What can you do through creativity to bring more peace and joy into the world?
Transcript for the Take an Art Break Podcast Episode
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Hi everybody. Hello,
Lauren. I’m really excited to have our guest today, Debra Epstein. I know her from, I was in a creativity and consciousness summit that you created, which was really amazing. So I love talking to you, so I couldn’t wait for you to <laugh> to talk to you again. So let us tell us or tell the world a little bit about yourself, who you are and what your visions and passions.
Yeah. So I’m a visionary artist and also a healer. I practice in the shamanic arts and I do body work and energy work, and I work supporting women to create their creative visions and step into their power and do what they love to do in the world. So that’s kind of what I do. And <laugh> yeah, so right now we are sitting in my Medicine lodge, which I call the Cosmic Dreaming Lodge. And I work with guides. And so what I’ve been doing, my creative project that I’ve been working on probably for, gosh, going on a year now has been painting all of the guides that I interact with. So yeah, kind of bringing in the energy of them through, through my artwork.
Oh, I love that. Yeah. last conversation, Lisa and I were talking to Sharon Burton spark Your, spark, your creative coaching, and she mentioned this co this, she just was kind, we were just talking and she started talking about like, asking yourself, you know, the world is hurting, so what can I do? Like, what’s something that I can do in terms of being creative, right? To bring more peace and joy to the world. And just considering the work that you do, we thought it was such a great question to ask you and to just kind of dive deep into today. So like, what can, what can we do as a society to, you know, through creativity to bring more peace and joy? And then like, what can, what can people do as individuals?
Yeah. Well, I believe this, I, I believe it starts with us as individuals. And I, and I think that too, there’s a lot of guilt and shame around that when you’re taking care of yourself first, I wanna serve the world, right? I wanna serve the world. I wanna make the world a better place. But we’re built the world is built up of individuals, right? And we all have this, we all have the capability to take care of ourselves to, you know, bring in more joy and more love and more light. And if we can tap into that and work on that here, then it, it’s like a virus <laugh> that infects others, you know, speaking of virus, like making it a virus like of love versus like, you know, sickness, illness, you know, kind of spin it in the other direction. And I really, it’s, I think it gets overwhelming because there is so much going on in the world that we wanna change, that we’d like to see different, but we’re part of that, that macrocosm. So how is it affecting us on this level, you know, right here in your, in your body, in your cells, in your energy. And so, yeah, that’s kind of what I think about that is like really, like, it’s not a selfish thing, right? It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s an imperative thing that we start to come here and we start to embody that change that we wanna see in the world.
I love the metaphor you used about the virus because we think, you know, you know, right. Getting over our covid right now, we’re all pretty traumatized.
You can recontextualize it, you know, a virus is a good thing if it’s about peace and joy and creativity and more of heart-centered way of being.
Yeah. It’s, it is funny that just kind of popped out, you know, and I, cuz it, what it was coming through me is like thinking about how things go viral on the internet, you know? And that’s a good thing, right? We want, like, whatever, we like this podcast, we want it to go viral, you know, so more people see it, you know? And so like, why couldn’t the same thing be be true of like, creating peace and joy and love? And what I love about art and how going through that channel to create is that art really changes our perception. It changes our, our wiring, it changes our thinking, it changes how we see the world. And it also is a great tool for introspection and going in and, you know, allowing us to create the story or metaphor for how we’re feeling when it’s kind of beyond words.
You know, because we have these words like overwhelm and we have these words, you know, like, and that’s, I think what’s happening right now. A lot of people are feeling really overwhelmed. And what do we do when, you know, when we get overwhelmed? I think a great majority of us kind of shrink back <laugh>, you know? And it’s really interesting too, because like, what I’m noticing out out there is that we wanna, we just wanna go back. We just wanna go back, but we can’t go back because too much has happened. We’ve learned too much. And so you can’t go back, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. But what can we do going forward? So we wanna start thinking forward, right? And art is a great vehicle for, for that expression is a great vehicle for that.
