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303 Magazine Feature: “Local Artist Gains a Deeper Sense of Self Through Design”

I am so proud to share I was featured in 303 Magazine by journalist Ella Zeiler! When I was invited to interview, the imposter syndrome was like HELLLOOO who the f*ck are you, Courtney…

My inner critic was loud and cruel at first, and then I made an intention to answer the interview questions from a space of truth + vulnerability, and it just flowed.

Today, I’ll share my favorite parts of the article, as it relates to vulnerability, creativity + making meaning.

Read the article in full here.

Make art for meaning, not trends

“Especially as a teen, I had to ask myself “am I wearing this to fit in, or do I actually like this?” This inner dialogue shows up in my relationship with my art; I have to ask myself “why am I making this?” And make sure I’m creating art with meaning, not following a trend.” - 303 Magazine

Pursuing my 100 day project has been a huge challenge in creating based on feeling + truth over a trend. Unlike illustration where you can find illustrations all over pinterest that literally look exactly the same, intuitive abstract art is based on a feeling.

It’s really frickin’ hard to mimic what is trending and what is getting the most likes on instagram if you’re making from a place of intuition. When I first started illustrating, I would draw mountains and suns and moons because that’s what 

And then I took a step back, and was like, I actually don’t like drawing any of these things. So why am I making them? Oh yeah, it’s because that’s what is getting the most likes on Instagram… and then I knew I had to take a step back and really get clear on what I ENJOY to like, what is true to me. 

Find yourself through your creativity

“303: What interests you most about art and design? CN: I’ve found who I am and who I want to be in this world through art and design. It’s wild how much truth shows up as colors, textures and shapes manifest from my inner world out onto my canvas. I’ve discovered my deepest shadows and my brightest light. As a viewer and maker of art, I am mesmerized by the impact a visual can make on a human being’s perception of the world. It’s like in one second, you see artwork, and all of a sudden your reality is completely turned upside down. It’s magical.”

When you let yourself create from a place of play, joy and intuition (over trends/ sharing on social media) you will unlock parts of yourself that you don’t even know exist. My best work is created on the days where I feel lonely, depressed and isolated. And in those moments, I close my eyes, breathe deeply + feel into the pain, open my eyes and let colors and shapes and textures move from my inner guide onto my canvas.

I’ve been moving through this abstract series during a time when I’ve had some really challenging moments/conversations, I’m constantly awed by my ability to move through the darkest of moments into the light with a little bit of paint, openness and time alone.

Embrace all parts of your experience

“Through my art, I’ve awakened the sense of duality that lives within me, and in my awakening, I’ve experienced so much healing.” - 303 Magazine Feature

Light, dark. Joy, depression. Anxiety, calmness. Warrior, Goddess. Pain, expansion. Suffering, pleasure. Loneliness, connection. My art constantly teaches me that it is OK + safe to feel it all. And it is ok and safe to feel it at all, at the exact same time. I can feel so lonely, so disconnected from the outside world, at the same time of being so divinely connected to my truth + my knowing. I can feel like such a Warrior taking on a huge mural, and such a Goddess as I turn the wall into a story of hope, creativity and love.

Vulnerability is your superpower

“I feel like vulnerability is where I belong. I’ve been complimented on my willingness to be vulnerable, and in turn, I’ve seen customers and friends step into their vulnerability too. I feel honored to be a role model for anyone that is ready to show as themselves.” - 303 Magazine Feature

In the last year, vulnerability and I have become the best of friends. She + fear are with me, literally, at all times. And I continue to step into my vulnerability with bravery + courage, because I know it’s the work I need to do. It’s the work I need to do in order to connect with you, to feel seen, to feel heard + to make YOU feel seen + heard. One of the best parts of what I do is having others, vulnerably, open up and share that my art / my blog / something I said made them feel ______ [hopeful, seen, understood, safe].

The future is uncertain

“303: What do you hope for the future of Flow and Root?

CN: I hope for a future of abundance, connection, and impact. I see a future with more public art, gallery shows, collaborations, large-scale paintings, sneakers and tees. I aspire to get my art into the lives of as many humans as possible!” - 303 Magazine Feature

These are my hopes + dreams. And what we’ve all learned in 2020, all things are uncertain. All things are temporary, nothing is permanent. So I’m leaning into letting myself feel love, feel hope, feel alive. I’m learning to let myself feel my joy + my happiness, without fear of losing it. Because the joy will pass, the darkness will set in, and the joy will be back again.

 

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Thanks so much for reading, friend! This article means a lot to me -- I would love for you to read it in full, give Ella a follow. Drop a comment below to share what parts of this article touched you the most, or email me directly.
XO,
Courtney

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