Get to Know Your Artist!

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With my abstract frequency artwork, "Planetary Potency," being part of the 38th Annual Valley Visual Arts Show here in Carbondale, Colorado, I've been asked to answer some questions as part of Carbondale Arts' "Get To Know Your Artists" initiative. 

After taking the time to write up all my answers, I figured they'd make perfect content for a new blog post! 

Why do you make the art that you make?

Because I can't NOT create it. I'm driven by something beyond my ego and the limits of the mind. I'm driven by pure soul essence. Sharing the frequencies of innocence and joy.

What inspires your work the most?

The reconnection to joy and innocence, which are our pure states of existence (my son and dogs continually remind me of that!). When we're in joy and innocence, we're able to expand our own realities. My work - whether abstract or illustrative - is meant to connect us all to our own wide-eyed, delighted inner innocent state. To spark something that reminds and allows others to view the world through childlike eyes again. There's enough negativity and darkness; I want to bring some sunshine through the clouds for others. 

How has your work evolved in recent years? / What is your personal and/or artistic background?

I actually gave up art almost completely for 20 years. I was told by my teachers growing up that I had no talent because still life and landscape paintings bored me to tears. Because I had no interest in replicating something that already existed, instead preferring to explore my own perspective and interpretation (my current pet portrait artwork is a good example of this, as they are stylized and not photorealistic - I say take a photo if you want realism!)

Unfortunately, I believed those teachers and moved into graphic design as a consolation prize to myself.

A few years ago, I started doing pet portraits for my coworkers while managing websites and doing design work at a pet company. Based on the warm reception of my artwork, and the beginnings of commission requests, I gave myself permission to expand into abstract pieces, and then began creating my own illustrations such as my Animals of Inspiration and my Dancing Uniquorns.

As an energy healer, I've increasingly been adding frequencies to my art and have noticed that the more I get my ego out of the way and let the magic flow, the more impact my work seems to have.

Describe your studio.

During the spring and summer months, I prefer to draw and paint outside. I'll set myself up with a drop cloth and bask in the fresh air and sunshine. I've moved around a lot and lived in many different spaces, so having a consistent studio space has been tricky. I use this to my advantage, though, and have learned how to set myself up for success, creating literally anywhere! I've even created an entire video series called "Mellie's Car Art" to demonstrate how creativity and artistic expression can happen anywhere, with any tools, in any amount of time you happen to have.

What are your thoughts on being an artist in today’s world?

On the internet, I've noticed widespread and blatant copying of others' works. Self-righteous, even. For that reason, I feel that holding onto and strengthening the purity of our own individual works and processes is crucially important.

I believe that copying others' work is doing oneself a huge disservice, because the magnificence of what each of us is truly meant to create and share cannot find its way through the clutter when we're too focused on replicating someone else's expression of a subject or style. We wouldn't be so inspired to create if we weren't truly here to make a difference through own own creations. We can only make that difference and have the depth of impact we were each meant for when we're doing it OUR own unique way. I call it "Finding Your Own Uniquorn (unique + unicorn)." It's magical.

How do you deal with creativity blocks?

The only time I have "creativity blocks" is when I've let my mind take over and move me out of the present moment. In each moment, we have access to infinite possibilities. And when we let ourselves explore those possibilities IN each moment - without agenda - there ARE no blocks. There is only flow. If I find myself getting tied up in my own (or my perception of others') expectations, I bring myself back to center and remind myself to move step by step. One mark or move at a time. My best work always happens when I'm not forcing anything. When my only intention is to allow source energy to move.

What are your hopes for the future?

I hope that my joyful, high frequency art will spread and spark joy in the lives of many more. I hope to give hope and encouragement to others so that they too feel capable of claiming and following their own visions and move more towards the fullest expression of their own true magic.

Where can people find you when you’re not making art?

Reading books on my Kindle. Adventuring or cuddling with my son. Hiking or rock climbing or walking my dogs around town. Road tripping through the mountains or across the country. Attending low-key local events. I'm most comfortable one on one or in small, intimate groups; being a bit shy, sharing close connections is easier for me than widespread socializing. :)