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 was first introduced to Anna’s work at The International Divination Event in 2023 where I was a speaker and she was a vendor. My best friend Jennifer bought me a print of Anna’s titled “Stone Circle”, and despite my being rather picky when it comes to artwork, I was absolutely blown away by the piece and the artist’s clearly Divine inspiration. I don’t even known if Jennifer read the meaning of the piece or if it was the rose at center mass that pulled her in (she knows I love roses and the significance of their symbolism), but the piece spoke to me in ways I don’t think she understood. Unfortunately I did not have the pleasure of meeting Anna while at the event, but our paths crossed shortly thereafter when she posted a photo of her new piece “Fermentation” and Jennifer tagged me in it. Once again I was completely blown away by Anna’s creativity and ability to draw down the Light into incredible art. In the social post Anna’s said she had been listening to our Grape episode of Keepin It Symbol while creating the piece which made it that much more special. Fermentation sealed the deal, I knew I had to have Anna featured here for you on Divinely Inspired.
Anna Bousquet of Anna’s Breath Art Short Bio
I am a watercolor artist with a passion for the Hermetic Arts. My work is steeped in ritual and focuses on astrology, alchemy, and magick. I paint with the symbolic language of the collective unconscious. My aim is to bring this symbolic language forward into our homes and onto our altars to take us on a beautiful journey of integration, self discovery and empowerment. I live in the magick filled city of Eugene, OR with my beautiful step children, husband and sweet kitty, Basil.
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?
I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember, but even in my early youth, I can safely say that every image that has come out of me served some kind of spiritual purpose. It all came from a longing for a sense of “home” or communion... Around 13, I began finding safety and endless inspiration being with the spirit of certain landscapes and trees, finding that feeling of home in the natural world. I would mainly draw these special spaces and beings from my own wild inner sanctuary, often weaving human figures into the scene. As these figures become one with the landscape, I lived vicariously through them. It wasn’t until I started taking art classes inside and outside of school that I was prompted to create art that had zero spiritual significance to me. At this point, the magick that I had always felt while drawing or painting began to fade, naturally. From there, I began exploring other areas of life that I was beginning to feel really passionate about, like Permaculture and environmental activism.
What was your first spiritual or metaphysical inspired creation, and what was it that inspired you to create it?
Though all of my work served some kind of spiritual purpose, it wasn’t until I intentionally began journeying into witchcraft that my work developed an obvious magickal quality. At that time, I was doing random commission pieces and making a lot of art with my step daughter Terra. I put my own artistic work aside, believing that I was going to be going down a very different line of work. However, that passion and inspiration to create art that was solely meaningful to me came back in a very powerful way alongside my journey into witchcraft. I started a nightly ritual of painting just for myself again...The first of about a 100 piece watercolor sketch series featured a woman kneeling at her altar, surrounded by candles, bowls of water, crystals, and a record player emanating music. It was then that I realized how much I loved drawing the feeling of being in ritual, and how I could portray that feeling with symbols. I suddenly wasn’t limited to portraying that feeling through communing with the natural world, the only outlet that I had ever identified with being in ritual space before.
What theme do you favor or do you find inspires you the most in your creations and why?
I absolutely love working with the celestial archetypes and influences. I already had such a strong foundational love relationship with the earth, but when I started studying astrology, I developed an equally powerful relationship with the heavens above. Naturally, this new found sense of home and communion with the stars began seeping into my art work. Astrology opened me up to seeing the world through a mythopoeic lens, where everything is a symbol speaking to us on multiple levels. The law of correspondence began to color my world with meaning and resonance in a way I had never experienced before. It allowed me to begin living my life as if it was a richly symbolic dream, holding divine messages and guiding me through synchronicity. It was through the law of correspondence that I began journeying into Alchemy, Goddess and Archangel work. The divine essence of the mandala also plays a very important role in most of my work. I find it to be the perfect outline for the kind of work that I do, because it is a symbol in itself. It is a symbol of wholeness, of the Self. In this way, one could perceive my body of work as a study of the Self; home to a vast variety of archetypes.
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?
It completely depends on the piece. All of my work involves entering a trance state at some point in the process. However, with some pieces I am struck with an inspired flow that almost feels like something else is animating my hand and simply knows exactly what needs to go where. These are pieces that are much less informed by my conscious self, and might be completed in one sitting! There is so much magick in that flow... And yet, the pieces I am most proud of are those which took time, experience and considerable forethought to develop. I enjoy stacking symbolism and correspondences to portray a particular energy or entity. I do this through both researching traditional correspondences, or intuiting them from my personal experience. By attuning to the qualities of those correspondences, I gain so much insight and understanding into the nature of the subject I am painting. I’ll also add that my lived experience never fails to synchronize to the subject of the piece I’m working on. This is partly what gives rise to the talismanic function of my work. Through the creation process of each individual painting, I am gifted with a unique education that I couldn’t have had access to otherwise. I absolutely love weaving what I’m experiencing into the piece.
