Activities · Art · Self · Work

On Passion and Money

Not everything we’re passionate about are meant to be turned/can be turned into a financial resource. Many things we are interested with/naturally good at are better off untamed, without any pressure to become anything more.

While it’s definitely awesome to do what we love full time, sometimes the only way through modern life is to have a day job while not giving up the things that bring us joy.

I saw this happen with my art. A couple of years ago I tried to take my visual art “to the next level”. I wanted it to become a financial resource for me and not just a hobby. It definitely squeezed everything in me just to do that and I’ve never been so prolific in producing art. I had a blast and I felt satiated in a way because I just accomplished one of my greatest dreams. Along the way I had to admit though that I couldn’t turn it into a profitable business not because it didn’t have the potential, but because its sole purpose in my life was to bring me joy.

By pressuring my art to become something other than its purpose I was sucking the life and magic out of it. I was also putting a burden onto myself. I had to give it up and kept on with my search for my next day job.

Well, looking at the big picture, it’s not so bad having a day job and a separate life of passionate pursuits. Sometimes it’s the only thing that we can do, anyway, to keep our passions alive. I just gave up the vision of turning my art into a profitable career/business, but I didn’t give up my commitment to a life of creativity and play.

I have a similar view of my writing as well. A few times I thought of taking it “to the next level” and making a career out of coaching/personal development. But then I would think that the major reason why I can continuously write and reflect is because I don’t have the pressure to do so.  If I turn it into something that I no longer do just for myself, I’m afraid that I will lose its essence – and my mojo, too.

I don’t believe that I’m wasting my skills simply by not turning these passions into a profitable business/career. I keep on creating, anyway. My passions benefit me and nourish my spirit, and those reasons alone are a great way of using them.

Art · People · Relationships · Self · Women

On creation, vulnerability and the struggle towards lasting imperviousness

That was a horrible title.

But like the other less, equally or more horrible things about me/I could do, I’m gonna put it out there, raw and semi-permanent on the face of both the virtual and material world.

To be an artist is to create and recreate. To create and recreate is to be vulnerable. To be an artist is to be exposed, criticized, broken down, blown up in unimaginable proportions, taken out of context, diluted, poisoned, wrapped in cheap plastic bags, vandalized or simply ignored and erased from memory.

As an artist, you would continuously find yourself caught up in same type of crossroads: Be authentic and please yourself OR bend over backwards just to please those you want to please (which is practically everybody).

Your feelings can range from a simple existential discomfort to soul-tearing agony. It basically depends on how daring you are in stepping up your game. The more you choose to embrace authenticity, the more you’ll get better on it, the less difficult feelings you’ll get.

To be an artist and a woman is another thing. Combining the two suddenly makes it more complex and intense. Suddenly, others (including fellow ladies) become more critical, too. Layers of standards and prejudices pile up all at once.

It’s not easy for the people around the artist and the woman as well. Sometimes, things disclosed and exposed can get way beyond their reality and understanding.

To love an artist and a woman needs a certain amount of self esteem and unconditional strength and love.You have to be adventurous enough to not only tolerate, but to enjoy and appreciate all the honesty, contractions, contradictions and ecstasy of living in a life of sensitivity and self scrutiny.

But how could life be possibly better lived other than to live it inside out? I know that it’s never easy for someone to be with me. But I still want to do it this way; breaking down walls, building them up, reconstructing bridges, molding the sky. A life like this cultivates courage, strength, humility, forgiveness, love, appreciation and freedom. The truth is, others’ opinions – both compliments and criticisms – don’t really matter. We can only learn from our own experiences and observations. The meaning of our lives and the worth of what we do do not really depend on anyone other than ourselves.

Creation, exhibition, humiliation, resurrection – these are all important parts of the journey to self and universal knowing and unconditional love. So suck in your temporary fears and march out in the open. It’s all meaningful. It’s all worth it.

Activities · Art · Self

To Writing, my rebound love

So I’m “kind of” back to you again. After months of intensive focus on painting and business, here I am, a wasted party girl with smudged make up creeping under your sheets at 5 am.

Yeah, I’m a bit heartbroken, maybe. But for the most part I’m just really tired and I don’t wanna go back to my cave and be confronted with the same worries for a while. I was so close to burning myself out, banging my head on the windshield. The Universe saved me with its deus ex machina thing and so I was able to stop myself before I totally lost control.

I love creating because it’s liberating. I love the release, the  playfulness and the focus. I love catching the essence of what I want to bring into life, like a firefly fairy fluttering in the dark forest night (shit, I knew that’s fucking cheesy but I still wanted to say it).

I love you, writing, because I simply love words and I love the process of stringing them together. It’s like sewing up little magical things to create a new universe of infinite sensations, meanings and possibilities.

