In today’s episode, Lindsay Simonds chats with Celia Tejada to discover why creativity means being able to live in the now.

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Exploring and Embracing One’s Inner Creative Spark for the Benefit of All

“Everything is so interesting throughout life...The dots connect along the way. And one day, certain dots connect and you say, ‘Aha! That’s why I was doing that.’” Click To Tweet

Professionally, she’s a powerhouse: Restoration Hardware’s retired Chief Creative Officer. Philanthropically, she’s an influencer: Former Board Chair, Major Gifts Donor, and Activist. For our guest today, Celia Tejada, her love of humankind runs much deeper than these roles: Her statement today is that, ‘You should always look for the light — for what inspires you. Some times are harder than others, but you cannot lose sight that life is short.’ Times of uncertainty bring great opportunities for creative development. The power of creativity is transformational: allowing your heart and your soul to transcend from your body and fly away. Creativity means being able to live in the now, while honoring the past and being excited about the future. Savor the tiny moments. 

Challenging the status quo

Celia is an independent woman, with a strong sense of identity. She’s always been a rebel and doing the things that people weren’t doing at the time. Nowadays, these things have become not only socially accepted, but they have become standard. However, if it weren’t for incredible warriors like Celia’s mother, Coco Chanel, or Frida Kahlo, she might not be where she is today.

Identifying inspirational people and spending time with them has turned Celia into a fearless person — fearing nothing but fear itself. She is 60, beautiful, and proud. Ever since she was young, she has planned for a life of freedom to spread her wings and unabashedly follow her dreams. That sense of freedom has allowed her to dedicate herself to the passion projects, being fortunate enough to do work that she loves — or projects of love, as she calls them—  while also dedicating time to herself, to her family and friends, and to her beloved hometown in Spain. She benefited from the encouragement and skepticism of her elders in order to find her truth. 40 years ago she crossed the sea to find her heart and her home in San Francisco, where she lives her dream life today.

A sense of community

For Celia, a sense of community is not only joyful but essential for life. One way she does these gatherings or tertulias in her home — which has since earned the moniker, “the nest” — hosting dinners every Thursday night for many, many years. Tertulias are all about spending time with people that you care about, engaging in meaningful conversation (anything from poetry, art, love, sex, family, politics, and more!), and uncovering moments of creativity in a group setting. These connections are the ones that make Celia richer and fuller, giving her the inspiration to wake up each morning and the courage to prioritize her passion projects. 

By following her passion and focusing on helping those who are most in need, Celia Tejada has been able to get involved in various roles through the corporate, nonprofit, and art worlds, bridging them seamlessly and creating opportunities out of thin air. She is a self-taught photographer, curator, and out-of-the-box thinker, with an innate talent for self-expression and for unlocking the creative potential in others.

Outside of the home and in the world, she ties communities together and shines lights on many. As the former board chair of the Imagine Bus Project — supporting youth who have been incarcerated — Celia gave opportunities to marginalized youths to express themselves creatively and channel their emotions. With her latest project, Arte Inmortal, she is effectively feeding the soul and creative engine of artists and photographers. By curating their work and making it commercially able, she gets to support the art and the people behind them.

Key Takeaways: 

(06:53) – Celia’s story, coming from a small village in the north of Spain, following her dreams, and challenging tradition to become an incredible warrior.

(24:27) – The women that influenced Celia in her path of independence and creativity

(31:12) – Touching the lives of people that nobody else wants to help and how it impacted the Imagine Bus Project.

(38:36 )- Arte Inmortal: The creative collaboration platform Celia is creating out of her love for photography, capturing the lives of people and highlighting artists from around the world.

(54:00) – Finding time for the passion projects and the need for prioritizing the things that bring you joy and spark your creativity.

(01:00:05) – Making sense through the chaos: acknowledging our fears and facing them head-on.

Connect with Celia

Connect with Celia through LinkedIn

Episode Resources

The Success Center

The Imagine Bus Project

Follow Molino Tejada on Instagram

Follow Arteinmortal on Instagram

Molino Tejada