What is a pop girl visionary? Hint: it involves glue guns, capturing curious beauty, networking in a non-sleazy way, creating and being inspired, cary grant, brass bands, and yes… maybe a little bit of veggie lasagna and a vision board or two. We want you to meet our dear handmade life writer, aurora: who has made it a point to make her full time job a creative one. Read on…Aurora’s passion for living a creative life comes through so strongly in her words that I got goose bumps. And I hope you do too.
aurora, in her own words:
I’m your best friend and your wildest dream, all wrapped up in one! You can call me Aurora Lady. My past has been nomadic, traveling up and down the state of California, before settling into a tiny, peaceful area shrouded in trees and shade called the Enchanted Cottage on the East Side of Los Angeles.
I’m a portrait artist and girl pop visionary. My first love is portraiture—and that’s definitely what people know me for; pieces that are beautiful, curious, with a touch of reality. My aesthetic is girly, for sure, but I also think it’s a little dark. I would go so far as to say that darkness is also markedly femme as well. My aesthetic carries over into everything I do, be it my makeup routine in the morning, the way my little cottage is decorated, the way I eat and the way I treat people. My life is very centered around creating and being inspired, including inspiring other people to do what they want and follow their own dreams. When I’m not creating portraits, I’m attaching gems to shoes with a hot glue gun, styling or art directing for small businesses, or making the perfect vegan lasagna.
My little pocket of the internet is www.auroralady.com. It’s a one stop shop for all things Aurora—you’ll find art work, interviews, and styling pieces in abundance! I’m also crazy about Instagram. What a gift that app is! Instagram has really been an artistic game changer for me me. My user name is AuroraLady. You should definitely add me on there.
I made it a point to make my full time job a creative one. While my day job isn’t my portraiture work, it flexes my artistic brain and I work with a bad ass team of makers who all have their own small businesses, so we all have similar priorities and work together outside of our day jobs as well. Finding this was a challenge for me—I took my fair share of shitty office and security jobs, hoping that I could just pound out my day at the desk and then create at night. Not so for me. I found office life petty and stifling (probably just the particular offices I was in) and it actually grated on me in a way that I would dread going to work in the morning, and would end my day telling myself that this isn’t forever, because it CAN’T BE FOREVER. I was exhausted in the evening from the office drama. I know many people who live this way, as if it was the only option, and I could not accept this fate for myself! So I moved to a place that values creativity and figured out a way to fit into that world. I read Keith Ferazzi’s “Never Eat Alone” and realized the value of networking in a non-sleazy way. I made vision boards and talked to people about what I really cared about and was really working on. It worked.
I really think I operate best in a state of always at least thinking of making or creating. What I mean is that when my brain is in full, optimum, creative mode, everything is inspiration or a catalyst for an idea, weather I intend to be creating or not. That is my favorite space to be in. So I can be watching “My Girl Friday” and Cary Grant is teaching me how to be more charismatic, more of a wordsmith, more of a clever, debonair hunk of a man and that energy will filter into my painting of my friend’s beard the next day. Or I will hear some teenage boys on the street in a brass band and be moved to tears because they are SO good and SO young and full of soul and that will lead me to wondering what the teenage girls are doing and how I can get plugged into that world. I guess I can’t separate a creative life from a “regular” life. I was just in New Orleans and I tried so hard to have a normal vacation. But there were so many times I just had to pull out my notebook and write or draw or take a picture.
Don’t listen to “practical” people. You know how to be practical, you’ve probably been receiving that advice since you were born. Think bigger and don’t take on that practical pressure because it’s already part of your makeup, you don’t need it echoed otherwise in your existence. Just take care of your responsibilities. Don’t accrue debt. Debt is an evil scam to keep you tethered to bigger, controlling institutions. Live within your means and don’t think that you NEED to do things just because they are part of an expected plan for your perceived well-being. This will give you the freedom to find what you need, to discover how you learn and create best. Keep your ears and eyes open to what works for other artists and creators. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you just need to figure out how to maneuver the wheel, decorate it, and get it going in the direction you need it to. Look for systems and patterns that are already in place and DON’T OVERANALYZE. Get the F*$% on board and start creating. Create everywhere you go. Fold a napkin at a restaurant. Draw a musician at a concert. Take someone you admire out for a drink and ask them if there is anything you can do to manifest their vision. Be a partner, not a competitor, but know that communicating and networking are to be treated as skillsets as important as your acute eye. Build a network of people in different fields than yourself who are working just as hard, if not harder, than you are. Make sure they are worthy of your admiration and then LEVEL UP.