I was talking about the creation process with my nine year old daughter one night at tuck in. To explain this to her, I used her favorite painting of an elephant that hangs on the wall. We looked at it and I asked her how she felt about it. She explained that there was just something that made her feel good. I went on to explain about the artist's gift in this way. I explained that this painting doesn't exist anywhere. The vision came through the artist and her physical talents allowed the creation and process to end up on your wall. This creation was born into this world through a person. The inspiration you get from the painting now lives in you!
I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with the creator of this very painting, Laurie Maves. I was hoping to ask her the process of what happened in her life to allow my daughter to be inspired by her work.
The back story: Laurie and I became friends on Facebook in June of 2012. I don't remember how, but we must have connected because we have a lot of mutual friends.
In November of the same year, I happened to be popping around on Facebook when an advertisment came from Laurie regarding her paintings being sold on a website. The website made it possible to have prints or many other things made from her work. I started poking around and came to some paintings of elephants. I asked Emily if she liked these elephants. She said, "elephants are OK". Then we came to the pictured painting she now has in her room and she said, "oh I really like this one." It became her Christmas gift.
What impressed me about Laurie was that her art is truly unique and amazing. But more importantly, it was available for me to offer my value (money) for her value (creation). I was impressed with Laurie because I didn't feel the marketer disconnect I often feel with some Facebook friends. The types of friends that post nothing but their goods and services. Laurie had a personal feel to her posts. I was impressed that an artist had such a wonderful social media presence. This peeked my curiousity, so I dug a little into her world, I came to know that she runs her own studio and it seemed this was what paid the bills. The dream of most artists.
This touched me deeply because I watch so many of my creative friends, musicians, painters etc. struggle with bringing their gift into this world. Our culture does not support artists. We live in a very consumeristic mindset. Parents often tell their creative children to get a real job and then have your art as a hobby. In speaking with Laurie, this was her story.
What called me to do this interview, was that I wanted to know how she did it. How did she end up owning a 2000sf studio and do her art as her living.
Laurie explained that she always had a knowing that she wanted to create her own art. The weight of trying to become an artist weighed heavy on her shoulders. For a painter, getting into a gallery is the Mount Everest of being successful. Remember, these steep mountains are only the reflection of created collective thought. Laurie has proved this notion to not be the "only" path to make it as an artist.
She began to listen more closely to her callings and her intuition. She began doing live art and selling paintings this way. She left a marriage, because she knew it wasn't going to foster her dreams. In having a vision of owning her own studio, she began taking steps. Steps that didn't have a clear path. From live painting, she began to gather a following. She started interacting with fans on social media and her website. Her paintings began to go up in price. This led her to fully emerged herself into social media to sell her work.
Through these new connections, she began to get a lot more commission work. She did work for law offices, to memorialize births and people to name a few. Laurie is quite up front with people, that she will take the idea into the painting, but it will be done in her style. It's been her experience to have people so touched by the painting, they break into tears. What a fantastic recognition of how a creation is brought perfectly into the world to serve another person. Laurie has shown up to be this avenue of inspiration.
I sat in awe listening to the story of what I've heard over and over from artists. The same blocks come from influences outside of her. How will I make money? I'll become an art teacher. I'm only successful if I'm signed by a gallery. These ideas are sent from a collective mindset, consumed by consumerism thinking. It wishes for everyone to join this culture. Mind you, I'm not speaking of individuals. This is a collective thought process of the American culture. Go out and shop.
On the day Laurie and I scheduled to meet at her studio, I had stumbled across her post on Facebook where she explained that she was taking September away from social media. She was selling her old work and that something new would be coming in October. Laurie explained this to me in our interview. She began to explain that in the creation of her art lately, when she got out of the way, her best work was appearing on her canvas. I'm excited for October to see what will birth from Lauries courage to shut down all of her social media. She explained how difficult of a decision it has been to make. For me, there is not a splinter of doubt that Laurie is going through a process of elevation. The process of elevation, being marriage of the human form and the true inner intelligence. There is no choice, but the result will be incredible.
Laurie Maves is an incredible story of a dream, that pushed through the naysayers, became a reality. All of her struggle and strife has allowed space and opportunity to inspire many other people.
To have a big shift in consciousness, I believe the whole cultural mindset around artists needs to change. Our consumeristic mindset has brainwashed people into this idea of happiness and the perfect world. Laurie kept the fire of her passion burning inside of her. At first, she did what she thought she should to "make it". Then she began to accept the whispers of her intuition to point her toward opportunities. My sense was that Laurie began to let go of what it had to look like. This allowed these opportunities to come to her.
Be inspired by the life of this truly amazing artist. If you have a gift, know that myself and many others who don't voice it, need your creations to come lift our spirit. The following are examples of artists who have taken a non-traditional path. Please share this consciousness by sharing more examples in the comments.
Walk off the Earth - Started by making very creative cover videos
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers - Roger was signed to a record label and then dropped. He reinvented his vision and now has a great following doing what he loves.
About Laurie Maves:
Laurie Maves is a Denver-based Visual Artist and Live Performance Painter.
She firmly believes she is here on this planet to make your painting.
She paints Everything! From poppies to lollipop heads, ham sandwiches to Marilyn Monroe, and even elephants to energy to marriage proposals, Laurie is the internationally commissioned "portrait" painter.
Laurie LOVES a lot of things! In addition to her painting, she loves the people she surrounds herself with, the ever challenging practice of yoga, and the fanciful world of collaborations. She feels that she shines her brightest when she finds other creative souls to conspire with. She has collaborated with musicians, animators, story tellers, photographers and poets.
Laurie Maves is also an artist who wants to promote the concept of living one's life with purpose. As an creative being, she is constantly finding ways to bring her works to the world, to inspire, to motivate, to facilitate creativity and promote love throughout the universe. She knows in her soul that this is a GARGANTUAN task but what else is there to do if she wants to live her life with purpose?
Your truth and experiences are important: Please share and comment to make your contribution to this knowing!