Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Creativity Facilitator

Women and Creative Power

by Lisa A Kramer
Let's talk about women and creative power.

Anyone who follows me knows that I advocate for the importance of reconnecting with our creative selves in order to make a more just society. I believe in the power of both individual and collaborative creative acts to change the world.

Why? Because creativity is innate--we all have the capacity to access it. It is a muscle, a tool, a skill, and most importantly:

Creativity is something that authoritarian governments fear!

You might be thinking that creativity seems unimportant given the GOPs attack on bodily autonomy, women's rights, LBGTQ rights, and even our right to worship as we please.

I believe that they are deeply intertwined.

Allow me to explain. But first, a warning.

Defining My Terms


5 Reasons to Join the Spark Collaborative Community

by Lisa A Kramer
Once upon a time there was a woman who wanted to help build a better world. How could she do that in a world struggling through a global pandemic, climate change, and toxic environments caused by greed, racism, a rise in far right ideologies, and war? What did she have to offer that could change things?

Unsure but ready for a change, she took advantage of the opportunities that opened up under lockdown and went exploring. No she didn't leave her house, but she took classes, connected with others around the world, had conversations, and discovered a world full of people like her--people who wanted to change themselves and the world but were unsure where to begin.

She realized that what she...

The Fear of Creative Power

by Lisa A Kramer
"What would life be if we had not courage to attempt anything."Vincent Van Gogh

It all started with an advertisement.

Yes, my partner in Spark Collaborative and I decided to feed the beast that is Facebook, and post an ad about an upcoming one day workshop we are offering. Word of mouth only goes so far.

So we created an ad. As far as ads go, I didn't think this was aggressive or offensive. In some ways its kind of eye-catching and somewhat calming. Below is the image, with the text we included on Facebook.

Join us for a few hours of meaningful exploration around our creativity. We'll have fun, laugh, and leave with tools we can use to spark creativity in our...

The Art of Failing

by Lisa A Kramer
When you know what it feels like to failferociouslyand have gained thecapacityto rise and rise and rise again. Jeannette Encinias "Beneath the Sweater And the Skin"

What is failure, if not opportunity? I believe that the art of failing frees you to succeed in new ways. Perhaps ways that feed your spirit so that you truly live a life worth living.

We learn from an early age that failure is something bad, somehow. But I don’t believe that. At least not anymore.

How does one define failure anyway? In a world ruled by money, or views success as a limited resource, then failure means that one is not able to grab your piece of the success pie.

Is that how you think...

How to Start a Creative Rebellion

by Lisa A Kramer
I hear it daily from friends, loved ones, connections on social media--people struggling as they are being pushed back into a "norm" that is far from normal. After over a year of self-reflection, people are leaving their work in droves, partially because of natural trends, but I believe its also because people are starting to realize that there is a brokenness to the society we have built.

It's time for a big change, and it will take a creative rebellion to make that happen.

Defining Creative Rebellion

What do I mean by creative rebellion? It's simple really. Throughout history creative people of all types have played roles in social movements. From painting Black Lives Matter large enough to be seen from space,...

Changing the World through Performance and Play

by Lisa A Kramer
Did you know that there are people around the world who understand the power of creativity, the arts, and collaboration to make real difference in the world?

Yes, I've been talking about this important power for a while now, but this isn't about me. My desire to change the world one creative act at a time sits on the foundation of amazing people who have been doing this, in their own way, for years. Their is a community of artists, performers, social activists, educators, writers, therapists, scientists, politicians etc., etc. who strive each day to create and collaborate in ways that encourage communities to develop and create a truly just world.

Call them Performance Activists. Call them "multipotentialites." Call them clowns....

The Potential of Multiple Passions

by Lisa A Kramer
We should all be designing lives and careers that are aligned with how we're wired.Emilie Wapnick, "Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling" TedxBend, April 2015

I learned a new word today. One that truly resonated with me


What is a a multipotentialite? In the words of Emile Wapnick, who coined the term:

A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits. 

