Thursday, January 27th, 2011
YOU’RE more creative than you think you are.

That’s the message from Jan Cross, founder of the Extraordinary Mind Project, who has delivered some amazing results in getting people to re-capture their natural creative talents.

“We spend the first few years of our lives in a state of super-learning and creativity but somehow it gets lost,” she said.

“All children love to draw and our programs help people reconnect with this innate ability.

“Many people start out by saying they don’t have a creative bone in their body but then produce art work that astounds themselves and their friends and family.”

Ms Cross says people start out in life as “creativity machines” but, as they get older, the brain becomes hard-wired into repeating what it already knows.

“This is good because otherwise you would have to learn to walk and talk every morning, decide who you like and don’t like, what your opinions and beliefs are and so on,” she said.

“But this is a conservative function so, while your brain is telling you what you already know, you can’t at the same time be having new thoughts, perceptions and insights.

“We use drawing courses as a method of learning how to intercept the hard-wiring. This clears a space and allows you to think fresh thoughts and make new connections, much as you did as a child.”

Inspired by watching her first-born child brimming with enthusiasm and insatiable curiosity, Ms Cross noticed he was coming from a place of joyfulness and unconditional confidence with no concept of fear or risk of mistakes as he tried to master new things.

“This was confronting for me because I was aware of the difference between his state and mine,” she said.

“I had clearly started out in life like that and was left wondering: what happened?

“This set me on a pathway of finding how to recapture and enhance the use of natural talents and creativity.”

Ms Cross said the main challenge she has with people in the Extraordinary Mind Project is getting people to “unlearn” and have faith.

“If you can only draw a stickman, try as you might to get improvement, your brain will orchestrate that level of drawing perfectly because it brings existing experience and learning into play so well,” she said.

“This means very few people are even aware of the possibility of having much more talent.”

It’s a rewarding experience for Ms Cross, who believes it’s a privilege to play with a room full of positive, risk-taking people.

“Participants getting results astonishingly outside their previous experience and being inspired about what can now be possible for them is one of the joys of teaching this method.”

The Extraordinary Mind Project is holding free introductory workshops at Midland’s Polytechnic West on February 7, Murdoch University on February 9, Claremont’s Christ Church Grammar School, on February 12 and Winthrop’s Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre on February 15.

For bookings, call 0488 755 088 or email [email protected] More details available at

emp-asper-jan.jpg: Extraordinary Mind Project founder Jan Cross, right, with Asger Rosenkranz, helping to re-enage his creativity.

emp-drawing-asper.jpg: Within 25 hours, Asger Rosenkranz went from drawing the simple image on the left to the detailed, more complex illustration on the right.

emp-example1.jpg: Narelle Manser-Smith’s work after 22 hours – she is a now a multi-prize-winning artist.

emp-example1.jpg: The progression of Barbara Vinnicombe’s work as she took part in the Extraordinary Mind Project.

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The Extraordinary Mind Project

Jan Cross, Extraordinary Mind Project developer, has specialised knowledge and expertise for anyone wishing to uncover and recapture their natural birthright of extraordinary talents and creativity.

So far, over 2,000 people, many of whom started out saying "I don't have a creative bone in my body", have turned around in a few short hours of working with the Extraordinary Mind Project principles to produce artwork which astounds themselves... and their friends and family!

Most of us live far below our potential, though not because we are lazy or disinterested. The first few years of our lives are spent in an ongoing state of super-learning and creativity. Soon though, due to the hard-wiring of our brains, most of us lose close touch with the potential of these natural abilities.

Jan's innovative approach will help anyone who would enjoy experiencing a fast, sure break through the conditioned, unconscious hard-wiring of the brain and reconnecting with their 'forgotten' abilities.

The method uses drawing abilities as a learning context for - and display case of - applying practical information about the functioning of the mind in any learning, problem solving or creative situation. The results are reliably outstanding ... well outside the 5-10% level of potential that we are commonly thought, and seemingly able, to function within.

The courses are designed so that visual and other habit patterns, including perceptions and beliefs about what's possible and what's so, are intercepted or by-passed. The participant is able to enter the natural learning 'flow state' and the environment can be seen afresh and new skills and ideas come easily. The signature course is aptly named Draw Your Way To Creativity.

Participants see themselves and what's possible for them in a new light ... and like what they see! Many new possibilities open up for everyone - in art, sport, business, relationships, communication, life itself.

The method is the outcome of many years of intense interest and study and creative ongoing trialling of information and ideas by Jan. It synthesises information from varied sources including comparative creativity studies, right brain left brain research, cognitive science, psychology of optimal experience, adult learning, teaching methods, leadership studies, personal development, neurolinguistic programming, meditation, social change research, and others.

The spark. Jan's pioneering work was stimulated initially by observation of her first born, and other young children. She saw them brimming naturally with life and enthusiasm, having insatiable curiosity, unconditional confidence, no concepts of fear or risk, and with an unstoppable desire to learn and master new things. In fact, the first few years presented as an ongoing state of super-learning and creativity.

Being left by these observations with an acute awareness of the difference between this state and that of herself and, apparently, many other adults, Jan resolved to find a way of recapturing for herself what she saw as our birthright, our original art of living - natural creativity.

Jan leads courses and workshops, coaches, speaks regularly to groups and has presented at two conferences. Her courses have been presented by invitation in several of The UWA Extension Summer Schools and her work has been featured in articles in The West Australian, The Sunday Times and several community newspapers. Her participants' achievements have been showcased in exhibitions held at the Perth Concert Hall.
Jan Cross
P: 0488 755 088


WA Western Australia Extraordinary Mind potential brain creativity art artist drawing illustration talent creative thoughts perceptions insights Midland Claremont Murdoch University Claremont what's on things to do get involved Polytechnic West Christ Chu



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