March 11, 2011 was the Great Tohoku Earthquake (triple disaster) which had such an enormous impact on everyone is Japan, and as a foreigner growing up in a place that doesn’t really have earthquakes, it was quite the wake-up call. Despite all the awful things that followed, one of the most precious for me was being propelled into a new type of community and way of doing things.

My online store literally died overnight (I was selling Japanese fabric and printed patterns at the time) and so I knew things had to change. I happened upon Marie Forleo’s B-School and that is where I met my now good friend Paige. Today, I’d like you to get to know her too.

WELCOME PAIGE, LET’S START BY LEARNING A BIT ABOUT YOU…

I grew up in the distant suburbs of New York City, and now live in Tokyo, Japan. I love the vibrancy and creativity of the city, and feel grateful every single day to live here. 

I’m the mother of two teenage children, both of whom are bilingual in Japanese and English. It’s a tremendous joy to see them grow into themselves more fully as they move toward adulthood. Motherhood is such a fascinating ride! 

Something I never tire of is exploring the creative process, both on my own and in the community. I have endless enthusiasm for experiencing the ins-and-outs of the process, and being with others as they do too. 

photo of Paige Baldwin, a white woman smiling  wearing a denim jacket

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS

Since 2012, I’ve been a certified creativity coach, helping people bring their long-term creative visions to life. I’ve helped people get over their creative blocks and write books they’d long dreamed of, develop their businesses, fill galleries with their paintings, finish writing musical albums, and get a wonderful NPO to a state of flourishing. 

Each person’s creative process is unique, and one of my specialties is helping people locate what stands in their way, then uncovering a highly-personalized path towards realizing their goal.  

a quote card which read "take it at your own pace. There's no rush" a quote taken from an interview with Paige baldwin about creative blocks

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH THIS BUSINESS?

Prior to having kids, my professional life was consistently focused on writing and editing–much of which I still do now. But when the kids were young, I found myself extremely overwhelmed and struggling to create anything. I read a bajillion books about creativity and how to release creative blocks and did everything the experts recommended, from waking up early to establishing a schedule to belting out opera while standing on my head. 

When none of it worked, I started researching more online and discovered a training in creativity coaching, which opened up a whole new world to me in terms of dealing with my own creative blocks, as well as helping others work through theirs. 

I could not possibly love my work more, and am supremely grateful for the opportunity to help people turn their creative visions into their lived experience in life. It’s truly such a joy! 

someone painting with watercolours an image of boats and the sea

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE STRUGGLED WITH OR A PROBLEM YOU HAVE OVERCOME AND HOW DID YOU DO IT?

I find that as a creative person, growth means I inevitably come up against my edges. If I’m never feeling obstacles or blocks, it’s usually because I’m not in a growth phase. (And that’s also okay–we can’t always be in a growth phase!)

But when I’m in a state of creative expansion, I come up against some of the same creative obstacles that have always popped up for me: procrastination, perfectionism, and getting easily overwhelmed. Oh, and there’s this other fun trick my brain loves to play, where it tells me I just need to take one more class or do one more other thing before I can start the project I’ve got my eye on. It’s a cute little distraction technique, and it SO often works on me! 

The main thing that helps me in these moments is taking teeny-tiny steps. Steps that are so small, they’re almost laughable. Steps soooo tiny that my mind doesn’t even consider them worth being worried about. When I can do that, usually the door opens to something much wider, and I’m on my way to meeting my creative goal. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? (And Why?)

Oh, everything! I love getting to be with people as they process what’s going on with them. I love navigating their internal terrain with them and helping them find their way through. And I absolutely love getting to see people launch their creative work into the world as a result of our coaching together. There’s no greater thrill for me, and it never gets old. 

a woman applying glaze to a ceramic mug with a paintbrush

HOW DO YOU USE YOUR CREATIVITY IN YOUR BUSINESS?

It’s a constant!

Coaching is inherently creative work, in that you’re present in every moment and responding with all the inner resources available to you. But there’s also the fact that I’ve built my own website, enjoy sharing creative stuff on my Instagram, am four seasons into co-hosting a podcast, and am collaborating on a book project. All of that is part of my business, and the creative process imbues my everyday life in ways that generate a lot of pleasure and enjoyment for me, and for my community too! 

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU HAD LEARNED EARLIER IN YOUR BUSINESS JOURNEY?

How to come out of hiding and be seen publicly. This has been a huge obstacle for me, but working through it and growing from it has made the biggest difference in the world for my ability to connect and enjoy rich, powerful relationships with other creative people from all over the world. 

a woman working through her creative blocks by journalling. White woman sat crossed legged writing in a notebook.

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE REALLY PROUD OF?

A few things! One is that I run a free creative coworking Zoom call every Monday morning at 8:30 am Japan time. People come from around the world, and it’s such a fun, friendly, inspiring creative community. We check in at the beginning about what we plan to work on that day, then we turn off our mics (and our videos too, if we want), and get to work on whatever we’re doing. At the end, we come back together and cheer each other on for what we’ve accomplished. 

The community element of creating is so wonderful, and it’s motivating to feel the energy of the other people on the call as you work. You’re invited too—please come join us anytime! 

Then there’s also a podcast I’ve been co-hosting since 2022 called The Creativity Cafe. My friend and co-host Jordana Matsuda and I speak with creative women from all over the world about their creative journeys and processes. It’s incredibly fun and inspiring, and we have so much fun with it! 

AS A MOM, WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER MOMS STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS 

Take it at your own pace. There’s no rush. Stuff is going to come up in your family life that will slow you down from time to time, and that’s okay. There’s a huge worldwide community of mothers who are also on this path, and we’re all cheering you on as you share your gifts with the world. Keep going! 

a woman using an iphone to take photos of plants

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE BOOK/WEBSITE OR RESOURCE THAT HAS HELPED YOU WITH YOUR JOURNEY?

I love Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert, and also The Creative Cure, by Jacob Nordby. Both great books! 

FINAL WORDS…

Just that, if you’re a creative person, please know that creative blocks and obstacles are simply part of the process. They don’t mean your less creative at all—only that you’ve met an edge where you’re growing and a bit of fear is being kicked up. Not only is that okay, it’s kind of a great sign! It means you’re doing something brave and new, and that your creativity wants to partner with you on something exciting. Take heart, and know you’re in great company! This is something all creative people experience, and you’re far from alone. 

WHERE TO FIND PAIGE:

Website: www.wholeselfcreative.com
Instagram: @wholeselfcreative
Podcast: The Creativity Cafe

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