Why am I fascinated with this word?

Because of the woman who "couldn't" hire me for a project because she felt my energy and interests were too scattered (and then went on to hire someone close to me, telling that person I had turned her down--but that's a whole other story).

Because of the conversation I had recently with a woman...

Embracing a Non-Traditional Career

by Lisa A Kramer
I am the first to admit it, anyone looking at my LinkedIn Profile or resume will probably scratch their head and say--who is this person? How does she fit in? I have a feeling that many of you can relate to this problem.

When I decided it was time to leave academia and move onto something new, I applied for all kinds of traditional roles. Roles that I know that I can do. Roles that would have asked me to learn and to grow, but represented skills I already carry with me. Roles in new fields that sounded interesting. Roles that I could probably do in my sleep.

With rejection after rejection, I've had to face a hard truth. My eclectic career...

Gateless: The Power of Positive Feedback

by Lisa A Kramer
We have been raised to believe that criticism is the only way to learn and grow.

It occurs everywhere. Red marks on school papers. Annual reviews. Critical analysis of books, plays, artwork--anything we produce that can be judged by others. Criticism comes from outside sources, but also from that voice in your own head telling you that your work will never live up to some supreme ideal.

Some people thrive on criticism, becoming more and more determined to prove everyone wrong. Many shrivel up and freeze--thinking "if I can't do it right, if I can't be perfect, than I'm not good enough. I should just stop."

What would happen if we approached feedback with a different mentality? What would happen...

Play is Serious Work

by Lisa A Kramer
"I always think that focusing on fun is being lazy."

The woman who typed these words had just asked a question about how to get motivated in the face of debilitating physical challenges that are affecting her work and her ability to produce. The expert leading this workshop responded that sometimes we simply need to focus on joy and having fun--especially when faced with so many obstacles.

Yet, this woman--dealing with more challenges than many of us--struggles with an issue that has been ingrained into the American psyche, to the detriment of us all. The idea that play or fun has nothing to do with work.

We've been taught that somehow playing is childish and a waste of time. Imaginative play...

Creativity and Leadership

by Lisa A Kramer
What makes a leader? What is leadership?

I've been pondering these questions a lot lately.

For you see, for some reason I don't seem to fit other people's definition of leadership. Sure, I have:

taken the lead throughout my lifemanaged box offices and volunteers for large eventsstarted companieslead classrooms and programsdirected artistic teams to full-scaled productions trained new teacherstaken leadership positions on boards and committees

Yet still, with all that, the word "leader" seems to somehow slide around me rather than attaching to me. It's a label that does not stick.

An article by Jacob Morgan on The Chief Learning Officer asks the same questions:

As part of the research for my new book, “The Future Leader,” I interviewed more than 140 CEOs around the...

Re-Creating the World

by Lisa A Kramer
I don't know what made me think that transitioning careers during a pandemic was a good idea. Still, I chose this path, and I am committed to letting go of who I was to become who I truly want to be. The only problem is, that in order to do that, I might first have to help re-create the world. Maybe that's the transition that I have been looking for, but its a big job.

Can we reimagine the world?

Allow me to re-introduce myself. I am Lisa Kramer, a creative soul who has spent much of her money-earning career in higher academia, because that is what her degrees told her she should do. But as much as I love teaching,...

Learning, Listening, and Letting Go

by Lisa A Kramer
This is an open letter to all the white people out there who want to grow in ally-ship, or become co-conspirators for change.

If you are anything like me, you are starting to feel the exhaustion of the past few weeks. Its an exhaustion in my bones, in my soul, in my heart. It comes from fear, anger, and supreme sadness; but for me it also comes from wanting to do better, to be better, to stand up for Black Lives better. It is the exhaustion of wanting to keep my family safe from COVID, but also recognizing that that safety is a privilege in the face of another pandemic--that of the continuous racism that has eaten away at the very...

Moving Toward a Creative Economy

by Lisa A Kramer
I believe we are in a time for reflection and change.

