Creative Freedom
The roots of creativity in its purest form are always grounded in joy. It is what makes our souls come alive.”
— Karen Kinney, The Reluctant Artist: Navigating and Sustaining a Creative Path

Creative Freedom:

Overcoming Blocks and Embracing Greater Flow


How do we experience creative freedom in the midst of trying to make a product? Many courses teach technique and offer critique, but few speak about developing or maintaining creative freedom as we create, whether it be through writing, art or any other artistic expression. And arguably, it is this sense of freedom that leads to the best ideas and the most innovative outcomes.

This three-hour workshop is designed to foster greater flow in our process and provide tools for reframing and moving through creative blocks. It includes interactive dialogue with guided discussions, using participants’ personal experiences as springboards for discussion.


Creative Freedom

Sunday, October 20th

2-5 p.m.


Karin Gutman and Karen Kinney

Hosted at a private home in Mar Vista *

open for registration

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* Address provided upon registration


Creative freedom is cultivated as we learn how to tap into our intuitive knowing as we create. Too often classroom settings inundate us with a set of external “how to’s” - how to produce work, how to sell, how to market. While these things have importance and play a role, it is equally vital to nurture our creative souls and tap into the guidance that lives within us.

What if there weren’t any “rules” and you felt permission to simply write from your gut?

Would this change your direction? Could this bring an “a-ha”?

Might it help you get unblocked?

Many creatives, including writers and visual artists, become stuck because they are trying to live out a set of pre-scripted guidelines in their head. While these guidelines may assist them in creating a product, they are often inadequate for empowering them to embody and live out creative freedom, therefore limiting their unique expression. Tapping into the deep, organic flow brings energy and innovation to our craft, generating new ideas and taking us beyond what we are able to conceive in the more limited landscape of structures and definitions.

Topics to be explored through group discussion and hot-seat coaching:
— getting to know your own unique process and trusting it
—letting go of outcome
—learning how to listen to and follow internal cues
—honoring what our muse is telling us (or censoring the critic voice)
—allowing our expressions space and breathing room
—paying attention to what sparks life or brings joy
— valuing process equally to product
—granting ourselves permission
—reframing how we view blocks


About the Instructors:


Karin Gutman, MFA, is a memoir and story coach who has been guiding writers for over 15 years towards discovering and writing their life-based stories. The safe, dynamic spaces she creates allow for this deeply personal work to unfold, as writers peel away the layers, dig deep, and make meaning out of their life experiences. Her clients have sold books to major publishers, including HarperCollins, Hay House and St. Martin’s Press. A former story analyst for Creative Artists Agency and 20th Century Fox, she is a published author and has written and developed projects for Nickelodeon, the Jim Henson Company and National Geographic Kids. She has taught at Cal State Fullerton, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and UCLA Arts and Healing, and currently offers workshops, retreats and one-on-one coaching under her Spirit of Story banner.



Karen Kinney is a professional artist and author whose detailed and textural work has been in numerous solo, group and juried exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. She has designed installation work for the Los Angeles International Airport and has also created murals for neighborhoods in the U.S. and Mexico. Her art was purchased for the Lionsgate film “The Lincoln Lawyer” and resides in private collections across the country, including those of Stanford University Library and NPR's Guy Raz.

In 2017 she released a book entitled The Reluctant Artist: Navigating and Sustaining a Creative Path, in which she discusses the creative process in depth. She has been a guest speaker at writing workshops in Los Angeles and was most recently a guest teacher at the University of Hong Kong, speaking on the topic of creative freedom. She has a Masters degree from the University of Chicago and currently splits her time between Los Angeles and San Miguel de Allende. You can learn more at

Karen Kinney

Questions you may be asking...


Who is this workshop for?

This three-hour workshop is for anyone who is interested in nurturing their creativity and unique, authentic expression through their writing or any other creative medium.

What is the format of the workshop?

Karin and Karen will present a comprehensive talk on creative freedom, which includes practical tools and real-life examples. It will also include guided discussion and some hot-seat coaching for volunteers to help you move forward with greater flow in your creative pursuits.

Is this workshop primarily for writers?

Creative Freedom applies to any form or medium for creative expression, whether that be writing, visual arts, music, performance or anything else that wants to be birthed.

The lens and specific examples will be pulled from the writing and fine art fields, drawing on Karin and Karen’s hands-on experiences.

Do I need to prepare anything?

Nope! Just bring your good self and maybe a pen/paper to jot down all the good nuggets!

If you want, you might do some writing beforehand to investigate your relationship to creativity and identify any specific questions you may have, or areas where you feel blocked.

What is included?

We will provide light refreshments.

Doors open at 1:30pm. Participants are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy some mingling and food/drink beforehand. We will start promptly at 2pm.

What about parking?

The house is located in a residential area with plenty of free street parking. All the pertinent details will be emailed to you upon registration.

What if I can’t make the date? Will you be offering it again?

Karin and Karen will be teaching this workshop at the San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference in Mexico during the week of February 12-16, 2020. It’s a great conference, and we would love for you to come down and join us!

Be sure to sign up for the Spirit of Story e-letter, so you’re in the loop about upcoming offerings!


Kind words...


“I love your style of teaching, way of being, and the space you hold and the opening you create. Just so grateful for what you do.”

Kelli Bean-Miranda

I love the space you hold and the opening you create...

… you got me writing again... thank you. 

“Bless you…. I have no idea what I’m doing, but you got me writing again, after way too long… Thank you....”

Marnie Pomerantz

You being brought into my life at this time in another confirmation to me that my life is in Divine order. When the student is ready the teacher appears. Looking forward to continuing the journey with you and all the amazing souls that you attract…”

Arlie Manuel

... when the student is ready the teacher appears...

... I really feel like I’m activated inside, like my soul is finding its way...

Thank you for your awesomeness... I just have to tell you how much this process and OPPORTUNITY means to me to be on this path, with you leading the way. I really really really feel like I'm activated inside, like my SOUL is finding its way.

You are really good at what you do. I feel so lucky to be in this stream swimming along with your raft ahead.”

Samantha Weaver

“I have no idea how I remembered you or why I have a pull towards you. But here I am... all signed up for you to help me in surrendering to something beyond creativity, and I know you are my teacher in these moments..”

Parminder Kaur

Here I am… for you to help me surrender to something beyond creativity...

Thank you, Karin, for unlocking my story…

“You are amazing at what you do!! You are very good at finding ways to get people to open up. Thank you, Karin, for unlocking my story and making me feel again.”

Blythe Asher