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ICP 047 Janey Moffatt on Facing Death, Embracing Motherhood and Finding Creative Freedom (Part One)

How Janey tapped into her inner warrior…


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In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The importance of finding one person that believes in you
  • Janey’s first steps to creative freedom
  • How being bipolar impacted Janey’s creative journey
  • How Janey established her own charity
  • How Janey receives funding for her creative work

Janey Moffatt profile picture

Janey Moffatt is the co-founder and co-creator of The Craftimation Factory: a charity created to bring creativity, support and joy to those who most need it.

Founded with her mother, Linda, in 2012, the Craftimation Factory delivers creative projects and workshops to schools, festivals and communities.

In this episode, part one of two, Janey reveals her story: a story that involves a fifteen year career as a film and video producer, a traumatic childbirth and a creative childhood growing up amongst the troubles in Northern Ireland.

Janey describes how she found her own creative success with the support of her Mum and how she finally came to terms with being diagnosed with bipolar after many years of non-acceptance.

More recently, Janey has documented the desperate challenges for women living in Afghanistan: regularly facing death.

Part two will be published next week.

Items mentioned in this episode (quick access):

The Craftimation Factory

[0:00:42] Introducing Janey Moffatt.

[0:01:20] Janey describes her charity, The Craftimation Factory.

[0:02:05] Knitting and puppet making.

[0:02:24] Janey reveals where her work comes from and government grants.

[0:02:54] Working with adults experiencing mental health issues.

[0:03:21] Building relationships with schools, art galleries and festivals.

[0:03:52] Janey describes how her charity is organised. Calling on freelancers to deliver her work.

Making connections

[0:05:09] How her charity has evolved organically. Paid freelancers.

[0:06:47] Why Janey works mostly with arts, crafts and simple technologies. Stop-motion software.

[0:07:31] Confidence building.

[0:07:41] Janey describes how her work benefits people.

“Being creative is a fundamental human need.” – Janey Moffatt

Growing up in Northern Ireland

[0:08:55] What Janey’s life was like as a child. Inventing small worlds. Fantasies.

[0:10:30] Janey reveals why it was important to her to create her fantasy worlds. Her town being bombed. Growing up during times of trouble.

[0:11:50] Playing imaginative games. Creative writing. Role playing. Satin pyjamas. Taping radio shows.

[0:13:15] The day Janey realised her creative writing could be graded.

“I remember being in complete shock that there was such a thing as being graded.” – Janey Moffatt

Victims of a system

[0:14:32] Being sensitive as a child. Living in a certain level of fear.

[0:15:30] Having enough money. Security.

[0:16:30] Undoing conditioning to say what it is we want to say.


[0:16:57] Facing Bipolar. Janey’s journey. The sensitivity spectrum.

[0:17:58] Links between sensitivity and a higher aptitude for creativity.

[0:19:05] Support for mental health. Schools being squeezed. No provision for life skills.

[0:20:22] Janey describes Bipolar in her terms.

[0:21:50] Highs. Low. Getting sick and getting a lot done.

[0:22:22] Janey reflects on coming to terms with being Bipolar.

[0:23:00] Not being normal being seen as dangerous.

“When I was growing up being sensitive…was a really bad thing.” – Janey Moffatt

Finding freedom

[0:23:27] Reading. Stephen Fry. Kay Redfield Jamison.

[0:24:10] Adam Ant.

[0:24:25] Lightbulb moment. Accepting Bipolar. Seeing therapists. Relief.

[0:25:21] Playing to your strengths.

Living other people’s dreams

[0:26:23] Janey describes how she ended up in England. University in Leeds at eighteen years of age. Husband is a television producer.

[0:27:15] A turning point for Janey. The arrival of her new son. Being a stay-at-home Mum. Having a really terrible time.

[0:28:20] Feeling old and realising that she was mortal. Not being herself.

[0:28:39] Missing the passionate, inspired and enthusiastic little girl she was.

[0:29:06] 3 ways out. Janey’s options.

Doing what you really want to do

[0:30:10] Stuff that worked. Being playful. Not having a plan. Taking the first step.

[0:30:35] Janey’s first step to freedom and doing what she wanted to do.

[0:31:00] The importance of finding one person that believes in you.

The inspiring women of Afghanistan

[0:31:46] Filming in Afghanistan. Being frightened for her life. December 2013.

[0:32:15] Meeting a peace activist.

[0:32:54] Moving into a sphere of nice people.

[0:33:16] Finding funding for the film. The reality of Afghanistan.

[0:34:15] Making a film about the difficulties of giving birth and becoming a mother.

[0:35:15] Janey talks about being the warrior within her.

“No life is wasted. No life is pointless. No life is beyond having expression.” – Janey Moffatt

Outsider art and sculpting an incredible life

[0:37:34] Creative masters.

[0:38:05] Janey reveals how she tapped into her inner warrior. Life or death. Cancer. Awakening. Janey’s traumatic experience giving birth.

[0:38:45] Preview of part 2 with Janey Moffatt.

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Carisbrooke House Pilot Project from Janey Moffatt on Vimeo.

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