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0 In Artist Interviews

Interview with Kim Szuta – InspiredArt Intuitive Artist, Reiki Master, Spiritual Mentor

 

Kim Szuta

Follow Kim on Instagram and Facebook
Purchase Kim’s Art on www.kimszuta.com

OmArtist: Hi Kim. Thank you so much for talking with us. Let’s begin by setting the stage for our OmArtist.com audience. How long have you been creating art? Was there a defining moment that you realized a creative life was the path for you?

KS: Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to find out more about me! I have been creating art since I was a child, however, I would have to say that I started consciously and intuitively creating inspiredART artwork since 2015. It was in early 2015 that I received a nudge to begin painting with my Spiritual Team and it was then that I started to embrace my creative path in a way that I had never before.

OmArtist: Are you currently exploring your art career full time or part time? If full time, what did you leave behind to pursue your art career? If part time, what do you do in your “day job”?

KS: Currently, I have an interesting lifestyle as it offers me the ability to go between painting full time and part-time. That said when I do have a “day job” it only exists as a contract term and, during this term, I paint part-time. The contract work that I do in my “day job” is consulting in business analysis for software development projects.

OmArtist: You mention your 2014 awakening experience as a return to your soul, and return to love, as well as the catalyst for your “InspiredART” creative endeavor. How exciting this sounds! Can you talk a little bit about this experience and what events led up to this beautiful awakening? Was InspiredArt even a vibration that existed in your world prior to your awakening?

KS: Yes, it was quite a transformational awakening! Even though I believe we are always reawakening, this experience was a major event for me as my internal life did a complete 180 and reconnected me with everything I thought was real as a child but had never received validation on, until 2014.
To summarize a bit of my story, as I grew into my twenties I shifted my beliefs from religion to just believing in LOVE and love being the basis of everything – even though I didn’t quite know what that meant, at the time, it felt right.

Fast forward to my late twenties when I was recommended to see an energy worker. This energy worker, I believe, helped set a strong foundation for the shift that was about to occur for me in 2014. The transformational awakening that I experienced came as a result of me attending my very first ever Angel Card/Mediumship reading – a reading where the Practitioner shared with me information that she could not have known. It validated what I knew so deeply in my heart and had hidden away for so many years. At this point, the light bulbs that had once been turned out started to turn back on again.

That said, inspiredART was not visible in the vibrational frequency that I was operating in. Once this major shift occurred, it was then that I began to reconnect more consciously with my intuitive faculties, and my Spiritual Team, and then you could say inspiredART came into view.

OmArtist: I’m intentionally leaving this question wide open for your interpretation on purpose, but how do you feel your abilities ( ie. Angel Card Reader, Realm Reader and Usui Reiki Master, Intuitive/Medium) have contributed or helped to shape your art work?

KS: Immensely! As mentioned earlier, before my awakening I wasn’t even close to the vibrational frequency of being able to create inspiredART artwork. Reconnecting with all of my higher faculties, and abilities, (i.e. energy work, clairvoyance, clairsentience, claircognizance, mediumship, intuition, etc.) have all contributed in opening the lines of communication with my Spiritual Team, who paint through me.

OmArtist: Kim, lets talk about your process. Can you describe your process of receiving the inspiration for your art work? Do you receive during the act of creating, prior to creating or in dreams etc? Do you connect (meditate, pray, etc.) prior to creating each piece? Does it come to you randomly or do you have a ritual that helps dial it in?

KS: Great questions, I really like process! For me, inspiredART and life really merge into one. So, to help me get connected, at the start of each day I meditate, journal and review my intentions (which include setting the intention to be open to receive painting guidance). At the end of each day, I write my gratitude list and set my intentions for the next day. My gratitude list, as it pertains to inspiredART, includes everything from being thankful that a certain ‘Being’ painted with me to sending out gratitude for the guidance that comes through for a piece.

