Visual Artist. Creative-Mindfulness Facilitator.
“In such a ‘final product’ driven world, the chance to slow down, and enjoy the process is more important than ever.”
In a world of information overload, many of us are either overwhelmed and overstimulated, or numbed out and disconnected. Artist Nicole Kagan has perhaps found an answer to this problem.
“When I come up with an idea to explore in the studio, it tends to multiply like a virus. It’s the blessing and curse of a creative brain.”
Years ago, Nicole traveled out of town for a week-long open-format painting course, far away from the distractions of family life and other responsibilities. There, aided by ample time and space to deeply focus, she began a whole new painting series, based on the tree as a metaphor.
“Trees are all about balance. The more the roots spread out below, the more the branches above can grow. That concept of growing both upward and rooting downward with ‘simultaneous directionality’ is something we can perhaps all do a better job at.”
Soon, the focus of grounding and expansion became even more woven throughout all parts of Nicole’s life. Her paintings became visual cues to remind her to ground herself in moments of frenzy and anxiety.
“Because I’m naturally very fast moving in my thoughts and body, I deeply need the pauses and slowing down that mindfulness inherently brings.”
After experimenting with mindfulness in various forms on a personal level, Nicole quickly realized she wanted to incorporate it more directly into her actual artistic process.
She experimented with music, natural tools and ink, making all sorts of intuitive marks and discovered that by slowing down the process considerably, she experienced a profound sense of connection, beauty and calm. After posting some videos of the experience, she discovered that the concept of meditative art seemed to deeply resonate with others, too.
Since then, Nicole has transformed that moment into a beautiful workshop experience for up to 8 people in her studio, where the focus of the art is the process. “I discovered that there is a real need for this kind of experience; that everyone should have access to the wisdom of meditation and mindfulness, as well as to experiences of intuitive creative expression. Most importantly, I wanted people to realize there are so many alternate ways into exploring both, that don’t have to always look like sitting meditation or a more typical results-oriented art class. In such a ‘final product’ driven world, the permission to slow down, heighten the senses and savour the process of creating is more important than ever.”
RANDOM RAPID FIRE WITH NICOLE
1. Decaf Coffee or tea?
2. Classical or Jazz ( the experimentation it represents)
3. Raptors or Leafs? Not so into sports!
4. Fame or Fortune? Neither.
5. Useless talent? Identifying the 2-3 people’s faces that a certain face is a combination of.
Nicole Kagan was born in South Africa, and grew up in Thornhill. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Guelph University, and a degree in Graphic Design at OCAD. Nicole is currently focusing on the incorporation of mindfulness into her own art practice as well as facilitating group workshops (both in her studio and in workplaces), as well as customized private sessions.