I have been seeing Corina’s mystical, dark digital illustrations all over the spirituality oriented Instagram profiles for a while, until finally my curiosity got a hold of me and I had to find out who was creating those magical astrology-inspired artworks that had some almost “sacred” flavour to them.
Precision and harmony of sacred geometry with added personal touch of a modern female creatrix - that’s how I’d describe Corina’s magical work. I feel so blessed that she said ‘yes’ to sharing some of her story and behind-the-scenes with us and gave us some valuable pieces of advice on how we can continue to grow as creative women and artists, how we can stay consistent in nurturing our Creative Flow, which is never to be taken for granted or dismissed, as it is there where our Sacred Feminine Life Force resides.
Enjoy the interview, goddesses!
For the start, can you tell us a bit about Cocorrina, how it all came about and where the name comes from?
Cocorrina was born in 2012 when I first opened a blogspot blog. It was my first endeavour to get out of my comfort zone and inspire myself to be little more creative. I was born in Russia but at a very young age I moved to Greece and today I live with my husband and son in the Kefalonia Island. I originally studied architecture but very soon I realised that my heart belonged to the graphic design world.
Having taken a few graphic design classes in college, I found myself taking online lessons to learn Illustrator and coding while I was in bed for months after an 8 hour surgery. It was the most difficult but at the same time the most transformative thing that ever happened to me.
Cocorrina today is a design studio / company that my husband and I co-own. Me and my team work on all kinds of projects from branding to packing, website and book design. The newest project I’m working on is the Cocorrina shop where I share my inspiration about the mystical cosmos, magical history and symbols in an artistic way.
While Cocorrina started as an inspirational design blog, it never stopped inspiring me until this day. People have always been a huge part of it, and with their encouragement and love I took bigger and bigger steps with it every year.
Cocorrina is a word play of my name Corina and my nickname Coco.
Do you remember how your passion for visual expression firstly revealed itself to you?
Everyone around me knew I'd become an artist since the age of 5. I would express everything I needed to communicate with others in artistic way. Whether that was drawing my thoughts or creating collages. I was always better with explaining myself through art rather than words.
What about the practices and rituals that help you enter that "flow state" while creating - do you have some of your own that you follow?
My mind is all I need. Everything I need in order to get inspired and get the creative juices flowing is already in me! All I need is to visualise what I need to work on, get into that mood and by designing I get more and more inspired.
Give us a little insight into your creative space! Silence or some background music? Cozy home environment or among other people? Crystals, candles, essential oils or something of a kind?
Always home alone, with candles and preferably a relaxed background music. Something mystical and oriental / ethereal. Low lights, a few sparkles and stars here and there. I love my space to feel like a magical altar to make me feel special and sacred.
There's always so much talk about "creator's block". Do you think we should fight it and push through it or instead surrender and trust that there's a divine timing for everything?
I find myself having a creative block only when I'm not creating enough, or when the project just doesn't inspire me. For the second one, I do my best to ask the right questions in order to avoid not working with people who are not right for me. As for the creative block I don't usually have them these days. I feel that the less time I have the more methodical, productive and focused I become, and time is a rare thing these days. I simply don't have it! The times I've found myself in a creative block however, I always needed space. Take a walk, watch a movie, think and do something else in order to get back to it later and think differently about the issue.
As we all know, everything in this Universe goes through cycles and so does our inspiration. How do you deal with ebbs and flows in your creative journey?
Honestly I always go with the flow. I feel like if I push myself too hard then I'd just burn myself and feel distraught about it. Always go with the flow and listen to the Universe.
Where do you seek inspiration when you feel your "juices go dry"?
Old books of magic ahah or just look around me! We can find inspiration in the simplest things. From a squiggle my son drew on my desk or a weird looking cloud on the sky. The more you create the more you are inspired and your juices never go dry. The more you think and observe and fill your head with creative ideas the more you want to put them into art.
