{JENNIFER ERLYS} THE GIRL WHO PLAYS WITH FLOWERS

May 9, 2016

You know when you come across an Instagram feed or Pinterest board that totally inspires your inner creative? This beauty has created of those feeds. I have been following @jenerlys {Jennifer Erlys} on Instagram for what feels like forever –  her botanical compositions are totally exquisite & her attention to detail brings a rushing sense of clarity + interconnectedness. With divine timing + collaborative energy in the air, we connected with this fearless creative and put together a flower-powered collaboration to share with you! Jen took over our Instagram feed for the day + created special wallpapers for the LOTUSWEI community to enjoy. We also had the absolute pleasure of interviewing this radiant, unique + inspiring nature lover…

{What is your favorite flower + 3 words to describe its personality.}

I don’t think I could pick a favorite! Every flower is a magical miracle in my eyes, but I am drawn to certain flowers at times. Right now I am really being drawn to the Iris. A while ago the Iris used to be one of my least favorite flowers! But in the past few months I have been so in awe of it, pulled toward it. I could describe it’s personality as Divine, powerful, and deeply connected. All plants have unique, healing energies that we are meant to interact with. The more we practice listening to what flowers we are drawn to the more we will experience self-growth, healing, and settle more into our interconnectivity.

{How does nature influence your work?}

Nature is really more than an influence in my work. It is a collaborator, a guide, an inspiration, a companion, a healer, and more. I don’t see my artwork as something that I have made out of my own creativity or abilities. Instead I see myself as a conduit for the energies of the plants I work with and the deep, divine beauty of Nature. My goal is to become always more skillful in being that conduit through practice so I can share what I receive from Nature with others.

{Why are you doing what you’re doing? What’s the main message you want people to get from your work?}

I have always been interested in the idea of being a conduit for that which is Divine and facilitating healing. In fact, I was studying horticultural therapy when I first started making plant art. The two things weren’t connected in my mind at the time, but just how we are sometimes drawn to certain flowers without knowing why, I was drawn to this art-practice. Later on I realized that not only was the practice healing to me, but the images of the ephemeral work were powerful for others too. The feelings of awe and peace that I experienced could be shared and it could inspire others to change the way they see the world around them! I believe the “sacred is in the ordinary” and that opening our eyes/minds to the magic in the most ordinary plant can be transformative. I believe that changing the way we see Nature (even the weeds growing through the crack in a sidewalk or a vacant lot or your overgrown garden) is inherently linked to the way we see our self, others, and the Earth. It can change how we connect with the Sacred in the ordinary all around us. This transformation has the power to bring deep healing to individuals, communities, and the greater collective. As I say this I laugh about how it sounds like such a grand message for such a humble, little art-practice, but maybe there is a message in that too…

{How have you taken health + happiness into you own hands?}

Well, I think the biggest thing that I have done in that regard is to commit myself to developing my listening skills. Listening to my body, listening to my emotions, listening to what I am drawn to, etc., and doing this in a way that is respectful, non-judgmental, open-minded, and full of love and gratitude. I have been especially focused on this in relation to food lately. Instead of just listening to what the outside world has to say about what’s good or bad to eat, I try to listen to what information my own blessed body is giving me and acting accordingly. And it is so important that all this listening is not with the mindset that the present is bad and I need to change to be OK. I used to always focus on “what’s wrong with me?”, but then I was always starting from a place of negativity about my own health + happiness. Changing that mindset was key for me, more so than any physical things I did.

{How does your work relate to mindful awareness? What rituals or exquisite practices do you do that trigger more awareness in you?}

My work is allll about mindful awareness, trying to maintain that throughout the whole process. Every time I make art I treat it as a ritual. And yes! I often have to remind myself of that! It is so easy to forget mindfulness in the things we do the most often. The beautiful thing is that everything can be a ritual to trigger awareness if we recognize it as such. Every time I drink tea or use flower essences I see it as a ritual. Every time we cook or shower or take a walk or anything it can be treated as a ritual. For me it is less about adding new, complex rituals and more about finding the ritual in what I already do. Just like how even the peskiest weeds can help us connect to the Sacred, the most mundane activities can be done in a mindful way. Some things I do to help me remember that are lighting a candle or burning incense for a few minutes when I make art or closing my eyes to say a prayer of thanks for the tea before the first sip. It is amazing how the simple things create huge changes!

Love Jen’s botanically inspired work? Be sure to follow her on Instagram + take a peek at her website! And don’t forget to download the exquisite wallpapers that she created for us!

CLICK HERE TO RECEIVE JEN’S DIGITAL WALLPAPERS

Give Jen your support + love in the comments below! We have had a blast collaborating with her and already can’t wait to see what other botanically inspired collaborations our friendship may lead to next!

 

* Jen’s portrait photographed by @heathaho *

AUTHOR: LOTUSWEI CATEGORIES: adoration
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Jill Lein

I LOVE your use of botanicals and their color to express beauty, gratitude, simplicity, and the grace within detail. Thank you for sharing your art and your heart!!

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Katie

Hey Jill, isn’t it amazing?!

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Which flower are you most attracted to?

Which ritual would you love so much you'd enjoy it 5 times each day?

select all that apply

Flower Elixir

Enjoy nectar-like drops sublingually or in your water bottle.

Energy Mist

Mist yourself and let it rain down around your face and shoulders.

Balancing Serum

Luscious oil serum applied to your face and the back of your neck.

Transformative Perfume

Spritz your wrists, heart, hair, neck. Blend together and inhale.

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