The Conspiring Universe and Turning 30
Originally posted on September 2, 2017 on the beta version of my website.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” - passage from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I have recently felt the urge to re-read one of my favorite books, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It came from a combination of feeling a bit lost with how to proceed with my art goals, and hearing a wonderful episode of Oprah’s podcast Super Soul Conversations, featuring Coelho. In all honesty, all of Oprah’s podcast episodes are truly fabulous. If you haven’t watched/listened to this series, do yourself a favor and find it immediately!
As I began a new project in the studio today (which I will explain in a moment), I downloaded the audible format of The Alchemist and listened for an hour. I actually felt a bit distracted while painting because I wanted to listen and absorb every word of this story, which I was finding difficult to do while creating something new. I have read this book several times in the past, however I still wanted to hear every word and give my mind space to contemplate the author’s message.
The passage that I have displayed at the top of this post really stood out to me. I love the image of a universe in some sort of character’s form, hunched over a boiling cauldron, or perhaps hiding away in a secret chamber scribbling away on a piece of parchment, cackling aloud about the wonderful plan it has come up with for me. I have heard this message about the universe conspiring to help in various forms, but this time it really hit me. It was such a pleasant realization, finding that whatever I want to accomplish in my life, the universe has my back. This I believe to be true. It goes along with my favorite Joseph Campbell quote: “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
Now, some catching up on my personal life: I have taken a little summer hiatus from my studio and my blog, but for a very important reason. I am now a married woman, with a real-life live-in husband! After a year of long distance, I’ve got my guy here in Germany with me. This is such a happy reality for me, and I’d like to give a shout out to the universe for helping make this happen. In actuality, I should be giving a shout out to Skype for making the year of long-distance bearable, but surely the universe played a role in the creation of Skype all those years ago? Let’s just say it was a group effort: me, him, Skype, and the universe.
We had the wedding in Nova Scotia (his home province) in the gardens of a B&B, a lovely place called La Maison Larochelle in Selma. The property was stunning and just my style. It was a mix of shabby chic, eclectic, natural, and beautiful. The owners of the B&B were SO helpful and accommodating over the course of our four day stay, even allowing us to have a wine and painting party in the kitchen and host a brunch for fifteen. We had a small ceremony in the gardens surrounded by our favorite people, a plethora of gorgeous plants, and a very blue sky. I really enjoyed the time spent after the ceremony going around the local area getting our picture taken by our friendly photographers Topher and Rae from Topher + Rae Studios (side note: I am super excited to see the final images since I know we got some gorgeous backdrops in fields of wildflowers, rocky and colorful Mars-like coastlines, and a very saturated sunset). The reception was at a wonderful local restaurant called Bing’s Eatery, which also happens to be owned by some awesome people who went out of their way to create customized chalkboard art for our event. The whole day was so lovely.
Back to the present: I am happy and more than fulfilled in my relationship with my new husband, but I am still in the process of getting to where I want to be with my art practice. Today, I began a new project that I expect will invigorate my creative side after too much time out of the studio. In honor of me turning 30 this month, I have decided to start a 30-day challenge, in which I will be creating new art everyday for 30 days. Earlier this year, I embarked on a 100-day challenge, which proved to be very successful in terms of new ideas, though a bit too long for my liking. This time, I am giving myself a shorter timeframe and a no-rules approach. The only rule is make art every day. Just making this decision and starting on day 1, I feel a sense of peace and excited anticipation (even if these emotions sound like oxymorons!). I am ready to discover new ways of pushing my aesthetic, and exploring ideas without any pressure.
This new project comes on the tail of finishing my very first painting commission. Getting hired to paint a commission was such an exciting new venture for me. It’s what I hope will become more common in my art practice as I continue to grow my following and business. It was fun to consult with the client on how to create a work that will flow with the vibe of her home, create samples, and then finally, create the actual work. It turned out to be a triptych (3 canvases that go together) with tons of bright magenta, drippy turquoise, and shimmery pearl and gold mica galore. It was fun working with a client who wasn’t afraid of my bright and feminine aesthetic. But now I am ready to dive back into my new project with no rules or restrictions. Just the act of being creative with no rules is such a pleasure and one I am realizing I need to make a priority.
After my first day back in the studio after my summer hiatus, I have come to several realizations:
I need to go to the art store to restock on so many things
Working abstractly with ink is so fun
The act of creating art is magical
And also: I want to do this all day everyday… which is the goal I keep mentioning (have you noticed I am obsessed with goals?). I choose to believe that the universe really is conspiring in some secret corner somewhere (perhaps with a cauldron or scribbled notes on aged parchment), helping me along my path to reaching my goals. So far, I have been pleased with it’s meddling! Stay tuned for my 30-day challenge updates...
Additional note: My latest baby gift was finally delivered to my friends in Moscow after the birth of their daughter. I made it travel themed to reflect their international lifestyle. Look how cute baby Maya is with her new nursery artwork! An old friend saw this baby artwork and reached out to me to inquire about a commission idea she has for her own new baby daughter. Definitely going to add this to the idea list for monetizing my art to a larger market.