Hi Guys! Welcome to a series we run on the blog called: Tea & Cake with Gracie :) My awesome friend and colleague Gracie Howle interviews inspiring artists and posts the interviews (including some free offers not published elsewhere before) here on the blog every 2 months or so. I love to create art and bring amazing artists & people together in my classes, in person and on social media. As part of this drive, I want to help bring more exposure to some of the amazing artists out there! Today Gracie’s interviewing Whitney Freya. Make sure you check out Whitney’s giveaway, free video tutorial and gifts for you below! Tam xoxo
If you love Artist Interviews make sure you read the previous Tea and Cake with Gracie ones – click on artist’s name to go to their interview: Violette Clark / Melissa Dinwiddie / Tascha Parkinson / Susana Tavares / Lynn Whipple / Karine Bossé / Jenny Grant / France Papillon / Jenny Wentworth / Kristin Dudish / Rachael Rice / Angela Kennedy (Pennystamper) / Andrea Gomoll
Hi Guys! Gracie here :) I hope May is bringing you everything you need <3 Take some time now to put your feet up, grab your drink of choice (mine’s a black tea please ;) ) …and read about Whitney Freya in the interview below. Enjoy! :)
1. Welcome Whitney! Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
My North Star is “Life is the canvas of your Soul.” Since I was little I believed in magic. I always knew there was more to this life than what we could “see” or “prove.” I also grew up a wanna-be artist. I had an art teacher criticize my work when I was 9. I believed her and subscribed to the opinion that some people were just not born with that “artist DNA.” It wasn’t until I was 26, and opening an art Center (!!!) that I reclaimed my truth as a Life Artist. In a moment of divine clarity I understood that art making was here to guide us to CREATE the life of our dreams. At 26 I was four years out of college and totally confident that real life was SO MUCH MORE like a blank canvas than a multiple choice test. It became my life’s work to provide supportive, inspiring and MAGICAL environments for you to rediscover your TRUE creativity—not the one that is only judged in $$$’s!
Today, 21 years later, I know that my own Personal Painting Practice and the practice I share with my tribe, is a powerful catalyst. I am inspired by the opportunity we have in our world right now to RISE ABOVE the fear, the conflict, the us vs. them mentality and CHOOSE to live from love and possibility.
For me, the painting is not the end, it is the means to LIVING our most fully realized life. You came here to CREATE. You create in each MOMENT with your words, your thoughts, and your beliefs. The canvas is simply where we make it all visible to create new mindfulness around how powerfully our reality IS our art.
My “palette” also includes time spent in the backcountry wilderness where I live in NE Oregon, flying my paraglider (a new adventure for me!), yoga, and sharing lots of laughs with my three teenagers! My Painting Practice has helped me to develop a level of presence, confidence, boldness, strength and joy that I did not have before I started painting! I love sharing this with my clients and getting us all HAPPIER!
Whitney’s giving away ONE SPOT on her upcoming Creatively Fit Coaching Training to one lucky reader! A $2375 value! Awesome!! :D Here’s a little bit about the class from Whitney:
Creatively Fit Coaches empower others, clients, art students, their families…to live life in FULL color! Have you felt ready for a dynamic shift in the way you’ve been doing things and ready to build stronger supports underneath your new business or way of living? Then becoming a certified Creatively Fit coach is your next step!
*GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED * GIVEAWAY WINNER ANNOUNCED:
Thank you to everyone for joining in the giveaway and for your comments! The randomly drawn winner is:
Yay Kristen! Congratulations! :)
Find out more about Whitney’s FAB course here: Creatively Fit Coaching Training
Whitney’s created this, brand new and just for us, art video: ‘The Laughing Buddha’:
(Click the ‘play button’ to watch this video or click on the review link here: Review Link)
Whitney’s also offering every reader $10 off her new book ‘Rise Above’.
One brushstroke at a time you can free your mind from the should’s, have to’s, limitations and worries.
Click here: RiseAbovetheBook.com and enter the coupon code: ‘riseabovelifebook‘ to get the $10 discount.
Learn more about Whitney by reading the following interview:
2. You say: ‘…art making is, in reality, energy work. It’s here to support you…‘. The idea of art making being ‘energy work’ really resonates with me. Can you talk to us a little more about that?
I love this perspective! Say that you are feeling down, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, worried…. You could also say that you are feeling low energy or low vibration. You are focused on the problem at hand, or the challenge, the conflict, or the worry. You are allowing your imagination to paint pictures in your mind of what you DON’T want.
No one EVER goes to the canvas to paint what they DON’T want! Right? Painting raises your vibration. Period. You shift from left hemisphere / fear based thinking to right hemisphere / love based thinking. You RISE ABOVE whatever is dragging you down energetically and you FEEL SO MUCH better!
You will ALWAYS feel more positive, optimistic, or excited about the possibilities, once you get into your right brain.
My first book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, shares 15 Creativity Workouts your can do in an art journal, with art supplies you’d find at the grocery store, to get into your right hemisphere.
My third book, Rise Above, Free Your Mind One Brush Stroke at a Time, guides you into your new Personal Painting Practice and into an energetic state that I call Super Soul Flow. Each chapter is a different energy: Freedom, Self-love, Abundance, Presence, Peace, Joy, and more, with symbols to paint to create this energy and an animal totem as well. This book is so exciting for me because it is finally all my painting wisdom and life wisdom together in one place!
I love to challenge my clients to get into a really bad mood and then paint for 15 minutes to see how their energy shifts! It is MAGIC!
