Martha Michael | ‘Creativist’ Works for the Whole


There are a lot of words to describe what Rene Urbanovich can do. She’s a musician, a teacher and author, but you can also throw in analyst, therapist, cheerleader and mom.

Overall, one of the best ways to describe her is with the term “creativist,” or creativity activist.

This week she was the presenter at 1 Million Cups, a weekly meeting that’s open to the public where speakers share their entrepreneurial pursuits. Rene’s turn at the front of the room at Undergrounds Coffeehouse was less about her business model than it was a deep dive into the creative force within everyone – even those who don’t think they have one.

“The whole point is nothing is isolated,” Rene explained. “Creativity exists for the collective and it’s for the benefit of holding all things together. That’s the mission statement of my book.” 

An author several times over, Rene just published “Creativity Connection Conundrum,” a 220-page book examining the creative drive and offering a new worldview for those who want to live the creative life.

“A creativist is someone who is going to work on themselves, work on their art, work on their gift to society – whatever it is – and go through the process to be self-developed, and then contribute it to the whole,” Rene explained. “That’s my passion.”

A mother of four grown children – two boys and two girls – Rene’s daughters, Rosie and Tessa, are vocal young women who learned from a master how their own creative choices can make an impact on the world. Rene believes the strength and self-reliance they gained was due, in part, because they saw her working hard as a voice coach.

“My own daughters have taken the baton mostly from their dad,” she said. “They have a really strong voice and they’re not afraid to use it.”

As a working parent, Rene’s choices gave her children a greater paternal impact, as her husband had more opportunities to share in child-care duties. Motherhood is where her commitment to living creatively began, which she communicated through her book entitled “Maternallyours.”

“It talks about that powerful relationship that teaches you spirituality and it teaches you to be selfless. My mission statement as a mom is to do what’s good for the collective,” said Rene, who earned a master’s degree in humanities. “I do what’s best for the collective, what’s better for the family, not what’s best for me, which is really hard sometimes.”  

Her next book was entitled “Silence Broken.” 

“That’s about mothers and daughters and it’s about creativity,” she said. “The thesis has to do with ‘collage’; I take a little something from the daughter, the mother, the maid – everybody – and we make a new whole. So, everybody has a contribution to the new whole.” 

Applying a message from her most recent book, Rene has served the collective – not just working for earnings. And as a singing teacher she makes an impact by giving girls and women a voice – in more ways than one.

“As a voice teacher I’m teaching girls to sing, but sometimes I start with, ‘We’re going to work on your speaking voice,’” Rene explained, sometimes sharing with a student, “‘You’re 30 years old, but you talk like a 16-year-old. Nobody’s going to take you seriously.’”

There’s a difference between a soft voice and a weak voice, she said. In fact, looking back, Rene sees that some of her loudest “belters” and “screamers” were kids with very little say in their personal lives. 

“Their voice of choice was singing,” she said. “Your voice and your creativity are all lumped together. I employ all of that in my voice training.” 

It pleases Rene to see that many of the millennials she meets are devoting their businesses to sowing good and making huge changes.

“I feel like this generation has less to heal from. They care about the collective more – some of them,” she said. “Women are wired for the collective … and as soon as we have the stronger voice, compassion will reign … more compassion and less competition. That’s what I see and that’s what I hope.” 

Her prediction for future generations includes a good return on creative freedoms, especially for females. 

“As women get individually stronger, these girls have a stronger voice than ever before. And that’s a good thing,” Rene said. “Mix it with our wiring as females, and it’s a lot of global healing.” 

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Martha Michael is a Signal staff writer.

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