Divinely Inspired is designed to introduce you to my favorite creative people in the spiritual and metaphysical community and industry. As you may already know, I strongly believe that we are most in-tune with the Divine (Spirit, All, Universe, God, etc) when we are in the active state of creating, just like children at play. Unfortunately with the rise in popularity and commercialism in all things metaphysical and spiritual, now compounded by the use of artificial intelligence (AI), there is a lot of “stuff” out there that is just that, stuff that lacks any genuine Divine inspiration. My solution? Every so often, I will bring you one amazing creator whose work I believe to be Divinely inspired along with where you can find them in hopes that you follow their journey and gain inspiration for your own creative outlets. We all have the ability to create masterpieces and connect with Source while doing it, let them show you how.
I first came across Lennox through her Costal Curiosities deck a couple of months ago which I found to be wildly fascinating and unique in the realm of what is on the market, but it was her new deck Peculiar Pathway that I just stumbled on that really got me intrigued with her work. It’s not just her collage elements that makes her work so fascinating, its the perfect balance in composition with space, color, texture and seemingly opposing yet complimentary design elements. Her work is anything but simple, and yet the subconscious picks it’s symbolism up quite easily.
Lennox Rees of Hello Ivyly Short Bio
My name is Lennox Rees, and I’m a collage artist and designer living on the north coast of Oregon with my husband and our herd of animals. I’m also the creator of Coastal Curiosities oracle and Peculiar Pathways tarot decks. My art is inspired by animals, nature, and everyday experiences.
Did you produce art or creative works prior to producing spiritual or metaphysical inspired pieces? If so, what did you do or do you still do?
Before producing Coastal Curiosities oracle and Peculiar Pathways tarot decks, I created cut and paste collage artwork. I have been making collages with the intention of these pieces being “art” for the last 12 years. These creations were always created for myself as a way to release any negative emotions or situations I was dealing with in life. Art is a healing process for me, and collage is the perfect companion to match my needs of expression. The hunt and gather aspect of collage is a huge part of how I work through my art creation. Being inspired and motivated by finding that perfect piece. That perfect piece that starts, continues, or ends the visual narrative. It is an absolute thrill!
I deeply love working with collage in a bold, modern style. As a professional designer and art director, I prefer collages that are clean–that doesn’t show “the hand” in the piece. I love creating and admiring collage that looks as if it started as one whole piece, like it was always meant to look this way. My artwork style also incorporates heavy use of colorful, graphic shapes. I love working with hole punches in my paper collages and layering them as a secondary visual in the collages.
What was your first spiritual or metaphysical inspired creation, and what was it that inspired you to create it?
Are we counting the countless paper fortune tellers I created in elementary school? Those were fun. The first metaphysical inspired creation I developed is my oracle deck, Coastal Curiosities. Prior to that, I had created a small series of paper collage oracle cards that my friends graciously supported me on. I thought I’d eventually make a deck using those paper collage cards by scanning all the collages and producing a final product, but life took another turn.
In November 2020, my pit bull, Sasha, passed away after a tough five months of illness right after her 7th birthday. She was a fighter. She survived cancer at only 1.5 years old. She fought to stay with my husband and me right until the end. This loss was a huge turning point in my emotional, mental, and physical health. I was living on a mattress in the living room for those last 5 months with Sasha. Losing Sasha completely broke me. Caring so intensely for her and then suddenly she’s gone was really hard. As any pet owner knows and understands the pain and devastation that comes along with pet loss.
My grief needed a release. Since I was living and working on the floor of the living room, I started tinkering around making digital collages for myself to keep my mind busy. I didn’t think anything of it. I was just creating to work through the immense pain and sadness. At the time, I never allowed myself to create personal collages digitally. Snobbishly, I didn’t see digital art as “art.” I kept digital collage work to my professional projects as my design and illustration is still very collage in style, but not exactly in the same way I create my paper collage artwork.