All of these acts help me get into and maintain a receptive vibration for the inspiration to come through from my Spiritual Team. As I always say, the information comes through like a breadcrumb trail, little bit by bit. The breadcrumbs I’ve received have come in the form of inspiration through a vivid dream, while I’m walking down the street (in my mind-eye), while I’m in the middle of painting, through music lyrics, right before I fall asleep, etc. and the best part is that it all happens in divine time!

OmArtist: On your site, www.kimszuta.com, you have many beautiful art pieces and commission pieces displayed. Have Mandalas been a subject of focus for you through out your art career or are these pieces directly related to your 2014 awakening? We really love when artists reflect back on what they created prior to their transition period to what they create after a transition. How different is your art after your new beginning?

KS: Thank you. The Mandalas are directly related to my spiritual awakening! Actually, the very first Mandala I had ever painted, before officially starting my art business, was in July 2015. I still have this piece today and the affirmation it was energized with is “I am creative.” – it’s quite timely and very revealing! As I reflect back, I can definitely see the transformation in the art. Creating inspiredART with my Spiritual Team has much more depth, energy, feeling, symbols, and intricacies behind it than the art pieces I created prior to my awakening.

OmArtist: Kim, in addition to the amazing use of texture in your backgrounds, your use of color is bright and bold throughout your body of work. Can you tell our audience about what inspires the color combinations used in your pieces?

KS: Great observation! Yes, it is all about expression and feeling. inspiredART is about boldly stepping forward to connect with your soul on a deeper level. inspiredART is a symbol of commitment to yourself, your truth and your multi-dimensional journey. The color combinations are directly related to the intuitive guidance that my Spiritual Team (or other’s Spiritual Teams – for commissions) have provided to me. Other than that, that’s all there is to it.

OmArtist: On your blog you mention that you have many journals. Does journaling play a role (directly or indirectly) in your creative expression?

KS: Both. Indirectly, and generally speaking, journaling is a tool that I use to help me clear space in my mind so that inspiration can come through. Directly-speaking, in regards to painting intuitively, journaling has definitely played a role. My painting journal contains thoughts of encouraging words to myself for when I come across discouraging thoughts from my Ego-mind. It also contains inspiration that comes through as well as reflections on how inspiredART pieces evolve and are created.

OmArtist: Kim, we have had many conversations with artists over the years about how they experience and process fear. Fear of showing their work, fear of creating something that people won’t like and on and on. As we creative souls say.., Fear creates a block if left unchallenged. With your experience as a Spiritual Mentor, can you share some of your experience with fear and how you’ve been able to limit its effect with regards to your InspiredART endeavor? Any advice to young artists on how to work through that fear?

KS: Oh, fear! Yes, I have lots of advice to share but I’ll try to keep it contained – and will refer to fear in terms of what we all experience universally. Since 2014, I have consciously been acknowledging, accepting and moving through fear! From sharing inspiredART publicly for the first time in 2015 (which had me shaking on the inside!), to creating my first commission in 2015 (which had my mind almost drowning in doubt), to creating a Facebook page with my ACTUAL name attached to my art (OMG what?!), to creating an Etsy shop, to trusting the guidance to make a big change on an inspiredART piece (when my Ego-mind thought it was done), and the list goes on. Let me tell you, if there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that we need to make friends with fear. In fact, we are guaranteed to have fear visit us every time we are about to experience conscious growth. It is a natural response. It will always be there, especially, if you are stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Now, the more you grow the more fear will occur but to really shift your experience of it would be to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. My advice is to listen to your intuition – if you feel like you should do something and it is coming from a high vibration place of love – then do it and let go of the rest. Just know that doubt and fear will arise, this is normal when you are stretching yourself!

Lastly, I’d like to share with you my simple fear practice. Next, to my art space, I have a post-it note which contains a few of the most common doubts and fears that arise for me while I’m painting, and especially while I’m painting commissions! I refer to it every time a fear or doubt arises and I look at it like a sort of checklist, saying to myself, “Thank you. Yes, I’ve heard that one before.” Just this simple acknowledgment helps me get past the block and move forward. It really is amazing how the same fear thoughts arise every time you are on that edge of growth.

