Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Much ado about holidays

What do the holidays mean to you? Are they just time day off of work, time with friends and family a chance to eat copious amounts of pie? For me it is a sacred moment on the calendar. A gold star if you will. Where you are awoken from the slumber of your daily routine and awaken into authentic self spending time with people doing the things that give you satisfaction. Hopefully you and your guests part with the nutrition, friendship, and gratitude for a time well spent. Like the saying goes, merry meet and merry part.

It would be lovely if that rose tinted picture were true for everyone. However, I have seen and experienced the other end of the holiday spectrum. I end up rushing around; shopping crazy, there is a need to get it just right. I imagine you and the family would be perfectly fine just having a simple meal and watching a movie. Right? The stakes all the sudden seem to be higher when they are big commercialized holidays looming such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Whether it’s a big adult themed Halloween or Samhain party. Or having to evaluate who’s thanksgiving invite you have to say no to it can all be very stressful when you’re supposed to be relaxing and being in the moment celebrating.

How can we alleviate this unnecessary pressure and anxiety? It is often easier said than done. More importantly, how does your creative process; be it professional or hobby, play into your holiday experience? Consistently, I find myself falling back on tried and true methods. When I don’t my mood and physical body let me know it’s been too long since I picked up and brush or pen and allowed myself to experience the act of creating.

I encourage you to be patient with yourself. Whether it means taking a more mindful approach of what a holiday celebration really means to you. Allow yourself to enjoy writing, playing music, making art or playing with your kids or pets without judgment, guilt, or comparing to others.  Trust your process. You are not in charge of anyone else’s happiness but your own.  Chose to enjoy the moment to create and celebrate.

About the writer: Carolina Medina-Dupaix, MA. Art Therapy Counseling is a professional artist and counselor residing in Honolulu, HI. She and Julianna A.B. Roberts are the founders of Visual Elements Press which is celebrating its inaugural publication of Under a Hallow Moon, a graphic arts book exploring the playful and spooky elements of the 31 days of October.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Behind the scenes. Visual Elements Press: Under the Hallowmoon.

This October a two year long project was brought to completion. My talented illustrator and graphic design business partner Julianna Roberts and I conceived this lofty yet realistic plan of self-publishing graphic novels and children’s books while on holiday together with our husbands in Astoria, Oregon. We imagined as entrepreneurs it would meet the need of our creative selves that were not being fully utilized in our day jobs. Even while we attended Pacific Northwest College of Art, many moons ago, we noticed that our personalities meshed well and our diverse technical talents would apply well to a working business model.

Carolina Medina-Dupaix and Julianna A.B. Roberts circa 2011. Here we are in Astoria, OR. The beginning of Visual Elements Press would later come into being over a delicious bowls of clam chowder.

Under the Hallow Moon is an illustrated full color art book about the thirty-one days leading up to  Halloween. It began as a tiny seed, a persistent thought, and desire to stop letting the excuses be acceptable reasons for not putting our talent first.

I am sharing the concept process in hopes that is encourages you, fellow reader, to take your own personal dream of the back burner. Let us begin together, by setting realistic achievable goals which will breathe life into that crazy but wonderful idea. There are mountains of quotes and how to guides on motivation, creativity, and task organization but, most of us learn best by doing. Why not get past the fear, today and turn the energy into an exciting new adventure?

I have worked at several art stores and one thing that always struck me were the books on art journaling, fine art, and crafting filled with ideas and stimulus projects. Between Julianna and me there are a proverbial cornucopia of project ideas. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around being told what to create. I had that experience in art school already. I began to think of the psychology behind being give a creative task to do and then it became clear, just like The Cure song we had to do the "Unstuck".

Thus Under the Hallow Moon was conceptualized as a count down towards Halloween. Mini poems and lists of characters and spooky things started the process, evoking the social gatherings, and varied emotions that make this Autumn holiday special. We hope that our first art book inspires our readers with the magic that stimulated the minds of our ancestors as they found ways to explain turning of the wheel of life and the changing of the seasons.

In this wake of project completion comes the task at hand. It is now an exciting time! An opportunity to test our artistic professional marketing and PR skills. Will there be bumps in the road? Yes. Will there be milestones? Well, we have reached a major milestone this year. Remember to celebrate your own successes too along the way. We’re grateful for the opportunity to share our collective artistic vision with our global community.

On sale now Under the Hallow Moon by Visual Elements Press

Aloha, devoted readers, friends, and family.  Please forgive me it has been more than a year since I have blogged!! I know it is a cardinal sin to let your art page go dormant for a month let alone over year but, riding the waves of life can be intense and learning balance is a lifelong exercise. 
Thank you for you patience and support.