Yeah. So what would you, what would you say to someone who is admittedly feeling overwhelmed? What, and they want to do what you are suggesting, which is sort of create from the personal in order to improve the universal, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> and I, I definitely agree with that. I do believe that when the more personal you become, especially as like an artist mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, funny enough, the more universal your message becomes mm-hmm. <Affirmative> it’s like a, a weird juxtaposition, but I do think that happens. But what if someone is like, today is listening to this and they’re like, oh my gosh, you’re so right. I feel so overwhelmed, but I’m so overwhelmed that I don’t even know where to begin to help my own heart in order to spread that viral message of peace and joy.
Hmm. Yeah. So in my training I’m a myofascial release therapist and one of the, it’s like I wanna say tenants or principles of that doing that kind of work is you meet everything where it is. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, you don’t try to fix it. You don’t try to change it. And then there’s this other great phrase, go with the direction of ease. So when you meet resistance with resistance, you just get this kind of staticky thing, right? Nothing really changes and you’re exhausting yourself, right? So if you’re gonna meet your overwhelm with trying to fix it or change it or blow it up or you know, whatever, it’s gonna stay stuck. And overwhelm is like anything else. It’s a sign or a symptom of something. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So just meeting the overwhelm, admitting I’m overwhelmed <laugh>, so I’m trying to push it away, like, let yourself be overwhelmed.
And it’s funny, even as I’m saying that, you know, cuz I feel the overwhelmed too, you know, <laugh>, I’m getting ready for a trip, I’ve got lots of stuff going, you know, so I could easily allow that overwhelm to overtake me. And so it’s just really about being honest with, oh my God, I am overwhelmed. I’m just gonna sit, I’m gonna sit and just feel the overwhelm. I’m gonna take, take a five minute overwhelm break. And it’s interesting because when you just give it the space, it it, it disperses the energy. Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s, I stop fighting, I fighting it, it’s like real subtle too, cuz it’s not like I’m overtly trying to like stop it from happening. It’s just something I’m feeling, you know? And it’s almost like the result for me is kind of like running around with a, like a chicken with its Ted cutoff, right? <Laugh>,
Yeah. Well, maybe not that dramatic, but like, there’s a little fire in there, you know? So yeah, I think like if I can give myself like a time, time out, you know, and just feel it. And then, you know, it’s funny, I’ve been trying to get to my art table all day and I’m packing some stuff up and it’s really calling me because that’s another strategy for me to kind of meet my overwhelm, is to just feel the energy of it and let it come through in a drawing, a scribble a doodle or whatever. It’s, it’s so, so funny cuz one of the things I say, it’s like we’re not making art, you know, it’s expression. Yeah. And so we don’t need it to be pretty mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, you don’t have to have it finished and you know, it’s just like, ugh, let it out in, in a way that you can see it on the page, you can see what that feels like. And it’s not about it being wrong or bad or pretty or ugly, it’s just, it is what it is. You know?
I love that. I love a couple things that we’re talking about this idea of like, I think a lot of people do think that making art is a selfish act, or, and, and even self care is a selfish act. How, how do we change that perception? Because I’ve been told that, oh, you’re an artist, you’re selfish. You know what I mean? That’s kinda like that, that quick reaction, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So what, what do you say to those folks that think it’s selfish? You know, like straight, straight out <laugh>
Yeah. <Laugh>. Yeah. Well, it’s funny because like, what that makes me think of is when I was in art school and one of my teachers talking about how it is, it’s a self-indulgent, it’s self-indulgent. And then if you’re gonna do, this was a, a portrait class too. Like, so it’s like that’s the highest form of self-indulgence here you are being self-indulgent and just looking at yourself Right. And painting yourself <laugh>. Yeah. And it’s, and it’s, and it’s true that it, that isn’t a, our culture, isn’t it? You know? And it’s you know, how our, how we come to art, it’s like hangs on a wall, it hangs in a museum, it’s pristine. It’s not for the every person. Right. And that, that’s actually like, it’s just what I, what I work in. It’s like we need to get beyond like, well, what do you call selfish? You know? Right.
Yeah. I mean I, right. I think that yeah, I would, I I think that you have to do with selfish what you do with a lot of words, which is kind of create a spectrum of the definition mm-hmm.
That because you, you inherently kind of have to be selfish because you won’t survive. Like Yeah. You have to take, you literally have to take care of yourself or you will perish mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so we’re just taking that to another step. We’re not just talking about eating right. And drinking water and having some shelter. We’re talking about the mental part of that selfishness self. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. Right. If you’re gonna use the word selfish. And I, I would argue that in, in terms of the degrees of selfish that we’re asking people to be right. To be selfish in order to be better mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so if that’s what we’re asking for Yeah. And that’s, and then that’s kind of funny because it’s, is that really, is that really selfish? But what that you do is not selfish if it’s serving. Because even like I volunteer and it’s the greatest feeling in the world and I do it because it makes me feel good. So is that selfish? Sure. I mean, it’s selfish, but it’s also kind of awesome. Yeah. And you know so it’s kind of how you, how you look at it. And I guess you would have to explain to someone like what we mean by being selfish mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, we don’t mean like take from other people. Right. In order to make yourself better. We, we mean the complete opposite. Actually make yourself better in order to serve everybody else, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.
Yeah. Cuz you can’t serve from an empty cup. Right. Right. There’s nothing there, you know, and then it’s really interesting because like, when I think of selfish, I think of like holding back, you know? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. Oh, uhhuh. And not sharing, not sharing Right. Yourself or your gifts with the world hiding Yeah. Is kind of it. And we don’t, it’s so funny because like, that’s been kind of my thing lately. I’ve been really looking at like, where am I hiding? You know, we’re clean small because it’s always, you know, we have these patterns in our life and you know, we’re not above them. Right. Just because we’re doing what we’re doing. We just learned how to work with them. Right. Or not to like, let ’em get in our way. And but they still come up, you know, they still, they still come up all the time. And so it’s like, huh. Like where, you know, can I go a little deeper into that? And so like, that’s kind of been on my, on my mind and like where selfishness and playing small kind of meet, you know, when you’re not living into your full potential or the fullest expression of who you are, you know, you’re holding back on all of us, you know? Yeah,
Totally. And it’s, this is about sharing your light and that’s not selfish and it’s not what’s the word I’m thinking of? It’s not egoic, you know, because we all have a light, you know? And if we’re gonna make the world a better place, we wanna turn our lights on. Right. Make it brighter, make it sunnier, make it happy. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And I, I really feel like it’s so funny because I have places that I resist in, in my life too. You know, like, and it’s funny just like today, like trying to get to the art table, you know, cuz I’m off a little bit of my normal re my normal routine. I’m missing it. I wanna make myself get back there. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, but, you know, there’s other things I need to put first. So it’s, it is it’s an interesting thing because I’ve got it prioritized in my life and today’s a day that I didn’t, I didn’t follow my, my priorities in that way.
And so I think that is to the for women, I think that’s a, a big, a big issue, you know? And then the selfish selfishness talk comes in because I have my kids and I have my husband and I, or I have my job, you know, I’ve gotta go there first. But it’s, I had to work that one out too. You know, I had a I worked full-time at a clinic here in Sedona. That’s why I moved out to Sedona. And I went from having my own private practice where I had everything all figured out and I, you know, did my, had my art, working with my body work, practice and all that kind of stuff. And it was really beautiful. And when I moved here, it just threw everything kind of into chaos a little bit because it was, I was totally out of my element.
