Lover girl inside and out, Blanda is that certain kind of special.
Unstoppable, this high-vibe artist dishes on the state of our collective consciousness, why art and love are not rational, and the relationship mirror. Plus, daily rituals, life lessons, and, of course, her love story as told through a bracelet.
A belief is simply a thought you keep thinking.
For my 21st birthday, someone gave me an astrology reading, and although I was skeptical, it was eerily accurate. That reading opened my mind to a new way of perceiving the world. Raised agnostic, I grew up embracing people of all faiths, as my parents wanted us to choose what we believed for ourselves. My best friend was Muslim and a refugee from the former Yugoslavia. Others were Jewish and Christian, while I, myself, had no religion.
Whilst still today, I don’t subscribe to a specific religion, I feel deeply connected to the concept of an emotional guidance system. I started reading a lot of Jane Roberts and Abraham Hicks and love the concept of there not being a right or wrong way, and instead, there's only Source, a constant supply of goodness to which you can pinch yourself off or let it flow. The choice is yours.
Falling in love with art is a lot like falling in love.
I can’t explain why I love a specific piece any more than I can rationalize who I fall in love with; some things are beyond reason. If I stand in front of a Rothko and suddenly I'm moved to tears, isn’t that point? Having an emotional, visceral reaction to something someone made is more than anyone can rationalize. I like to think that authentic passion manifested into something we create can be felt. That is how I approach my own work and I can only hope that that positivity will transpire when someone chooses to hang one of my pieces in their home.
Femininity is a narrative I return to repeatedly.
Most of my paintings are a celebration of women, each one uniquely different and beautiful in her own way. The notion of a single beauty standard wherein everyone looks the same way is not constructive. Rather than all of us striving towards the same ideal of beauty, I want to advocate the idea of a more diverse perception of femininity. A more wide-ranged image of beauty that every woman can connect with. I could pull 20 photos of vastly different women, all stunning in their own way.
Growing up, I often struggled to connect with other women; now I celebrate them through my work and life. There's so much meanness and competition between women that stems from insecurities, negative self-talk, and a constant mental misconception of never being enough. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this insight when I was younger and instead internalized everything. As an adult, I’ve learned to show compassion toward anyone that's mean to me in hopes of disrupting the cycle.
My mum kept a diary.
Recently my mum shared an entry from her diary when I was four wherein she wrote how impressed she was with my creativity and ability to sit and draw for hours on end. There were even a few of my sketches included. Today, I still feel like that little girl when I'm drawing and painting. It's my rhythm and part of who I am.
I had something to prove, to no one other than myself.
I've been independent, and going a million miles an hour since I was 17. I received a college scholarship, finished my degree in three years, and landed a job at The NY Times as an art director right after graduation. I never took weekends or breaks; there was no balance.
Burnt out from the constant hustle, in 2016, I hit a wall. Unable to function anymore, I went back to Switzerland for a few months to reset. During that time, I began journaling every day and saw an incredible therapist / psycho-kinesiologist, Sarah Preisig. Her approach is very holistic and she explained that I wasn’t broken, but just pinched off from my Source and needed to tap back in; she helped me rediscover my center.
I had to be alone to be with someone.
I have this theory that relationships reflect how we feel about ourselves. In my 20s, I was in a verbally abusive relationship, and looking back, I recognize that I was complacent in the abuse. I didn't like myself much at the time, and our relationship only reaffirmed what I was already thinking. Years later while reading ‘The Four Agreements’ I came across a passage speaking about how the abuse or love we allow someone else to give us always matches our level of self-abuse or self-love. If someone mistreats us just a little bit more than we mistreat ourselves, we would probably leave. That really resonated with me.
I’ve been in back to back relationships since age 14. After each one finished, I promised myself to take some time alone, but two weeks later I’d find myself falling into a new co-dependent relationship (always from an insecure place), it was a pattern that had to end. With this in mind, after returning to the US from my mental hiatus, I took three years to be by myself.
I frequently refer to this quote from Blaise Pascal: “All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”When you're still, shit comes up that can seem scary, but with a slight shift in perspective it may actually not be all that unbearable anymore. When you sit and digest those feelings, you realize that the monsters chasing you in your dreams are actually just you; turn and face them.
Today, my relationship mirrors the love and positivity I feel for myself. It’s magic, and I’m very grateful to be with my partner.
Speaking of stillness.
At the end of last year, I had a conversation with an art dealer that I highly respect. He advised me to buckle down and spend time creating in the studio. Over the past two years, I have been busy with brand projects and collaborations, which left little room for anything else. My plan for 2020 was to focus on personal work, but then quarantine hit, and all the projects I had lined up paused. Initially, I freaked out that all of my projected income had suddenly evaporated! But I realized that I'd asked for stillness and time to create, and now here it was. In my experience, everything falls into place when you trust that it will. I decided to be playful with this new situation and find ways to adjust to the circumstances. I posted some artwork on Instagram and was surprised how quickly it sold. It even generated an additional commission for a piece. Doing that opened my mind to a world of possibilities and new ways of working. Overall, I've learned to let go, roll with it, and get creative.
Writing is my ritual.
At the start of every day, I fill the pages of my journal with three things: Something I like about myself, something I did that day or the day before I'm proud of, and something I’m grateful for. All of which may sound cliche, but it’s powerful. I started implementing this ritual a few years ago to try to train my mind to look at life through a more positive lens and learn how to have a more constructive internal dialogue with myself, in turn shifting my perspective. As Abraham Hicks says, "There's always a slightly better thought or feeling to reach for.” When I look back, the moment I started to change my attitude, great things began to happen.
Jewelry is emotional.
Most likely attached to a story or a memory whether a gift from a loved one, a token of achievement, or a celebration of a moment in time. Last year, my boyfriend organized an intimate dinner for my birthday and gave me this bracelet from Love Adorned. He said the two chains coming together as one represented us becoming a family and that we could pass the bracelet down as a family heirloom. It was so thoughtful of him, and I haven't taken it off since. Every time I look down at my wrist, I think of that night and his heartfelt words.