Sometimes I’ll start a drawing or painting without knowing exactly what it’s going to be about and I just start making mark by mark, and images just start to come out on the paper or canvas just by me balancing marks. It’s a type of process where you can only be immersed. You can’t really half do it, so I feel like that’s part of what grooving is for me: getting immersed in the problem solving of creating something and making it visually balanced and stimulating. For the designs I do that look like mandalas, they’re kind of like time lapses of puzzles purely made from mark making.
Everyone has creativity and it’s basically a reservoir sitting below. Once you sort of find it, you keep going back and trying to find that same space again. Looking at something you created with your own hands and being proud of it is one of the excitements that makes you want to always come back to make something again.
When you’re trying something out like a new skill, you’re worried about making mistakes, and I think something that comes with groove is just being able to let yourself make the mistakes. There’s no means to an end with this groove thing. You’re not trying to get to a certain point; you’re literally just in it. You’re just grooving!
If you feel like you’ve lost it, then you’ve stopped doing it. I felt like I lost it at one point. I felt like I was just drawing to draw because I needed to, but when I let myself disconnect from my expectations, I was right back in it. I think you have to really let yourself do it for the sake of doing it. You shouldn’t be doing stuff just to become famous or to get credit; you should just be doing it because you love to do it.
If you let yourself be fearful all the time when you’re trying to experience groove, you’re never going to experience it because you’re only doing it for the fact of wanting people to approve it, and that’s not where it’s supposed to come from. I still catch myself doing it sometimes and it’s scary to put yourself out there, but one day no one is going to remember all the mistakes you made. Once I got over that, I was like: there’s no way I’m ever going to stop painting or drawing, so why should I care so much about what other people think if I’m just going to keep doing it anyway?
Life itself can be a groove, too, if you let it. Like, I’m going to be alive anyways and I made this mistake, but I’m going to wake up again tomorrow, so why not just keep carrying on? And, you just build on your mistakes and that makes your skill at life or at your profession that much better as you grow older.
There are probably plenty of people you know and can have a conversation with and time flies so fast, and that’s like being in a conversation type of groove- you’re in a dance with other people-and that’s how I feel in my artwork. I think painting and illustration can oftentimes be an escape for me because it’s like being completely involved in a puzzle which you have no idea of what the final image looks like, so you’re just going from clue to clue and living from second to second and focusing on something from minute to minute without being too outside of yourself. When you can tap into that mindset, it completely changes everything and there’s a bit of a high you get off of it, and you’re constantly trying to get some sort of that feeling in every area of your life.
Bringing that sense of immersion into the clothing I create, I hope people feel like that’s something they can experience when wearing whatever I make. Fashion is sort of puzzle making: every day you get dressed, you’re putting together a puzzle piece that expresses you. So, to be able to transfer my artwork to something that people can wear as a means of expressing themselves is really exciting.
With my brand, I want to do collaborations with nonprofits or foundations that are fighting for a cause, and base the theme of each collection off their story. I also want to use materials that are less impactful on the environment. I really like researching things about fabric, the environment, what I can do to help the environment, charities, and people I can collaborate with- that in itself is a groove for me.
I think people need to really move towards not only having groove in your skill, but just experiencing groove in so many other things, like going to the market or going on a walk. An example of finding groove outside of just one thing has been surfing for me. Once I got to the point where I experienced flow in surfing, there’s no way I could ever not surf. Finding it in other activities actually helps, like surfing and running and hiking fuel the fire to my artwork, and my artwork fuels the fire to those activities.
I feel like once you find that groove and you start to find it in other places in your life, they all start to play off of each other and you start to find connections. By having all these pieces in your life that give you this feeling, there’s no way that they can’t sort of come together to form what is your life, if that makes sense. There’s no way I could ever go through life and not consider involving surfing, running, fashion, or art in my life, whether that’s professional or just on the side.
I think it’s interesting to see people that have found different aspects in their life where they totally feel like they experience groove and they’re able to put those together to form something that’s even better and cooler for them. There might be a whole lot more understanding if we recognize someone who’s found their groove in what they want to do in life. I think a lot of people would be a lot happier in their lives if they let themselves try and experiment with things. If you’re really bad at something in the beginning, that’s fine. If you figured it all out from day one, that’s not very exciting.
Everyone needs to experience groove, appreciate groove, and try to incorporate groove into different aspects in their life and I think this world would be a much happier place. So many people go their entire lives without releasing any of this energy I believe is inside all of us, and those are the people who are like, ‘What have I done in my life? What have I created? What have I contributed?’ And, you can contribute a lot more than you think you can if you let your groove guide you.