June 2, 2011
Spring of Culture at GhostvillageArtist Paulina Cassidy
By Deonna Kelli Sayed
Ghostvillage is launching Spring of Culture to celebrate the emerging scene of paranormal inspired creative arts. "The shows" -- paranormal reality TV -- often dominate the discussion in media culture. That is only a small part of the story! Off of the TV screen is a growing community of artists who engage paranormal themes (ghosts, paranormal investigation, and other supernatural elements) in web cartoons, comics, tarot card art, and in other distinctive outlets. Plus, some cast members from "the shows" are doing creative stuff in their free time. Consider Spring of Culture as an online Festival of the Haunted Arts -- and only at Ghostvillage!
Paulina Cassidy is a well-known artist in the ghost hunting community (and beyond). She is often a funky, vibrant presence at various events. Paulina will be speaking at Through the Veil June 10th-12th in Atlanta where she will explore intuitive methods of connecting to the stream of creative and inspirational energies. Exhibiting never-before-seen sketches, she will unveil her own creative process.
She has graced DrangonCon over the past few years, and this year is no exception. Come join her during the DragonCon Art Show in Atlanta, Ga, Sept. 2-5th, 2011.
Paulina has a few forthcoming works, such as the 'The Joie de Vivre' deck, her second tarot, to be released through US Games later this year. The recently completed 'Witchlings Deck of Spells' will be released in early 2012, also through US Games.
'The Faerie Guidance Deck' (oracle with accompanying book) will be released through Llewellyn in September of 2012.
Join Deonna as she explores Paulina's enchanted realm!
You are such an interesting person, and your work is whimsical, magical and ethereal. How does your creative process work? Do you call these things into the world, or do they seek you out?
The creative process is sort of like a maze. It's riddled with a network of 'inspiration-sparks' and laced with interconnecting ideas. Collecting all these bits and bobs are like putting together a puzzle, except that you have no idea what it's going to look like. That's all part of the fun -- the discovery; the not-knowing what the results will be or what message it'll communicate. The creative process is akin to unearthing and exposing hidden parts of the self. It's an intimate experience with mind and spirit.
You've been drawing from a young age. Did you know from the beginning that you were an artist?
I think that my innate desire coming into this world was to be a 'creative channeler' in some sense. From the age of two, I kept myself quietly preoccupied for hours, drawing away in my own little world, and soon after making folded and stapled books with written stories accompanying the drawings. I don't think I ever thought of it in terms of whether or not I was an artist, because I think we're all generally born artists of some kind or other whether we realize it or not. As long as there's a passion, it's what you do with the natural creative spark that matters. It's all about nurturing and cultivating that spark.
What artists or individuals serve as your muse?
I especially adore the classic and imaginative works of Aubrey Beardsley, Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielson, Sumalith Wulfing, and Gustav Klimt. Musicians have always served as my muse in a big way as well; I listen to music while drawing and painting. Writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft really spark my imagination, too.
It seems that energy work is related to the artistic process. Where does your own Reiki practice intersect with your art?
It's difficult to do your best work when you aren't feeling at your best. Reiki is energy healing; it's pacifying, it's rejuvenating, it repairs and energizes body, mind and spirit. When I'm pumped with a sense of boundless energy and feeling super-fantastic, the creative fire within is ablaze and I'm more able to reach above and beyond.
How did you become involved with the paranormal/ghost hunting community?
I've always had a keen interest in paranormal studies since I was a child. There were unexplained things happening in the house while growing up. However, in today's community sense, I would have to say that my involvement began in 2004 when I was asked to do a segment on a Canadian TV show called Shadow Hunter. I presented my art and talked about the fae for their episode on faeries. Ever since then, I've made solid friendships with others embracing the world of paranormal studies. It's a fascinating time in history as the veil between worlds thins, revealing things that blow our minds. And the more we discover, the more questions we have. And the more questions we ask, the more we all evolve.
I asked Tarot artist Jackie Williams this question, now let me ask you: how does Tarot art differ from the other work you do?
Art, in general, requires zero guidelines. Art simply is what it desires to be. There are no limitations. With tarot, however, there are standard guidelines that apply. A tarot card requires fundamental symbolism that needs to be weaved into the image so that it's useful and meaningful to the tarot reader. The interpretations of each card's basic structure can be unique and personal, but the representation still needs to be effective.
You also compose music and write poetry. Does this all come from the same creative source?
It's inter-connected. All of these varying facets of creativity are reflections of the others. I see my music as an extension of my visual art, a soundscape to the little worlds I do my best to bring forth. I draw and paint every day, which is why I need to take mini-breaks from my art so that I can come back to it the next day with a fresh outlook. The music and the writing shift my creative focus and expand my perspective; sort of like jumping from hilltop to cloud to star to moon, and back again. I find little trinkets in all these places, and store them in the subconscious.
Describe how you work - what is a day like for you?
Once I'm up, ready, and in my art studio, time as we know it takes on a life of its own. I put on the music -- or Coast to Coast AM - or Darkness Radio - and I work, work, work. By the end of the day, the table's are covered in sketches, most of which will never be seen, just for the record. Some days are exciting, and others are downright frustrating... but I wouldn't want to be doing anything differently than creating.
What is in store for Paulina Cassidy?
Being courageous. Pushing myself to reach beyond my comfort zone. Surprising myself. Continually evolving as an artist and a person. Never ever stopping. What is inevitably in store? Paulina Cassidy will become stranger as time goes on. And I say this with a wink and a smile in my heart.
Any parting words for aspiring artists?
Two words: persistency and consistency. In other words: don't give up, and use your creative muscles every single day. Sock it to 'em. To learn more about Paulina, visit her website and Facebook page.
Deonna Kelli Sayed is the author of the forthcoming book, Paranormal Obsession: America's Fascination with Ghosts, Hauntings, Spooks, & Spirits (Lewellyn, September 2011). Learn more about Deonna by visiting her Facebook Page.