Artistic Freedom


Day 6: Finding Your Tribe

The Assignment

Choose two people I admire who are alive and living the kind of life I want to live. Write about something that inspires me about each person. If I met them in person, what burning question would I ask each one.

Today I am selecting two visual artists who seem to have it totally together, are visible in the global community and offer a seamless spectrum of creative treats across the online universe and in real life . Each has made a name for herself in the visual art and creativity fields. And they are women artists I relate to on a multitude of levels.

Equally I am a writer, however I chose only two artists. The reason I did this is twofold. First, I strongly feel that by building a welcoming environment that is visually enticing and a placemaker invites and nourishes the creative soul in all its expressions as a home base beyond a typical office space. Second, this haven serves as a launching point of departure of freedom for the writing mind to loosen up, unravel, daydream, explore, investigate, blueprint and evolve ideas, poems and stories into books for readers alongside the visual process of the artist with potential to integrate these two forms and feed off one another for endless inspiration. I could easily select two writers I admire. Let’s make it a wondrous dream team! And yes, all women. These celebrated fiction authors captivate readers with magical realism, sci fi, intense imagination and the fantastical. The memoir writers are exquisite storytellers who bring their relatable interior worlds to life. Though I will only list names and complete this exercise in private for now, I might share this later on. They are:

Geraldine Brooks, Margaret Atwood, Ursula Le Guin, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, J.K. Rowling, Audrey Niffenegger, Erin Morgenstern, Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jeannette Walls, Cheryl Strayed, Julie Powell, Gretchen Rubin, Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, Emma Donoghue, Lois Lowry, Diablo Cody, Lena Dunham.

Poets: Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, Naomi Shihab Nye, Yoko Ono.

Flora Bowley

Flora’s painting is so free, expressive, unique, colorful, bold, and BIG! Her imagery feels like a wilderness of deep spirit. She has reinvented herself as I discovered in checking her website. She offers self-paced online courses, retreat-style workshops in-person, a studio diary, books, and videos of her painting based on her brave, intuitive painting. Also, she sells her original, vibrant paintings and giclee prints across several sites.  Flora has her own tribe with community of support. A main motivation for her is to create with soulful, wild abandon. A lot of her work feels and reflects the natural world. Her offerings have evolved into her “bloom true” brand with lifestyle products I wish to evolve to as well. Wandering her website feels refreshing as if delving into a hidden world of whimsical beauty. Her essential foundation of values match mine on the creativity and the artful journey as a means for self-care.


Flora, what would you say resonated for you in the actions you took at various pivotal junctures that lifted your artistic and creative path to new heights professionally and personally, evolving into who and where you are today and your future opportunities, and please describe them in detail?

Carla Sonheim

Carla’s illustrative world is humorous, inventive, quirky, relatable, confident, and joyous. One can see her zest for life! Her playful nature is definitely contagious. She offers a bunch of free stuff I just discovered in tutorials and drawing assignments on her website I am excited to explore. Also, she has produced a ton of YouTube classes and videos. More amazing goodies to enjoy!  I relate to her walking the line between drawing and painting  with a whimsical style inclusive of the illustrated cartoon. She, too, offers e-courses, books (and audiobooks), newsletter, blog, yet some things set her apart. I identify with her broader range as an artist in mixed media, photography, storytelling and instructional media in fun, eclectic and informative ways along with her advantageous use of technology. Her values match mine by infusing art into everyday life, continuing to challenge herself to grow as an artist with her explorations through travel related studies, and giving back through philanthropy. She has her own shingle on Etsy and sells her art wares and books across several sites and platforms. I think it is her penchant for the silly side of life and her heart for experimental adventure that are so identifiable to me in that pretend space.


Carla, what would you say are your earliest, specific childhood memories and beginnings as an artist into adulthood that spurred your sense of wonder and imagination then, and how do you infuse and merge them into who you are now as an artist and creative soul as you expand your repertoire?

My, this was more fun than I originally thought! Also, great to focus on the challenge and leave my troubles behind and stop that recent broken record. Thanks for enduring!

Enjoy these two wildly creative artists!


P.S. There are more artists who inspire me that I will continue to share about through with writing here in this format from time to time from the popular to local/regional to former professors and others I know and know of.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

#10DBC, #freedomplan