Rituals and Holistic Spaces: Amy T. Won

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I'm excited to welcome artist Amy T. Won for our second installment of Rituals and Holistic Spaces! As you know by now, rituals hold an important place in feng shui and in creating holistic spaces, and we each have our very own rituals, personal to us. Each morning I do a bit of Shambhala calligraphy to get my day started, our good friend Katie Dalebout journals regularly, and Amy has a beautiful collection of rituals surrounding her magical art studio. 

Amy has an amazing experience available online that she calls Wonder Walks or Walk the Labyrinth. It's an incredible experience for artists who need fresh inspiration and to awaken their creativity, and Amy is a wonderful guide. 

In addition, Amy has a detailed map of how to create an "enchanted studio," and she was gracious enough to share these "realms" with us!

AC: Tell us a little about the Walk the Labyrinth experience.

AW: Artists are explorers. Wonder, curiosity and play are what keeps us so enchanted with life that art overflows from within like magic. When we lose our creative sparkle, it’s often because we’ve lost touch with that inquisitive explorer child we once were. While the spotlight on art is often on technique, I created ‘Walk The Labyrinth’ to share with you everything I’ve discovered about the important yet unsung work of lighting and sustaining our creative flame from within. We answer questions like: Where and what do I want to explore? What’s most enchanting to me right now? How can I balance intuition and idea, structure and spontaneous play? What’s the secret to learning from others without feeling bad about where I am?

How do you create a holistic space in your studio to nourish your creativity?

For me, there are six realms of an enchanted studio, and each of them is an important piece in building my creative space. 

The Inspiration Wall: 

The Inspiration Wall is sometimes a literal gallery wall, sometimes a mood tapestry and other times a group of paintings against my easel. It's meant to evoke an emotion and atmosphere that I'm enchanted with at the moment. This is inspiration assemblage-photos, clippings, bits from nature, my own experimental scraps and magical words of wisdom coming together to form a collective vision of what I'm trying to achieve with my latest collection.

The Daydream Corner: 

The Daydream Corner is a comfortable, cozy little space by my library where I dream up ideas with a cup of tea, a large drawing pad, color pencils and a stack of my favorite reads of the moment. It's where I go when I want to disappear into another world, and I'll sometimes have my favorite soft toys to evoke a child-like imagination and candles and incense to set the tone. It's a personal retreat away from the busyness of creating and one of my favorite places in the studio.

Mise En Place:

Like a chef preparing for his grand creations, my studio desk is always ready for creative play and art-making. I'm not an extremely tidy person but this is my most organized corner of the studio : brushes and tools where they are supposed to be, paints and mediums arranged by type, papers in a stack, fresh flowers or nature's gifts ever ready to inspire with their textures and colors, reference books right there to thumb through.. It's never a static space, because it beats to the rhythms of my latest work and therefore, colored and shaped by it.

Nature's Wonders:

My work is very inspired by nature's wonders so I always make sure there's plenty of the outdoors inside-fresh flowers, potted plants and mementos collected from my wonder walks and adventures. It makes me smile and reminds me that there's a bigger world out there to explore and be inspired by, and that sometimes the best thing to do is to step away and let life, adventure and nature direct my art. I'm always looking out for little brass bowls, unusual vases and vessels from thrift shops to collect my treasures in.

Objects That Enchant:

One of the pleasures of having my own studio space is surrounding myself with objects that enchant and light me up inside. These are usually curiosities that evoke my personal symbolism-a rabbit, a snail, a swan vessel. It's ever changing and I'm always looking for ways to make my studio more magical and my own. What do I want to surround myself with? What makes me smile? What do I want to remind me of what matters most in life and art?

Art In Transition:

One of the realities of being an artist is how much intuition and rhythm shape our work and sometimes, no matter what we wish, a piece will not appear in its final incarnation. This means I always make room for beautiful pieces of imperfection and incompletion : oil panels as mood paintings for now, ink splatters on handmade papers waiting to be completed. Sketches and discarded paintings. Those are all part of the artist's life and they are badges of honor to be displayed, lived with and reach for when inspiration strikes.

by Anjie Cho

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Amy T. Won is the artist, storyteller and enchantment-seeker behind The TreeSpace Studio, where she shares her explorations and painted mementos of our wonder-filled world. You can also find her adventures on Instagram (amytwon) and Facebook (The TreeSpace Studio) or take a peek into her inspirations on Pinterest (Amy Won).