PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Maya Galleas, Watercolor Artist & Writer

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Maya Galleas for “Time for Storytelling.”

Maya is a girl from a large industrial city who took art as therapy for herself. Tired of formulas and equations, she chose the path as an artist. Maya also loves to write stories, articles, and notes to inspire others with her story and experience.

Ana:First, thank you for taking some time off your busy schedule to answer some questions.

Maya, How did you get your start as a writer and a watercolor artist?

Maya:

Firstly, I started to draw a long time ago. The drawing was really art therapy for me. It was a way to get away from negative thoughts and find harmony in myself. At that time, my husband was seriously ill and bedridden for several months in a row. He always did illustrations, and I was trying to make him feel better. I went to the shop and bought some acrylic paints. Coming home, we began to draw. So we got our first happiness at that time.

Moreover, paintings of superheroes and landscapes helped him recover, and I could see the power of art therapy. So for the first time, I felt my desire to be an artist. I started painting with watercolors almost recently. I always wanted to try it, but I never had the courage. I picked up a brush and paint, and I could not be stopped. Now I like to paint in a loose style and monochromatic works, galaxies and space, the night sky and cute leaves and flowers. All this gives the transparency of paint and the unique properties of watercolors that I have been looking for so long. Each painting is my mood and part of my story. Memories and feelings are reflected in my paintings. Each of them is unique and charged with a positive mood and joyful thoughts.

How did I start writing? I often ask myself this question, but I should always be honest. My husband wrote poems and short stories to me. I was always inspired by them and wrote something of my own, small and full of feelings. So I had a great interest in literature and creativity. Then I wrote articles and share my personal experience with other people on social networks and a blog. This was my greatest experience. Now I’m writing quotes and articles, creating designs for them. This experience makes me the happiest girl in the world.

Ana: And how do you combine writing with being a watercolor artist?

Maya:

Certainly, I take my ideas mainly from my life. That’s everything that surrounds me or is inside me. Also, ideas can be what I see in other people or what is happening just outside my window.

My message is you never need to give up, you need to fight your fears and laziness, be positive in any circumstances. In the simplest things, we can find inspiration for something new and unique. And live a happy life full of bright events and joy.

Ana:What 3 adjectives describe your art and writing style and why?

Maya:

Inspirational, supportive and educational. I always try to support people and inspire them to new discoveries and opportunities. I like to share my experience and knowledge with them, and show with my own examples of what solutions or opportunities exist in different situations. I like to write articles and analyze different aspects of life in them and give my support to other people. I’m still working on motivating and inspiring quotes, texts and illustrations. They can help to understand all the internal abilities of each person and his full potential.

Ana:What is most challenging about what you do?

Maya:

The hardest part is overcoming my own fears and limitations. Sometimes it’s even difficult for me to evaluate my own works and see their true value. For example, when I worked with mountain landscapes, it was difficult to overcome fears and make the first movement with a brush. But after several works, I welled understand their forms. Everything in our life begins with the first step and continues with practice to achieve the best possible results.

Ana:How do you define beauty in 280 characters or less?

Maya:

Beauty is an abstract understanding that doesn’t have clear edges and shapes. I see the beauty in simple things, in the stars and the night sky. Beauty is in the universe with its randomness and order, a variety of colors forming nebulae and constellations, planets and the sun.

Ana: What visual references do you draw upon in your work as an artist?

Maya:

My main reference is nature and a drop of imagination. I’m inspired by dangerous rocks and the old canyon, cute and strange clouds, big waves and a calm ocean. Flowers with their natural gradients and leaves with their different shapes. Its special beauty is even in the starry sky.

Ana:Do you interact with the digital world technology in your work as an artist?

Maya:

Absolutely. I also need to use a camera, scanner and Photoshop like any artist and writer who uses social networks.

To create quotes, for example, I have to use the skills of a designer and digital illustration. So it is simply impossible to imagine a modern artist in our time without such tools and skills.

Ana:Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?

