Featured Member of the Month: Martina Shapiro

A TCC member for ten years, Martina Shapiro was an artist first, then became an engineer and finally returned to visual art again. Her ability to apply creativity in everything she does is overwhelmingly comforting in our fast paced way of life. Lucky for us, Martina will be conducting TCC’s first Creativity Workshop on October 28, where members will hear firsthand the secret behind embracing your creative flow.

Please tell us a bit about your journey to become an artist.
[MS] I’ve always loved and studied art since I was a young child but didn’t have the opportunity to study it in University, and instead majored in electrical engineering. When I immigrated to Canada from Czech Republic I needed to earn an income so I completed my Masters in computer science at UBC. It has only been within the last 15 years that I have been able to focus on art full-time. I’ve realized that in order to pursue art as a career I need to really ‘live’ the art.

What is one thing you have learned as an artist that you wish to share with others?
[MS] That anyone can be creative. We tend to associate creativity with the arts but it can be applied to our everyday life and work, no matter what our profession is. It’s just a question of learning how to allow our natural creativity to come through in whatever we choose to do. Our everyday, analytical life tends to suppress creativity by focusing solely on performance and end results. Creativity is a process, not a product. It comes from play, curiosity, fun, fearlessness, and embracing the unexpected, from being comfortable with ambiguity and paradox.

We are very excited for the Creativity Workshop that you will be conducting for members on October 28. Can you give us a hint of what you plan to do?
[MS] Well, this will be my first time running this workshop so members should know that it is new for me too! When the idea was first discussed, I felt that a workshop would provide a great opportunity for members to meet each other and engage in deeper conversations. I will start the workshop by sharing my own practical experience with creativity and ways to break out of everyday analytical thinking and engaging the right brain instead.
During the workshop, we will do a few creative exercises in a very relaxed environment. Creativity lives in play and wonder so that’s exactly what I plan for us to do. People have different talents but everyone has the ability to be creative. During the workshop, members will learn how to apply creativity to their everyday life. The exercises will not focus on producing a piece of art but experiencing the feeling of being creative. You do not need any previous art experience or even art aptitude to take this workshop. It’s not about any performance; it’s about coming together to share and have fun!

Why did you become a member of Terminal City Club?
[MS] My husband and I were originally members of a different club but were drawn to Terminal City Club for all it has to offer. In addition to the facilities and services, we love that the membership base is varied in terms of member’s age and background, which makes the Club have a “hip” feel to it. A few of our friends from other clubs also ended up moving over here.

What do you enjoy the most about the Club?
[MS] My husband and I have been members of the Club for ten years now and we find the club perfect for our lifestyle. As an artist, I don’t have fixed hours so I need a place where I can bring guests and clients at any point during the day and know that we will receive good service and quality food.

I love the Fitness Centre, especially the pool, which in my opinion is the best pool in the city. You feel as if you’re swimming outside! I also enjoy going to The Grill for lunch and to 1892 and Cuvée when I am entertaining guests. It’s the perfect environment to host clients – peaceful and quiet.

Favourite dish?
[MS] Well, our Pastry Chef is amazing! I can’t say I have a favourite dish, but I do feel confident that I am always going to receive high quality food wherever I eat in the Club.

How do you spend your time outside of your work?
[MS] Making art! I don’t view art as work because it is not only my profession, but also my passion and hobby. If I thought of it as hard work it would show in my paintings. The feeling and state of mind I am in while creating art reflects back when you look at it. In terms of other hobbies, I love the outdoors, reading and music.

Do you volunteer?
[MS] I volunteer through my artwork by gifting my paintings to charities which they then auction to raise money to support their cause.

What would you say to someone considering joining TCC?
[MS] That it’s the best club in the city! The location, facilities and member base is unparalleled to any other club. TCC will provide you with that comfortable place, to bring your guests and clients, where you can have a predictably good experience every time you visit.