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?
I work at all times of day, whenever the inspiration strikes. Often if I’m in the flow, time ceases to exist and I’ll find myself painting much of the day and into the night. I love that trance state so very much. But I am also consciously trying to listen to my body’s messages earlier on these days so that I’m not crossing my own boundaries. This means stopping work by midnight, even if I am in that flow state and it almost feels painful to stop! I will say that when the Sun goes down, something shifts in the creative process. Perhaps it is because we are closer to the unseen realms, or that the unconscious processes are more dominant when approaching the dream state... Whatever it is, I’ve noticed a pattern where that flow state happens much more readily, and things start coming together with minimal effort.
Do you follow astrological activity or even just simply lunar signs and phases for your creative process?
I certainly do! First, most of my work is based off of astrological archetypes. I create these pieces to be used on the altar for astrological magick and to simply work with the archetypes individually. I often paint these images when the influence I’m focused on is gracing the sky in some way. This could be when a planet is transiting their sign of ruler ship, exaltation, or making a beautiful aspect. But I also will paint them when I am working with a specific celestial archetype for personal reasons. If I am personally working with an archetype that is simultaneously having an influential presence on a collective level, the talismanic quality of the piece becomes extra potent!
Do you have any special energy or spiritual practices that you do before, during, or after your creative sessions?
Some pieces desire more conscious intention than others. With these, I go to my favorite forest and invoke the spirit of whatever it is I am illustrating. I always begin by calling in the four elements, and then I focus in on the corresponding element of the energy I am working with. From there, something clicks, and I get my creative muscles moving with a spontaneous, stream of consciousness channeling… I let it all flow, no judgment. Even if what is coming out seems completely irrelevant. At some point I break through whatever blockage that had kept me in the dark about the subject. That little piece of information that I channel, or that symbol which gets implanted in my psyche, acts like a key, unlocking the greater picture. This practice never fails to produce an image in my mind’s eye. When I return to the studio, often times I’ll light a ritual candle and surround my desk with corresponding crystals or herbs to enhance the energetic quality that I am translating into that image. I’ve always loved listening to music while painting too. Sometimes I’ll enjoy a good podcast, particularly if the subject is relevant to the piece I’m working on. Taking regular breaks to dance, stretch on my yoga mat before my altar, and taking walks around my neighborhood keeps the inspiration and energy flowing. Surrendering to my body’s needs while in that creative flow state is something that I am continuously working on.
Do you feel a greater connection to the universe, spirit, God, all, etc. through being a creator or artist?
Most definitely, and this is my favorite part... Like with any practice that stems from the creative spirit, my ego dissolves entirely while I’m creating. I am closest to my divinity when I enter that zone and I often forget that I am a human being with human limitations. Simultaneously, being an artist is incredibly humbling, particularly when a piece is “complete”. Being a watercolor artist, there is only so much that I can control, which keeps me humble. As an artist in general, there is a continuous need to accept what you’ve created. Because rich symbols are the most important component of my work, and knowing that the psyche speaks in symbols, I often feel like my work is communicating to people on such a deep level that it can’t help but influence their subconscious minds. That kind of power is something I take very seriously as an artist.
What is your favorite creation or piece to date and why?
My favorite piece that I’ve created is called “The Poison Path of Hermogenes”. This piece illustrates how we have the capacity to transform poison into medicine through integration, a philosophy that embodies the heart of my work and my being. This piece is about integrating the dual aspects of our nature, that which takes poison and that which desires healing, through the alchemical process. It serves to remind us that we all have the capability of turning the lead laden materials of our lives and psyches into metaphorical gold. This is illustrated by the red Ouroboros, symbolizing the Rubedo phase of alchemy. The Ouroboros unites the above with the below, the seen and the unseen, life and death, through the process of transformation. I also utilized the symbol of Queen Anne’s Lace, who notoriously roots herself in deteriorated, often toxic grounds, to deliver her medicine above.
What advice would you give to those that say that they are not creative or artistic, and it’s just not in their capabilities?