3. You have, and use, a symbol which has specific meaning and symbolism for you, called ‘The Freya Knot’. Can you talk to us more about that and how that came about for you?
This symbol found me in a miraculous way! On 12.21.12 exactly I created this double heart symbol in a workshop. I remember when I pushed those two wax hearts together, forming the diamond in the middle AND the double infinities! I was amazed! “Where is the tattoo parlor!?” I immediately recognized it as powerful and NO ONE had seen it before!
This is the image from that workshop!!!
In 2013 I decided to name myself after my divorce and the name FREYA “found” me. In early 2014, I was talking with my branding goddess Michelle Wirta about a sacred symbol for Freya and she found this image online!
WOW! I recognized it instantly from the 12.21.12 workshop! I had started teaching that symbols are the language of your soul and here is Freya giving me a huge cosmic thumbs up!
Since then it has taught me SO much! I meditate with it by picturing it behind my closed eyes. I sit in the diamond in the middle and connect to the love coming to and through me from above and below.
It taught me that I am here to bring heaven down to eARTh by making the shift from fear to love.
In all my retreats and workshops I tell the group that we are creating heaven on eARTh…it just takes a space that ONLY sees love. YOU are the diamond in the middle…the union of the LOVE from heaven and eARTh. Without the love, the diamond becomes a box or a cage—we can be trapped in our own ideas. LOVE is the liberator! Learn to LOVE yourself and everything you create at the canvas—even the oops and the “mistakes,” and you are on your way!
4. You work closely with symbols and have a line of stencils which are based on ancient symbols. Can you talk to us a little about how and when you started purposely using symbols in your work and art?
Every canvas I paint is layers of energy. The “energies” that I am painting are my visual intentions, my own kind of “vision boards.” It shifts the entire painting process from one that can be more focused on results or product, to one that becomes meditation, prayer or a shamanic journey.
This began for me in 2010. I had been painting ONLY owls for at least a year. I literally COULD NOT paint anything BUT owls. One day I randomly saw reference to animal totems and thought, “Maybe there is a reason I am painting owls!?”
As soon as I made that connection, I started to receive the message from the owl. Owls have tremendous vision. They are able to see in the dark unlike any other animal. Owl appeared to me to guide me out of my own shadow, or underworld, experience (I was divorced in 2012.) As soon as I started going within to examine my life honestly and courageously, I stopped painting owls. What came next? The double crocodile! Then, the triskelion symbol (for movement)! I feel like I could write my autobiography in symbols!
I’ve found that you can RECEIVE symbols as guidance from your Soul (when you catch yourself seeing a symbol over and over) OR you can choose a symbol that embodies what you want to attract MORE of in your life. Since symbols don’t have baggage like words, they can be exponentially more powerful when used a la Law of Attraction.
In 2014 I launched my ARTual line of Sacred Symbol Stencils to make it easy for you to “paint energy.” I find when you connect to the symbols through the stencils, your process effortlessly shifts. You become mindful of whether you want more Sun Yantra Self Love energy, more Mother Earth Abundance energy, more 7th Chakra Om Peace energy, or more Tripe Spiral Intuitive energy—as some examples.
The magical part is that since everything is energy and energy can not be destroyed, even when we paint over the symbols, the energy remains. What might happen in your home when you surround yourself with your own energy paintings—created by you to VIBRATE with your highest visions for your life?!
5. What tools do you use when you’re feeling artistically uninspired?
There are two answers for this question.
First, I choose not to label what you are describing here in this way (or feeling stuck, for example) because what I know to be true is that feeling uninspired just means I am in my left brain. So, if I want to paint and am not feeling inspired, I simply understand that I want to shift my awareness from left to right brain. The more senses you engage the more present you become, so I will play music, light incense, dance a bit and begin my “first layer” at the canvas—just dripping, playing, stenciling symbols, doodling intentions…
We can label ourselves as stuck (or writer’s block for writers) and, in essence, dig ourselves a hole in the process that we THEN have to climb out of. I coach my clients to, instead, focus on what they want—skip the hole—and channel their attention and energy in that direction.
Secondly, I love to pull a card and then take a symbol or image from the card or the description and let that guide my next steps at the canvas. My two favorite decks right now are the Rainbow Warrior Awaken Deck and the Mystic Art Medicine Deck by Cher Lyn.
I am so excited that more and more of us are remembering the TRUE creativity! Art truly is here to save the soul of mankind (thanks Terence McKenna). The tremendous benefits I have seen my clients enjoy as a result of their Personal Painting Practice over the last 21 years—less stress, more energy, heightened optimism, increased intuition, bolder action, happier, and more joyful—have not come from PRODUCT or TALENT. The treasure they rediscover comes from within themselves and their painting practice is what created the time, space and opportunity for them to go within and get to know the FULLNESS of who they really are!
My new book Rise Above has all of my most exciting highlights of this work. I look forward to sharing it with you for $10 off (with an instant download available upon purchase). Go to: RiseAbovetheBook.com and enter the coupon code: ‘riseabovelifebook‘ to get the $10 discount.
Thank you for chatting with us Whitney!
You can find out more about Whitney on her website: whitneyfreya.com. See you for Tea and Cake next time! Love Gracie x
Would you like to learn from Whitney? She’s teaching with us on Life Book 2017! Life Book 2017 started 1st Jan 2017 and continues all through 2017! Come and join us, or find out more, over here: Life Book 2017 :) (registration for Life Book 2017 is open until September 2017).