Synopsis of Memoir- How I Came To Be Me
Making a living as a creative isn’t easy, but I’ve managed to live the life I’ve always dreamed full of spiritual experiences, inspiring people, and art. I’ve been featured in magazines such as Southern Living, and a photo of me in a mask and fairy wings I created made the cover of Where New Orleans. HGTV visited my studio and I’ve won many awards for my work. I’ve traveled the world, learning unique spiritual practices from different cultures.
In a world that often discounts aspiring artists, I want to share my story to show it’s possible to make a living as an artist and follow your dreams. Listening to your intuition can show you the way. You can make the most out of the worst times and find success. Of course, the most interesting details lie in the climb. I can relate to struggling artists, because I’ve struggled greatly to get to where I am today. My story is a story of triumphing over adversity through a strong connection to Spirit.
I was born to parents who were struggling alcoholics. Both taught me important lessons. My father inspired my love of art. Through my mother I learned the power of positive thinking and listening to Spirit. On the days when I’d pray for her to be sober, I would come home to a sober mother. On the days when I forgot… Well the woman I came home to was much different.
Their lax parenting allowed me to experience things I otherwise wouldn’t have. Though sometimes dangerous, these experiences strengthened my connection with Spirit. When a boy threatened my sister with a knife as we played unsupervised, I listened to Spirit and found the right words to say to talk him down.
During this time, I found companions among animals. I had trouble in school with teachers and other students. My parents fought so much it led to divorce. But among my animal friends I found love and acceptance. One dog in particular has stuck in my memory, a guardian who sought out souls that needed him most. Throughout my life, I’ve had many special encounters with animals that helped me grow.
After leaving high school, I didn’t have the money to go to college. So, I worked on my art career, creating art using what I refer to as junque; objects deemed useless that found new life with me. My first art show was with my Satellite Babies; mannequins decorated with various things I’d found and been given. I explored the art scene while making money off my creations, madly in love with a man I’d known since childhood.
Jay was special, a brilliant soul who I had a deep connection to. But together, we struggled. He was an alcoholic and an IV heroin addict. When my art career wasn’t enough to support us, I resorted to erotic dancing to live and save up for a camera to explore photography with. Yet Jay was dragged deeper into that hole, so when offered a chance to leave town, we did.
It turned out this move wasn’t what Jay needed, as the friends we stayed with were also addicts. I experienced several spiritual encounters with psychedelics, which I believe to be non-addictive, powerful healers. One of the most notable was with the Bufo Alvarius, a toad known to excrete a DMT substance used by indigenous cultures for healing and shamanic ceremony for centuries. Through it, I understood antiquity, and the infinite wisdom and power of the desert. These experiences helped me grow spiritually.
Jay however, was hooked on harder drugs. Ones that offer nothing but pain and suffering. He began to stay away longer and longer. I held out hope for him until he cheated, ending us for good.
After that, I went on my own for a bit, experiencing different things with a wide range of people. I attended my first rainbow gathering and had a brush with aliens. Fell in love with a violent man and escaped with my mother. I worked as an entertainer for children’s parties, while learning henna and designing costumes. Then I left for New Orleans where life would turn around for me.
I’d hoped to continue working as an entertainer, but I quickly found that it didn’t pay the bills, so I listened to my intuition and tried other artistic pursuits. I set up a booth as a henna artist on the street, and made good money doing so. I also created my own costumes for Mardi Gras. I made fairy wings that quickly became popular, and even started a fairy parade.
I was interested in protecting the environment so, I started Recycle for the Arts, gathering things people weren’t using to be turned into art. I also put on A Twelfth Night Celebration, a costume show right before Mardi Gras that became a yearly occurrence.
Being around new people offered exciting spiritual experiences. I witnessed a piercing ceremony based off the Native American Sundance ceremony, where two performers pierced themselves through the chest with large hooks, attached the other end of the hooks to the hanging ropes, and hung from them by the piercings. Not knowing that one day I would participate in one of these original ceremonies.
I became somewhat of a local celebrity with my art, gaining press and attention. I was finally able to live my lifetime dream of supporting myself through art, while exploring my spirituality further. I faced lots of adversity, but I triumphed. I hope my story will be a wealth of inspiration for others who might be staring down defeat.