Kelli Hyland graduated from the University of Utah Medical School and completed her residency there as well. She is a poet, mother, psychiatrist, and business-owner. And an artist.
City, State, Country:
Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Do you have a primary creative medium?
I dabble in a lot of things. Medicine, which can be very creative, is what I formally studied, but I also paint, draw, and write poems. I am also a businesswoman.
Please describe your creative process:
I have to slow down, have space to daydream, or physically wander. Travel, reading literature or poetry, and visiting art museums help me feel inspired. I also have to turn my inner critic off. Creating feels like prayer to me; pausing and letting my quietest, most honest self bubble up and be brave enough to express.
Looking back on your childhood, who has been the biggest influence on your work?
Definitely my mom. She was an artist and identified as such. I didn't see myself as an artist or like her at all in that way, but because she appreciated art, collected art, taught art, and was incredibly and outrageously creative and playful in so many aspects of our lives, I grew up valuing art, artists, creativity, and curiosity. Because of my mother, I was in awe of the "right brain." I credit my freedom, creative problem-solving, optimism, and open-mindedness entirely to my mother.
How old were you when you realized that you're an "artist" or a "creative person"?
What are the biggest barriers to continuing your creative work?
Making time and space to create, finding alone time, and being disciplined all pose a challenge. In order to really tap into my creativity, I have to consciously be Kelli, not someone's mom, wife, or doctor. Self care is hard enough, but making myself slow down to write or draw is the hardest.
Here is one of Kelli's poems:
- keeping my head above.
- once saved me from drowning, disappearing,
- washing away.
- lost in chaos.
- convinced its all i had
- (kept me alive, and now)
- keeps me irritated,
- fixing what’s broken
- works as a doctor,
- and doesn’t.
- is the nightmare in my closet.
- watching Scout helps.
- always urging her brave,
- seems silly,
- if i can’t myself.
- loving her,
- wanting to learn her
- (and myself),
- see and meet her;
- not think, know
- or fix her.
- means not-broken.
- means learning to listen,
- learning to learn,
- there’s more to me,
- i am discovering.