I believe that the shift must come from people who recognize that our current systems are broken, and only work for a very small portion of society.

I am determined to be part of the change, through writing, creating, speaking, leading workshops, and inspiring others.


While I don't yet know where this dream of mine is heading, I know that I will make this happen. If you would like to be involved in some way, just let me know in the comments or send me an email. Let's change the world together!

Reading, Writing, and Reviewing

by Lisa A Kramer
“A good review is the literary equivalent of a love note.”― Aly Zigada

Why reviews matter

Do you know what is worse for a book than a bad review? Silence. No reviews whatsoever.

Why? Because reviews, even bad ones, mean that people are actually reading the book. It's that simple--reviews mean readers. Sure, an awful review (or a series of them) can kill a book, but it really depends on the content of that review. The worst one I received for P.O.WER said more about the reader than about the book. It hurt when I first received it, but when I realized that that reader really only loves books about cats, I was able to brush it off.

Ultimately, though, the silence from readers hurts...

Unbecoming and Creative Reinvention

by Lisa A Kramer
I started blogging years ago, before I started my own website. I embraced it fully. I posted daily, built a following, read other blogs, interacted. It became a focus of my life, and helped me through a very difficult transition period. I actually started it because circumstances led my family away from the home we had built in Durango, CO, and my friends there encouraged me to write as a way to stay connected.

A screen shot of my very first post years ago.

It helped me in so many ways.

Then life shifted again. I focused on finishing and publishing my first book. I started my own website (and through that lost some of my followers) and realized...

A Conversation with Creativity

by Lisa A Kramer
Me: Why do you call me? What do you want me to know?

C: We call on each other, don't we?

Me: I guess . . . but what does that mean?

C: It means that I am everywhere. I am within you and outside of you. But, I cannot extend beyond you without a little help. I am a verb.

Me: You are a verb? I thought you were a noun?

C: I am both, aren't I? Actually I an also be an adjective. An act of creativity takes place when a creative person creates something.

Me: Okay. Why is that important?

C: I exist in action. Every moment in time something new is created. I can be found in the burst of bird song, the...

Creative Culture after Covid-19: A Society Re-Design

by Lisa A Kramer
Hello all!

I thought I would share this post that I originally published on LinkedIn, as it says everything I want to say.

Creative Culture After Covid-19: A Society Re-Design

If we’ve learned anything from this complex confusing situation of pandemic, it’s the fact that we cannot go back to the “norm” that existed before. Some may disagree with me about this, thinking that leaping back into “business as usual” will heal a broken society. I don’t believe that we can, or even should, return to what came before. We need to work toward something new. We need a society redesign that embraces creativity, kindness, the voices of the people, and our common humanity over oligarchy and elite control. We need to take...

On Creativity: Share Your Thoughts

by Lisa A Kramer
Anyone who has read my work at any point should recognize one important thing: I believe in the power of creativity to change the world! That belief lies at the core of my authentic self.

Still, I can't tell you how many strange looks I receive when I interact with people and ask them to let go a little, to play with me in a creative way. I'm used to it by now. I've come to recognize that my joie de vivre, or my natural instinct to approach life in a playful and creative way doesn't always mesh with other people's reality.  That's okay, we are all different, and that is part of what makes this world so rich and wonderful.

As I...

Creativity Challenges for Social Distancing (or Artists-in-Residence)

by Lisa A Kramer
Hello everyone!

It's been a long time, hasn't it?

Somewhere along the way I lost the energy of blogging, for a long time. Actually, to be honest, I was struggling with writing as well. But, I'm back and more energized than ever.  I've finished a draft of a novel, which is now with beta readers. I am starting work on a new non-fiction idea, and I write every day in some form or another.

In a way, this bizarre situation we are in, is a blessing in disguise. Don't get me wrong, my heart breaks for anyone infected and for all those brave people working to keep us functioning (from healthcare workers to grocery store clerks, and everyone else). I feel for all...