About Sue Krupa Gray:
Sue Krupa Gray was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, one of seven children, and is one in a set of triplets. As a singer/ songwriter, Sue has recorded music in Nashville, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City for Deseret Book, Lex de Azevedo, and for Especially For Youth (along with several self-published works). For over twenty years, she has been a youth and women’s group speaker, often traveling across the United States to spread her message. More recently, she has been involved in humanitarian efforts in Kenya with a local group called, “Africa Is Life Changing.” Sue has also served on the board of directors of the nonprofit group “Anything for a Friend,” where she helped raise needed funds for people with terminal illness or a life threatening disease.
Upon realizing her love for writing lyrics and short stories, Sue’s latest creative effort is a memoir of her own personal story of finding and using faith through adversity, titled “I Just Looked Up”, and a 12 song album, "Shine Your Light On Me".
City, State, Country:
South Jordan, UT, USA
What is your definition of creativity?:
Creativity is learning not to just feel the wind…but to see it. It comes from a place so deep within that often it seeps through in spurts until it is ready to be discovered. It’s a combination of love, spirit, soul, and mind that swell to meet God for color and design, until a perfect piece of art is revealed.
Tell me about your family life:
Gary and I chose to make a life together close to 24 years ago. We invited two children into our home, and they have been the most beautiful aspect of our lives and marriage. Because of them, I have learned to see and feel just how close heaven really is. Throughout the years, our family has experienced every kind of heartbreak there is, but we now find ourselves better for the journey…and we would not change a thing.
Do you have a primary creative medium?
Writing, music, friendship, service, and creating peaceful spaces in my home.
Please describe your creative process:
My creative journey has evolved through the years. Now I no longer try to plan for it or control it; I let it lead me instead. I often wake up with a “feeling” that I can’t shake and wind my way down to my piano or computer and allow it to pour out of me. Most of my best music comes in one sitting as I craft the words and music at the same time. I no longer fight any of it-I just let it happen.
Have you experienced challenges to your creative work? What are the biggest barriers to continuing your creative work?
The only barriers I seem to bump into are the ones that come from a body riddled with constant chronic pain after 7 shoulder rebuilds that have affected my entire upper body (although, I never allow it to stop me!). I have learned that the quiet and restful periods we experience are also adding to creative processes in their own distinct way. The mind is a perfect canvas where creative things blossom.
How old were you when you realized that you're an artist or a creative person?
I didn’t really find music until I was 17 years old, when I had left my home in Rhode Island to escape an abusive home. It was a creative writing teacher that saw something in me and helped me learn to foster my talent, usually sending me to the piano labs to write music instead of sitting through class time. Then, Lex de Azevedo heard me sing at a college luncheon and devotional and later invited me to come see him when I moved to Salt Lake City. From there, I started to write and record for local music projects and companies. What I truly believe happened was that God knew I had to have a creative outlet to work through a tragic and sorrowful past with my family of origins. So He gave me music. Later I found a gift to write too. These talents have walked me through some of the most trying times of my life.
If you could give a new mother advice about honoring her creativity while mothering, what would you tell her?
Fill yourself with all things beautiful as you raise and love your young children and babies. When the time is right, you will have a treasure chest filled with amazing things. Time is not the gift to creation…love is. Love everyone well in your life, and you’ll never miss out on finding what gifts are inside of you. There are beautiful, meaningful reflections that surround us in faces, places, memories, etc. Your life is your creativity.
What work are you most proud of?
My children and the relationships I enjoy in life are by far my best "creative works." But as of late, my impending memoir, “I Just Looked Up” and its companion album, “Shine Your Light On Me” are the artistic accomplishments I am most proud of.
Even after years of cultivating my creative gifts, I'm just now coming into understanding my talents and gifts and how to use them. I returned from a trip to Africa after losing my mother and burying a second sister and opened up my computer. What poured out was astounding. These two projects are raw, real, and deal with important issues such as: mental health challenges, sexual abuse, losing faith, finding hope, death, family dysfunction, and many subjects that people find hard to talk about. I only want to use my gifts to help others.
Explore more of Sue's work at www.suekrupa.com
Read her interview with "Our Voices Magazine"
Click below to listen to a song off of Sue's new album!