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People

 

Meet Our Optimism Instigators
A collection of people we admire for what they do to initiate small things that spur positivity in a contagious way around the world.


 

Meet Cayla, our newest optimism instigator. Cayla is an artist and painter based in Layfette Louisiana. She sees painting as a form of meditation and a way to connect to her community and self.

Tell us about your art. Who or what is your Muse? What type of things do you paint?
I like nature and nudes. I am inspired by my Louisiana surroundings, such as wetland birds, flora, fauna, and my friends.

How did you decide to become a full time artist?
I had been teaching for two years after graduating college and had opportunities come up in the artistic realm. When I couldn’t balance having a teaching job and creating, I decided to become an artist full time.

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What is your advice for others who are considering art as a career?
Don’t stop creating or making work no matter what. Having an artist mentor and also a business mentor is also good for support as well as your immediate community.

“Don’t stop creating or making work no matter what.”

How do you get inspiration when you’re in a rut?
I take baths. I go on little adventures whenever I can and take film photos. Sometimes, reach out to a friend and catch up. Journaling, reading, and sometimes strumming guitar.

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What is your favorite album to listen to while you are working?
It’s ever changing. I’ve had affairs with so many. I’m listening to La Femme’s Mystère or Sylvan Esso the most these days.

You use art as a form of meditation. How does that work?
I’m not sure if I can call it meditation, because I am not very studied in meditation. However, I find creating can put me into peaceful states and attitudes. I find myself very focused and trusting during the act of painting, and it is something I have to learn with breath and movement.

Now, I’m just on the beginning paths of learning more about meditation. One of my role models is David Lynch who is a painter and is someone who talks a lot about transcendental meditation.

“I find myself very focused and trusting during the act of painting.”

How have you been coping through the pandemic?
Do the best I can. Conserve energy. Stay in touch with people you love even if it’s in texts/phone calls.

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What’s your advice for someone who wants to try painting?
Do it. Start small even with some watercolors. The cool thing about painting is it’s truly a medium you can do on your own and explore your creative realm without the need for words.

“The cool thing about painting is it’s truly a medium you can do on your own and explore your creative realm without the need for words.”

What’s next for you? Any cool projects your working on?
I’m working on painting, sewing, screenwriting, creating different looks, filming. I want to do everything and create with my friends here in Louisiana. Here’s hoping for as many safe creative projects before the end of the year. I am mainly focused on painting currently and transitioning into an online world. Film projects are also on the table that I want to finish editing.

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What’s your favorite color?
I think it’s Alizarin Crimson currently. I’ve been very much feeling reds and fuchsia.

You paint a lot of animals, do you have any pets?
No pets. I mainly go to the swamp to see animals, or see cardinals in my backyard. Sometimes the raccoons, possums and feral cats make an appearance in the evening.

If you had to choose one outfit to wear every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably my half-red and half-fuchsia kimono. Thinking about the quality of the silk, and hand-died fabric, also the fact I might be able to fashion it into some other looks I hope.

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