I am so delighted to bring you an exclusive interview with local Artist, Estelle Thomson.
One of the best parts of this process, was getting to know the person behind the art. The artwork itself is beautiful but, the heart and soul behind it - is equally inspiring.
Perhaps, it was serendipitous that my vision for Sparkles n' Sawdust Studio aligns beautifully, with Estelle's passion for mindful and expressive art. Stay tuned for more information, as we are discussing a possible workshop collaboration.
Now.. let's launch into the good stuff!
Hi sparkly humans! First, off thank you to Jacquelyn for the feature and getting artist exposure. Now more than ever we needs sparks, colours and beauty in our lives! A thousand thank you's for this opportunity. How do you get started as an Artist?
I didn't choose to be an artist, it chose me! I also believe that everyone, YES (!!) everyone is an artist. I've grown to learn and believe in a wider definition of art: it's purpose & magic. Along with making art, I've been on a mission to wake people up to their own brilliance and inner gifts. But nonetheless, I started actually selling my art soon after I become a mother- 8 years ago now. It was a bit of an accident. I had a friend that came in my house, and she started looking around with her eyes wide open. She asked me who was the artist of all the pieces in my house, and boringly I told her: ME! She then proceeded to look at me dead in the eyes and answer: "hum, you know you can sell those, right?". And well, the rest is history. It was funny, at that moment it's as if she found me out! You see, I had been in creative hiding for most of my life, well 30 years to be exact and was time for me to get out of my cocoon. What is your style of art inspired from? If you truly take time to look at the world- then you will discover that anything and everything can be an inspiration. For the past eight years, I have oscillated between ocean themes such as mermaid, whales and waves. I've also have a wee bit (make this MAJORLY) obsessed about flowers, secret magic gardens and butterfly. For the past 3 years, I've painted hundreds a women- a collection I have title SHE. My SHE Collection as been inspired from the divine feminine, my yoga studies of scriptures, yoga sutras and poetry. Do you have a muse? As Fridah Kahlo most famously said : I AM MY OWN MUSE. I sometimes think inspiration is a myth, only because you need to nurture it's magic every single day. Has the pandemic influenced a wave of creativity or the opposite? Self-isolation is quite similar to the artist life with just a bit more obsessive hand washing :) As an artist and true introvert, I personally need to go through bouts of self-afflicted isolation, slow downs and tune ins in order to see what's bubbling up. I love it here- it's my favourite place to be. No rules here. No sense of time. Just me, my creativity, my breath and letting inspiration do it's things. A pandemic is tragic and it sucks, but I also know that creativity begins in the dark and that their is great beauty that arises from loss. To answer your question- yes, I have been influenced but not in terms of self-isolation perhaps more in terms of the emotional landscape of what is coming out of me. Just like I was influence by the "me-too" and "times-up" movement etc. What helps to inspire you when you are feeling in a creative rut? Looking at other artists works and their stories expands my own. I use to struggle with comparison until I realized that who I looked up too was actually the hidden potential part of myself. A "rut" is a beautiful and edgy place to be. I welcome the "rut" since I know it's part of my cycles of self-expression. As an creativity coach, that's basically what I guide people through and in. One of my best go-to's is to make MARKS. I just make marks and doodles. I've discipline myself to make at least 30 minutes of art everyday. If I find myself in a block, I just take a pencil and make marks, any marks get's me going. How does your passion for art and yoga intercept? Art is yoga. Yoga is art. They are one and the same! When I realized that, it was like I had been hit by lightening. Yoga means to connect, unite, merge. Art means to arrange, to take in, to engage with the world. One of my teachers Whitney Freya loves to say we are "life artists". That's how Ive chosen to see my life for a long, long time now. My life is a masterpiece! My breath is creativity itself. I am a walking inspiration, and the art and yoga reminds us of that, everyday if we want to. But we need to be willing! What stands out as a highlight in your Artistic career? Well, not only "one" thing will stand out, I work way too damn hard everyday to pin-point only one. A year and a half ago, I was approach by the CBC to create a documentary from the writing I have done over the years about loosing my second son unexpectedly. In this documentary, I included art & yoga and it's intention was really to widen the public lens on what it is to live a magic life through grief. I remember thinking: I don't even care if nobody watches this! I am just so proud of myself as a creator right now. I made a HUGE butterfly with my body that was filmed for the grand finale of this documentary, and it comes pretty close to the most WOW thing I have ever done/painted... with my body no less! So yeah, this was a bit of a highlight! Are you self taught or do you have professional training? SELF-TAUGHT, baby! All trial and error all. the. time. As a fellow Nova Scotian, does our province have any influence in your work? Oh my word... YES!! I live on the outskirt of Halifax in the coastal community of Cow Bay and my husband is an avid surfer. My favourite thing about our divine spot is it's sunrise! I have painted MANY sunrises. Do you feel that our province possesses any particular challenges for budding or established Artists? Yes and No. With the power of the internet now, I don't believe that being in a "small" province or away from city matters much anymore. Yes, in that they're isn't as many galleries + venues to display our work. But then again, I love Nova Scotia so much (even as a transplant from Québec) that it's not a reason why I would move. Does your artwork reflect your emotions and if so, do you find that you create your best work when you are feeling emotionally driven? It's still a mystery to me when I create my "best" work. Perhaps it's the mystery of inspiration that is so thrilling to me! I create most when am in flow, and for me that means sitting my butt down everyday and act on it. I like to challenge myself to a 100 day project every year and that really extend the boundaries of what I think is possible. Art is the unique expression of our souls, my art is affected by my emotions but am not sure it's completely driven by it. A lot of my actually making work is from the vitality in me. It takes a lot of will, determination and vulnerably to share art! No matter how emotionally driven you are, I think without acting on it, you produce nothing. What is an interesting thing about you that no one probably knows?
That I am a art geek! I love reading about art, looking at art, and podcasting about art. Yep. I'm an art geek!
Estelle Thomson is a Nova Scotian living Yoga Teacher, Visual Artist, Author and Grief Activist.
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