There are people that truly bubble over with a vivacious exuberant enthusiasm, in a passion for their path that is absolutely undeniable.
When I first came across Jessica Serran’s art I could see currents of seriousness, a sensitivity that was intriguing. However, when I started connecting, I experienced the light bright energy, the optimism that has so captured me.
Jessica is an artist, guide and self-proclaimed psycho-cartographer who has exhibited paintings internationally as well as recently publishing the psycho-cartographic project, Field Guide to the Czech Psyche. She makes images that connect others to the truth of their own experiences.
When not making her own art she taps into her enthusiastic energy to help super-smart, highly sensitive artists step into their brilliance, own their genius, make the work that they are here to make and take it out into the world in the most miraculous ways.
And, as a fellow Canadian, I’m so delighted to introduce her to you!
What does it mean to be an artist? And when did you know you were an artist (aka intensely creative person)?
Wow! Tough question. I’ve always been most moved by art that externalizes our internal experience and makes it visible – work that touches something that we otherwise can’t quite get at. I remember years ago looking at the Canadian ten-dollar bill (I think it’s the 10) and seeing this amazing quote that said, “How would we ever know each other in the slightest if it weren’t for the arts?”The most moving art for me has always been the stuff that touches something that I’ve yet to fully name, touch or bring to consciousness myself.
To be an artist then, to me, is to be the one who goes in and gives form to what was nebulous, unnamed or formless. Which then means that being an artist means being willing to enter the darkness – the places where things are not yet clearly defined or formed, and come out with jewels in hand.
I was always a kid who was making stuff – mostly gifts for others. I grew up on a small farm where the idea of being an artist or what that even was, was nowhere on my radar.
I don’t recall a moment when I definitively knew, but I’ll never forget the feeling of “coming home” that I had when I first arrived at art school. My whole body breathed a deep sigh of relief. I might not have been able to call myself an artist then, but on a very deep, visceral level I knew that I had found my tribe.
When you consider the words luscious and soulful, what comes to mind? Is there anyone you know who embodies these traits? When do you feel luscious and soulful?
I’d have to say Danielle LaPorte is probably the best example of luscious and soulful that I have. I just adore her voice, her eyebrows, the way she owns and moves in her body, and how sensual and smart she is.
Luscious to me is lipstick, indulgence in all the senses, full-bodied, womanly, curved, dripping with moisture and abundant, ripe fruit on vines, chocolate slowly melting on the tongue eaten on a plush carpet.
When I think of soulful I think of a connection to the depths, to the dark places, to the inner world, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, the earth and our truths, our wild woman natures – a rootedness in purpose and passion, a connection to the lineages and threads that run through us.
I haven’t thought of feeling these two in combination before this moment, but what comes to mind is that it’s when I’m dirty and working, feeling the strength of my body, in nature, make-up less, thinking my thoughts, feeling my size, aware of the sun, the wind, the temperature, satiated from using my body, connected to nature, wearing functional and beautifully formed handsome-beautiful clothes.
What do you love most about your body? And why?
I love that it’s strong and hearty and also that it is a wise, endlessly wise teacher. That it knows what it needs. That it never gives up on me and continues to send signals.
I love that while I don’t have children I can feel its woman-ness, its birthing abilities – its ability to endure, to feel pain, to surrender, to experience sensation.
I also love that it menstruates – that it gives me a sacred and profound time to rest, to go in deeper, to purge, to start anew.
What brings you pleasure? What senses are involved?
Using my body – exercise, sweating, eating, crawling into bed at night and feeling the softness beneath me.
Reading a good book.
Talking to my partner in bed on weekend mornings and surrendering to the masculine, both in myself and in him.
Painting – feeling the connection to myself and what wants to flow through when I’m alone in my studio, moving my hand across the canvas.
Dancing – alone, like a wild woman.
Seeing my clients thrive – watching them step into their brilliance. I guess that touch and hearing are a big part of this – the ability to listen and absorb, or release things through the skin.
If you had to throw a dinner and dance party how would you do it?
I’d have someone else plan it, or not do it at all. Planning and playing hostess makes me very nervous. But if I did, I’d plan it so that all I had to do was show up and fill the space with my art and energy once everything else was cooked, cleaned, arranged, and DJed.
Where/how do you find your inspiration?
I’ve never actually needed to go find it. It’s always there, just waiting for me to show up. I’ve never understood being creatively blocked.
