Happy New Year!! 2018 is going to be an amazing year, lot's of great plans, goals and dreams to work towards, one of which is the new designer purse brand "Livin the MAD Life™" my daughter Aroon and I have co-founded that features my art and is sustainable and cruelty free fashion for the empowered woman.
Livin' the MAD Life Mission Statement and Purpose:
It is no secret that women and men have different privileges, whether it be in the workforce or home. Today, more than ever, women are trying to change the way society defines the female role. And we want to be apart of that change.
Livin' the MAD Life is run by a mother and daughter duo, who wanted to create a company that supported the female empowerment movement. And one thing most all women love and have in common, is the love for all things fashion. We not only wanted to create gorgeous bags and purses, but we wanted to incorporate something more into each design. Therefore, each bag and design has a MAD symbol, or multiple symbols, worked into the art work. These symbols can stand for empower, strength, courage, love, etc, to see what all of our hand painted symbols stand for, visit our symbols page.
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, only behind the oil industry, and it is only growing. Today the world now consumes around 80 billion pieces of clothing annually (up 400 percent from 20 years ago.) Livin' the MAD Life, recognizes the need for fashion pollution awareness, which is why we only use thrifted and up-cycled products for our original purses and bags.
Although our limited edition and logo bags are not thrifted or up-cycled, they are works of art and each individually hand signed by the artist to make them more of a collectors piece, versus fast fashion.
Behind every fur coat, leather bag, suede belt or alligator boot was once a living animal, and millions are killed annually to support the fashion industry. Therefore, we have decided to keep all of our bags and purses made from vegan or synthetic materials. No animals were harmed in the making of these bags, and we hope to spread the cruelty free movement.
Mission Statement..."To empower women through sustainable and purposeful fashion."
I'm finally back in Florida after spending the last 3 out of 4 weeks in Alaska, the 2nd trip was to escape Irma's wrath! So thankful everything is fine here in Miami, feeling so blessed that both my apartment and studio came through unscathed and I can get back to my new life here :)
I had a lot of realizations and clarity come to me on this last trip to Alaska, in such a way that I can truly move forward and explore a new life full of adventures, new people and being the strong, empowered woman I am. Nothing is holding me back any longer and I feel I am in a position to now help other women realize their full potential and inspire and motivate us all to reach for the stars!!
Before I left to Alaska I had just finished up this 3'x3' painting "The Power of the Moon". This painting is part of my enlightenment series where I have created a new set of symbols that empower us to find enlightenment in everything around us. I used my "moon/gravity enlightenment" symbol for this painting, see the circular black and white drawing below and find it within the painting 😊😊I created this symbol to inspire us to find enlightenment through forces outside of ourself. We all now how much power the moon has on our planet, how it pulls the tides in and out and creates light for us during darkness. I personally notice changes in myself when there is a full moon, particularly that I have a more difficult time sleeping, without fail every month for several days.
This got me to thinking about how we allow so many outer forces to dictate how we live our lives, and give more control to certain things, and people, than others. We can't avoid things, thoughts and people having an effect on us, but what we CAN control is who and what we surround ourselves with and make sure we have positivity in every aspect of our lives. There are times however, like me with difficulty sleeping during a full moon, that we don't have control over, but we DO have control over how we respond and act to those situations. We can either fight it and create negative energy in our lives, or look for the positives in the situation and find ways to learn and grow from those experiences. I've come to recognize the issue with sleeping and the moon and know that it is only temporary; and if I feel the need to take a nap to make up for my sleeples nights, I do, and I don't let it stop me from carrying on in a normal way, I just take the extra time to rest if needed. I have learned that most negative things in life are temporary and we shouldn't give such things power over us, for they will soon be gone and nothing but a distant memory. There is no need to spend valuable time and energy dwelling on things that won't last, instead focus on the important things in life that create positive energy and happiness, make those things permanent aspects of your life.
I hope this painting, and my moon/gravity enlightenment symbolism, will help you rethink what positive and negative influences and forces you allow into your life. Create positive energy within yourself, which will radiate unto others, and respond to all outside influences with positivity.