You could say I’m a little lost now and I have to dig deep to feel my roots again. You’re the  best companion to do that.  Only you have the ability to pierce through the thick mud I currently got stuck in. God, I’m such a hard headed, messy girl!

I don’t know how long this process would be. I hope it’s okay with you to accommodate me for a while. I just have to sort things out and poke over here and there in the meantime. I think I can promise you that I’d be silent most of the time.

I don’t have much tools with me to do this sorting stuff besides my cheap tweezers and worn out beige thread and needle. Don’t worry much though, I’d only be needing so little, just the bare minimum. I was born a weed, a wildflower. I’m a natural survivor.

All I ask is your company during my morning coffee and the few hours before sunrise when I am about to go to sleep. I may be your rebound lover, but you are such a precious thing to me.

Activities · Art · Business · Self

Love is a Collaboration

So I have finally launched my dream business. I just created a temporary website today and my FB page has been up for officially TEN DAYS now. The most important part of the dream has been done and I am continuously correcting my course each and everyday.

This entire experience has been very amazing. From the time I quit my job to pursue this dream, to the time I bought materials, started to paint every single day for three weeks, dealt with my doubts and fears, staged a guerilla photo shoot for my teasers, photographed my products one by one, created teasers (I am no digital ninja, by the way, I am so old school), launched the FB page, learned how to use Instagram and created an account, answered inquiries, accepted and shipped orders, lost some money due to my ignorance of the processes I should set in place…

I loved and savored every moment of it.

This work is mine. It is finally mine. I am not enslaved by anyone. I suffer the consequences of my own mistakes and reap the sweetest benefits of my own labor and success.

I have learned to let go of my attachment to what I think “should be” and instead be grateful for all that is. I am very grateful for each and every one who appreciates what I do, who gets inspired by my passion to pursue my dream, who shares my work with others, and of course, most especially those who are willing to shell out their hard-earned money to have my bags.

I learned that I don’t have to ask for favors because those who really believe in my work and can’t wait to share them with others will do it on their own and those who don’t really want to cannot be “convinced”, anyway. Focusing on those who do not believe in what you do is just a waste of time. We cannot please everyone…that’s why it’s important to know who our target market is 😀

A balance must always be identified between pleasing your clients and standing up for your standards and principles. If the  requests and suggestions are reasonable, or better, brilliant, then take them and be thankful. Otherwise, just be firm enough to say no.

Furthermore, a balance must also be set between working hard and letting go.

We must always provide enough space for Divine Intervention, be it in the form of accidents, mistakes or opportunities. All of these are miracles.

We are never alone. We should ask for Divine help and let ourselves receive the help that we need. This is how we create harmony with All That Is.

Now I understand why the universe told me to dream bigger and set long-term goals instead of just focusing on immediate results. Initially, I only dreamed of earning enough money to support myself by doing what I love. But this amazing journey has given me many, bigger and more meaningful gifts along the way, so much more than what I hoped for. I have learned to keep my hopes high and my dreams really big. 🙂

Activities · Art · Business · People · Self

Answering the Soul’s longing

Way back in college, I remember I had come to a crossroads; I thought about pursuing art seriously and eventually make a career out of it. But the other part of me prevailed, the part of me that didn’t want to pursue the very thing I loved for fear of failure. I was afraid that it might not love me back. So I didn’t take a chance. I didn’t pursue it.

Fast forward to a decade later, I am here embracing the very thing I loved and evaded from most of my adult life. I have finally launched my dream project: a combination of visual art, entrepreneurship and spirituality.

I MADE IT. I JUST FULFILLED A DREAM.

I have battled many of my doubts, fears and insecurities along the way. They’re not entirely resolved but I have learned to live with them.

I have learned that what makes any person successful in what they chose to do is PERSEVERANCE.

Most of the time, the reasons not to pursue something will outweigh the reasons to pursue it. But fulfilling dreams, like any heart’s desire, is not a rational process. It always requires a certain level of craziness and leaps of faith.

Nothing is certain in life and that includes achieving goals. What makes anything possible is our desire, belief and perseverance.

There are many times when I get preoccupied with short-sighted matters like financial needs and immediate recognition. But again and again, the universe reminds me that I should look longer than that, that I should dream bigger than my present dreams. She reminds me that I must focus on my enjoying, developing and putting my work out there instead of obsessing on my success or if I am getting “there”.

Financial returns may be slow in the beginning because the immediate fruits come in other ways. I may not be selling my work hot like pancakes as of the moment but I am grateful for the positive feedback from the people I have inspired. I am connecting with people who have similar deep soul longings to fulfill their life’s work. That can’t be measured by any amount of money.

The Universe tells me I should let go of my burdens and focus on developing my craft and celebrating my accomplishments. She is so right. Instead of brooding over what I am not yet fulfilling, my focus should be on what I have done, who I have become in the process and how my work has affected the world around me.