Are you of belief that ideas have an intrinsic value to themselves or it's just through channeling them into the physical form that they gain value?
That is a very interesting question. Can i answer both? I don't feel like all my ideas need to take a physical form in order for them to exist. But at the same time I always have that itch where if I don't put that idea into a physical form then it will feel like I never experienced it and it will slip away.
What about self-doubt and fear of putting your work out there? Do you have some experience with that?
It never existed. I started at a very young age (20 at that time) and I opened a blog named Cocorrina on blogspot and just like everyone with zero followers. The blog was a way for me to be inspired by others and to show my works and I was never shy about it even if it looked hideous and experimental. I just wanted to put it there and be better the next day. I haven't stopped since then, almost ten years now.
Do you have any advice to young artists hiding in their cocoon until reaching "the point of perfection" (or more accurately - their idea of what that is) before showing their work to the world?
Don't do it. We never will feel like we will reach the point of perfection. Art isn't about being perfect it's about how it makes us and others feel. So you'll never create any emotions if you don't share your work with the world. Every day will make you feel less perfect and more authentic and happy.
Seeing the process of creation as a birthing of a kind - do you feel you have an emotional connection to your previous works?
Nope! I'm a very emotional person -being a Pisces- but I'm more emotional with memories and relationships and kittens and puppies rather than physical things. I could throw away my most treasured object in a heartbeat and I feel the same way about my previous (personal) works. I do love them all and remember all the memories and phases of my life behind them, it's like a photo album of my life. But at the same time I'm not emotional at all. They could seize to exist and I'd be happy for everything I've learned and gained by creating them.
How would you distinct art vs. design and do you feel that drawing a sharp line between the two creates unnecessary separation and tension in the art/design community?
Yes. Art is art. I could put a rock on top of a feather and feel like it's art. Again, it's how it makes me feel and the emotions/thoughts it will create to others no matter the form or the tool. If it makes people wonder how a rock balances on a feather or if it makes them feel awe that it defies gravity then to me that is art.
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For the end - what would be your advice for a young artist struggling to find their own personal style?
Create more, create daily, experiment and go through aaaaall the different styles that are out there. Look up to designers that you like their work, observe their work and experiment, experiment, experiment. I had to go through so many different aesthetics in these past years that i feel that i've done it all until i found what truly makes me happy and express in full everything that i feel inside me.
CURRENT FAVOURITES LIST
movie / The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
song / Soft Universe
book / Journey of Souls by Michael Newton
crystal / Amethyst
quote / “Why, sometimes I've believed as many
as six impossible things before breakfast.” - Alice in Wonderland
✦ CONNECT WITH CORINA ✦
My first encounter with Ameya's work was across her recognizable thick line on black background illustrations. Little did I know at the time that this Goddess does much more other than painting and drawing: she writes, sings, makes beautiful videos and photos documenting her travels around the world, and her Celestial Calendar for 2019 that includes all the major astrological events in the upcoming year has been the absolute hit on Etsy lately! As various as her creative outlets are, Ameya's passion and curiosity for spirituality, astrology and dreamworld is what kept me close to her work for such a long time and I cannot describe the amount of excitement I felt when I got the chance to hear Ameya's own view of it all - how does she do it and do it so damn well,
what pushes her and where she finds the inspiration and drive to keep on creating when the road gets tough...
Enjoy the interview with magical Ameya!
For the start, can you tell us the meaning behind your intriguing, mystical-sounding name?
My name, Ameya, means limitless. I liked the idea of calling my brand/business 'Ameya's Realm' because it's like infinite realm; a place encompassing my wonders in all creative forms. I also feel that creative expression is a magical and transformative act, which almost takes me to another world. Hopefully it takes people who view and experience my art to this world or 'realm' as well.
Can you recall the first memories of you being drawn to the artistic expression and in which form it occurred?