OmArtist: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us Kim! OmArtist is so honored to have you as part of our interview series. You are appreciated!

KS: Thank you OmArtist. I truly appreciate it! 🙂

0 In Artist Interviews

Interview with Michelle Sakhai – Intuitive Visual Artist

   

Michelle Sakhai
Artist
See more of Michelle’s work on her website at michellesakhai.com
Buy Michelle’s Book on Amazon
Follow Michelle on Instagram @MichelleSakhai and Facebook

OmArtist: How long have you been pursuing your career as a full time artist? What did you leave behind to follow your passion in art?

MS: I sold my first painting when I was in high school. I always knew I was going to be an artist since I first started painting with water colors around age 6. I went into the art business for a little while before pursuing my passion and devoting myself 100 percent being a full time artist. It wasn’t long before I knew creating was what I was and am here to do and not the business aspect of selling art.

OmArtist: Michelle, can you talk to our audience about how you came to realize that you could create art that would promote healing and peace? Was there a clear turning point in your development as an artist that brought you to a space of healing through art?

MS: This question reminds of the chicken and the egg story… what comes first?
Well, for me it was a bit of both. I began my spiritual journey about 7 years ago while living in San Francisco pursuing my career as an artist. As I evolved spiritually, my work evolved. My paintings changed and I began painting intuitively and began the healing journey within. My work guided me and I guided my work. I may have not realized it then but the process of healing was happening and I think others connected with this process when they saw my paintings. Practicing Reiki and other healing modalities later on just solidified the healing process in my work. Namaste means “The Light in me sees the Light in you.” I like to think my work reflects this.

OmArtist: While I enjoyed your series “Awakening”, I could feel your own awakening in the paintings that represent that beautiful series. Can you talk a little about how this series came to you? Was this series inspired by your own life events?

MS: It’s funny you asked about this series specifically because it was a very meaningful one.
It’s true that I was going through my own inner awakening. Looking back it was the ‘start’ for me. The start of a new direction my work was going in, as well as a new direction for my soul’s journey. It was a transition from creating representational art to abstract Art. I was a landscape painter for about 15 years. I began painting a series of “Sky” images adding gold and silver leafing together with my oil paint. It was what was pouring out of me at the time. Looking back it was the perfect transition from painting landscapes to abstraction. Skies represent so much. Skies are an expanse of space and I was expanding on the inside. I was painting the Universe and heavens that I discovered existed within me.
I had a day to come up with the title of my series for my exhibition and when I went to sleep that night the word “Awakening” came to me in big bold white letters in the middle of the night and I knew that was it.

OmArtist: As a Primordial Sound Meditation instructor, as well as a certified Reiki Master, how do you think these energetically focused expertise contribute to the creation of your artwork?

MS: Since my work is a reflection of me, I think it represents all that I am. Yes I practice both meditation and Reiki however I also practice many other things. The beauty with creating is all that is you and at the same time all that is not you is channeled, transformed, and translated in to the work.
Similar to meditation, I am not my body or mind. I am my art. I am spirit.

OmArtist: Do you feel connecting (ie. meditating, prayer etc) plays a roll in your creative process and/or success as an artist?

MS: Very much so. Meditation allows one to align and connect with their inner light and higher selves. It’s about going inwards when so much of todays world is about directing our energy out. But truth is we have to go “in” before we can go “out.” Since meditating is about connecting with my soul, and delving even deeper than that, it strengthens the ability for my soul to speak through my art and communicate my evolution. Painting like meditation also allows me to transcend duality.

OmArtist: While I think all artists hope to share their own journey through their art, As I take in each of your paintings, I can’t help but to feel as though the titles and the work lead me by the hand through some of your life’s work in personal growth and your spiritual awakening. What are your thoughts on a comment like this? Was this intentional or the divine at work?