Since my process is one where I work with whatever is going on, or running through my heart or head – whatever has been recently experienced, or with me for a lifetime, all I have to do is move my hand across the canvas, have an authentic conversation with another inspired being, or talk to my Trusted Council and its right there.
For me, the inspiration comes in the ability to touch and turn whatever is going on into something else – something new, something other.
All I have to do is show up and work with what’s there.
What does your ideal day look like?
I wake up around 6:00am next to my partner in our minimal, spacious, loft-style flat. Morning meditation, EFT tapping, and then exercise at the gym. Slow stretching afterwards, listening to the perfect music while I’m there, sweating, doing cardio like a slightly mad woman and being in my own world while doing it.
Time for a slow shower, hot water and putting on an outfit that I feel handsome-beautiful in. Then a hearty, wholesome breakfast prepared by the personal chef I will someday hire.
Getting to the studio, drinking a coffee that I’ve magically found a way to not be too sensitive to, having some dark chocolate while sitting on a couch in my wooden-floored, light filled studio staring at the painting I’m working on.
The morning light pours in. I take some instagram photos, post the perfect facebook post and then start painting. I do this for several hours, listening first to an inspired audio recording on wealth consciousness and infinite possibility, then the perfect mix of music that my partner has compiled for me.
Lunch, while sitting, staring at the painting-in-progress. My body feels light and nourished. More painting for a few hours in the afternoon, then work with several of my amazing coaching clients.
My day feels complete. I know that I’m living my purpose. I go home to a prepared meal with my partner, talk about art and philosophy, head to the sauna to relax, read a book before bed, fall asleep and do it all over again.
What advice would you give to your younger self? How old is she when she needs this advice?
I would tell her that she’s enough. That she’s always been enough. That she has everything she needs to thrive. That she’s beautiful beyond measure, and smart, and funny, and powerful and about to live a life that is rooted in her divine ability to manifest and create everything that she desires.
I would tell her to honour every impulse and inclination she’s ever had and listen to all the internal voices that are guiding her. And that she’s not crazy – that the world around her might not line up with her internal one, but she’s definitely not crazy.
What is your most treasured possession? Tell a little story about it.
I’ve moved around so much as an adult that I’ve had the pleasure of stripping down possessions often – first to what would fit in my car, later to what would fit in two suitcases.
The only things I absolutely require, beyond the obvious things like clothing, are my books and my art supplies.
Because of this I’d have to say that my most treasured possession is my copy of Marion Woodman’s Dancing in the Flame – The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness, in all its dog-earred, tattered glory. This book and her work have added to my sense of sanity, and understanding of what transformation really entails like nothing else.
Inspired resources: please share any heart-moving soul-shaking artistry or experiences that have moved you. What made it so powerful?
Seeing Sol Lewitt’s wall drawings at the Dia Beacon in New York. It was the first time I cried in the presence of visual art (excluding film of course). I could feel the presence of every being who made a mark on that wall – who through this act, documented their existence in some way.
I was moved to tears. Lars Von Trier’s film Anti-Christ. Never have I found a filmmaker who captures the feminine experience like he does.
Audra Kubat’s incredible Americana/folk music – this woman knows the exquisite pain/beauty of being an artist and a highly sensitive being in an intimate and profound way.
The High Tatras in Slovakia – the mountain range where my ancestors are from. The beauty of this rarely talked about region is absolutely breathtaking. The California coastline – perhaps the most majestic, moving landscape I’ve ever experienced.
Who are your favourite artists? And why?
I’ve always loved Matthew Barney’s work and philosophy – particularly his understanding that it is only through using resistance and tearing our muscles that we get stronger. It taught me that resistance isn’t a force to avoid, but a necessary one in our development and transformation. That metaphor, and how he uses it in his work, has always been conceptually very important to me.
Cy Twombly holds a very special place in my heart because his work taught me that it’s enough to make a mark and let our entire experience come through the scribbles and marks that our hands naturally make. Plus his scribbles are aesthetically exquisite.
Anselm Keifer – though I’ve never fully been able to say why. I just love his work – perhaps because it is this kind of visceral, hard-to-define, full body love.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you and your art?
Just gratitude for these questions and this experience. It’s always such a gift to take the time to reflect in this way. I would encourage every reader to take the time to answer them for themselves – they really are a gift. Thank you dearly!
ps – to see more great interviews, check out the Lusciously and Soulfully interview series.
pps – if you know of any amazing artists I can profile in this series, send me an e-mail with their info – I’m always excited to connect with interesting amazing creatives.