This is more likely a story told to me by my parents rather than a memory, but when I was about 2 years old, I was given the creative freedom to draw over an entire wall in my house (which I think I extended to more walls). I'm so grateful for that opportunity because I think it really helped me feel free and limitless in my creativity. I'm so lucky to have always been encouraged to create and express myself artistically.
You are a visual artist, musician and writer. How do you choose a form in which you want to express a certain idea or feeling - does it depend on the idea itself or you’re going through different periods in which you feel most drawn towards a certain form of creative expression?
I definitely feel drawn towards a particular art form for a period of time, then feel drawn to another. For the past decade, I've kept switching my focus between music and visual art, as I personally find visual art and music more expressive than writing. However, after feeling inspired to create a book last year, I have been writing a lot more. As I mentioned earlier, I tend to use art, in all forms, as a way to transport myself to a particular location. With visual art, that is often to the clouds, ocean, mountains and outer space. With my music, I feel that to be to a forest or night drive. So the way I express what I feel, depends both on the idea and what sort of location I feel like being taken to.
What inspires you? How do you get you “cup filled” on daily basis?
I am inspired by so much! I look at things in detail and I'm filled with curiosity. Specifically, nature, outer space and the connection between seemingly separate things inspires me most. I love combining things from the earth, like people, animals, plants and flowers, to things in outer space. I am in total awe of the silence, void, scale and mystery of space. It also really gives me perspective and I love creating and sharing what I feel from that.
Do you believe that there is such a thing as “good” and “bad” art? Or is what we call “bad” art just something that didn’t come from a true, authentic place?
I honestly believe everything is art. No matter what it is. Everything that exists is intrinsically beautiful and spectacular, just by being. There is so much intricacy in every thing. And people see this beauty in different things, and however they express it is therefore also beautiful. It doesn't matter what it looks, sounds or feels like. It is art. I don't necessarily think there is good or bad in anything, it is what it is, and it is up to us to decide the worth and whether we like it or not :-)
How does your cretive process look like? Do you wait for "the call of the muse" or you sit down and use some of the tools and techniques to put yourself “in the zone”?
As I find inspiration in so many things, I tend to have a long list of art ideas and projects to work on once I've finished what I'm working on at the time! This means that I'm not usually waiting for inspiration or thinking too much about what to create. No matter how busy I am with one thing, I always keep an eye out for inspiration and ideas for more projects to add to my list. It doesn't seem to take much for me to be in the zone – I'm always in the mood to create!
Are there any days that the flow is simply not coming and if so - what do you do? Do you think it’s better to surrender and wait for the better moment or forcefully push through?
If I'm not feeling it, I just give it a break. It's not often that the flow isn't coming so the times when I am struggling a bit, I know that it's better to just do something else and come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.
What is you favourite part of the process? The start - the excitement of the blank canvas and the potential that lies within it; the middle - the deep immersion and surrendering to the flow, where all time and space cease to exist; or the end - when you can see the physical manifestation of what once existed just as an impalpable idea?
Each part of the process is special, as you've described. It's hard to choose a favourite but I especially love the beginning stages of a creative piece or project. It's such a great feeling to be super inspired and have the time and freedom to physically manifest the non-physical ideas in my mind.
How about sharing your art on social media platforms? Do you ever feel resistant to it or stumble upon some self-doubt and fear of how the piece is going to be received by your audience?
I make sure I don't worry much about how my work is received on social media. As long as I'm happy with what I've created, that's all that matters at the time when I share it. I have also found that I'm sometimes surprised by which pieces become most popular on social media and on my Etsy shop. I know that if I think too much about how my art is received, the work will be less authentic and natural.
You recently published your first book! Tell us a bit about it! How was the journey and what’s the feeling of being a published author?