There was a lot to get used to. And so everything of my routine kind of gotten, got obl, we were in a different house, we were renting, all that kind of stuff. And so when I finally settled in, I started realizing I needed to get my art fixed. I needed to have that time by myself. Didn’t matter what I was doing, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. Yeah. I just needed that time. So I started getting myself up a half hour earlier so I could come down to the studio and just paint or do whatever. I made so much amazing work in that time. Just doing like a half hour. I’d start a piece and then just come back to it every day. Every day. And it’s like, I let go of caring, like of finished product. It was like, what it, what I noticed opening up for me in my day was I had way more energy. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, I had way more creativity when I was working with patients, like coming to solutions with people. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, seeing, like being able, like just my, whatever patterns I was working with or drawing with her colors would be in my, in my mind. And so I was just kind of seeing the world through that those patterns and shapes and all that kind of stuff. So it just like, to me it’s like creativity begets creativity. You know, you just, you just stay in the flow of that. Ah. So
That’s, that’s really good information for people who wanna start, you know, like how do they get an art fix? Like how do you get <laugh>? How do you get to that place where you’re like, okay, I’m gonna wake up at five 30 cause I need this and I know that this is good for me. Like, Lauren’s talking about this is healthy, healthy water, healthy food, this is positive energy, this is peace. So how do you, how do you tell that person? Because, you know, this is all about taking an art break. You know, we’re encouraging people cause we, we believe that it makes people better. So mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, how, how do you get the art fix? I mean, we kind of know it, but, you know, maybe share it with
Yeah. How, how did, right, so the question I’m coming to is like, cuz you’re talking about like an art high, like, it’s like a runner’s high, right? Yeah. It takes to get a runner’s high, right? That you gotta run for six weeks, man, before you mm-hmm. Before you start feeling that high. And then you never, ever wanna stop, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> like how long, and this is just, I’m just throwing this out there. How long do you think someone needs to make art before they get that art high? Where they realize, oh my gosh, I can’t, I can’t operate without this now. Or, or I’ll notice a difference when I don’t, like you are today, right? You’re noticing a difference in your life because you’re, you’re missing that, that that sort of dopamine or endorphin
You normally get, right?
And I’m just pondering that, like, how long do you think it takes someone to, to get there?
Mm. Yeah. That’s a really good question. And from my own personal experience with like, working with resistance, because that’s what you’re talking about. So like, I used to ride my bike like tons. I don’t anymore. I do other things, but there used to be this point, like about five minutes into my ride, I’d be like, Ugh,
I dunno, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? This sucks <laugh>, you know? But it’s like once you hit that sweet spot right? And that’s what you’re talking about, everything starts kicking in. I feel like that is like that too with making art. And there’s a, there’s, there is another part of another component to that because we have that self-judgment piece. So if I’m already starting in a place of like, oh, you know, like especially just starting, right? And like, what am I doing? I don’t know anything about these materials. Right? what if no one likes it? What if I don’t like it? Like, oh, what am I do? You know? Cuz we have all these judgments and fear and all that kind of stuff. So there’s an extra, I feel like there’s an extra level of resistance on that. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> and what, that’s kind of what I work with people with is like, just play. Just play. Just like when I don’t teach technique, really. I, I, if I’m, if I could call what I do teaching or it’s, I think it’s really guiding, let’s just make a mess. Let’s just, just get it messy. Like let’s just throw some paint around and let it be that if it’s just a color, like let it be a color. Enjoy the color. Like what’s your favorite color? You know? So it’s like trying to find the fun parts of this so that you’re not setting yourself up to fight for a half an hour. Right?
Yeah. It feels like you, your suggestion is sort of like because you have a daily practice, you have art materials and you’re doing it and everything like that. And it’s like, start with that and then take away all the things that sort of make you uncomfortable. And I’m talking about that person that doesn’t have that heartbreak routine yet. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and down to the, the thing you can handle where you can do that. Because I do, I think that if you had a canvas and a paintbrush and paints, a good portion of the people we are trying to talk to right now would be like, oh, oh, I’m not going to even try that. And so, okay, so take the paintbrush away, take the paint away, take the canvas away, let’s put a piece of paper in front of you and, and your fingers or a cup of paint, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and just, just, just dump it and then close your eyes and flu it. You know, like maybe, maybe we’d get 50% of the people that way. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So I like that you just remove all the things and it’s like taking all the layers and then you can build them back up as you get comfortable.
