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  • Writer's pictureLeah Rakabundel

Creative Adventures in 2022

Wow what a year it's been, and almost 12 months between blog posts...


2022 was full of surprises and curve balls from the get-go. Juggling motherhood and my art business and life in general kept me busy. At the start of the year, I was re-directed away from a lot of my existing work and contracts and found myself forging new creative pathways and making fresh amazing connections. I was pushed completely out of my comfort zone which I know is where the growth and magic happens. But it wasn't easy, it took a lot of soul searching and going inward to find my feet again and connect with opportunities, people and places with which I resonated.


My little family was also blessed to find out in January that we had another baby on the way which gave me a huge amount of strength, gratitude and excitement in an otherwise crazy time. I also continued making lots of art with my 3-year-old daughter and blissfully enjoyed watching her creativity blossom, it fills my heart up seeing her get so much joy from making art. She helped paint the background for my Shinju Art Award Entry so we are continuing to collaborate a little.







So... over the last year I have embarked on loads of artistic adventures, some have worked out better than others but each have helped me to grow and expand in skills and experience. I'm super grateful considering all that's been happening in the world I still get to work in the art space for a living, and that I have diverse skills and experience to share. I'm also very grateful for all the lovely people I have worked with and created art with.


Some Special Los Bagus Collection Workshops


We hosted a magical life drawing event for International Women's Day in March with a divine goddess model and guest speaker who inspired all the women present. Beautiful drawings were created by all who attended, and we shared amazing food and conversation celebrating connection and womanhood.


We also hosted a couple of baby bump casting workshops which is always a lovely experience to share with women, made extra special by both Isla and I being pregnant ourselves.








First NFT Collection


I started dipping my toes into the crypto world in 2021 and had started to hear about non-fungible tokens or 'NFT's' from a friend. He had encouraged me to get involved as many artists were having a great deal of success selling their works as NFT's on the blockchain. It all sounded very foreign to me, so I had to do lots of research to get my head around it. I couldn't believe how much income artists were generating from simple digital designs and as I explored, I found some really beautiful works and discovered there was huge diversity in NFT's. As I had a bit of extra time on my hands and recently expanded my digital illustration skills, it made sense for me to give NFT's a go and create some artworks.


I was feeling inspired to explore cosmic themes which I visited over the years and called my first NFT collection 'Cosmic Holliday'.

I love this collection of works and was super stoked to have sold one on Rarible and also one print. As the artist (me) still own the copyright to the NFT's we are able to use the art for prints and sell them which is a bonus. You can check out my full NFT collection here


I became quite busy with other projects after I released my first collection so promoting and expanding my NFT works have been on hold for a bit. More works are in the pipeline as I find this space really intriguing and creatively stimulating. My next collection will be called 'Cosmic Mother' which I am really excited to put energy into.



Weaving Workshops


I had been dreaming of hosting my own weaving workshops for a number of years as in my experience it is a powerful and soothing art practice. I always gained such nourishment from my fibre courses at TAFE so I was grateful to finally start hosting my own workshops this year at a tranquil and relaxing space called 'The Loft' in Broome. I ran 4 workshops this year exploring different coiling techniques for baskets and earrings, and I am looking forward to getting back into it in 2023.


I will be looking to integrate other little treats into my workshops to create a special creative and soulful experience.




Broome Natural Wellness Mural


I was fortunate to work at Broome Natural Wellness health shop from 2020 with a team of beautiful people passionate about natural health and healing. This shop and the incredible naturopath Jen who works out of there will always hold a special place in my heart as they have helped me so much over the years on my own health journey. So being able to paint a mural at this magical place was one of the highlights of the year for me.


I slowly chipped away at the mural in the evenings while the shop was shut so I would keep out of the way of customers as I had to paint upon a ladder. It was pure bliss having that quiet time listening to music and painting a mural of healing plants, flowers, mushrooms, herbs and foods.


A quote accompanies the mural which I love and connect with; 'The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food is our medicine, our medicine is our food. - Hippocrates'


This mural was a truly beautiful experience for me combining two of my greatest passions: art + natural health.




Gallery


I had the best time working at an art gallery in Broome this year two days a week while I was pregnant. It is owned by two amazing people, one of who is an incredible artist herself. It was so inspiring to be surrounded by beautiful diverse Australian art and was a nice change and break from mostly working in community art. I learnt so much and loved working in this positive and uplifting space. It has inspired me to start painting more.


Community Fuel Tank Mural


My biggest project of 2022 was coordinating a massive community mural project at Djarindjin community which is located two hours north of Broome. I had several trips to the community to meet with local artists and stakeholders and facilitate concept design workshops with the local artists. They came up with a bright contemporary design connecting to the local culture and stories of the area. It was such a great fun team to work with. It was challenging to calculate how many litres of each colour paint we needed, and how we would paint at heights on a curved surface. We painted the 12 metre long fuel tank over 2 weeks during the July school holidays and it turned out incredible. The artists and community shared immense pride and satisfaction and there was such a buzz out at the community. I loved working with these people, the country is so beautiful and hope to spend more time there in the future.








New Baby and New Creations


The greatest and most magical adventure of 2022 was welcoming our second daughter Soraya in September. Just like with my first birth new babies bring endless creative inspiration and I have found myself doing a lot of weaving in the evenings since her birth and dreaming of new ideas for paintings and digital illustrations. The quietness and stillness of the night when my daughters are asleep is my little window to be creative and it helps bring me back to a place of peace after a busy day with little people.


So, although I consider myself to currently be on maternity leave, I am still creating and working in a sense. My evening weaving has blossomed into a growing collection of earrings which I have begun selling to friends and at markets and hoping to expand elsewhere. There is a lot of special meaning and intention placed into these little spirals and I hope my customers can feel the magic of what the spiral represents, connecting us to nature, the universe, life and consciousness.


I'm also ready to start painting again in the evenings and start my NFT second collection soon, there is a lot of inspiration bubbling away. Watch this space and make sure you follow me in instagram to see the magic unfold.








And what about 2023...


I have been dreaming up some more amazing workshops. There is something so powerful and magnetic about women sitting in circle together creating and sharing. I want to take this to another level by incorporating some of my other passions in health and healing. I've connected with some beautiful people who I hope to collaborate more with.


There has also been a few enquiries for more community mural projects which will involve a bit of travel with my little family so I hope to see them come to fruition.


Thank you for following me on this journey and be sure to reach out if there are any artistic services or collaborations you'd like to chat to me about.

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