I could die anytime and have totally no regrets!

I keep on praying that I may have the wisdom, the courage and the strength to sustain and improve what I have started. Honestly, I don’t have any “grand” reasons for doing this. I just like it so much and I want to turn all my ideas into reality.

I don’t intend to help other people in any way, I don’t intend to leave any kind of legacy (though, I am not saying that there’s anything wrong with that), but I believe that in many ways we can uplift other people and make the world a better place (no matter how cliche it sounds) by following what sets our hearts on fire.

To those interested, please feel free to visit my page:

www.facebook.com/superdaenamite

If you’re happy with  my work, please like it and share it with your family and friends!

Thank you so much!

Activities · Art · Self

What painting has taught me about the evolution of love

I started painting as a form of therapy. When I was battling with depression and OCD, painting turned to be the only thing which calmed my mind. Although I was eventually able to make money out of it when I decided to turn it into a business, I was still for the most part, painting according to my moods and emotions. That was a few years ago.

When I decided to paint again last month and seriously re-launch a personal business out of it, I observed that majority of the time I was still painting according to my emotions. Well, there was nothing wrong with that. Painting is simply therapeutic its magic. The problem comes in when you decide to take it seriously and really have concrete plans about it.

You cannot achieve anything concrete and long term by doing something only according to how you feel.

That’s when I realize that my perspective had to shift. I should not let myself be ruled by my moods. I had to lead my emotions. I had to create my own rules and work standards. I had to set clearly defined and reasonable goals. I had to impose a particular kind of discipline on myself in order to achieve those goals.

As a result, I came up with a list of principles such as:

1. First and foremost, I am child who wants to play. Painting should never ever feel like working at all. I must use painting as a liberating space to be myself, to experiment, learn and most of all,, have fun.

2. I am an artist, second, since painting requires certain kinds of skills.

3. I am lastly, an entrepreneur, for obvious reasons that I want to make money out of it.

This is the guide that I use for myself in order to find harmony and balance in maximizing this activity for me. I know these would continuously evolve as I explore and make mistakes along the way. It takes experience to find balance in anything we do, anyway.

Isn’t love like that as well? Love is not a fleeting feeling that is beyond our control, it is most of all an act of will. We must strike the balance between letting things unfold on their own and doing everything we can to use it transformative power for the our own good and the good of all. We cannot just wait for things to happen, we must consciously direct the energy to where we want it to go.

Art · Self

The elusive Soul Purpose answers

I did a guided meditation on finding your Soul Purpose. I was supposed to speak with Archangel Michael and ask him for help regarding my Soul Purpose in this lifetime.

I did perfectly everything I was instructed to do. When it came to the part where I was asking him about my Soul Purpose, he suddenly presented playing cards to me and asked me to pick one – which would stand for his answer to my question. Of course I was shocked because why would he leave the question to chance? I picked a card anyway. I got the Ace of Clubs. When I asked him why the Ace of Clubs and what’s the meaning behind it, he simply put the card on my chest where my heart supposedly was. When I asked him why he did that he just told me not to be so serious and have fun with him instead.

I got the most trippy vision ever! We started drinking rainbows using straws, we ate rainbow lollipops and sat on rainbow benches. We rode seagulls which turn into swans and floated in clouds. We stood on the edge of a supposedly waterfalls, but instead of flowing water, there were flowing pink hearts. There were even little hearts floating inside bubbles. Archangel Michael did not want to talk about soul purpose at all. He simply kept on showing me cute stuff and let me experience amazing things.

I even saw myself as a kid (at about 8 years old) wearing neon pink knee-high socks (without shoes on), with four pancakes on my head and a sleeping cat on top.

As soon as I finished, I realized that the experience was so fun and really trippy! It didn’t make sense but it was fun! Then a few days later as I was reflecting on it, I realized that maybe that was the point.

My soul purpose in this lifetime is to have fun! He put the Ace of Clubs in my heart to tell me that I shouldn’t think much and feel more instead.

I also thought that it meant I already know what my soul purpose is and the answer lies in my heart.

I know the last one was true because when I did another kind of guided meditation a few days after, all I could remember was a key. I asked God where the path (corresponding to the key) will lead me. It was obvious that I already knew the answer. Why did I even think that it was a key for a door? And I didn’t even ask which door it will open. I already knew it was for a door and I already knew which door in particular. My curious little human mind was just so stubborn and pushy. It wants to know the logical answers to everything.

I am still finding the space to listen to my soul and ask the angels and my spirit guides for guidance in finding my soul purpose.

But at the same time, I understand that finding the answers to our own questions also lies in living the mysteries themselves. We cannot just stop and wait for everything to make sense before we move forward. We must also walk with faith.

