Thursday, December 17, 2020

Follow Your Dream - Heartful Art by Raphaella Vaisseau

Raphaella Vaisseau at 5 years old with mural she painted in Kindergarten
My Kindergarten teacher at Munger Elementary in Duluth, Minnesota in 1953 told me I was an artist. She asked me to paint the mural that's behind our class in the photo to the right. Every day at my Heartful Art Gallery in Asheville, NC, I share with gallery visitors that it's probably because of this teacher that I feel I am in "perpetual kindergarten" as I create my art and work in my art business. Growing up, my parents acknowledged my artistic talent even though being practical they also said, "You can't make money with art." A college degree was required in my family so as a Senior in High School I picked the fastest degree available and became a dental hygienist. It wasn't until much later in my life that I saw an artist making money and the childhood myth I was taught by my parents was shattered. I was at an art fair in Los Angeles and the artist was Vicki Leon who creates amazing glass sculptures. She had long lines of buyers waiting in line with arms filled with $400 pieces of art. I was shocked. I stood in line as well and when it was my turn I asked her, "What's different about you that you don't seem to have poverty consciousness?" She shared a few things with me, and then I asked if I could volunteer at her art shows over the summer to learn her way of being. She agreed. I did. And at the end of that summer I started my own art business painting flowers and blessings on greeting cards. Six years later, in 1997, I quit my executive secretarial job and moved to Ashland, Oregon to live my dream as an artist. That was 23 years ago.

When I read a quote from Abraham-Hicks in this morning's email, I was inspired to share my story. Actually, a few more stories as well. When I shared my dreams with my ex-husband and said, "I'm going to do this or that," he'd say, "I bet you won't." And, I remember saying to my Mother as a young girl, "I want to sing on the radio." Her response, "You can't, you weren't born in Hollywood." Her saying that to me was like cold water thrown on my face and on my dreams. At the time I didn't know how to process it, but years later, while driving on the LA freeways with my friend Rob Hanson, my song came on the radio and we heard it!!! It was on an NPR station and they were showcasing local singer-songwriters, which I was at the time. To say that experience was a thrill, and a HUGE confirmation from the Universe is an understatement. We screamed and hollered in the car as we listened and I told Rob the story of what my Mother had said to me all those years ago. I sang on the radio after all.

It wasn't always easy for me to break away from the traditions of my parents and their goals for me and forge my own path in life, but I am so glad I did.
-Raphaella Vaisseau

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