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5 on Friday Artist Interview : Flora Bowley

photo by Tara Morris

photo by Tara Morris

Flora Bowley is a Portland based artist who travels the world giving workshops and inspires others with her colorful work and unique teaching style. I admire Flora's spirit, her interest in travel and life, as well as her kindness and generosity, and I'm very happy that Flora is joining us here today! 

Welcome Flora! Please tell us more about yourself, what you do, and name 5 of your favorite things.

I work as an artist, writer and teacher --- all with an emphasis on brave intuitive painting.  I have about a million favorite things, but the first five that come to mind are:  walking without a destination, a current obsession with Bon Iver's Pandora station, Burning Man, candlelit baths and dark chocolate with sea salt. 

photo by Tara Morris

photo by Tara Morris

Where do you live, what do you like about it - and what place would you most like to visit one day? 

I’ve lived in Portland, OR, now for about eight years.  Before that I was in Washington State, so I’ve spent almost half of my life in this corner of the US.  I love the lushness of the Pacific Northwest --- the shades of green are endless.  I also love the funky people, the amazing coffee, the ‘do-it-yourself-keep-Portland-weird’ attitude and the close proximity to really amazing coastline and mountain ranges.

I’m quite lucky in that I’m able to travel to really amazing places to teach my painting retreats and to vacation on my own.  Over the past few years, I’ve been to Mexico, Bali, Australia, South America, Europe and all over the US.  Beyond these places I’ve already been, I’m really keen on visiting Iceland, South Africa and Morocco.

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How do you manage to keep a good life/work balance and stay healthy and fit?

Ah, this is always such a great question, and to be honest, it’s one that I’m forever working on.  Because my life and work are woven together with such intricacy, it can be tricky to separate the two.  However, this is exactly the same reason I practice so much radical self-care.  I no longer see yoga, massages, downtime, exercise and healthy eating as luxurious options.  In order to do the transformational work I do with people, I actually need to feel healthy and clear --- it’s a requirement now.

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What is the most exciting adventure you ever had? 

In 2005, I put on a backpack and hitched a ride to New Orleans one month after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast.  I planned to help out in whatever way I could for two weeks, but I ended up staying for six months.  I lived in a tent in the middle of the disaster area and organized volunteers at a non-profit I helped to create called Emergency Communities. I swear, it would have been the most amazing reality TV show of all time!  So many stories…

all photos in Flora's interview by Zipporah Lomax

What are your favorite upcoming creative projects for 2014, and could you share some advice to those who would like to pursue a more creative, artistic path too?

I just returned home from a month in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where I painted and taught a weeklong workshop, so 2014 is off to a great start. The next round of my Bloom True E-course begins in a few days, so I’m busy now gearing up for that.  In six weeks, I’ll fly to Bali to teach two more weeklong workshops, and this Fall I’ll be teaching at Squam Art Workshops in New Hampshire and in Ireland.  Beyond teaching, I'm really excited to dive into some more collaborative painting projects with friends.  I’m also working on my second book that will explore all the juicy metaphors between brave intuitive living and brave intuitive painting.  No shortage of projects around here.

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photos in Flora's interview by Zipporah Lomax

My best advice for pursuing a more creative and artistic path always revolves around passion.  If passion is the driving force behind a creative endeavor, it will usually show in the work.  On the other hand, if something is created soley for money it often lacks a sort of life force or authenticity.  Pursue projects that feel truly exciting to your soul, and the money will follow…eventually.     

Thank you Flora! You are always such a kind, generous and glowing person - and I hope to catch up with you one day here in Berlin - or maybe in Bali ;) Thanks so much for taking part in my interview series and inspiring us all! xoxo

Check out Flora's lovely work on her website, find out more about her e-course and workshops, get her book (beautiful!), and connect with her on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest.


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