa…

{All emphasis is mine. And don’t forget you can highlight any part of the text to share it.}

Lisa McLoughlin

Tell us a little bit about your creative work in the world {whether it’s your business or your pleasure, or both!}.

I would describe my work as a personal art evolution. I am not a trained artist, so this has the advantage of allowing me to create my artwork utilising my natural curiosity and how it feels in my body.

Combining my former experience as a physiotherapist and coach, with my intuition as an artist, I make nature-inspired gifts such as oracle cards. I also craft handmade illustrations for business people and their digital spaces.

What is your favourite thing about being an actively creative person?

There is something about a continuous unique expression with meaning and the flow states I can enter in to. For me, the process and end result have equal importance. I love to observe myself gradually developing the artwork I see in my head. I love to continually improve and experiment.

How else does your creativity express itself in your life? {Especially if you’re having a dry spell in your ‘main’ area.}

I do have dry art spells, particularly when I have overworked myself, feel ill or have bouts of insomnia.

The creativity is always there. It was stifled and stuffed down for too many years between the age of 18 and 40.

If I am not painting and drawing, I am cooking, journaling, collaging, dancing, taking part in creative Instagram challenges, dreaming;), knitting, thinking up ideas for others, or simply plotting in my imagination.

Lisa McLoughlin - SensItive

Do you have any favourite resources, books or blogs around creativity you’d recommend for inspiration or support? {Including your own!}

I hope one day my own blog will evolve into something more creative! For now, it has the uncomfortable reminders of the journey to find ones ‘thing’. I am okay with that as I know more is to come. I have to be patient with myself and where I am on my journey.

I don’t have a favourite resource etc as I see myself more as a ‘bumblebee researcher’. I flit about on the waves of my curiosity. I don’t spend too long anywhere. Just enough to pollinate a few ideas and then I move on. I don’t want to get attached and lose my desire to express myself uniquely.

The problem is I flit so much that I forget where I have been! It is only recently I have started to capture things using Evernote (thanks Susannah Conway). This is so I can start to blog about my findings and inspire others… I love to do random searches on Pinterest and Google mainly…kinda in the moment stuff. I trust that what I need will pop into view. It always does…Often it is when I am out and about and I take the odd photo here and there.

What one easy and simple creative activity would you suggest to someone who feels like there’s no time for creativity in their life?

Great question!

I would simply switch on a few Spotify tunes to suit my mood and have a little dance around or just move/rock my body. After that, I would write a few paragraphs of what was coming up for me in that moment and perhaps do a doodle. Connecting to my body seems to really help my creative expression as it often shows the truth of what is going on with me at any particular time. If I pay attention, it often tells me what I need. It ignites my curiosity.

Lisa McLoughlin oracle cards

What’s your creative process like? Are you an all-in-one-intense-hit-then-collapse type or more of a slow and steady sort? Or something else?

I am both.

When I created each of my oracle decks, it was an all-in-one-intense-hit-collapse over a few weeks. I think that was because I was so excited to develop the oracle idea that had hit me like a bolt of lightning.

Otherwise, I am slow and steady like a snail with a few dry days here and there. I don’t think I would create all day every day. I am not a slave to my creativity and it is not shrouded in ‘shoulds’. It just ebbs and flows.

I often do not plan what I am going to draw and paint. I just do what feels right in the moment as if I am channeling the inspiration from somewhere. I don’t force it. I remember to ground and breathe and switch on some instrumental tunes.

What does being actively creative bring to your life that you might not have expected?


An understanding of myself, so it is also a personal development tool for me. It is a sacred act that requires the upmost patience and kindness to oneself.  I love, love, love it when people can relate to my work and that it sings to their soul in some way.

Balearic Shearwater / Lisa McLoughlin

What best supports your creativity to thrive?

A supportive container which consists of a special quiet place to create art (I am better on my own when I create), plenty of art materials, the internet and surrounding myself (online and offline) with kind believing mirrors (people who accept me no matter who I am or what I make). Staying open to whatever I do, as I often have happy accidents.

Except for commissioned work, everything I make and show in social media is a first draft. I trust my own judgement. By seeing my work ‘out there’ helps me critique it and next time make a little shift and change….No matter what others might think, it is how the energy of the piece feels to me that matters most.  I can also be pleasantly surprised/informed when some of my less favourite pieces delight an audience more than my favourites. That is useful feedback for me.

It really helps me to lose the perfectionist stance and get over myself. I have the thought that this is my art evolution unfolding here and that’s so awesome to document. People like to see a journey. Well I do 😉 Of course it was hard to let go at the start, but I like to think I have developed a growth mindset around my art. I have a lot of catching up to do and no educational art training beyond an ‘O’ Level.

Have you ever lost touch with your creative self for a long period, and if so how did you bring it back?

I lost it from 18-40. I got caught up in what other people thought was best for me. I was a good all rounder and I recall in school that there was a drive to have more women in Science and Engineering. Inside, I wanted to be a crafter or artist but I lost my faith in my own navigation system. Except for occasional painting, I pretty much stopped until I was 40.

How did I bring it back?

Well, my body and wise self brought it back. I guess I had a mid-life opportunity in that ‘enough was enough’ and my old life was not working for me. I had diligently listened and cooperated with people and my external environment for years and one day I simply burned out and realised that their advice was not working for me. It had never worked. I was left with a great big empty hole feeling in my heart. So I thought, I have to do this my way now.

I was not able to have children (but that’s a whole other story), so that made the change of lifestyle a bit easier. In 2012 I left my career as a physiotherapist, divorced and moved to another location. I also fell in love with my soulmate and have the added luxury of experiencing unconditional love and a supportive container for my sensitive introverted self. He helped create the spark for me to feel safe to have a go and experiment.


lisa-mcloughlinLisa is on a journey back to herself to discover her own innate wisdom. This is reflected in her powerful desire to craft beautiful and evocative artwork that helps you connect with your own heart and soul.

Combining her experience as a physiotherapist and coach, with her intuition as an artist, she makes nature-inspired gifts such as oracle cards. She also paints how your business feels by creating handmade illustrations for digital spaces.



Oracle card shop



Lisa is very kindly offering a 15% discount to you for her shop; simply enter the code ‘tara’ {without inverted commas} into the coupon area at checkout. It’s valid until 2nd April 2016. 

If you have any questions or comments for Lisa, or have had an ahas reading her words, please do share in the comments!