Yeah. It’s like going back to kindergarten, it’s like get in touch with the, the five year old, you know? But even, I mean, there’s resistance in that too. And I’m, what I’m thinking of is like Julia Cameron’s artist way and how, I mean, the biggest takeaway for me in that was the art. The morning pages. Yeah. And what if we could have something that was similar to that, you know, the art pages where you just had the journal and you know, got, you know, got crayons. Like really get basic right and you’re not allowed to make words. <Laugh>. <laugh>. Yeah.
And what if you could act it out in color? So it’s so funny, I had this exercise that I did in a training program and it was, it was more with words and stuff. So you had like one basic story, but you told the story from like a victim place, a hero place. And you, it is the same story. You tell it and then it got like really crazy. Now tell it in gibberish. So make up a language. And so like, you’re trying to get this, you know, so it’s like how, you know, find ways of having fun with it. So if we could do like, get a journal, no lines on the paper, you know, just blank. And then crayons and like, tell me your story, you know, what colors are you gonna use to express that story? How are you feeling today? You know, are you feeling like brown? Are you feeling black? Are you feeling blue? Are you feeling green? You know, kind of getting in touch with, with that. I think that would be a great place to start. You know,
I like I like the idea of giving yourself permission to make a mess. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. Cause I think a lot of people don’t wanna get derby. There’s that other thing that’s a resistance also. Like, I dunno, you know, I’m gonna get pain on my foot or something. But really finding that space where you can make a mess. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And then what I like that you said also is about, it’s really about living your life. Almost like mythological, you know, because it’s like, you are a hero, you are a victim, you are all these spectrum things and, and it’s okay like to have that day of overwhelm or you know, they call it opening anxiety right now with covid where you don’t, you don’t have to, you’re supposed to wear a mask or what. And so it’s almost like looking at your life like a story, like a journey, like you know, a hero’s journey.
Yeah. I like that. I I like this idea of this journal idea you got going on because like, what if you just, so what if you did just have a piece of paper on crayons and for seven days you woke up and you covered the entire sheet of paper in the color that you’re feeling that day. And that’s right. And, and so you did that for seven days because I feel like that’s pretty approachable. I feel like that’s pretty approachable for most people. Cuz there’s no, there’s no figure in there, there’s no shape, there’s no drawing. There’s just a color, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> <affirmative> and can go back and flip over each piece of paper if you wanted to go further and really talk about, like ask yourself why, why last Monday did I pick the color red? Why last Tuesday did I pick the color brown?
And then really kind of dissect those feelings that you were feeling, you know? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, that would be awesome to just do that. Maybe that’s like a, maybe that’s an heartbreak that someone can try that, that really wants to get to that place of spreading peace and joy, but they just are resistant or they’re afraid or they just have that art wound they haven’t gotten past yet, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> just, they just can’t. And I feel like that could be a first step for people because you know, that’s where we are currently operating, operating from, is that we really wanna help folks who well first of all, even those people that are like, you know, I have no idea what you’re talking about, <laugh>.
<Laugh>. We want them to get the idea <laugh>. Yeah.
But especially those people that are just like on the verge of like, oh yeah, we’re so close. You know? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And I think a lot of your ideas are really opening that up for them. Yeah.
Yeah. It’s really interesting cuz as I think back on my life too, it’s I, I think what we’re kind of hit bumping up against with art too is, is the that we have to feel and we, we live in a culture that is really kind of shut down with feeling. And it, I I, when I was living back east, it’s, I always thought it was really funny cuz I’m here I am, I’m like trying to make it out as an artist and I’m like emotionally expressive artist. And like, it’s really hard to get people to look at it because it’s like, oh, like, that’s making me feel something and I don’t really like that. And then what do I do? I go, well, I’m really attracted to energy work and I’m really attracted to body work and like, guess what? I have to deal with more feelings, you know, and <laugh>.
