As I try to reconnect with my soul purpose (painting) and translating that into meaningful, inspiring, and heart-centered images, I have discovered a new focus. One that uses another of my great loves in this lifetime—animals—as a language to translate the spirit into the physical world. My more well-know subject matter has typically been in the human realm—languid female beauties reading quietly or gazing at some distant fixating object. They allowed me to hone my skills in realism and create atmospheric settings that one longed to exist within. The disconnect I started to feel about these subjects in the last year or so had to do with the meaning… specifically what they meant to me. And I realized they often meant a great deal more to others than to myself.
I was becoming more and more drawn to the magic of shamanism and Native American spirituality in my life—something that had always been a part of my personal life narrative—through friends, books, music, and dreams, and one day it just clicked. I was sitting in a conference hall, attending a renowned conference on graphic design (my day job) when the speaker asked us to write down on a piece of paper what we were passionate about. Something told me that I should have been writing “typography” or “mastering the newest features of Adobe InDesign,” but the word I wrote was “painting.” Then the speaker asked us to write down something we loved. I wrote “animals.” The reason behind the speaker’s instructions were a fuzzy echo as I stared at those two words on my paper. So simple. There it was.
I had already been batting around the idea of painting an animal, but now it was out in the real world for good. Suddenly everything I had been so drawn to for so long made immediate sense. I started sketching it out, right there in the conference hall, my first creation—Fox. Fox had been visiting me, in the spirit world that is, for almost three years. First in dreams, then everywhere I looked—on clothing, bookmarks, jewelry—sometimes in person as I drove my rural commute to work in the morning. Other animals had made their presence known along the way, but fox was unrelenting. He needed my attention.
The excitement I felt at this realization is hard to put to words. However, the practical side of me that worries that I won’t have the energy to actually make these ideas a reality spoke up loud and clear. I knew I had to set a strong intention. So the idea of a 12-month calendar of spirit animal guides came to light. I am nothing if not goal-oriented! Something that keeps my graphic design career on the upswing, but also lights that ever-loving fire under my ass to get in front of the easel and stop dreaming of when I’ll have time to paint.
So, here we go. This blog is foremost to help me to continue to reclaim my soul purpose, to stop listening to the inner critic who says I don’t have time or creative energy after a full work day, and to reconnect to those beautiful spirits who show up in the form of animals, who remind us of who we really are.