It was an amazing journey and it still excites me so much when I pick up my book (and realise I created it) or see others reading it! It all began last year, during my gap year. I was living on the other side of the world, away from family and everything I was used to, which was an incredible opportunity to travel, learn and develop myself. I became very in touch with my creative side during the year; painting, drawing, singing and for the first time, writing with the intention of sharing. I didn't have to think about the title at all. 'Let Go' came before almost everything I wrote in the book. I kept writing my thoughts during my gap year, and edited and wrote the rest of the book in just a month after I came back; January this year. I was very inspired and dedicated to this project and spent every single day of the month working on it. The editing and formatting was the toughest part and almost took longer than writing! It was amazing to share this creation with the world. It's pretty much my journey so far of becoming more in touch with my self and understanding life and the universe. I am so grateful that in this day and age, it's possible to publish a book yourself through a website. I encourage anyone and everyone to bring your book to life. It's a reasonably straightforward process and a very fulfilling one.
I am completely in love with the idea and the design of your Celestial Calendar for the upcoming year! Talking about that, how did you first become interested in astrology and in which ways your knowledge about it influences your art and your day-to-day life?
Thank you! Honestly, I know very little about astrology. I haven't really looked into it, but I have always been fascinated by everything to do with outer space! The calendar shows the astronomical events of the year – the idea came from just wanting a calendar like this myself. I found that I was always searching up what events were happening in the sky. Celestial and lunar events influence my art constantly, simply by being so fascinating to me. It gives me so much perspective and reminds me how crazy it all is... we are on a rock, floating in nothingness, around a giant ball of gas, with a smaller rock floating around us. You'll find me gazing at the full moon and then just spending a couple of hours completely in awe of life.
✦ RAPID FIRE ✦
Favourite part of the day / Morning
Favourite crystal / Hard to choose! Labrodorite, Amethyst, Moonstone, Celestine, Clear Quartz
Working in silence or working with background music/sounds? Usually in silence... but I also love nature sounds and music that suits the vibe
Dream-place you’d like to visit / Jupiter
Book that influenced you in a profound way / The Untethered Soul, The Eye of the I, Power of Now
✦ CONNECT WITH AMEYA ✦
I've been stumbling upon Rachael's vibrant, dreamy collages all around the Instagram times and times again until I finally decided to look up who the heck was behind those beautiful images that simply radiate words such as feminine, divine, empowered, sensual, aligned.
There was something about those compositions, colour combinations, astrological motifs and postures of the women she chooses to use for her work that connected and resonated so deeply with me. Needless to say, I felt over the moon blessed when I got the chance to have a peek inside this brilliant woman's mind and soul and see how she comes up with such magical creations.
Hope you'll enjoy and get something out of this interview with lovely Rachael Day!
Hello, Rachael! For the start, can you give us a brief intro on how you first discovered your passion for visual expression?
I've always been creating and exploring different art forms, but this specific path started because I was doing freelance graphic design for various clients. While completing projects for other people I would get ideas for things that didn't fit their branding. So I started to explore those visuals on my own and just make things for myself. Along the way it's kind of developed into what it is today, but I'm constantly looking for new ways to progress and up-level what I'm doing into something greater.
Do you find it easy to "enter the flow" and create on daily basis or you developed some kind of practices that help you get started on those days when you feel uninspired?
It's not easy for me to create every day, if I'm honest. Haha. Well, in some ways yes it is. I can always sit down and make something. But to create work that's up to the standard and quality that I hold myself to and want to put out into the world, that happens less frequently. When I'm uninspired or feel like I'm not creating very good work, I usually just step away and do something else for a little bit. I think, music is really the only ritualistic thing I have or tool that I use to help me create or to get into a certain headspace.
How your passion and interest for Divine Feminine first came about?
I've struggled, and still struggle, a lot living in this world that's so fully saturated with imagery of women that are constructed through the lens of male desires. I'm not surprised that the content of my art ended up being about portraying women from a more feminine perspective. It's therapeutic, and I think I needed that.
What does Divine Feminine mean to you and how do you embody it in everyday life?
Divine feminine to me means defining yourself and your life on your own terms. Whatever that looks like for you. Not feeling like you have to live up to anyone else's idea of what your role in this world should be. And analyzing deeper and deeper why you are the way you are, and figuring out what parts of you actually feel true and what feels learned. I embody this in my life by trying to learn more about myself everyday, by the choices that I make, the career path I've chosen, and the art that I put out into the world.
