A conversation about mindfulness, creative block, and balancing a creative business with full-time work.
Tell us a little about yourself…
I am an Artist based on the Gold Coast, Australia. I have a background of Fashion and Fine Art and I’m just about to delve into Interior design. I am continuously trying to educate myself on all kinds of art forms to mould into my current practice. Being a creative I get bored quite easily and thrive off always having something to do. I love to have variety and contrast in all aspects of my life and this shines through in my work. Having the balance of strong, structural and technical drawings of the female form contrasting with quirky, abstract and organic shapes and colours. Always trying to keep life interesting.
“Art for a Mindful Home” Can you tell us more about what this means and how your intentional approach to art shapes the work you produce.
To be mindful is the ability to be present in a wondrous state and without any judgement. The idea of a ‘Mindful Home’ is about integrating this practice and inviting intention into your space and home. Mindfulness is the key ingredient used to create every single one of my pieces. I never have a plan set out. I simply allow my current surroundings and intuition to form the subjects and shapes I use. The beauty of this method is it allows hidden messages to be revealed only after the piece is created. The intention is created unconsciously from the heart; it is never forced; it is the purest connection to the soul. Mindfulness helps us to become more accepting and relaxed in our day-to-day life. When our energy is clear, positive and focused our whole world around us will start to mirror this.
In your fine art series you explore the Japanese concept of ‘Kintsukuroi’ through several works. What attracted you to this concept and how does it manifest through each piece?
I’ve always been drawn to and fascinated with Japanese culture. The idea of celebrating imperfection is a common theme through both my own work and traditional Japanese art and design. Kintsukuroi in particular is the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. The concept unintentionally manifested in one of my drawings after splitting an image in half creating a crack right down the centre of a beautifully drawn oriental inspired figure. After researching into what the image may have symbolised the concept of Kintsukuroi was an immediate fit. This is the magic of my work. I never start with a concept nor had I heard of Kintsukuroi before I created that piece. It is simply a pure projection from my heart to inspire Authenticity!
Arches feature heavily in your recent ‘Shape Studies’ collection. What prompted the use of this shape and how important is its meaning to the concept?
Arches have an organic yet structural shape so it was a perfect fit. Arches are an eternal symbol that provides protection in new beginnings. From a structural perspective, archways allow motion while serving as a foundation to buildings. It encourages you to embrace the unknown and let go of any preconceived fears. The perfect intention to welcome new opportunities that we face in the few New Year
Working full-time and creating art must be a delicate balance, tell us a little about how you juggle both?
To be honest I am still trying to figure it out. Lol. However I have learnt to understand that each week is different from the other and to not judge myself on the weeks that I struggle to find any balance. My full time work is a manager of a little café, so my position allows me to have a lot of control over my hours each week. I have the power to alternate when I need more time for my business or when I need to work a little bit more to fund current projects.
Launching a new business is an exciting and scary adventure. What struggles have you faced since Enoka Art’s inception, and is there a particular incident you worked through that you can share with us?
Poor time management and burning out from overcommitting to too many projects is the biggest struggle. It’s challenging trying to find balance when every aspect of your life is full. I guess you can say I’m living life to the fullest but over the last year I’ve realised how important it is to find time to slow down and smell the roses. In the middle of last year I felt completely burnt out, I was struggling from anxiety, low energy and several health issues. After seeking help from holistic practitioners (nutritionist and chiropractor) it was clear that the stress from overdoing it was starting to manifest in my body. Through changing several elements of my lifestyle, diet, and regular adjustments from the chiropractor and taking the time to learn what energises my body I am able to better sustain a busy lifestyle.
What are you inspired by?
My inspiration go to is the independent fashion magazine Unconditional. A biannual that celebrates this entire universe of impressive women. I live for the editorials shot by French photographer Alexandra Nataf and her focus on effortlessly capturing raw personality first and then the clothes second. I am inspired by the stories of all kinds of women.
How do you make space for your art when you are not feeling particularly creative. Do you have any tips for creative block?
Creative blocks happen all the time. I use to try and force myself to push through it however it would only make it worse. My approach to creating is to stop thinking so much and go where your heart takes you. The ocean always helps me to expand my thinking. The calming sensation of the waves allows me to open my mind and re channel my energy. Taking a walk by the beach or jumping in the ocean is easily the best way engage all you sense and relieve any blockages. A lot of great ideas have come to me by getting a little salty.
Evening/Morning routine? Tell us about a day in your life.
Last year my days were very sporadic. Building a business, and getting up early each day to go to a full time job made having a routine quite difficult. My main goal this year is to take more time to be more consistent in my daily rituals. My motto is to listen to my body. Some days I love to jump out of bed early go down to the beach and rise with the sun or go for a walk, or exercise followed by a nutritious breakfast. Other days I need a slow morning with a little extra sleep and will usually fast through till lunch. Everyday my body needs something a little different.
Finally, I’d love to know a woman who inspires you.
I find it hard to pin point one or a particular person. I’m inspired by women who have been through adversity and used it to their advantage. Women who beat the odds despite being told otherwise. Women who are truly authentic in every part of their being. The world is filled with impressive women
Learn more about Renee Enoka