When my husband and I moved into our new property, I didn’t have a studio space for my traditional collage art. I’ve worked in small spaces for my collages before, but since we were remodeling the house while living in it, it wasn’t conducive to set-up a spot. So, I continued to create these digital collages for myself and really started to get the itch to make it into a deck, which is what Coastal Curiosities is today.
What theme do you favor or do you find inspires you the most in your creations and why?
Animals and nature heavily inspire and direct my creations. I grew up and have spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. Endless green trees, beautiful flowing rivers, snowy mountains, and of course, gray skies and rain. Animals have also graced these environments as well as my interests and hobbies.
My sense of style for art, fashion, and design also mixes in with my inspiration of animals and nature. The natural process of mixing and matching in collage lends itself to incorporate all my loves into an artform. I’m a huge fan of thrifting and fashion, so a lot of mundane objects or scenes are used in my artwork as well.
Do you research or spend any amount of time planning before you start working on a piece, or do you just let it flow following more of your intuitive process?
When working on a new piece, I have learned that allowing the flow of an intuitive process works best for me. Usually a piece of paper (or a digital image) will inspire me and makes me think, “this would be cool to do something with.” Then I go from there finding pieces that fit well together. Since I’ve been working with collage and design for over a decade, I have an established style “sandbox” that I play in. I try new techniques and executions, but there's always the stylistic element of clean compositions, bold imagery, and graphic elements.
Sometimes when I’m researching or learning something new that is not related to art or creativity, but some of that new information will inspire me. Maybe it inspires me to add a certain piece to a collage, or maybe it makes me think of how to communicate a concept in a different way. I’m really loose in my inspiration and creativity and allow the most mundane things to guide me.
Some artists or creators work best during certain times of the day or evening, do you have a preference or notice any difference when it comes to your inspiration?
Funnily enough, I am not a morning person; however, I work best first thing in the morning. There isn’t any daytime stress or tiredness weighing down my mind. I can sit down with my coffee, start creating, and focus on having fun making art. It is the most relaxing way to start the day!
As the day wears on and I'm juggling life and work responsibilities, I find that I make less progress and have way less brain power for creativity when I try to create mid-day or in the evening. It feels like wasted time because I'm not in the right mindset to be imaginative. Creativity and imagination takes mental energy, so I have to honor that the best I can when possible.
Do you follow astrological activity or even just simply lunar signs and phases for your creative process?
I keep very loose tabs on my cycle and lunar phases, so I understand when certain feelings and lack of motivation flares up. I allow my body to work through that and if I feel like diving into a creative process then I do so, but I don’t force anything if I’m feeling mentally drained or physically tired because I end up feeling more exhausted and less productive had I just rested through that period of time. Of course, there’s deadlines and some things you can’t always work out to be the perfect “I feel good” schedule.
I would really love to learn more about astrology in general. It is so intriguing, and I love all the connections that can be made from astrology. One day I’ll dive into it with a deeper intention for learning. But for now, I enjoy seeing and reading what pops up here and there on the internet for me.
Do you have any special energy or spiritual practices that you do before, during, or after your creative sessions?
Nothing more than a few simple deep breaths to clear my mind and set my intention when I sit down. Some sessions there’s candle lighting, music, pulling cards, etc. etc., but mostly I follow my intuition and do what feels right in the moment. And at the time. And in what mood. Those life variables affect what I end doing, so there’s a range of what I engage in before my creative sessions. The most important aspect is being present while creating with what you’re creating.
Do you feel a greater connection to the Universe, Spirit, God, All, etc. through being a creator or artist?
Being an artist connects me deepest to the universe, spirit, and God. As an artist I am free to allow my imagination and creativity to run wild. Creating art for the sake of creating art. No purpose in the end except for it to be art, and for that art to heal and ground me in the process. Creating truly on intuition, instinct, and experience and leaving the rest behind. This is what connects me to something bigger—the act of letting go and creating.
What is your favorite creation or piece to date and why?