You are mainly known for your beautiful, strong, colourful digital collages. Did you experiment with other techniques and how did you decide which one is "yours"? Do you think it may change in the future?
I definitely have experimented with other art forms and techniques. I have a bachelor's degree in art, and the college that I went to had a great program in that they encouraged us to try everything. So I feel like I got to dip my toes in all different types of art. Before this I spent a lot of time doing trippy, abstract paintings and I try to subtly incorporate that into my collages sometimes. I feel like I landed in digital art making because developing those skills and doing graphic design felt like the safer career path when I was graduating. There's lots of thing I can do in photoshop and effects I can get that you can't recreate with physical art making. That being said, I do greatly miss getting my hands dirty with paint and I'm 100% open to some crossover in the future.
What do you do on regular basis to keep your "creative juices flowing"?
I listen to music all the time while working and it's a great source of inspiration. Sometimes I'll listen to the same song on repeat while making a piece because I feel like it has the right vibe that I want to recreate in collage. I also like looking at art history and pulling from the richness there to help create depth in my work.
Do you have any advice for young (and old) artists who struggle to find their niche, being it regarding to the subject of their art or the style they want to create within? Having said that, do you think there's necessity to adopt a particular, well-defined style of our own and stick to it religiously?
I don't really think you have to find 'a style' or 'your style'. I think that helps the viewer more than the artist, honestly. I feel like it's easier for an audience to digest and relate to your art if they can put you in a box because you're consistently creating one type of work. So yeah having a style has some pros, but it can also be really crippling for an artist that's just starting out to feel like that have to find that thing that they do that makes them unique. It can be quite paralyzing. And also for a more developed artist that then becomes afraid to break out of that style and try something new because it doesn't fit their image. I think all that matters is that you pursue that creative instinct and explore wherever it takes you. No direction I've ever tried to push my art in has amounted to real growth. That just comes organically. Your art will develop however it's meant to develop.
Do you think artistic expression may benefit women who are not naturally "artsy" as it forces you to drop into your soft, intuitive, feminine side?
Definitely! But really I think anyone can benefit from being creative. I've felt soft and intuitive while making my pieces, but also strong and empowered that I'm creating something all myself. It forces you to let go and release any notion of control or expectation. And it's also just a way to explore your own psyche and understand your mind on a deeper level.
How to you deal with taking it personally when your art stumbles upon rejection or incomprehension? Does the detachment me vs. my artwork comes with time or it's something we need actively to work upon?
Sometimes I definitely do take it personally because my art feels like it's made up of all these pieces of me. But, if it's constructive criticism and could make your work better, then you have to be honest with yourself and open to hearing that. At the same time, you can't control anything or how people will receive something. I think you just have to find a balance that works for you and know that you're not going to be for everyone and that it's fine.
What is the most valuable lesson you learnt through regular devotion to your creativity?
To always be open to learning and progression. And if you start to feel comfortable making what you're making then it's time to try and add in something new or take that next step.
Other than through art and creation, what are your suggestions on stepping into our Divine Feminine archetype on regular basis?
To pursue whatever it is that you want to pursue. Focus on you. Dedicate yourself to helping you grow into the person that you want to be and getting what you want out of life.
And for the end, if you don't mind sharing - what is your biggest goal regarding your artistic career?
Just to continue developing and getting better. And to be able to completely support myself with my art.
✦ RAPID FIRE ✦
Favourite Crystal / Rose Quartz
Favourite song at the moment / I'd Rather Be With You by Bootsy Collins OR All I Need by Radiohead
Working in morning or working at night? Both, whenever creativity strikes.
The most empowering woman on Planet / At the moment I feel like it's not any one woman, but rather women as a collective and the empowering changes that are happening.
Analog or digital? Currently digital