We had the good fortune of connecting with Raghubir Kintisch and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raghubir, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I have always been a big risk taker: personal art projects, professional art projects, entrepreneurial projects, a return to academia in my 60’s, and the reinvention of my career at least 5 times since I was in my twenties. It’s important to think things through and to assess the impact your projects may have, but I have found that the most worthwhile outcomes stem from taking the biggest risks.
When decisions are made from the heart, it is predominantly based on risk; most things “decided” from there are the most authentic and result in the biggest return. When the head gets overly involved, the risk factor lessens and the return lessens, too. Risk-taking is the way to dismantle your blocks and to get around obstacles. Risk-taking gives you lots of creative choices and sets you free. Without risk-taking, you will never have the impact you were meant to have on the planet. Risk is the essential ingredient in any creative endeavor. Without risk, you can’t move forward. Without risk, you can’t experiment. Without risk, you can’t love. Without risk, you can’t succeed. And most importantly, without risk, you can’t share your gifts with the world.
There isn’t a successful creative person out there who hasn’t had to take risks. The whole business of being an artist – which is basically making something out of nothing – is 100% unadulterated jumping-out-of-an-airplane-without-a-parachute. Creative people fail all the time and those who are the most successful, fail the most! The most creative people have the most output because they are fearless risk-takers; that doesn’t mean that every single creative idea is a home run, it just means that they have more creative output to edit from.
Creativity not only requires courage and a belief in one’s ideas; it also requires faith. Neurologically speaking, creativity is the by-product of our brains making long distance connections. Playing it safe, doesn’t require much risk and the brain doesn’t have to stretch very far. Risk-taking is like a muscle that needs to be exercised; the more risks you take, the more creativity you can bring to your life. Thinking in unusual and unexpected ways is at the core of living creatively and having the courage to try things out and to release them into the world, is what being an artist is all about.
The most common reasons people don’t deliver on their projects is because of fear of criticism, of failing, or even of just being “seen”. Putting oneself “out there” might be the scariest part of creativity to some, but it is the most exciting part to me. I believe that it is the key to living a truly happy and fulfilled life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am first and foremost, an educator. I teach art at three local institutions: Otis College of Art and Design, Notre Dame High School and The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. I am also a trainer and teacher of Kundalini Yoga with a special focus in creativity. I founded The School for Creative Aquarians this year; an experiential creative community and learning institution serving the synergy of spiritual and artistic endeavors for people of all ages, interests, and levels of mastery. Operating in both digital and community classrooms, the SFCA uses the highly effective technology of Kundalini Yoga to create free self-expression and deep soul healing. Our members offer classes, workshops, discussions, gatherings around many subjects and issues; interdisciplinary group creative projects, and courses on The Eleven Yogic Arts of Creative Living, Kundalini Yoga for Children and their Grownups, Kundalini Chair Yoga for elders and those with physical challenges, LGBT+ youth and teens, and more…and a Foundational Kundalini Yoga Training.
I live in the intersection of art and spirituality and my personal artwork is an expression of that. When describing my artwork, I would say that it is multi-disciplinary; I use paint, sound, video, installation, performance, writing, community engagement and yogic technology to investigate and dismantle the boundaries between spiritual and artistic practices.
Because I believe that creativity is a spiritual pursuit and spirituality is a creative action, I wrote The Eleven Yogic Arts of Creative Living in order present Kundalini Yoga practice through the lens of creativity. Shortly after, I published its sister volume, the Work Book for the Eleven Yogic Arts of Creative Living, which is a deep dive into the former volume. Both books provide historical context as well as present-day practicality to live a creative and fulfilled life. I am presently teaching a course based on the workbook through The School for Creative Aquarians. Information is on the SFCA website.
Like many artists and teachers, my work this past year has been about my relationship with the pandemic – adopting a more compassionate point of view with my students of art and bringing strength and health-building practices to yoga students.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow that’s a difficult question! I love certain buildings in downtown like the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and Disney Hall and even though it’s changed considerably with the times, going to the Central Market is always a gas! Union Station is always mind-blowingly beautiful as well as the Public Library. I love LA’s museums including the Natural History Museum; the Hammer, MOCA, the Broad, and LACMA, and the Craft Contemporary. Then, there are the gardens — Descanso, Huntington Library, and the Arboretum. I’d have to drive them up to The Self Realization Fellowship “Mother Center” in Mt. Washington, too while I was at it….and on the West Side, is the SRF Lake Shrine. Going to the beach is a must…no favorite spots; it’s all good. LA has amazing murals and public art, Case Study Houses, and the Gamble House in Pasadena. Some of my favorite places to eat are Viet Noodle Bar and India Sweets and Spices in Atwater Village, Vinh Loi Tofu in Reseda, VeSTATION in Sherman Oaks, and H.O.P E. in Studio City.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Last December, the art world lost an amazing artist whose impact has not only been felt by fellow artists and admirers, but by her students at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts where she was both a beloved teacher and the co-chair of the visual arts department.
Liz Young was also one of my dearest friends. I looked up to her as a stellar example of a person living life to the fullest, she transmuted every obstacle into a triumph despite severe physical challenges, and as the embodiment of Creative Living there is no one more perfect than Liz to dedicate my shout out to. Liz left us too soon after a short and intense battle with cancer. Liz took a lot of risks– she was as fearless in her art as she was in her life – but no matter what, she taught us that hard work, determination, and faith breeds fulfillment in all things. You can learn more about her work @ https://www.lizyoungproduce.com