Cynthia, when you close your eyes and think of the word “home”, what is the image that comes to mind? Can you tell me about it?
Home to me is a quiet place where I am free to live slowly while exploring my creativity and wandering through nature. The moments in between life, where things are still is such a gift; as I find those are the times I feel most at peace. Which elevates my inspiration.
What is the most important thing you want for the viewer to take from your pieces? I create art inspired by imperfections in life, nature, and self; I believe flaws are beautiful. It’s an honor to make art that adds visual calm to an environment, and to take part in someone’s journey of creating an intentional space is priceless. My hope is that when someone sees my art, they feel the emotion of serenity, and meditation as they follow my wavy patterns with their eyes; and that the colors will remind them of the quiet tones found in nature.
I know that mental health is a big deal in your life. What do you do to prepare to create your highest work? Do you have any rituals you want to share?
For many years, my mental health kept me from creating art of any kind. I was filled with uncertainty, doubt, and I was constantly exhausted as this was my pre-diagnosis, therapy, and antidepressants days (and even after I began seeing a therapist, and figuring out what medications would work best for my brain, it was still a challenge to live a normal life. It was a long, but necessary journey).
A couple of years ago, I eased into art by making minimal abstract shapes and lines using acrylic as my medium. In the beginning, my goal was to get the much-needed creative outlet. It was quiet and slow progress full of potential.
My rituals in the studio include; diffusing essential oils, putting on a gentle playlist, taking plenty of breaks, and never rushing. I’ve learned that good work requires time and nurturing.Cynthia Juhailey
It has become meditative, and a special time of day. Discovering how to show up in the studio, even at my lowest days when battling chronic depression has been transformative; and it fuels me with purpose and enjoyment in doing something I’m passionate about.
When you’re feeling stuck in your creative life, where do you seek inspiration?
Nature has become my main source of inspiration. It is so vast, wild, untamed, and full of new ideas waiting to be explored. Also, within myself. I’m incredibly flawed, and as someone who preaches to love your flaws because they make you unique, why not use myself as a source of inspiration?
The most important thing I keep in mind is patience. Allowing myself to live, enjoy life, explore, and absorb inspiration along the way. Creativity doesn’t have to be rushed. Feeling stuck may be a way of our mind and body signaling some much-needed rest.
Do you have a relationship with nature? And if so, what does it bring to your life?
Earth is so giving, my ancestors taught me to be grateful to all that it gives to us in abundance. Nature is a reflection of life. It plays a major role in my culture’s belief & spirituality. I’m honored that my grandmother kept several of her indigenous practices and passed them down to me; as most Central American people had their indigeneity erased, leaving them without a bridge to their identity. I can always turn to nature to feel understood, and of course to find inspiration.
Thank you for reading my interview with Cynthia. It has been my pleasure to introduce her to you.