This year through the connectivity of the internet and social media a two yearlong project has bloomed. It is a graphic novel/ art book called UNDER THE HALLO MOON and produced by Visual Elements Press a new small business co-owned by Julianna A.B. Roberts and myself.

Julianna and Carolina of Visual Elements Press
Graphic novel /paperback Available at lulu.com



I also participate in the monthly art jam group called New Moon and our community’s work can be seen here, newmoonart.blogspot.com  It is administered by Phoebe and Steve , who are also   friends residing in different states in the mainland  USA.

In addition to full time employment, volunteering, and enjoying the ‘aina (land), I have been merrily creating drawings and small scale paintings. This is in the hopes of producing more stock for another project for 2015 which is an etsy storefront. This is one of a hand full of projects that are simmering and getting prepped for our fun, whimsy, gothic, and dark art lovers.

Once you allow yourself to become inspired and following through with lifelong goals, it is impossible to go back to sleep to the dreary state of survival. Be creative. Just be.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Seashore blogs

Hello again friends, I have a new site which is providing a home for poetry and illustrations!! This blogspot site will continue to hold musings and art exhibit events and info. Please feel free to read my scribbles and ogle the drawings and why not start your own? Image of shell by me. Lovely thing about drawing shells and water you always get it right. http://imagesfromthesea.net

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Faculty & Staff show at Honolulu Art Museum 2013

It’s no surprise that many of the worker bees humming through the open air corridors of Honolulu Art Museum and Linekona School (now Honolulu Museum Art School) are in fact artistic in their own right. Having organized muse staff shows in past it never seizes to amaze me at what a range of imagery and sculpture the humble guard or fastidious development coordinator will decide to share. We are increasingly guarded in our corporate jobs with sterile cubicles and climate controlled responses. Moreover, museums tend to have a reputation of being cold calculated markets of zeitgeist, which at best define the cultural echelon achieved by few and refuted by many. About two hundred years ago the artistic academies organized official exhibitions called salons and if you wanted to procure patrons they were the only way to go. Now with the open market of the internet it easier for artists to have their work discovered and appreciated. That being said it is still awe inspiring to witness or experience an artwork in your immediate environment, I highly recommend it. Image below is my entry for the exhibit. Mortal Coil Mermaid, Oil on canvas and mixed media.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Redwood City Mural @ Tacos Los Gemelos

At long last, a new post! For the last six months or so, my artistic endeavors that have saved me from the dullness of urban living have been minor exercises in appreciation and experimentation. I began to carry an art journal around everywhere I went and forced myself to observe and capture the world around me in an effort to come out of my post-graduate under-employed shell. It is so easy to be lulled into the coma like state of endless movies, internet surfing, books, and playing with the cats that I could not ignore the need to express and create which ultimately brings me calm and a sense of completion. One such example was a drawing exchange I promoted on my FB, where I would create a one of a kind drawing 5x7” watercolor paper drawing and in exchange receive one in the mail as well. Twelve postcard sized watercolor and color pencil images of architecture, night & seascapes, space, sacred symbols, goldfish and cats where sent to three different states over the course of two months. While drawing I could not help but think on the personality, smell, and warmth of that friend; and I see that in the postcards created, they speak to my understanding of that person and to their impact in my life. Another experiment has been to try my hand at creating jewelry. A more accurate description of this process would be me stinging and re-stinging beads lengthen and shortening strands, all the while lazily taking in some sunshine. I’m leagues away from the dedication and entrepreneur spirit of the crafters on etsy, yet I find it incredibly fun to challenge myself by trying out a new media such as jewelry.
The mural however, was the fruit of an idea whilst eating a well seasonal jalapeno and lengua taco. One day I was at the new shop Tacos Los Gemelos, on El Camino in sunny Redwood City, CA. when I daydreamed about how great it would be to create a time lapsed photo of the day light passing across the shop. Next, I thought of the Rouen Cathedral series by Monet and then how the taquería with the SE light would be ideal for painting. Without giving myself time to deliberate on how stressed I’d been feeling about the upcoming move I asked the owner if I could paint a mural of his choosing. To my amazement my bid was well received. I began a custom painting measuring 55”x 48” inches complete with twelve figures, taco tricycle, church, and landscape. The mural took about 30 hours start to finish. Aside from the endless horchata refills I enjoyed talking with people in Spanish and English about art, painting, and food. A lot of people asked me if I did this for a living… the question always gave me pause and I said yes because I do live for art, it has always been a part of who I am. Best of all, I feel like a little piece of me will remain with Redwood City with her Redwood trees and sunshine that reminded me that the best way for me to fight the gloom is with some paint and community engagement.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Donate to Maude & Dante kitty travel fund

We are trying to raise some funds for moving our kitties Maude and Dante to Hawaii with us this June. Any help is appreciated. thank you!