Maya:

Never. Every successful person says so, but often we doubt literally everything. Put a period or comma here or there. Draw a line higher or lower. Doubts and fears are inevitable, but only by defeating them, we get stronger. So I often say, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fight with our doubts.

“If you chose the path, follow it and don’t go anywhere else with it. Especially if it really matters to you.”

At such moments, I remember the words. “If you chose the path, follow it and don’t go anywhere else with it. Especially if it really matters to you.” Diamonds and mountains collapse in that way and success are created.

Ana: Imagine you meet today yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?

Maya:

If I could meet myself in the past, I would say, belief in yourself always and in what you do. Appreciate your work and the work of other people. Life is a difficult thing, as people say. But only an optimistic attitude and positive thoughts will help to survive in this difficult place.

“In the future, your painted sky will be much more beautiful.”

Ana:Tell us a story, an anecdote of your writing, presentation of your watercolor pictures .

Maya:

I remember more funny stories about art. I painted such small pine trees in a landscape of the mountains that I could not look at them without tears. I finished the landscape of the mountains, crying a lot of tears. And once I looked under my desk in search of my cat Ri and saw space covered with small dots of white gouache. I use it to make stars. But the stars are already all over the room, trying to fill it with unique patterns and colors.

Ana: LOL! Is there anything special you do to get into a creative mindset?

Maya:

I watch all kinds of educational series. I discuss different topics with my husband and look for answers to questions. So I keep my mind open, and it stimulates it to new ideas and thoughts. There are so many mysteries and unknown secrets in the world. It can charge with new ideas.

My favorite music, which allows me to dive into myself and find the right mood, can always help.

Ana:What would a perfect day for you involve?

Maya:

My best memory as a writer is when I first realized that I would be writing my first memoir. The events, words, and parts of the plans, like butterflies in my stomach, still give me a sense of enthusiasm for just thinking about it. It is difficult to imagine, but sometimes an idea begins with a thought and a book with a first word. This is the same case.

On the other hand, my best memory as an artist is the delight of working with paint. I remember the first time I covered the paper with water to work with the wet technique of painting. After making several movements and adding different colors, I saw how they mix and blend into new and unique colors. This feeling is so exciting that I remembered how I stood in a chemical laboratory and mixed two reagents, watching how they change colors and get other properties.

Ana:Your worst souvenir as artist and writer…

Maya:

The worst souvenirs in my life, probably this is when my laptop broke down and I could no longer type texts and work with a book. It was a difficult time and really unpleasant, not only a souvenir but also a surprise.

In art, these are moments when paint spoils things or furniture, sometimes leaving amazing spots on all this. One day, gouache hit me right in the eye. It was a frightening feeling, but it all ended well.

Ana:Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?

Maya: A few years ago, we lost one of the most fun and happy family member. We had another cat, Kawaii. She was curious, and like a ray of happiness and hope, gave us her love. Once we could not find her at home. We searched for her for a whole week. We asked neighbors and friends. But we had no result. A week later, we found her. Unfortunately, she was gone forever.

Most importantly, Kawaii has changed my understanding of life. From childhood, she was a sick kitten. But every day she enjoyed her life and lived her full life, delighting us every second. She taught me I need not focus on my negative aspects. More importantly, what I have now.

Ana: If you weren’t a writer /artist, what would you be doing?

Maya:

I’m sure I would become a teacher. I always liked to learn and help others understand new knowledge. Back in school, I discovered this superpower and now I try to develop it every day.

Ana: Finally, let’s talk about your last work and your future plans.

Maya:

Now spring has come, I am attracted by monochrome works. I like to paint mountains and trees, to show beauty with minimalistic colors and shapes. This is my main inspiration, and I plan to create a series of monochrome works. I also plan to create a series of works related to space and the universe. These are my future plans as an artist.

Ana: Thank you, Maya, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Maya Galleas and her work, check out these links:

PROFILE YOURSELF: An Amazing Story with Lucinda E. Clarke, Author.