My favorite creations to date are definitely both of my decks, Coastal Curiosities and Peculiar Pathways. When I’m creating, I put my entire heart, soul, and mind into the art to produce the best version of the piece that I possibly can. I can’t see not having a deck I create as my favorite creation! I have to truly love every piece before putting it out into the world. I want to feel that excitement when I look at it.
When I work with collage traditionally, I mostly work within a numbered series. I like to push that concept out to its maximum potential and then move on to something else. Creating decks lends itself really well to that workflow and execution. Consuming artwork and feeling inspired by this small world of magic is what I love the most about creating (and collecting) decks.
What advice would you give to those that say that they are not creative or artistic, and it’s just not in their capabilities?
Creativity is absolutely within you! It is within everyone. Creativity is like a muscle. You have to learn, practice, and hone it. And creativity isn’t just making art. It is about using your imagination and creating something that didn’t exist before. Maybe that something is a repurposed piece of furniture, maybe it is gardening, maybe it is organizing a closet, maybe it is painting your nails… I see creativity as something as simple as there’s a task/challenge/desire and you set out to tackle it. Just because “you can’t draw” does not mean you aren’t capable of being creative. Creativity is a mindset.
What do you like most about being a creator in the spiritual or metaphysical community?
Individuals connecting with my artwork is what I like most about the spiritual and metaphysical community. I’ve always been fond of helping others (and animals) since I was a child. Somehow I’ve stumbled upon the perfect mix of art, connection, and inspiration. Creating decks hits all of my passion points. The conversations that spark up over artwork in decks is so cool. I haven’t been involved in an online community that was invested in art in this way before. It is really great getting to know so many different individuals I would have never crossed paths before. For me, it is all about the art and connection in the community.
What do you hope your work will bring to the world as a whole, particularly those in the spiritual community or on a personal spiritual journey?
Hope. Inspiration. Connection. I want my work to bring comfort, a new perspective or understanding, a reason to feel motivated… The fact that others can connect with my artwork on an emotional and spiritual level is a really special way to experience as an artist, and it means a lot to me.
What is your ultimate personal or professional goal as a creator or artist?
There’s a few ultimate goals I have as an artist and designer. As an artist, the ultimate goal is to be able to create art full-time professionally. I’d love to continue creating decks! I’d also love to get back to creating paper collages in my studio. As a designer, the ultimate goal is to have my collage illustrations used in a full scale advertising campaign for a fashion label. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished in my life so far, and can’t wait to see what else I can do!
Do you have an opinion about the advent of AI art?
I see AI as a tool, and like any tool there’s “good” uses and “bad” uses, and there’s certainly growing pains with that. In terms of using AI for art, I’m not okay with it being trained on materials that aren’t in the public domain and/or created specifically for it. Until these programs stop using stolen content, then I’m not interested.
However, there’s cool images AI can produce. Incorporating AI into your art and creative process ethically could be an avenue for individuals to explore. But AI is a machine, and not a human. Our human minds, our human hearts, and our spirit is what forms and creates artwork. AI can output only to a certain extent. Will every piece of “art” coming from AI look the same? Probably. Where’s the passion, the lived experiences, the imagination?
I spent a couple weeks playing around with Midjourney outputting cute illustrations of dogs in a vintage style that I could never draw myself, but still enjoy the aesthetics of. After I had a set amount of curated images, I printed a mini oracle deck with them, but the thing is… When I hold and look at the deck, I don’t FEEL anything from the artwork. I didn’t do anything to the illustrations besides go through a ton of inputs to see what I could get. It felt like a mindless process, and I didn’t have any of MY creativity into it. Now maybe if I started clipping pieces of each illustration and collaging them together, then I could give it more of my own heart, soul, and mind... but this style of "tool" doesn't fit in my creative process.
If people want to work with AI to create art, then they have the power to do so. I don’t approach AI art like some personal beef. It just isn’t for me at the current time and place it is at.
Want to connect with Lennox and follow her work?
A HUGE thank you to Lennox for taking the time out of her busy schedule to share her creative wisdom with us!
Copyright © 2023 Brandy Rachelle
Uncredited images from my personal collection or stock images