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Meet Kristen Fagan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Fagan.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My love for self-expression began at a young age. As a kid, I’d choreographed dance performances for fun and taught myself to draw by copying coloring books. I knew early in life that creativity was an important part of who I am. I took classes in painting, sculpture, photography and computer graphics in high school. I fell in love with each and every creative endeavor along the way.

I pursued a visual art and graphic design degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and after college, I moved to Arizona with my then boyfriend, now husband of 18 years. I have been a graphic designer in the beading supply industry since 2000.

After the birth of my two children, I had the strong urge to get back to painting. Once I picked up a paintbrush, I never again put it down. Something about moving paint around and mixing colors makes me feel the most like “me”. Through the journey of painting; time washes away, I find my truth, my peace and I am free.

I started painting furniture and had an artist booth at the Phoenix Public Market where I sold art, small furniture and jewelry. A few years later, I began showing my art in local restaurants and coffee shops. I worked up the courage to paint live at the 2014 Phoenix Festival of the Arts (have now done that four times!) and finally leaped into facilitating art workshops, beginning in my home and expanding around the valley.

Painting is my passion and I love sharing my artwork with the world.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a very long and windy road. I think one of the disadvantages of being multi-passionate is that you are very easily distracted and pulled into different directions. However, I also look at that as an advantage! I never know year after year where my creative journey will lead I just keep showing up and following my curiosity.

I continue to struggle with stress, anxiety and overwhelm trying to do and be so much. The lack of time and money to grow my art business as quickly as I may desire is a re-occurring source of negative self-talk. I have become resourceful in this respect and have embraced meditation, yoga, self-care rituals and mindful art practices to help ground me, alleviate anxiety and ultimately turn the stress into strength.

This alchemy of turning negative feelings and beliefs into positive and empowering ones through the act of creativity is what is at the core of my creative coaching and art facilitation practices as well as my own artwork.

I am a champion of self-love. It’s so incredibly important to be kind and give yourself what you need. It helps me show up as my best self in the world. I am a constant work in process.

Please tell us more about your art.
I paint, I bead, design and am compelled to create. I call myself a multi-passionate artist because I adore so many forms of art and do my best to practice as many of them as often as I can. My absolute favorite thing to make are acrylic paintings full of juicy color, texture, layers and symbols. Blues and greens are my favorite colors and nature is my favorite subject matter.

I am currently working on a collection of paintings for my Floral Exploration series. I am inspired by the natural world and express my art through rich and vibrant colors, infused with positive energy.

In addition to my own creative pursuits, I love to share my passion for self-expression as a creatively fit coach through facilitating art workshops that combine painting with self-exploration and hosting a group on Facebook called “Discover Your Creative Magic” to help you discover of life’s magical moments through intuitive and intentional creativity. I am honored and so filled with love when holding space for others to connect with their creative magic.

Recently, I collaborated with Kerry Burki for our first online meditation and painting workshop: https://kerryburki.teachable.com/p/animal-guide-meditation-and-painting-workshop.

All this time, I continue to work as a graphic designer for Soft Flex Company. I have been fortunate to learn all about jewelry making as another form of self-expression in the almost two decades I have worked in the beading industry. This led me to co-authoring, designing and self-publishing a beading book titled “Seed Bead Revolution” and hosting a weekly jewelry making video series on Soft Flex Company’s YouTube channel. You can buy the book on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Seed-Bead-Revolution-Sara-Oehler/dp/1546522379.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I think I would have started working on a painting series earlier. I didn’t grasp the magic that happens when you really dig into a subject matter and work on sketches, studies and multiple artworks within that subject. Instead of embracing that way of working, I feel like I resisted it. Now that I am working on my first true collection of floral artwork, I really love the process. I think it would also have helped me narrow down my focus so, I didn’t jump from one thing to another quite as quickly.

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