"What if today we simply considered how to be at peace within ourselves." - Emmanuel Jal
When your dream collaboration comes out of no where, you take it. No matter how terrified you are.
When I was asked to apply and come up with an installation for Lululemon's "Breathe it all in" holiday theme in less than a week, my first thought was "oh NO, I CAN'T do that." I had all the excuses inside my head - "what if I can't find the right project, how on earth is this going to look, I don't have enough time, what if don't get chosen, what if they hate it, this is too much..." Pause. Breathe.
The next day, after a good sleep, a series of deep mindful breaths, I began to dive into the real content and intention behind Lulu's "Breathe it all in." Within a few hours of researching, brainstorming, crumpling sketches, and day dreaming I finally visualized exactly how I wanted to bring my vision to life. A day later I was writing my proposal and sending it off to Toronto. I was kicking it into high gear, and leaving my fear in the back seat.
A couple days later, I got the email that the project was a go! My heart exploded - game on! The next week and a half consisted of hours experimenting, preparation and trial-and-error. Oh were there errors. Hey, I had never actually painted a large scale window before! That meant a serious amount of work was in order to make sure the execution days went flawlessly. My windows at home were covered in designs and paint samples, and thankfully Andy was home to give critical feedback and bounce ideas off of. You don't always see or appreciate the hours of work behind the scenes before you see the finish piece, but you better believe there was an entire journey before the finished product.
One of the most daunting moments of creating is those first few moments staring at a blank canvas.
I had two days to make the mural happen. I showed up, popped my noise-cancelling headphones on and got to work. The next two days were incredible. I worked mindfully and vigorously to bring my exact vision to life. Mixing the paint, applying each brush stroke, repeat. Live painting throughout the day, while bystanders and store guests passed and stopped along added to the experience. Creating a true community and interactive event.
This project was the perfect combination of organic and deliberate movements. A decade of learning, painting, researching and experimenting, and as I continued painting I found my self truly lost in the craft. Thoughtfully and repeatably mixing colour patches, and organically laying out the composition. It was truly spectacular to witness a subconscious rhythm completely take over and guide me along the process.
I always smile when I hear things like "Are you just winging it?" The answer is yes, and hell no.
Breathe it all in.
Art making is a meditation, creating a space and invitation to greater mindfulness, self exploration and unending potential. Used in meditation, Mandala’s represent wholeness. Mandala’s are often used to visually capture our attention, drawing and absorbing the mind in – in such a way that negative thoughts are unable to get through to the individual observing the mandala, which in turn allows the viewer to discover a higher consciousness or awareness, almost as though being hypnotized. This invites the busy mind to take a break while the creative mind is allowed to run free. This was the inspiration behind the mural.
For the Kingston location, I created a vibrant, intricate, and clean art install. The painting itself consists of thousands of expressive brushstrokes, blooming out in a stunning translucent color gradient. I hope this installation captures your attention from afar, inviting you closer, to appreciate the small details and take a look at what’s inside. One of my favourite elements of this installation if how much it changes from the inside and the outside, depending on the time of day, it's mesmerizing.
"Being generous with yourself with a few deep mindful breaths allows you to be more generous with others." - Paige Elenson
"Breath holds the power to bring us to the present moment so we can get more out of every joyful, calm, busy, beautiful moment the holiday brings. Share all the moments you're breathing in every last drop of this holiday season and hashtag #breatheitallin." @Lululemon
I want to extend my gratitude to the team at Lululemon Kingston and Toronto for working with me, and providing me the opportunity and encouragment to make my dream collaboration happen, and allowing me to share my gifts with the community. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Photo's + Video By: Jake Forsythe // Mercury Media - www.facebook.com/mercurymediaca
@thetravellingartisan Snapped a picture on location? Hashtag #ygklululemon!