Today, as part of The Messy Room Moondancing Muse Series, we are dancing to the moon and back with artist and visionary, Michelle Quesada of Michelle Quesada Art, Mused, Muses of Art & Soul, A Mused Community Group and A Mused Community Group Creativity Challenges on Facebook. As a social worker by day and artist by night, Michelle is one busy muse on a mission of encouraging others to tap into their creativity as self-care. She believes there is a muse for each of us.
In 2016, Michelle and her fellow muse instigators – I mean collaborators – will show you how to find and work with your muse while learning to manifest your creative goals with the moon cycles. (Can you guess why I am tapping happy here? Yep. They are using my book, Moondancing!)
So, get comfy while we get to know a little about what makes this muse tick.
Okay, Michelle, lets get started with a quick warm-up …
Do you make your bed in the morning?
What is your favorite highway or karaoke song?
Love Shack by The B52s.
What are you wearing right now?
My most comfortable sweats and T-shirt.
What’s the title of your autobiography?
If you could dance under the moon anywhere in the world where would that be and what would you wear?
In Glastonbury, England. A long, flowing dress with a crown of flowers.
Now, describe your creative work style using one of these patterns: Paisley. Polka dot. Stripes. Checks.
My creative style most closely resembles a paisley pattern’s organic cell-like aliveness and connectedness. My work flows from life and nature. Movement and music assists me to step into creative flow and is present in all painting work.
Is your work style the same with day-to-day stuff? If not, what pattern are you then?
Such an interesting question! I would say stripes would be more along the “lines” of my day-to-day pattern of other work. Lines seem routine and have predictable patterns though can be thick or thin depending upon what the task. Once I step into a creative project, it is out with the straight, predictable parallel lines!
How about a favorite quote?
At this time, “All things around me are restored in beauty.” An excerpt from a Navajo prayer that deeply resonates with my life purpose.
So we can all put some good moon-mojo on it; what’s your Moondancing dream this year?
My dream is to come into my own moondancing flow and personal understanding of how my rhythm interacts with the moon’s. Now I have a vision in my mind’s eye – more a query. Would that be more a paisley or striped pattern of interaction? Understanding the moon patterns will also assist me in becoming more prolific in mindfulness and goal realization. My dream is to build a community and a thriving self-sustaining art business that will become my full-time work.
How do you approach a new project or idea?
What all of my creative work has in common whether that is writing, art journaling, or painting, my first step is to tap into my intuitive process. I may create an altar in my sacred space with specific objects for my muse. In this process, I love to sage, turn on music, and even get my body moving. Next, I’ll begin with a writing prompt or journaling. I love to then throw a color over my writing and write some more. If I am trying to connect with the energy of a person or an animal, I will create a doorway or portal to allow space for their entrance into the space I’ve provided. Many times the subjects will reveal themselves within the shape of the provided portal. I approach many projects with curiosity for what will be revealed in the art, for what will emerge, and for what lessons I am to receive. In each case it is a journey and interaction. Many times it is a delight and surprise.
Where or how do you get your inspiration?
Being in the middle of nature is the fastest way for me to feel inspired. Something about being right smack in the midst of a natural creative cycle helps me feel instantly connected to Source/God. I also love hearing stories and imagining how the words, symbols, and colors intertwine.
What do you do when in a creative dry spell?
I don’t get many dry spells at this time, but when I am working on a project and feel stuck, I will often move onto something different and many times, once I am in flow, ideas will come to me that will help me to progress with the work
Have you always painted or are you a late bloomer?
I have always loved and participated in creative work in some fashion. One of my mom’s favorite memories of me was that of me dancing around the house in my favorite white boots and dress at 4 years old. My dad would sing, Michelle My Bell by the Beatles and when I could talk him into it, he would put on records and dance around the family room with me. Some of my fondest memories of childhood are of my dad teaching me how to draw faces and my mom teaching me to draw horses. Both of them also read to me regularly and encouraged me to read independently in my free time.
What informs your subject matter?
My spirituality and creativity happen to be intertwined. When I begin feeling curious by a quote, an angel, a deity, a concept, an animal it is many times an indication that a painting is waiting to be born. I usually have a lot more ideas than I actually have time to work on. I sort of file them away. When someone comes to me and says that they are feeling touched regarding a similar or the same subject matter that I am, I usually prioritize those subjects because I feel that art works to bring healing energy to the collective.
