Upcoming New Collection, "Looking Inwards"
Let's take a deep dive into this Spring/Summer collection. I'll tell you all about the inspiration, and what this collection is about.
Last year, I decided to make mini coral reef paintings for markets. I took a trip to the mystic aquarium with my sister, and walked by the glowing sea life. There, I was reminded that a lot of the underwater life actually is bioluminescent and glows under uv blacklight. It clicked in my brain that I definitely needed to make the collection and stop talking about it. It made so much sense to make a coral reef collection, because it worked so well with the stuff I make anyways. Either way I still waited till next spring to actually get it started though 😂
how a free session gave me inspiration for the title
Originally, I was going to create a different collection for April, expanding my painting created in 2021, titled "Dancing Light". It was supposed to be the series for my solo exhibit. So, I started creating artwork for this collection - I had the exhibit mapped out and planned and was so very excited to manifest my vision into something physical for people to see.
However, I had already had started the coral reef collection around February, and I kind of was trying to hold it off for summer.
For the coral collection, I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted it to be like. Per usual, there was no plan for it, because I was holding off till summer to actually create this. Painting coral reefs was actually so stimulating for me and I was able to just have fun with it and not think too hard about it. Until...
About a month or so back, I went to this holistic therapy group session, "accessing self-awareness through expressive arts". I was having an extremely tough time this year, and was just feeling so out of control within my life. Before I sat down, I was instructed to draw a card. And of course, I drew a card (a word) that I actually was having trouble with, "change". Between wanting to change things in my life, while also going through other "changes" aside from what I wanted to change, I was having trouble adjusting to everything. It was hard getting up in the morning, I was exhausted, my heart felt like it was just so heavy and beating out of my chest. Everyday I felt like I was on the verge of a panic attack.
It is so hard for me to feel my feelings (bad habit of bottling up how I feel) even communicating them out loud. While yes, my art is my outlet, it wasn't even enough for me.
In the session, the therapist consistently asked us many times to close our eyes and to, "please let yourselves go inwards at this very moment". This statement broke the dam I was holding. I never allowed myself to feel my pain until it was at my threshold. Within the first 5 minutes of sitting down I was so embarrassed for crying, those tears literally came out of no where! She's definitely so good at her job because she was able to put me into this headspace that forced me to feel everything that I've blocked out. I was having so much trouble connecting to myself the entire session, "feeling resistance", as she would say. While others in the session appeared to be having a moment of tranquility, I felt like I was internally drowning because I had to trust myself. To get us to feel, she had us focus on our senses and visualize colors or images that coincide with our surroundings. Once we got out of that space we had to draw what we visualized. I felt like I was on autopilot... I kept seeing blue and orange, subconsciously drawing a small orange fish inside a big blue fish. It perfectly illustrated what I was feeling for months.
A few days after the session, I decided that I wanted the title of the collection to be "Looking Inwards" because it forced me to dig deep within myself, to learn how to find the answers I was looking for. It perfectly aligned with the aquatic theme, and coincidentally the drawing I did within that spiritual headspace gave me the lightbulb I needed. With time, the heaviness started to lighten up. It was a moving moment for me, and that's why I basically wanted to give homage to that special moment.