This week, I got the chance to interview our featured #artyogaplay artist + student Rachel Gonzales. She has launched an art business mini_boum and has been a teacher & participant at our art + yoga workshops. Rachel is an effervescent spirit filled with playfulness and adventure. She has recently finished Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” which is our current ONLINE + INTERNATIONAL Book Club for the Badass selection. RSVP for your spot until July 10th. And as always, happy reading!
How do you get creative?
Asking how to get creative is like asking how to breathe. We are all creative, and we are all created. We create with our word, we create human interactions, we create space for others to be heard when we listen, we create moments, we create 24/7 whether we are aware of it or not. Creativity is not a mode I can turn on or off, but I will say that being present plays a huge part in the raw act of making things. It requires a heightened awareness of senses and slowing down.
Why is creativity important to you?
I highly value creativity because I believe we are all unique expressions that are born with different gifts. It is our life purpose to align those gifts in such a way to be a contribution to others, and that in of itself is a creative act no matter what your “profession” is. We all have something to create and contribute. One of my deepest values is to live into my fullest creative expression.
After attending an art/yoga/play workshop, what do you become present to in your life?
I become more present to discovery within myself and others through the yoga practice and in the act of making things after the practice. I also feel more connected with others and safe to explore like a kid in kindergarten. My inner artist child awakens!
Do you have any advice for people on how to bring in more creativity, yoga and mindfulness in their lives?
For me, I struggle with committing time and space to create due to the expectations of everyday life. It’s always the initial part of bringing intention into action, whether it be starting a painting, beginning an exercise routine, preparing meals, or learning a new piano piece. I would start with practicing saying no to things that do not appeal to you, redefine your boundaries to allow for some space for you to process whatever it is that’s going on in your life and what you want. Slow down, nurture yourself, try something new, take a yoga class with a friend, enjoy a bubble bath with a bath bomb, get a massage, be still and reflect on your heart’s innermost desires, go out for gelato or some place that sparks joy in your life.
Nicole is currently leading an ONLINE + INTERNATIONAL Book Club on “The Artist’s Way.” How has this book changed your perspective on your life and on your creativity?
This intense practice helped me spiritually in allowing creativity to flow through me. I no longer take ownership for what I create. As Martha Graham said, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” I am an open conduit for creativity and am only concerned with keeping the channel open. Thus, there is no more judgement or fear or doubt about the work I make. Practicing self care also taught me how to value myself as a person, a friend, an artist, an employee, etc. It is empowering to know my worth and not tolerate or settle for anything less. I had a major breakthrough during ‘Week 11: Recovering a Sense of Autonomy’ when I reached a point to where I was furiously writing love notes to myself. I believe that the way we love ourselves shows up in the way that we love others. It starts from loving oneself. After cultivating self love, I can allow myself to be loved by God and be loving to others.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Can you share your website and the concept behind your company?
This may be a longer conversation than intended since it’s very hard to define myself. I would say that I have my quirks and different perspective. I am always on a quest for finding beauty in the mundane. I lead a pretty normal life and can complain about the same things most people do, but I do my best to be intentional about most everything I do. I have strong values, and I’m always finding a way to live my life more in alignment with those values. At the same time, I do not want to limit myself, which is why my art business is called mini_boum , a reference to mini parties in my brain. I figure that it is appropriate since I’m always inspired by life’s everyday surprises and the unexpected. Most people would say to promote your name and brand your name, but I didn’t get to choose my name Rachel Gonzales…my awesome parents did. This business is my baby, so I find it fitting to name it mini_boum. I also believe that big things can happen with small actions over time, and that it is always important to embrace our child-like wonder about anything and everything. Mini_boum is something that embodies all of these things.
It’s about celebrating child-like wonder, having fun, life’s surprises, and small actions growing into bigger change. The big goal is for me is to be deeply rooted in community through my creative practice and connect with others on a pure human level, whether it may be through teaching an art workshop, hosting an art show, to bringing joy into people’s homes through my art work, or traveling to another part of the world to learn and/or teach in various communities . The possibilities are endless with mini_boum–I haven’t quite figured it all out yet, but the uncertainty excites me!