Lucinda E. Clarke describes herself as being born in Dublin, dragged up in the Cotswolds and finished off in Liverpool.
She’s led an appalling life, jumping counties, often one step ahead of the creditors.
Produced by a mother with NPD, then marriage to a Walter Mitty clone, there has never been a dull moment – and she’s a bestselling author with awards and numerous medals for both her television scripts and her books.

Lucinda E. Clarke for “Time for Storytelling.”

Ana: First, I would like to thank you for taking some time off your busy schedule to answer some questions.

How did you find your calling to become an author?

Lucinda:

Firstly:- As a precocious brat, aged 4 reading Enid Blyton, I thought this looks easy, I could do this

Secondly:- Writing a report on the Sunday School activities for the local church magazine, although sadly no one else got to read it as I snaffled all of them from the back of the church and read each and every copy in the privacy of my bedroom.

There is a long gap, despite my pleading I wanted to be a writer as I was leaving school but was told to get a proper career.

Finally:- When I applied as a continuity announcer on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (a dismal failure) then invited to the drama department and the producer picked up on the content of my audition (self-written) and told me to go home and write. So, I did and won the Playwright of the Year Award – after that there was no stopping me.

Ana: Where do you get your ideas? What and Who inspires you?

Lucinda:

Ideas drop from the sky. I’ve no idea what sparks them, often in the shower, or when half asleep and I spend the next week trying to remember what they were. A word, a mannerism, a shop front, it could be anything. I’ve been an avid reader as long as I can remember, preferring my own world to the one most people inhabit. 

What other career allows you to kill with abandon, chop arms and legs off, and torture and manipulate your characters? I love Jean Plaidy, Harrison Ainsworth and Wilbur Smith. It was probably the latter’s stories that encouraged me to go and live in Africa.

Ana: What message do you want to get across?

Lucinda:

Most of my books are set in Africa and I have tied hard to portray the continent as I saw it while living there for almost 40 years. It’s not The Lion King, nor Born Free and those images of poverty and war you see on the news have an eye on viewer statistics and donations. I’ve tried to show a typical African country seen through the eyes of a new expatriate (Amie) much as I experienced it when I first stepped off the Kenyan Airways plane. 

Of course, in the series she becomes a trained spy and has plausible adventures, but I had a few hairy moments of my own too. If I have enlightened even a few minds and opinions, then I shall have succeeded a little.

A Video on Amie Series

Ana: What is most challenging about what you do?

Lucinda:

I was tossing up whether to mention the dreaded marketing or fatigue. I’m only pretending to be retired, and yet I drive myself on – my brain races but my body would prefer to crawl or curl up with a good book. 

I’ve worked hard all my life, mostly with 2 jobs and I should really relax and do the coffee morning/Zumba routine, but I’d love to get the New York Times Bestseller sticker just once. 

Since I’ve earned my living writing radio and TV scripts for decades, I know I can write, and hundreds of people have loved my books but getting the word out? I’m hopeless at that and I don’t enjoy it. The networking yes, the chatting to readers yes, but the buy my books shout out makes me cringe.

Ana: Imagine you meet today yourself when you were just a child, what would you tell yourself-child?

Lucinda’s memoir of growing up with a NPD mother.

Lucinda:

This is a bit weird to answer as I would have reassured my younger self that my upbringing was not normal and that I was on OK person – it was my mother who had the problem. She suffered from NPD but I only discovered that 6 decades later, having been terrorised and guilt-ridden about her for most of my life.

Ana: For you, what makes a great story?

Lucinda:

A great story has a character I can bond with, it must be fast moving with twists and turns and keep me guessing until the last page.

Ana: Tell us a story, an anecdote you would like to share.

Lucinda:

I’ve written 3 memoirs. The first chronicling my life through 8 counties, 2 husbands and a wealth of experiences. These include interviewing Mandela, fainting in an abattoir, meeting Prince Charles, broadcasting live with a bayonet on my shoulder, managing a rock band, running from a tear gas attack, breaking down in a game park with no defence, being abandoned with a 9 week old baby in the bush with no food, transport, communications or electricity. 

