With almost three months of stay-at-home orders being enforced in the U.S., we are all experiencing similar anxieties, hardships, and triumphs. The emotional rollercoaster is real right now and we know it. But in an effort to feel a bit more connected, we reached out to multi-disciplinary artist Breeana Nykole to talk about how these times are impacting creative process and self-growth. At a glance, more time to self sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime, but as many of us begin to sit with ourselves undistracted we run into our own obstacles that we didn’t acknowledge before. Catching up with Breeana helped ease the feelings of restlessness and shifted my perspective in a good way. I hope reading her words will do the same for you…
HL: What has been therapeutic for you during this self isolation?
BN: I find simple acts therapeutic - making tea, cooking, lighting incense, listening to vinyls, journaling, creating, reading, films etc. and this time of self- isolation has really granted me the time to be able to do all the things that feel like therapy for me. These simple acts on top of creating has been keeping me grounded and breathing easy.
HL: What is your typical creative process?
BN: I don't usually operate within a typical structure, I just move when I am called to move and let it flow from there. My creative process is pretty much intuitive, if I feel a creative spurt I try to take advantage right away. The process can fluctuate but initially it always begins with a thought, emotion, or vision being transferred to paper. For me if I don't release it from my mind and place it in my hand, it’ll be all I can think about, I need to give it space to roam. I am a high sensory person, so my environment is really important during the process. Incense and a playlist is always involved, some tea is usually around somewhere and sweats or minimal clothing is usually the uniform.
"I dove into sewing to silence my mind and catch my breath."
HL: How has this time impacted your creative process?
BN: I have a pretty solid relationship with solitude, so being isolated is partly me enjoying the opportunity to simply exist and partly being introspective. I am grateful that this hasn’t been intensely triggering (as of yet) and that I have a relationship with my core, because now it’s just me getting more familiar with self and growing from there. During this time, I am mainly creating because I'm in my feelings more than usual, so I’m embracing the feelings more, the highs and the lows. Creating is healing and grounding, but it’s also a time for me to retreat when I am overthinking or feel close to feeling overwhelmed. Early stages of self-isolation were heavy for me, I was hyper aware of my asthma and my breath and me being hyper aware just caused additional anxiety and tighter lungs. In order for me to rebalance and relax myself, I dove into sewing to silence my mind and catch my breath. I’m also in a documenting phase, so I’m getting reacquainted with my pen and polaroid camera.
“Alignment is my natural state of being, abundance is my natural state of being.”
HL: What is keeping you inspired?
BN: It’s interesting to see how people are creating and sharing their process now that we’re all self isolating. I have been more inviting and vulnerable, and so have others, and I think we’re all inspiring each other in a sense. I’m watching people facilitate sound baths while watching people paint to these sound baths, so watching this exchange is inspiring. I always have music playing in the background that matches my mood. Lately, I’ve been listening or watching people’s IG Lives while creating, it gives a communal feel that we’re all creating and sharing a vulnerable process simultaneously and figuring and feeling things out collectively.
HL: What is your favorite mantra right now?
BN: “Alignment is my natural state of being, abundance is my natural state of being.”
Keep up with Breeana Nykole on Instagram.
written by Neijah Lanae