In addition to the moon/gravity symbol there are other symbols throughout the painting that I use frequently, such as the floral "true love" symbol. Be positive, stay true to yourself and embrace life and love.
I will be doing a blog post soon with more in depth details on my Enlightenment series, the symbols and their meanings. Created on a 36"x36" Genie Canvas.
Recently hung my two degrees in my studio, two of my greatest accomplishments. Don't be afraid to go after your dreams, no matter what obstacles or difficulties you may face, it IS worth it in the end, I'm proof positive!! Read my story below of achieving a lifelong dream in spite of life having other plans for me 😊😊
I was bound and determined to go to college, even coming from the Bush of Alaska, in a remote village with a school that never boasted more than 15 kids at a time, all grade levels. I did whatever it took to make my dream a reality, and at 17 I booked a flight to Hawaii to go to my chosen school that I had been accepted too.
A few years later I moved to Florida and continued going to college, when I unexpectedly became pregnant at 20, I dropped out of school and went back to Alaska to be surrounded by all my loving, supportive family, who have always been there unconditionally, whenever I need them, no matter what. But, I NEVER gave up on knowing I would be returning to finish my education. So, while I was in Alaska I got a full-time job, applied and was accepted to attend The University of Central Florida (my Alma Mater), and within a month of my daughter being born I was on a plane back to Florida to go to school the following semester. I had a lot of people tell me, even to my face, that because I was so young, and a single mom I would never go back to school. That simply made me even more determined to prove them wrong, and I did!
It wasn't easy by any means, being 21, a single mom to a newborn and going to college full-time, but I had saved a lot of money while being pregnant and working, took out student loans and busted my butt!
When my daughter was about a year old her father and I got back together and I was then faced with an entirely new set of difficulties to deal with. My (eventual) husband had a 4.5 year old son who lived with him (who was an extreme, and I do mean extreme, handful), so all of a sudden my family of two just grew to 4 and I had to adapt to all of this while still going to school. And I would not only be taking care of both kids, mostly on my own, a full time cook, housekeeper and help my husband with his business, but I also held down 2 jobs, while eventually going to school at night for my Masters degree.
I look back and seriously wonder how I was able to manage this and STILL get my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Political Science. But, you know what? It just goes to show that if you want something badly enough and set your mind to it, no matter what, you CAN achieve your dreams and goals. Don't ever, ever give up on what's important to you, if you have the will, desire and passion inside you for something, you have everything you need to make it happen. Go out and follow your dreams and make them a reality!!
(Oh, and I got these degrees in the late 90's but still feel proud to display them as they represent dreams that came true and fierce determination to fight through the difficulties and never give up).
Life is a never ending cycle of change and growth, and I'm currently going through a lot of that right now! But, it's all for the good of my health and soul and working on living My Best Life.
I have a new, beautiful studio in Miami Beach to enjoy for a little while, who knows when I might move next :) And I finally broke it in with a big, beautiful commissioned recreation of my painting "Aqua Burn". Nothing better than putting paint on canvas...myself and the floor, it means the studio is officially broken in! The painting was created on a fabulous 60"x48" stretched Genie Canvas, the ONLY canvas I paint my oversized paintings on.
Here are some work in progress pics and a quick little time lapse video of the painting process, after almost 3 months of minimal creativity it feels so good to get back to doing what I love!
I'm very excited to announce my newest gallery partnership with the Ocean Art Gallery in Flagler Beach, Fl! I've been following Ocean Art on social media and have been impressed with their display of diverse artists who compliment each other and the gallery itself. I knew I had to meet with the owner Frank and discuss representation and I'm excited to say I will be joining their amazing roster of artists! Nothing can compare to seeing artwork up close and in person and I believe Ocean Art Gallery is the perfect place in Flagler County, and the surrounding area, for collectors and new fans to see my original PoP Art Style paintings, including "Ocean Fury" shown here.
So if you are in the North East Coast Area of Florida (Flagler Beach, Daytona Beach, St Augustine, etc.) or planning a visit, be sure to stop by and see my art in person, the staff is super friendly and amazingly helpful!
Ocean Art Gallery: 206 Moody Blvd.(SR 100), Flagler Beach, FL 32136