There are a few more incidents which I can’t recall right now, but there are plenty more. I morphed from a shy, low-esteemed primary school teacher to a successful businesswoman running my own video production company. Yes, I guess I made it and still miss the media life.

The true story of how Lucinda set up and ran a riding school while afraid of horses and not the slightest idea of how to care for them.

Ana: How did you find your writing style? Has it changed over time?

Lucinda:

I was never trained in journalism or took a higher degree in English, preferring History and Sociology. I learned scriptwriting by trial and error for both radio and TV and won several awards. Later, after freelancing for the SABC I produced the scripts I wrote for corporates, conference presentations, governments, banks and so on. On retirement I turned to books. This was a whole different ball game. No longer could I scribble pan across room to show… Now, I had to describe the room, how the characters were behaving and learn the ‘show not tell stuff’, although the dialogue was easy and I had been commissioned to write a couple of books by a couple of the Big Five traditional publishers in the ‘90s, it was like starting again at the bottom of the ladder.

Ana: What does it mean to be an author for you?

Lucinda:

Indulging in my passion, I get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t write. Also, the high I get from leaving behind something tangible when I’ve gone to the big writing desk in the sky, or, more probably, the other place.

Ana: If you had to choose one current character of a TV show, whom would you choose and why? In other words, have you ever attempted to emulate her or him somehow?

Lucinda:

Absolutely not. I hate this hero worship of ‘famous’ people. In the media word you work with these people and they are just very ordinary folk. Some are nice, some narcissistic, some positively revolting. It can be infuriating when they get all the accolades for pretending to be someone else, speaking the words written by THE WRITER, made to look beautiful by the makeup department and the lighting crew, told how to cry etc by the Director and their mumbled words rendered intelligent by the sound crew. Oh dear, you didn’t invite a rant did you! But it’s all true. 

I used to tell my students that if they wanted to be famous, then they should pack up now and go to the drama department and forget the film production side. Viewers seldom care about the team which put it all together, they are too busy putting the cat out, racing to the loo or putting on the kettle.

Ana: Do you have any moving story that changed your mind, life, somehow, and you would like to share?

Lucinda:

The nearest I can come to this is the number of times I thought I was going to die and surprisingly, I survived. A good example is that bayonet pricking into my neck in the broadcasting studio, or the time we were charged by an elephant and the car stalled, or the crowd that surrounded me and my daughter in her pushchair at a public hanging. I won’t bore you with more! Live each day.

Ana: So, if you hadn’t chosen to become an author, what would your alternative career have been?

Lucinda:

I trained to be a teacher, and I rather think that writing chose me, since I was at that SABC audition having been given notice at the school, and I was desperate to get another job, any job at the time. Broadcasting was the only other skill I had.

Ana: General words of wisdom you live by?

Lucinda:

Live and let live. Respect other cultures and beliefs and seek to understand others.

Travel and retain your curiosity, take an interest farther afield than your immediate environment.

Learn something new each day.

Ana: Finally, let’s talk about your last work (book, story, writing …) and your future plans. 

Lucinda:

There is that NYT sticker I’d (almost) kill for. I’m not going to write any more biographies I think I’ve used up most of my escapades. 

A Psychological Thriller

There are 5 books in the Amie in African series, and I plan one more. I’d like to do a sequel to my fairy tale satire, but, to my surprise, my Psychological Thriller, has been my most successful so I’m currently writing a follow on. 

Amie series by Lucinda E. Clarke for "Time for Storytelling."
Amie Series

Ana: Thank you, Lucinda, for this amazing interview.

For those wishing to find out more about Lucinda E. and her writing, check out these links:

Web: https://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Blog: https://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914/

Twitter: http://@LucindaEClarke

Pinterest: https://es.pinterest.com/lucindaeclarkea/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucinda-clarke-