Being that this IS the Musings from the Messy Room, you have to tell us about your creative space.
My creative space happens to be my favorite place in my home. A couple years ago, I realized that not having a place set up just to create in was hindering my progress and flow. My grandmother had recently passed away and left a small inheritance for each of her grandkids. I used mine to buy some worktables and other essential items such as paints, canvases, decent lights, and brushes. I took over the bonus room of our house where the natural lighting just happens to be the best. Claiming this space freed up the rest of the house, especially the dining room where I would set up to do creative work. This had not been so good for dinnertime and just a regular flow in the house. My creative space also doubles as my sacred space. I can meditate, close off the door for quiet time, and set up altars that remain undisturbed. It’s easy to write and do anything there that I need concentration for.
Now, for the Grand Moondancing Finale, Michelle!
How did Mused, Muses of Art & Soul, The Mused Community and The Mused Community Creativity Challenges come about for you? What inspires you the most about your vision for them? Where do you see yourself going with this in your own creative process? Where do you hope to be a year from now?
About four years ago, I had an epiphany that art and creativity are essential to the planet. Previous to that, I had convinced myself that my creative side was selfish and even too materialistic. While in my social work program, I found The Artist’s Way and changed my thinking on many levels. I discovered true self-care and self-acceptance. I also realized in my program that creativity is EXACTLY what the world needs.
If even half of the people on the planet were able to tap into and utilize a large portion of their positive potential, this world would shift in dramatic ways. Communities would band together to solve their challenges and create systems of working together that many of us never dreamed could work. Artists would be paid. Children would continue to develop creatively into adulthood. Adults would never put down their hobbies until they felt it was truly time to move on or learn something new. This is when I created the fan page, Mused. I became curious about the concept of a muse, and tapping into the spiritual for creative flow. To be mused is, “To be so powerfully captivated by one’s muse/s, and, thus, touched so deeply by the creative spirit, that one must simply act upon that inspiration.” Each additional page and project has developed from the muse.
In October of 2012, a special fan of the page requested that Mused hold creativity challenges. Hundreds of entries were received – enough to overwhelm the fan page! Within 2 months, the group A Mused Community developed as well as a gallery page, Muses of Art & Soul, with administrators (muses) who also believed in the mission of encouraging creativity in community. The fan (Deborah R.) that had requested challenges served as Terpsichore for more than 2 years. Today, more than 1,000 members have joined A Mused Community and have the option of participating in the monthly challenges.
Each year, the vision comes closer to what I had seen when starting the group and gallery page. I imagined a site where online workshops would be available in addition to the free creativity challenges where those who serve as muses would be the teachers and facilitators. Playing the role of muse is empowering and a catalyst for exponential growth. The challenges would not only develop the muses, but also assist the participants in tapping into their potential as well as nurture and support their creative process. Eventually, I would love to have an in-person studio space where I can teach classes as well as have a large area to create in. The muse project continues to teach me patience. I know it will develop in its due time!
“Hi, I’m Michelle, social worker by day and a visionary artist by night. Art came natural to me from an early age. I danced, sang, acted, played flute, sketched, colored, and longed to paint. By high school, the world convinced me that there are no places in the professional world for artists and that those who are successful are few and far between; hence, the starving artist. I believe this experience led me to 20 plus years of trying to “find myself.” Truly I was lost. I explored every career possibility and spent countless hours in advising, trying to figure out my “path.” While in my upper division English class, I found the most wonderful book that brought me back to my authentic self. That book was Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way. I have never been lost again. I know who I am — a true creative.
Over the last four years, I have begun to also explore my own creativity more in depth. I have done more writing, painting, and mixed media journaling. This led me to starting my own Artist’s page on Facebook as well. As soon as I began showcasing my art, people began asking if it was for sale. Creating a website made it possible for others to view my work as a part of healing that each piece signifies.”
Some links for Michelle if you want to follow her dance:
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Thank you for sharing your dance steps in the world, Michelle. It’s an honor to have you as the first Moondancing muse to dance in my messy room. Definitely worth my moving a few messy room things around for!
If you like this post, then please LIKE and SHARE because together we grow a better world! And be sure to SUBSCRIBE for more Messy Room muse inspirations to come!Pin It