I’m Christina Carmel - your heart-fueled artist here on a renegade mission to make artwork that speaks to your soul, elevates your self-love, reconnects you with humankind and reminds you of the magic of meaning.
Because you have enough clutter cramping your style, home and spirit. Now it’s time to do our part to make a meaningful mark on the world with art that invites more healing into our hearts.
You’ve soaked up the short story. Keep scrolling for the saga.
But even then, I didn’t see myself as a ‘real’ artist.
Art had always been my faithful sidekick; the ever-constant stress-reliever I turned to almost subconsciously when I needed to unwind, relax, feel and heal.
But art wasn’t my full-time gig.
I was Christina, for pete’s sake. I was the peacemaker; the little loving one who gave her all to a career in special education.
And I was where I was meant to be: Directly and positively impacting marginalized groups. Which meant I was achieving my life purpose, right?
Except … after a lifetime of feeding my starving creativity with a lifeline of absent-minded doodles on electricity bills and careless scribbles on restaurant napkins, painting those dogs felt like coming home.
So, stroke by stroke, I allowed art to take up more space in my life.
Just a little. Not too much.
I accepted commissions on the side, carefully labeling my art as a ‘hobby’, not a career. Because even if I did decide to release my art from its self-enforced prison, I wasn’t convinced people would get, let alone love, what I created.
I longed to paint the realness, rawness, intimacy and diversity of humankind. I wanted to celebrate the people typically left out of mainstream conversation – and I worried nobody would really care about art like that.
And so I spent mornings crying in my car before school started; wasting my evenings by being exhausted and overwhelmed as I failed to be emotionally present for my wife, friends, family and myself.
Don’t get me wrong; special education is a rewarding and enriching career. Helping little minds grow is one of the most magical and meaningful pursuits one can embark on.
But we’re all beautifully unique. And if I learned one thing from my career in special education, it’s that what works for one, hinders another. And I was a snowflake melting in the desert. And after around seven and a half years, I had hit my limit.
Then one day, I just did it.
I summoned up all my brave and decided to give my art career a proper shot. No more hiding behind the title of ‘hobby’; I was going to do this art adventure for real.
Other than a speck of savings, the unconditional love of my wife and my (almost) unstoppable willpower, I was falling without a safety net to catch me. And I’d never felt freer.
I was an art noob – totally self-taught and completely self-educated. But I quickly learned how to apply for art shows around the valley, building a website and creating a social media presence that felt like me.
I started sharing my work and telling the stories behind them.
And every time someone would come to a show and stand in front of my art with tears in their eyes, I knew I’d made the right decision.
I always knew I was put on this earth to make a difference in people’s lives. It just took me a while to realize that I was meant to be doing it through my art.
I believe art is supposed to connect – not confuse - us. I don’t want you to wade, knee-deep, through fancy art world jargon, nervously scratching your head as you try to figure out what in the world the art is about .
‘Cause it’s simple: My art is about us.
It’s a reflection of you, celebrating the beauty of realness by telling our collective stories of life, love, loss, hope and humanity.
It’s your inner battle when you question your sexuality. It’s someone that looks like you, represented in art for the first time. It’s the reminder of someone you love. It’s the aspects of yourself you’ve always loathed; now celebrated and rightly highlighted as beautiful, worthy, enough.
It’s us. Unafraid. Unfiltered. Unstoppable.