Because a lot of what we have to, we have to own our own feelings. Feel our own feelings. This is energy that needs to move and it gets stuck in our bodies, stuck in our tissues. It gets stuck in our mind. And then it expresses as stuckness in the world. And like what we’re doing is we’re using art as the, the entry point or the doorway to just start, just start to feel what got, what has you stuck. Mm-Hmm. You know, express the stock, express the overwhelm, you know, let yourself be in it. Yeah. It feels yucky, but once you feel the yuckiness right, it changes, right. We know that. Right. It changes into something else. It’s so alchemical, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, you know and it’s what it, it’s like you can hear it like, I’m excited about it because it’s like, it keeps you going, you know? It, it, it’s always, it’s always changing. We’re always changing. And when we get stuck is when we’re not allowing ourselves to feel. And it’s, it’s art is really interesting because we want people to, to do that, right? We want people to make the art and to ex have these experiences because we know how much it opens us up. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But that’s, and that is the resistance around it all at the same time. And like, how long would it take? I don’t know. <Laugh>. <laugh>.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean I, I mean I’ve seen and I know Le Lisa has, cuz she’s shared, shared this before, I’ve seen transformation within a couple of minutes when we’ve done art events in terms of the resistance and then honestly it’s peer pressure. Like friends being like, come on, you can do it. And then they, and then they do it because of the peer pressure. But then you watch them and then you watch what happens to the relationship between the people that just, you know, that are, that know each other. They know, then they know each other more deeply. And then you have people who don’t know each other and who would never know each other, but for the fact that they sat next to each other and started making art. And it’s amusing what you hear them talk about and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, I think, yeah, I, I definitely don’t have an answer to that question that I asked, but I think that it could be a matter of minutes and then, and then for some people it could be a, a lot, a lot longer
But I would argue that I’m probably still doing it myself. And I’ve been making art since I was 14 or so on a, like a legitimate, like, where I felt like I was doing this and I’m making art and, but I was just talking to least the other day, I, I didn’t call myself an artist until three months before I got my masters, you know, so it’s mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, it’s a process, right. And it’s still a process and it always will be a process. And maybe that’s the message that people need to hear is that, you know, maybe no artwork is ever done because it’s one artwork and it’s the work. Yeah. Right. Yeah.
The work. Yeah. And that’s an interesting point too, because like, that’s a lot of the, you know, we deal with that with ourselves. It’s like all we’re pro product driven, you know? Yeah. Oh yeah. And we know it’s, it’s, we know it’s processed. It’s all about the unfolding and, you know, I don’t know. It’s, it’s really, it is a, it’s a very interesting conundrum, I think, you know? Because there’s so much, like, there’s so much fear around art and I think it’s just how we were shut down or how it was presented to us in school. You know, you have the classroom artists and so like only an elite few mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and it’s like the elite few, like what do they have in common? Well, they’re, they’re showing me something, you know, and it’s the, you know, I used to go like, well, why do I wanna, like, why do I wanna try it and kind of capture the reality exactly as I see it, you know, like a camera can do that, you know, and what would it look like going just through my, my experience of like a scene or whatever and is that valid enough?
And I think these questions like that, as artists, we ask ourselves when we’re doing a piece or coming up with like a series of things that we wanna do. Like we kind of learned how to have those thought processes. Right? But I don’t think the average person gets that because I think they look at, I’m like looking at the paintings behind Youa, and I look at them and I go, oh, like if someone, I, I’m gonna try and find the thing I can relate to in it. I’m looking for an object and there’s no object. So I don’t know what to say about that, you know? So there’s fear just sometimes in looking at an abstraction of art, you know, or an expression of art that’s an ex abstract, you know, so there’s a, there this is a very, very deep, very deep
Conversation. I’m thinking, I, I forgot the quote. What it’s really about. Art speaks to our subconsciousness, you know what I mean? It’s like, it’s much more stronger than words. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And so I think there is how do I say this? That’s the fear factor sometimes comes in because it is feeling, it is, it is beyond words. And you’re right. I can’t put it, I can’t say that there’s, you know, a mouse in there <laugh> or something
Like that. Right.
I can’t, you know, I have to feel it. Right. And that’s really what art is. It’s, it’s communicating right with that subconscious. And you really can learn a lot about yourself because we’re, we’re in the dark. Most of us are in the dark <laugh>, so you’re right. We turn on the light and we find peace. And as you turn on the light more and more and you go in, you know mm-hmm.