MS: I appreciate your question and I guess my work is more transparent than I thought. It reminds me of a quote I put in my book: You can’t fake your creations… authentic art reflects truth. My paintings are the left behind foot prints of what brought me here today. Each piece was like a story to the tapestry of my life that is still being weaved. I like to say that a single painting represents a single thought thats now passed on and transformed. I appreciate what it has given me and the gift of my healing process, but I am not attached nor do I look back on what was. Instead, I like to direct my energy to what I can and will create today. The process of painting still brings healing to my inner being. I believe art is a force of healing for the artist and the viewer. Its a way of channeling peace.

OmArtist: Michelle, It is said that the teacher appears when the student is ready. You’ve been an instructor at University of California Berkeley as well as instructing workshops and so much more. Would you share with our audience what it means to you to provide instruction and guidance to other artists? Also, do you think teaching impacts your work in some way?

MS: I think teaching is helpful for many reasons. For me, it helped solidify what I already knew but also articulate my thoughts while I am creating, which is not an easy thing to do. Being more visual, having to speak about the process of creating and breaking it down was a challenge for me. I think it allowed me to be even more conscious of every stroke, every thought, that went through me. Sharing that inner process and dialogue with an audience is intimate but also rewarding.

OmArtist: Michelle, thank you so much for talking with us. You are truly the embodiment of “creativity with purpose” and we couldn’t be more honored to interview you. You are an inspiration to many and we appreciate the energy you bring to the world. Sat Nam!

0 In Artist Interviews

Interview with Josh Bulriss – Photographer and Visual Artist

  

Josh Bulriss
Photographer, Visual Artist, Traveler, and Explorer of Cultures
Purchase Josh’s work on his website: www.joshbulriss.com
Follow Josh: Instagram – @joshbulriss and on Twitter – @joshbulriss

OmArtist: Josh, are you pursuing your art/photography as a full time career? If so, what did you leave behind to pursue your dream and what made you take the leap into following your passion full time?

JB: My art is full time, but it’s less like a job and more like a lifestyle. I’ve made huge sacrifices as does any artist trying to make their dream become a reality.  But I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Sacrifice, dedication, passion I believe these are the key ingredients for success.

OmArtist: What can you tell us about your story and how you came to be in your current creative mindset? Was creating in your cards early on in life or something that struck you later?

JB: In my teenage years writing music with bands was my outlet for being creative.  After High school I started taking trips out to Hawaii to visit my Grandma, it was there that I started taking photos with a small point shoot camera for fun. That’s when I realized photography and traveling were exactly what I wanted to be doing.

OmArtist: I see from your website and portfolio that you have ventured into painting and even composing music, how did the adoption of these other art forms come into play for you? What inspired you to reach outside your photography to create?

JB: Music came first as a teenager then photography, then painting. Art is something I always loved viewing especially  abstract art.  I started painting in Hawaii for another way of expressing my creativity, and ended up selling my first painting within 3 months of learning. That was huge eye opener for me.  Even though my paintings and photography are so different, they actually have some similarities like texture, color and appearance of aging.

OmArtist: How many countries have you traveled to in order to capture your impressive images?

JB: 12 countries across Asia, and most of them more than once. I am on a journey to find and photograph some of most unique and beautiful Buddha statues in the world.

OmArtist: With regard to your very popular “Buddha Project”, did you set out to create this series purposefully from the beginning? How many images are available in this project to date? How long have you been creating this body of work?

JB: I have spent over 2 1/2 years in Asia photographing a lot of various things. I was always looking to photograph things that brought me peace, with hopes of the images bringing the viewer some form of peace as well. I really didn’t have a direct focus like I have now when I started my travels to Asia. It was a slow progression that evolved into the Buddha Project.

I knew I needed a direct focus on a project that I have passion for in order to be successful. I had written to some accomplished photographers to ask them if they could take a look at my work and give me some advice. They would all say the same thing. “What’s your direction? It’s best to have a project with a narrow focus.” I knew I needed to to come up with something that I was passionate about along with being quite original.

