27 Aug 2021

5 minutes with poet & creative Tess Guinery

Tess Portraits Apricot Memoirs Studio 18

Images by Sharee Karlin

Tess Guinery is like sunshine on a rainy day, her dreamy words weave feelings of nostalgia, love, gratitude, relief and really just alll the feels through our hearts upon reading them. 

Magic seams to follow this poet & creative everywhere she goes and we cant help but want to follow. The Northern Rivers local's most recent endeavours see her signing with an International publisher for a global re launch of her enchanting poetry and prose book The Apricot MemoirsAnd we could not be more happy to hear that the rest of the world will get to read her words too.

Anticipating the launch we were lucky enough to ask Tess a little bit about her journey so far...

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Q1: Hi Tess, welcome to the Woman Of Series! Can you tell us what it is you create?
Hello! Thank you so much for having me here.

I’m a bit of a dabbler when it comes to creative expression and what I put my hands to—I’m one to move between mediums depending on what needs to be expressed at the time. At this present moment I’m writing bits and pieces when life allows, but often move into paint, pastels, collecting visuals or movement through dance. I want to explore it all, no medium is out of bounds.

Q2: Can you share with us a bit about your journey so far and where it all began?
I have this beautiful memory at the age of three where I remember speaking to the great open expanses as though someone was there. I always felt like I wasn’t alone. It was as though I had this open dialogue, where even my sigh was received, but by whom—I had no idea... but had this child like knowing that I was being heard. This is defining and where it all began, because the mystery of this has taken me on the biggest walk down mysterious sidewalks and hidden lanes... And the things that I have discovered along the way, have led me to my now and whether through movement or writing or paint or film—what I have found, I want others to know too and I want to make art about it, forever.

Q3: What do you think it is that makes your work unique?
I think every artist would like to think that their work is unique and stands out as different or grand or wonderful—yet if I’m honest, I don’t feel like what I create is exceptionally unique, but I feel it comes from a place that is unique to me and who I am. Everything I put my hands to comes from a place of wanting to seek out beauty in the commonplace. Beauty is powerful and reminds us of what we are made from. I think if I was to hone in on anything, I’d say that maybe being a romantic in today's times is unique. My hope is to keep my heart and sight in this place even in the bitter, hard and darker seasons. Not to diminish that life can be really really hard (and dark) but to lean into the hope that beauty brings— I believe, is a healing balm and my hope is that what I put my hands to in the creative process reflects this, uniquely.

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Q4: What has been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
Seeing my art form grow and move and dance in unlikely places has been such a surprising journey for me, I never set out to grow a business, but mostly set out to live a creative life and in that express the things of my heart. As things have expanded and grown, I have found that listening to my God given intuition and having a brilliant and supportive team around me that have strengths in my weaknesses and wisdom in areas I’ve yet trekked, has been crucial in seeing my art flow further.

Q5: What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your career?
So many lessons. Too many to count, but the first thing that comes to mind is all the things that can go wrong in the behind the scenes processes, and although I’d call myself an improviser, I have learnt to improvise at a whole new capacity. Oh the stories.

Q6: What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?
I always find the word career an interesting word to describe what I do, because rather than it feeling like a career, it feels more like a way of life. Creativity has always felt instinctive and in that I have adhered to the concept that creativity as a practice is an innate part of life rather than an extension of it. I like to see creativity as something that weaves in and around and through the living. As a maker and creator, the articulation and adoption of this viewpoint has been liberating, because even when I’m not physically or tangibly creating with my hands or directly materialising art into form, I am subconsciously storehousing ideas and can create in amongst my everyday in a place of dreamstate (in my mind)— and then, when the fields of time open up and offer space to birth it, in whatever form or medium it needs to come out—I make it.

I think the best thing that has happened has been the revelation that this is my life and I can live it, everyday, creatively...

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Q7: Where do you go or what do you do to recharge your creativity?
I start with aeroplane mode, emails off, to-do’s and should-do’s stored in limbo and make way to be simply present with my family and enjoy the beauty of nature with them. I recharge much through introverting in the most wonderful of ways—I’m partial to later nights candle light, drawing just because, podcasts, beautiful music or movies. I also find my heart on fire when I catch up with fellow visionaries over wine and talk big and beautiful things. Thrifting and filling my home with flowers (because why not), dancing and kissing and laughing and daydreaming without interruption fill my cup—anything without a “should” involved, recharges my soul.

Q8: How are you fulfilling your creative passions this year?
This is a huge year for our family, creatively, for each of us. My daughter Peaches who is seven has creative projects of her own in transit and nothing makes my soul sing louder seeing her tap into her creative expression. My husband is also living in a dream-state working on some incredible films and I have both self-published titles — ‘The Apricot Memoirs’ and ‘The Moonflower Monologues’ relaunching with Andrews McMeel Universal which is very exciting and also very bewildering. At the end of the year I’ll be releasing the third instalment of my heart in book-form (It was written last year in March) and has been forming slowly in the background of life. Amongst all this beautiful movement, my heart hopes to be present, continue creating home in our new little town, enjoy the journey (even though it currently feels very full) and celebrate all the beauty of life with my family and friends!    

Q9: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?
I love this question so much, because I love the answer, so much.

When I think about inspiring women, I see so many faces flash through my mind. The women in my life are great visionaries, sisters, wonderful mothers, loyal friends, movers and shakers, dreamers and makers. I’m in awe and can’t settle on one name, because I’m inspired by them all. I’m loving being in my late 30’s and all that this stage of womanhood brings. It feels like I have waited my entire life to be in this season as a woman. How wonderful are we women!

Q10: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
It’s a quiet (yet fierce) protest, to live outside of fear. If there’s anything that I have “done the work on” it’s walking through the fires of fear and doubt and refusing to bow to it. I wouldn’t say I’m without fear, but I know it’s voice and I know how to silence it. If women could live outside of fear, I think the world would be even more beautiful than it already is.

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