Artist of the week: Perryn Ford
What is the title of this featured piece?
This illustration is called Balance & Flow. This illustration is the first in a new series that I am working on called Go With The Flow. The idea for this illustration and the entire series were born out of my own love for doing yoga and how much cultivating a daily practice has improved virtually every area of life from diet, to mental health, and just practicing discipline. Anyone who has practiced yoga knows that it is about marrying your breath with the movements as you flow from one pose to another --- it’s a balance between breath and body. Life is all about balances, and I think especially right now, we could all use a reminder to breathe, find our balance, and just go with the flow!
When did you start your artist journey?
I’ve always been a creative. My relationship with creating art started during my childhood. My earliest memory is drawing fashion illustrations in 3rd grade. Fortunately, my mother took notice of my artistic gifts and stuck me in every art program she could find, from local art contests, to Saturday morning art classes at Washington D.C.’s Corcoran Art Gallery, and joining the fine arts program in High School. After graduating from high school, creating art took a backseat for nearly 6 years until I went back to school for my second degree in Fashion Design at The New School. After 10 years working in the fashion industry, I took a hiatus, and finally had the time and clarity to start creating again and making the kind of art that I want to see in the world. It’s been nearly one year of consistent art making and I couldn’t be more happy to be doing the thing that I believe I was called to do!
Describe your art.
My work is inspired by my life as a self care enthusiast, wellness advocate, and woman. Through the movement of continuous lines, expressive colors, and simplistic shapes, my work explores the complex and intimate relationships with ourselves, each other, and our connection to the natural and spiritual world.
What does health and wellness mean to you?
Health and wellness, to me, means doing more of what makes you feel your best and is going to bring you closer to the life you want to live; and less of the things that don't. It's really that simple! These things are going to be different for everyone, but it's important to give yourself the time and space to figure those things out. For me, that means less time watching t.v. and more time listening to personal growth books & podcasts that challenge my way of thinking. Less time on non-stimulating activities, more time dreaming and visualizing what I want my life to look like, feel like, smell like, and taste like, so I can focus on doing the things that are going to bring me closer to it. Most importantly, being present and showing up for myself each and every day in all of the ways that I mentioned above.
How do you bring self-care into your daily routine?
My entire life is centered around self-care and doing things that help me to look my best, feel my best, and project as much positive energy out into the world. I start each day with prayer and meditation, 20 - 30 mins of yoga, and 15 mins of journaling. Anxiety is high on my list of things that I'm constantly working to improve; so starting my day with these three exercises grounds me, helps me to center myself in the present moment, push out any negative energy that may be hovering, practice gratitude, and set my intentions for the day. These are my tried and true daily self-care rituals, besides creating art of course! My non-traditional self-care rituals include going for photography walks with my vintage Pentax 35mm camera and my partner, roller skating around my neighborhood, creating art, studying and practicing my grasp of the French language, travelling near and far (pre-quarantine of course!), and currently redecorating my apartment into a creative plant oasis!
What are some of your biggest artistic influences?
I look for influence and inspiration everywhere! I’m influenced by women, the colors that I see in nature, my spirituality, places that I’ve been, and the work of some of my favorite artists like Picasso and Matisse. I’m influenced a lot by sound. Music is a big part of my creative process. I like to imagine the color of sounds and use that in my work. I think most importantly, I am inspired by the people who connect with my work-- it reminds me that I have done a good job of creating work from a place of authenticity that evokes emotions in others.
Tell us about some of your career achievements and milestones.
One of my biggest and favorite art career achievements was getting my first sale from a total stranger (not my family & friends). When this happened, it was a sign that I am creating that kind of art that people want to see in the world. Since then I’ve worked with Kate Spade which was great! Besides the awesome feature highlight with Facebook Elevate (thank you!). I have an exciting new partnership with a large custom organization company that will be released soon. I can’t say too much about it right now, but I am very excited about it! Things are really starting to take off, so I am excited for all of the new opportunities that are to come.
Feeling artsy? Check out Perryn’s work here.