I have never seen an artist doing anything like what I am doing with my Buddha project, and I think that’s important. 3 years ago my mother passed away and I knew she wanted me to keep following my dreams and passion as an artist. That’s when I came up with the idea of the Buddha Project. Seeking out statues across Asia that were were unique and beautiful in their texture, color, decay or had an interesting surrounding.

OmArtist: What would you like to share with our mindful audience about the purpose of your art?

JB: My daily goal is to make people just feel better. I use my photography with some inspiring quotes to try to uplift and teach people about Buddhism and having a more positive outlook on life. I think Finding our purpose in life is extremely important. I really feel I have found mine. Following our passion and dreams help us feel alive, and when we feel alive we help make others feel alive as well. This can impact the world in a huge way.

OmArtist: Your body of work as a whole is very much dedicated to capturing the essence of cultures. What is it about these traditions, ceremonies and cultural experiences that draws you in?

JB: I really enjoy photographing rich timeless culture, especially with Buddhism, that’s my main focus right now. There’s something so peaceful and uplifting to me about photographing monks and Buddha statues in ancient historic places.

OmArtist: The age old question that every photographer gets asked…. Canon or Nikon?

JB: Canon. I’m not sure if one is better than the other, I started with Canon so I stuck with it. I use the Canon 7d

OmArtist: What’s coming next from you Josh? Any new projects for focus coming in the near future?

JB: I will be heading back to Asia this November (2017) for 3 months to keep working on my Buddha Project. It has been huge for me, and I can’t stop the momentum I have going. Not sure of the exact countries yet. I am still working on it. But so far I have Thailand, Myanmar, India, Nepal and maybe Indonesia. I am also looking forward to having my first solo art show at Makers Gallery in Rochester, NY Oct 14th, 2017.

OmArtist: Josh, I love to ask this question of artist that connect to create. Do you feel connecting (ie. meditation, prayer. mantra etc) plays a roll in your creative process and/or success?

JB: I do believe this is a huge part of the process for creating art, at least for me. Being in that moment when I am photographing or painting is big part. I use photography as a form of meditation. When you are in that moment and nothing else around you matters, it’s a form of mediation.  It’s important to be present in life, art teaches me this.

OmArtist: Thank you so very much for talking with us Josh! We are excited to see what you bring back for us (all of your fans) from your next journey. You are appreciated! Sat Nam my friend, and safe travels!

 

0 In Artist Interviews

Interview with Eliza Bratton – Painter & Print Maker

Eliza Bratton
Australian based Painter and Print Maker

Instagram: @theelfsmial
Website: www.theelfsmialcorner.com
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheElfsmialCorner

OmArtist: Some artists have had a lifelong affair with creativity, while others find it later in life. What can you tell us about your story and how you came to be in your current creative mindset?

EB: This is a big question, and a very valid one. Creativity for me goes back deep into my childhood. My Dad was an artist and my Mum a spiritual person so the two influences have always naturally been there from the start for me, in quite different ways, and both bringing forth creativity in very different senses. That said, they have not always been around together, sometimes I have had a call for the artist in me and sometimes attending to my spiritual side has been more prevalent. It is only really been in the last few years that I have made conscious decision to marry the two together. It was like one day I just thought ‘why aren’t I giving these two important aspects my full attention at the same time?’ I have no idea why I thought I couldn’t do that before. These things show up at the right times for the right reasons.

OmArtist: When viewing your work, I feel as though I’m visually enjoying an amazing story book, even across multiple pieces, is this something you consciously create?

EB: That’s great you say that, thank you, I haven’t really thought of it like that as a whole, but yes, I guess they are kind of like pages in a book making up chapters, and lately I have worked more with characters and symbolic images that have reoccurred multiple times. For instance, I’m quite partial to ‘little folk’ who wear similar clothes and have a tendency to leave their shoes lying around. Most of them are on a journey of some kind, tending to their spiritual matters, or helping the land, ocean, trees and other beings. My work also involves imagery and symbolism from other worlds and mythology, so yes, I think more recently I’ve been intentionally working with storied art but it wasn’t so much a conscious idea in the beginning. It has definitely evolved and ‘unclothed’ itself as time has gone on and I love how art can do that and reveal itself as it needs to be.