<Affirmative>. Yeah. But Right. But you turn on the light and you see it all. Right? And that’s, that’s the part that, that’s where the resistance comes in, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Cause a lot of people aren’t ready to see everything. <Laugh>, <laugh>.
I was just thinking, oh, that could be very scary. <Laugh>
<Laugh>. Yeah. I mean because it you know, sometimes it’s right. We, it’s almost like a, I just think of like the grief process because I think a lot of people have probably been thinking about the grief process through Covid because we all went through some sort of grieving process, whether or not people are willing to admit it for themselves, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And the main ones is denial. You know mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And I think that I’m just thinking of denial in, in two ways, right? So it’s like someone is in denial that they, that they need art because and that’s based on fear. You know, and they’re, they’re like, oh, I don’t, I don’t need it. It doesn’t do anything. And it, and, and then, and then at the same time, they’re denying themselves so much mm-hmm. <Affirmative> cause of it. And if only they knew, but I can understand why there’s this huge gap because it’s really, it’s very scary to get to know yourself sometimes <laugh>, right?
In order to know your, your true self, you have to know all of you. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And, and so you have to, and you have to, you have to welcome all of you and you have to, all that uncomfortable stuff that you have been, right. Pushing aside, that’s the stuff that art will just show you mm-hmm. <Affirmative> right away. Yeah. You know? And so it’s funny, like whenever, as an artist, when you get like sort of a, a negative vibe from someone, you know, and, and people would ask me like, you know, how do you feel when people react to your work that way? I’m like, well, I just am happy they’re feeling something. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, because that’s telling, that’s telling me so much. And hopefully it’s telling them something too, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, they’re open to that because when you have like a nasty reaction to art Oh goodness. Like you should probably spend some time <laugh>. Yeah.
<Laugh>. Yeah, that’s, yeah. You know, you’re on the right track if you’re, if you’re eliciting feelings like that too, because you’re opening something that needed to be opened, you know, in that person. And it’s, it’s really interesting cuz one of what that makes me think of is, one of the questions I ask people when I’m working with them too is like, what, if not, what if you were never told you were wrong?
What, you know, because like, when you’re like, you know, just think about like when you’re a little kid and you know, you’re 4, 3, 4, 5 years old, you’re just kind of like in your own little space, you’re in your own little dream world. You know, you don’t have all of this like, awareness of the outer world really, you know? So you’re just kind of bopping along, having fun and you run into an adult that like, is not really happy with where you are in life. <Laugh>, you know, for whatever reason, you know, like, you know, don’t use my coffee for paint on the wall, you know, whatever <laugh>, you know, and you’re just thinking like, that’s just the best thing ever. You know, I’m staining mom’s fabrics, you know, <laugh> <laugh>. But like, you get yelled at for that or you get, you know, and you, you get punished for that.
You don’t have like the wherewithal to really go like, oh, I’m not being punished for my expression. Right. I’m being punished because it really wasn’t a good idea to ruin mom’s fabrics, <laugh>, you know? So you don’t have that ability to think. And I think that we lose parts of our creative self mm-hmm. <Affirmative> in the shadows mm-hmm. <Affirmative> because of those instance instances, you know, when we were made wrong, you know, it. And, you know, that’s, that’s just kind of a real like, kind of simple kind of e example. But some of them get worse, you know, like I’ve heard stories of, you know, kids being in class and teachers really being, making some nasty comments about like, that’s not, you know, how, you know, that’s not the right color of a tree. You know, you trees are not purple. <Laugh>, you know, <laugh>.
