Kristy Okkonen - visual artist and soul coach
Varna / Bulgaria
Kristy, you are a self-taught visual artist and soul coach. Could you please tell us all about your journey into the art world (brief bio/history/backstory)?
I started on my art journey about 3 years ago, I got the inspiration to make my own oracle card deck. I looked into engaging an artist to create the imagery for my deck but then after a few calls and conversations, I got the guidance that it would be more me if I learnt how to make the imagery myself and so started a year-long online art program and fell in love with creating in this way. I continued to pursue it as a hobby which quickly became something much more.
Since then I have worked on developing my style and learning new ways to create through more online classes by other artists and through experimenting with my art practice. I work mainly with watercolours and acrylics but sometimes I work on mixed media projects as well.
You are originally from Australia and you are currently living in Varna, Bulgaria. You‘ve travelled pretty much all around the world. Nomadic lifestyle sounds so romantic and wild to me! What is like for you?
I’ve always loved the idea of travel even as a kid it was one of my favourite things. Going to new places and countries, seeing how others lived and exploring the culture. The only thing was it was never long enough when we went on holiday. These days I spend my life living in different countries. Apart from Australia, I have lived in Thailand, Spain, Bulgaria and Greece. I have also visited New Zealand, Fiji, the United States of America, Singapore, Malaysia, Portugal, the United Kingdom, France, Gibraltar and Romania. I would love to say one day I have visited all the countries of the world! I just think that would be so amazing!!
As beautiful and fun as it is to travel and live a more nomadic life there are some hang-ups though, especially as an Artist. I have to keep my supplies to a minimum and I work mainly with paper or canvas pads as they are easier to pack into a suitcase. I learnt the hard way that art supplies add up quickly and had to empty out half my stash into the airport trash can once due to baggage restrictions!!
But even having said that I wouldn’t change it for the world! There's just something about travel to me that not only opens your eyes and mind but also inspires the soul and heart.
You are a very spiritual person. Your spiritual journey began several years ago. What was the turning point in your life?
For me, I would say there wasn’t any one main turning point. I was slowly progressing over a period of time to a point in my life where I needed change and was seeking it everywhere I could, online, in books, the TV you name it. But I can say that I noticed the biggest shift in who I was occurred when I joined a 6-month group coaching program where I spent that time deep diving with 30 other souls where we shared learnings, experiences, life lessons, emotions, pain, healing and much more. It was through this program I found out more about who I am and what I want to create in this lifetime and more importantly meet some of my soul family and made connections with people like I’ve never experienced before.
The community was a big component of what I was missing in life. The feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself and unquestionable and unconditional love from people who didn't know me at all but become my closest and dearest friend through shared moments and experiences was such a heart-opening experience. We are powerful beings but we are always more powerful surrounded and support by those that can share in who we are.
You have recently started focusing again on your coaching practice and organize monthly full moon sessions. What are these sessions about and how can people work with you?
My full moon sacred sittings are an offer I put together as a way to create a community for women who are wanting to get more in touch with their inner wisdom and guidance through sacred circle, ritual and sharing. It is designed to inspire participants to dive further into who they are and what they came here to do through self-exploration and developing a connection with their higher self and spirituality.
These full moon sessions are open to women worldwide and are hosted via zoom each month on the day of the full moon. If someone wants to join this session they can send me a DM on social media or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Along with this offering, I also work more deeply with people one on one over the course of a month to 6 months depending on their needs and goals. Finally, I also offer one on one soul connection sessions which are an intensive 2 hr session where we dive into understanding what magic someone has within them that they may or may not be aware of and we work together to bring it forward so that they can create and share their magic with the world.
You have two grown-up sons. Are they involved in your business in any way?
Yes, I have 2 sons, one who is now 18 and one who is 16 and both take great pride in the fact that they are taller than me these days! They have helped out in our businesses from time to time when we have either needed it or they have an interest in something that we are doing but they are mainly focused on their own interests and pursuing things they want in their lives.
We encourage them to find the things in life they like and enjoy and create ways for it to be an option for them to make a living out of if they so choose.
What was the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
Selling my first piece, every time I get a commission order, being selected for my first online exhibition and now also have my first solo show and interview as an Artist. To me every first is the most exciting thing in my art career, I could yet say I have one thing that stands out to me. It's all so exciting and wonderful to me.
What inspires you the most?
I am very inspired by nature and the sky. I love to incorporate botanicals and stars and planets into my work along with geometry. Doing this helps me to bridge my spirituality and higher self with my art. I paint to express energy, frequency and higher dimensional codes and wisdom that is imparted to the viewer of my pieces. My painting is an experience to be had.
What's the message behind your art?
It's hard for me to actually put this into words. Like I mentioned before my pieces are an experience rather than something to view and admire. They are created to invoke feelings and emotions from within while sharing frequencies and codes to those that feel drawn to them.
I guess if I had to sum it all up I would say the message behind my art is to find yourself, dive into your being and find all the answers of the universe within you because that's just how powerful and amazing we are as humans and my art is a reflection and reminder of that.
What does your art do for you?
As mentioned before I would really love to create and release my very own oracle card deck, that would be amazing, it was after all that started me on my art journey. But since then I have had many other dreams and ideas make themselves known to me. I think it would be really amazing to create a line of journals and notebooks that help people to connect on a deeper level with who they are and help guide them into understanding their purposes and passions in life.
Another thing that has since come to light for me is to have my artwork become prints and designs for a snowboarding line of clothing and equipment. This past year I was on the hunt for some clothing and equipment for myself for snowboarding and just felt like nothing was really me with what was out there and so I would love to partner with a company that would be able to utilise my artwork and turn it into items that could allow people to be more expressive on the slopes.
But what I would love to see for my artwork is for it to find its way to those that need it, for it to seek out its home with souls that it will serve and support. For the ones whose frequencies align with it and welcome it into their homes so that they may benefit from the codes, it was created to share.
What is your advice to fellow art mums?
I feel like mothers have learnt to put everyone else in their family before themselves. I too have experienced this in my own journey. I would say this. If art is your passion and it fuels your soul in a way that nothing else can, then make a way out of no way to make it a non-negotiable part of your life. Even if it's just 5 minutes a day playing in a sketchbook or an hour a week working on your next masterpiece, make it a no questions asked part of being. It is a gift that only you can give yourself and it's worth it 100%. Be brave and claim something for yourself. Find a group or an event, buy those supplies you keep telling yourself you’ll get next time, put off the chores for 5 minutes, whatever it is that will give you the space to create. Art is in your life for a reason, it is here to remind you of who you are and how powerful a creative being you are. Stop robbing yourself and your family of this joy and passion. What you give to yourself you give to your family and they will only grow and flourish more when you are happy and operating from a space of love and freedom to be fully you.