That’s what I’m trying to do now. As I ask for clarity, I also teach myself how to be brave enough to have the courage and faith to go through the mysteries of life including those of my own heart. It’s true that I already have an idea what my soul purpose is. Maybe I just need to honor and trust it.

Activities · Art · Business · Self

Why Painting?

I’ve read quite a lot of advice from different kinds of artists when it comes to pursuing your craft. Most of them would say do it because you ache for it, you want to do it so bad that you will suffer if you don’t do it. Being a passionate person myself, I believe in the importance of having passion in whatever we choose to do if we want to make a difference and create something worthwhile. But when it comes to pursuing what I feel is my soul’s purpose in this lifetime, I feel a different vibe with mine.

I didn’t dream of becoming a painter because I’ve always had been. When I was a kid, my greatest dreams were just these three: 1.) To not work a day of my life, 2) To paint and write and 3) To travel. Freedom has always been at the top of my values. It’s the most important thing for me in this lifetime.

I quit my job a few days ago and in a heartbeat decided I would paint again. I decided to spend the last penny I had saved to buy all the materials I needed to produce enough number of hand painted bags that I could sell in a month’s time. I am just a day away to finishing 20 bags. I have the other batch of 20 bags to finish but I don’t feel I have done anything at all or that I would still be doing that much.

That’s what painting does to me. It’s what painting is for me. Painting is not working. Painting is so easy and natural for me that I don’t have to worry about anything at all…and it’s never an exaggeration when I say that. You see when I paint, I get liberated from my mind. I don’t have to think when I paint. Everything flows naturally. I formulate designs spontaneously. I am not afraid to make mistakes and every time I do, I am always able to find ways on how to go about it.

I welcome all kinds of accidents when I paint because I know that it’s part of the process of creating really amazing works.

I don’t have to impress anyone, even myself, when I paint. I know my techniques and technical skills are not brilliant enough compared to so many artists out there.

But I always take pride in the originality of my images. They’re authentic. They come from the The Source through me.

I am enough when I paint. I am part of the vastness of everything when I paint. There is no “I” when I paint.

It’s not passion that drives me to paint. It’s freedom.

I am a soul, and I choose painting because I choose to be free.

Activities · Art · Business · People · Relationships · Self

A whisper told me

If it’s still in your mind, it is worth taking the risk. – Paulo Coelho

1. That bag business which I have experimented with a couple of years ago

2. That postgraduate degree on women and development

3. DELIBERATELY meeting that guy for the second time (the first one was by chance)

(I have had other goals which I’ve let go of – lost the passion for – eventually and yet these three just got stuck there somewhere in the corners of my mind.)

Activities · Art · People · Self

To the friend who asked what my greatest dream was

The oldest among my greatest dreams is to become an artist. It evolved from being a traditional canvas-oil-paint type of painter to a street visual artist. On the side I also dream of becoming a street and still life photographer and an illustrator for fictional books.

My father has always been one of my greatest believers. Lately he began on pushing me again to have an art exhibit of my own. There were more than a couple of times in the past decade in which I’ve attempted and planned to actually have a solo exhibit. However, it would always stop at the conceptualization stage. I used to wonder why, but perhaps now I know.

I don’t intend to sound proud but I don’t think it’s because I am not talented enough. It’s not because I don’t have enough “decent” and original works worthy of an exhibit. It’s also not because I don’t have the time and the money to produce one. If I really want to do it nothing and no one could stop me. Besides, I have all the hands and the hearts willing to help me out.

Maybe the reason is, it’s not the right time yet.

A genuine artist does not put up an exhibit to show off. It must be organic. It must be an accumulation and a celebration of the lives, the years, and all the love that gave birth to the art works themselves. An art exhibit should be a testament to the triumph of the interconnectedness of life.

While it’s true that an exhibit is a priceless gift to society, an artist must create, destroy and recreate continuously even without the goal nor the promise of this kind of culmination for the artist thrives on creation and not on exhibition (though they complement each other).

Many brilliant artists never had their own exhibits during their lifetimes. Many have only been known decades after their deaths. There are those who the public won’t even know about ever.

This is the time to realize that I shouldn’t be striving to hold an exhibit in the first place. I should focus my thoughts, feelings and energy in living, learning, creating and sharing what is authentic about me instead. I should continue to keep on maximizing whatever medium I feel is right to use as a means of expression. I could keep on using the media I have been using for years; pens and paper, Microsoft Paint, textile paint and canvas cloth, photography, film, and poetry. I am also free to explore new ways of expression (like dancing! and pottery, among many, many others).

I don’t create art for the sake of creation. I create because I simply can’t help it. It’s so basic for a human being that it couldn’t be separated from breathing, eating, sleeping, laughing, crying and dreaming. I just need to do it to survive. Maybe I’m the kind of artist the public won’t know about in my lifetime – or maybe ever. Who knows? But for now I am alive and there’s no better way of spending this life but by living, loving and learning!