OmArtist: You are a painter and a print maker. Do you prefer one over the other?

EB: Oh that is a question I constantly seem to ask myself. It definitely changes from time to time and currently I’m in a painting mood. You can most probably tell which one I’m preferring at a particular time from my photos on Instagram. I’ll have phases on one or the other, and they both seem to reflect on how I’m feeling at the time. I find lino cutting very precise and more structured but takes a different kind of concentration to that of painting, both I find equally meditative though. I go into a very present state. I find painting a lot more free- flowing but most often a lot more challenging creatively. Specializing in one more than the other, or solely on one, has entered my thoughts many times, but I think if that ever happens, it needs to be a natural, unforced transition so to speak.

OmArtist: Your body of work, as presented on your site, is one that embodies nature and\or people enjoying nature. Why is it important for you to have these elements in your artwork?

EB: Yes, absolutely, so important. This is what inspires me in my life and creatively. My whole well-being relies on it, and it is where my spiritual side connects so deeply. If I can bring this out in what I do visually then my hope is for others to connect also in whatever way inspires them. We all need an outlet to express our emotional being. We absorb so much magnificence in this life and amongst nature, so it is exceptionally radical to show our relationship, gratitude and what we can offer to Mother Nature as reciprocity for what she shares with us.

OmArtist: Eliza, do you see art or creativity (in general) as a tool for healing or therapy? If so, how or in what way do you feel your art contributes to this notion?

EB: I do, most definitely, art and creativity is most often a response to our internal selves, our emotions, thoughts, feelings, ideas and opinions. To be able to use these strong feelings and channel them in such a way creatively, can have an enormous impact and effect on our well-being. There is a sense ‘presentness’ in art for therapy, it doesn’t concern itself with any other issues, problems or expectations apart from the ones you’re truly, most often unconsciously, working on at the time. How cool is that? It is a fun, tactile form of meditation and it really doesn’t matter about the finished piece, or if it does, then that’s one of the things you’re working on.
I would really love to think that some of this spontaneity comes across in my work because they are really direct responses to my present time. One of the things I love to do is sketching but my original pieces are all born from my head, heart and soul and not from preliminary sketches. So drawings and observations become original art themselves.

OmArtist: Do you have a favorite artist(s) past or present? And what is it that draws you to them?

EB: There are two current artists work I am particularly fond of, one local here where I live in Australia, Maki Horanai, and one Devon (UK) artist, Rima Staines. They are quite different but both offer me a sense of visiting another world with their people and folk/beings who reside there. Maki’s paintings are mostly on a large scale and she exhibits nationally. Rima is an artist/illustrator and paints/makes the most beautiful clocks amongst other illustrations on paper and wood. I also dearly love the work of Arthur Rackham, an English book illustrator in the late 19th and early 20th century. They bring the most magical of worlds to my home and family. Lastly, a recently found favourite, is an American woodblock print artist, William S Rice, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement in California.

OmArtist: What kind of impact do you hope your artwork will have on viewers?

EB: I guess a little glimpse into an imaginary world that I can give an interpretation to; a glimpse into the margins of this world and another. That’s a hard question, but I hope it can feel calm and offer a sense of closeness with nature or a feeling of connectedness with a spirit realm that might not be too far from reach.

OmArtist: Is there anything that you would like others to know about the intentions of your creative works?

EB: Well it comes with integrity that is really quite difficult sometimes in this time, especially with so much influence out there on social media. Authenticity, I think is most artists’ intention, to create unique pieces where others can recognise your style, even if it changes over time. My intention is also to bring intrigue and perhaps a sense of wonderment to each piece I create.

OmArtist: Thank you so very much Eliza for taking the time to speak with me. You are appreciated!