Yeah. We’re we’re starting a new project, it’s called, called the No To Yes Campaign. And it’s really addressing those art wounds that we all have on some level. And it was when you were judged and you said you were wrong or some authority figure said, that’s not art <laugh>. You know what I mean? <Laugh>, we’ve all had those experiences, but what I also, what’s coming up for me too is like, I think in the beginning of it, you said it we’re in denial, Lauren, you said denial. Like you don’t, you’re denying your emotions, but you’re also denying the world your gifts, you know, and we, we talked about that, like who you really are. Like we’re also unique. And so through this, through making art, you’re really showing the world, Hey, here I am. You know, I guess it’s the artist living out loud <laugh>,
Right? Yeah. Yeah. And I think, I think that’s really true. And I think like that’s a great way to start letting the light shine. You don’t have to put it out there in a big way. Right? Right. And that’s like, that is like starting small, you know, meeting yourself right where you are because that like, it’s so funny because we do start big, right? We go, oh my God, I’m gonna be like in galleries and you know, work and you’re like, oh, <laugh>. Yeah. But yeah, I think if you could just like start with the making it fun for yourself, like what would be fun for you and how do you feel about having it be fun, you know? Right.
That’s even a great question. You know, cuz like, are people even allowing themselves to have fun in adulthood anymore? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. I mean, that’s a great question and that’s
You know, I’m noting, I knowing is really
All right. So let’s sum it up for folks. I’m, this is what I feel like it is. Okay. So in order to help this hurting world, right? What can creativity do to bring more peace and joy? What I’m hearing is that you gotta start within, you gotta start with yourself because you know, if if you’re not, if you’re not having peace and joy within, then you’re definitely not going to be able to create that that viral message of peace and joy. And I love the idea of like meeting yourself where you are mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and, and asking yourself what would be fun, you know, would be fun. So just peeling back all those layers. And if we’re talking about taking an heartbreak, which obviously we would be big advocates for you doing honestly, for us, it could be just about anything. You know, you could just walk outside right now and close your eyes and look towards the sky and listen to the next five sounds you, you hear and make worry about it. That would be an heartbreak, you know? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So
Yeah, play like to that end, like going outside and playing with the clouds, you know, what shapes do you see <laugh>? Yeah. Can you make them move? Can you make them dance? You know, as they’re breaking apart, am I doing that? Are they just breaking apart? You know? So it’s like getting back into the magical, a little bit of magical thinking too, you know? Yeah. Because we do like, you know, when we go into like all of the things you know, about like quantum physics and manifesting and energy and all that kind of stuff, and you know, we do affect the world around us just by our thoughts.
I know. Yeah.
And there’s plenty of experiments that they’ve done to like prove that, you know? So what if you just, it wasn’t about paper, it was like real life sculpting. You go out and you think about stuff or you, you know, or interact with stuff with your thoughts and make pretend, you know, with the clouds or the trees or the birds, you know, like what would that be like?
I love that.
I love that. I love it. I like you said, life sculpting <laugh>.
I did, didn’t I? You did that up. What do as an artist, you get to make things up. I <laugh>
Yeah. They’re, you know, and I just think, yeah. Wow. What a great conversation because I just, I mean, I could like talk about this. I, I just feel like this is a really deep conversation. I could just keep going and going and going and I just, you know, I keep coming back to the, the fact that, you know, that it’s for every, like, everyone could figure it out. You could find it, you could find that, that heartbreak that, that would work for you in order to find that peace and joy. And then, and then you would, you would sculpt that right throughout your life and that would be such a beautiful thing to do. So, you know, he just, just jump on this train, man. <Laugh>.
I’m gonna re I’m gonna reiterate, but I love, like, if you walk out the door and you’re gonna say, I’m gonna find peace, I’m gonna find love. That’s what, so that’s what you’re searching for in the environment. And then think of good life to be <laugh>.
Yeah. It’s so interesting cuz everything that you can find out there, that you can find love in, you can find peace in that exists in here too, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So if you have to, if you can’t come here, you just can’t do it for whatever the reason, go out there, bring it back here.
You know, because it does it, it has to start here, you know? So however, like there’s no wrong way to do it. There’s no right way to do it. There’s just your way to do it and you just have to find your way to do it. Mm-Hmm.
It’s imperative. You have to find it. <Laugh>.
Oh my gosh. Thank you so much. Yeah. All right. Thanks everybody.
Bye. Thank you.