I would tell them that if they believe that, it’s likely that their creative gifts have been suppressed. There are so many reasons why that happens so often. The most dominant of which I would say is that we live in a culture that covers up the threat that the artist poses with the idea that artists are rarely, if ever, “successful.” Where do you think the “starving artist” concept came from? What a brilliant visual to implant in the minds of our youth to take their power away as early as possible! The truth is, artists catalyze connection, and the dominant culture fears that above all else. This is why we need artists showing up now more than ever. I would encourage anyone who doesn’t see themselves as an artist to simply ask themselves what makes them feel connected to their divinity and highest Self? What practices dissolve their ego? Whatever it is, practice it. Ritualize it. I think that we get really caught up in perfectionism when it comes to creating, which misses the point entirely. The process is where the power resides for the artist. The end result is where the opportunity for others to connect to their own divinity through powerful art lies. Whether it is through writing, cooking, dancing, painting, orchestrating or the millions of other art forms, all of us have a creative spirit, each of which have a unique message to convey.
What do you like most about being a creator in the spiritual or metaphysical community?
I absolutely love being able to connect with other magickal folks through my passions. In the past, when it came to expressing my truth or giving voice to what I felt deeply moved by, I found myself holding so much back for fear of being rejected or even exiled. This community thrives off of those exiled parts of ourselves, because it is a community that has it’s roots
in the healing arts, and equally if not more so, in psychology, whether our magickal ancestors called it that or not. Nothing lights me up more than connecting with others who are going through a conscious journey of self awareness and self discovery. When I get to witness people turning to the power of art to help them understand these parts of themselves more vividly, or to unlock parts of themselves that they’d never experienced before; those are the moments that bring me to my knees in gratitude that I followed the call to do this sacred work.
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?
As a collective, we are coming into a Hermetic renaissance, where magick, astrology and alchemy are rising and empowering us in deeply transformative ways. That kind of transformation only manifests through a deep journey of self discovery. This is a process which always begins within the psyche and soma, both of which speak in the language of symbols and metaphor. As an artist, my goal is to be a part of that Hermetic renaissance. I desire to awaken more and more people to their innate magickal power through the art of tapping into that ancient knowing within.
What is your ultimate personal or professional goal as a creator or artist?
I desire to contribute to an inner and outer paradigm shift. All I could ever hope to accomplish through my work, is to create a pathway of connection between the practitioner and their subconscious so that they may overcome blockages, dissolve limiting beliefs and over throw outdated programs which have kept them small and fearful. I whole heartedly believe that this can be done by intentionally using symbols which foster the shifts one wishes to see within themselves first. As within, so without.
Do you have an opinion about the advent of AI art?
As I stated earlier, the true function of art is to create connection and to unify people around a stroke of creative genius. From what I am witnessing, AI art has divided people in more ways than one. Obviously in the way that some people are more than happy to utilize it while others are passionately against it. But even more than that, I see it as just another tool to discourage people from tapping into their divinity through the exquisite portal that is the creative process. This kind of artificial intelligence strips the creative power from the people, attempting to make artists irrelevant and unnecessary. I don’t believe that masterful work gets created by taking shortcuts. And I don’t believe that anyone with an inspired vision can’t gather the resources needed to support real artists to fulfill that vision with them. To me, it all comes down to soulfulness. Something that doesn’t have soul, in my opinion, is not something that is beautiful, transcendent, or transformative.
Is there anything you are working on or have coming up that you would like to share?
I am nearly complete with a 7 piece series focusing on the alchemical process, which I began last year during my own journey of inner alchemy. This series was born from a dream to create and publish an altar card set on Alchemy, and I’m still feeling into that possibility… The 1st edition of my hit astro-magick altar card set, “Celestial Influence” is about to sell out! With that, I’m exploring creating a second edition, either through a publishing company, or possibly self publishing it again. I can’t wait to re-imagine all that this beautiful set can be, while keeping the soul of the project intact. I am launching a class in September called, “Celestial Archetypes; Crafting Myth, Symbol and Ritual to Follow Your Sacred Will”. This offering is all about unlocking the hidden parts of ourselves which are so often tied to our ability to fulfill and share our sacred work with the world. This class, which is very much tied to the Celestial Influence Altar Card Set, offers a divine approach to integrating those parts so that we may reach our highest potential. I will be vending my altar art at the Northwest Tarot Symposium again this year and can’t wait to see you all there!
Want to connect with Anna and follow her work?
You can find and follow her as @annasbreath on Instagram and @anna.briggs.549 on Facebook. Don’t forget to checkout her amazing card set, talismanic altar art prints, planetary ritual magick kits, and so much more at AnnasBreath.art; you can even reach her via email at Anna@annasbreath.art
A HUGE thank you to Anna 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