One of the most rewarding gifts through my season of being a full-time Mom, was tapping to my artist deep within. As a little girl, I would love to paint sunsets, little long hair monsters, and whatever I found in my doodles that needed to come out. My dear best friend was an art prodigy. Her skill, ability to illustrate with full precision, and just impeccable sense of design kept pulling me to that place of comparison. I was so in awe with her work that I humbly accepted that fine art was not part of my calling. Even though I truly enjoyed the process, I just chose to let it go, not for me. Film became my form of creative expression from high school, college and 8 post-graduate years. Now fast forward to my next phase with paints and brushes, during my 30’s, which was my discovery of children books’ illustrators as I took my sons to the library like twice a week. When I saw Eric Carles’ Hungry Caterpillar, I was so excited because I heard myself say: you can do that!!!! From that point on I gave myself permission to paint half of the house. The front side of the Villa was literally a Caribbean Shack, with white corrugated ceilings over the kitchen area, red beams, turquoise walls, my kids were surrounded by hand painted furniture with stories, and so much color!!
Then I dove into digital editing, learning photoshop elements to make all the kids birthday party invitations and annual christmas cards that were masterpieces for our family. They were a multimedia collage I would do by hand on a big format, and then I would scan them and print them for Christmas Cards. Each piece intended to translate the story of the year to a watercolor poster size piece.
Ok now very fast forward…..I end up (please don’t ask me how) with a greeting card bilingual company….very very fast forward again….even though it became my creative expression for a year or two, very quickly the burn out of the pressure to design high quantities crept in and the decision to release it all was a no-brainer!
Which lead me to another paint & brush hiatus, until I found my art savior, JoAnn Stevens-Flores. My dear friend, client, and teacher. About 8 years ago, JoAnn was my client at Total Woman. She was one of my first clients ever!!! Wow! I was doing my greeting card business, she was in the film industry (more in the financial side of things), with an art degree, and we would always talk of developing our businesses (cute detail: Fitness Industry saved me from greeting card industry!!)….blah, blah, blah….fast forward again….5 years later I leave Equinox to focus on Coach2Edify and somehow, after not seeing each other for about 4 years, JoAnn and I end up doing art in the Villa!! She was with me from the very beginning of C2E, always ready to take the lead on doing art workshops. Everything I do at C2E is for my own groth, and this is what I share with others. I’m so grateful for JoAnn coming back into my life to take me by the hand and lead me to that joy of painting, playing with colors, and words, designing my feelings with sacred geometry! Now I have been doing monthly art classes with her for more than a year, and I honor and protect that sacred space of my visual expression, which brings me so much joy. I love seeing the story of my own transformation. I love playing with my intuition, and giggle at the amazing results at times. I love seeing my courage to step out and embrace my artist within. When we do what inspires love, the activity becomes medicine for the body, mind and soul.
I see any type of art now as healing. I’m learning more and more that is absolutely necessary for my self expression. Being surrounded daily by these pieces around my home, feeds my soul, as well as my mind. They are reminders of who I am today, my truth, my shadows, my growth, and my chaos. There is not one I do not like, for they all bring me more compassion, admiration, understanding, reminders, and love towards myself and ultimately others.
Mayra McCullough, C2E Founder & Body Integration Specialist
C2E Does a Creative Expression Field Trip every month with JoAnn Stevens-Flores to her studio in Woodland Hills. It’s the first Saturday of the month, so next one is this coming Saturday, September 5th 4-7. For more info got to: