Kevin 'Koovy' McLachlan is a Yukon-born singer/songwriter, dancer, actor, and much more. After the release of his EP titled The Promise, we spoke with him around the ways creativity impacts his mental wellbeing.
What does creativity look like for you in your professional life? Your personal life? Are there differences between the two?
Creativity in my professional life is in the day-to-day activities. As a music theatre performer, it's often falling under one of the many disciplines within the form such as singing, acting, or dancing. Sometimes that's my own interpretation of someone else's work, and other times that's the creation of my own. For me, creativity expands in my personal life in the form of singing, playing, and writing my own original music, as well as breaking (breakdancing) a fundamentally-freestyle dance form.
The biggest differences between the two are how creativity is explored in each. When performing a show day after day - it needs to be consistent and repeatable so that the lines are the same and the movement the same, and yet each day it needs to be rediscovered for the first time. Within my own creatives ventures there is more freedom, I can explore something differently each time I do it when it's not being presented as performance but instead done as exploration.
Do you think creativity and your brain health are connected? How so?
I think creativity and brain health are inseparable from each other.
Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Joyful creation can only exist in a healthy mental place, where participating in something creative is a truly euphoric experience. It's a moment full of freedom and expression and that "flow" state. However, I'm also aware that often times from great suffering creativity is a tool that allows people to move past and work through their experiences, and sometimes that begins in an unhealthy mental place. But in these darker times and moments - I believe creativity is an antidote, and an essential tool in healing and growth.
In what mindset / "state of mind" are you most creative?
There is not a time when I am more or less creative. There are environments - sometimes with blank paper and my guitar, sometimes in a studio with other dancers, but sometimes we arrive in these places and find them remarkably devoid of these feelings. The very place we formed something new and unique can sometimes be the setting where we sit and wait for it to arrive and it never comes. Creativity is an openness; you need to be willing to put in the work of your form and your craft that when a creative idea arrives you have the tools to use it, knowing that sometimes it never comes. And still other times you're on the bus, or in bed, and you have to sprint to catch up to an idea that struck you like lightning before it disappears.
Do you have a brain health tip you'd like to share? Something that you do everyday or almost everyday to intentionally take care of your brain's wellbeing.
What helps me most with my creativity is looking in other places for it. When I become stuck or lethargic in my creative mind, I actively pursue something separate from art and from what I'm pursuing. More often than not when I turn to other disciplines or facets of my life the creative spirit comes rushing back from a place where we least expect it.