I have been inspired by Gina Gaetz since the moment I met her. A true artist who slowly, mindfully interacts with her world with kindness, passion and generosity. We met in yoga teacher training, she was my “Omie”, she actually helped me get my first yoga teaching job! She has always been such a big supportive friend to me and cheered me on when I needed it most.
This inspired interview was done earlier this year, and since the pandemic Gina Gaetz has been actively serving her community with accessible, fun and life giving virtual art classes on her Instagram. This has been one of the activities I am currently doing that brings a smile to my face. My son Noah (2) has even joined in! Look out of these classes on her Instagram account @gina.gaetz.art. I hope you feel as inspired by her as I do and get in on these healing, grounding and fun art classes! Love her work but don’t see your painting in her inventory? Commission art is an option too.
How would you describe what you “do” as an artist?
I am an artist currently using acrylic paints and inks on canvas to express my work. I have a long process of layering watery pigments to create dynamic and fluid pieces that live under the theme of being present and in flow state.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am inspired by landscape and the elements, specific colors that resonate with me, connection between myself and the space I am in, and ideas from my yoga and breath practice to express myself through my work. I use my work to uncover layers, digging into the physical and mental practice of creating, problem solving, and developing ideas.
What does a day look like for you?
I fit in about 5-10 hours a week in the art studio on top of my full-time job managing a yoga studio. Sometimes its in the morning, sometimes after work until the sun goes down. I feel equally inspired during both times of day, and since my studio time is limited and precious, I feel motivated when I am there. I get to work adding new layers to the many pieces I work on at a time. My typical routine goes like this: Wake up around 8:30am and have my coffee and breakfast. I like this time to slow down, write in my gratitude journal, and check on any correspondence from yoga or art that needs my attention. I go to the yoga studio from 10am-6pm and then head to the art studio after that for a few hours of work time.
How would you describe “creativity”? Do you find that it comes naturally to you? Or do you have a practice or rhythm you follow to encourage creative energy?
I have always felt very creative (voted “best artist” in my eighth-grade yearbook!) and am an ideas person. I love brainstorming collaborations, project ideas, and ways to do things differently. However, I’ve had periods of time, especially right after art school, when I was not inspired to create daily. Now that I am in a rhythm of painting, I can’t imagine not! It makes me feel alive and the most like myself. It increases my happiness, sense of balance, and self-confidence, just as exercise, meditation, and eating healthy do. I believe that everyone has room to flex the muscle of creativity. It’s a practice and something to commit over and over to find your groove. Maybe creativity for you doesn’t exist in an art studio, but in movement, in the kitchen, in your garden, or in planning events. Find a place where you can express yourself, problem solve, and expand your awareness- that is being creative!
What do you want someone to feel when they see your artwork?
When someone sees my work, my hope is that they feel connected in some way. Whether that be to themselves, a memory, a place, etc. My work gives viewers an opportunity to look closer, see detail, and appreciate the intricacies and layers that form. This opens the doors to experience exploration, fluidity, gratitude, and stillness.
What is your favorite quote or mantra you love right now?
My mantra for 2019 has been “I am unattached to the things I cannot control.” It has helped me a lot in moving past small and large challenges, especially when comparing myself to other artists or people. I create my own reality, and I get to be my authentic self.
When you’re not painting, where can we find you?
Mostly at Corepower Yoga Northeast! I manage the studio and teach 4 classes a week. Come yoga with me! I also make jewelry for Lalunette Jewelry, a business that I co-own with my friend Rose. You can find us at all sorts of pop-ups in the summer and near the holiday season. Either way, I’m always in Northeast Minneapolis hanging out somewhere.
What advice would you give to the younger version of yourself or an artist just starting out?
At the end of the day, do what fuels your soul. Put yourself out there and be yourself. Do what feels authentic to you. Stay rooted in why you do what you do. Keep exploring and creating, it will make you feel good on dark days. Find a community of artists/friends that will uplift you and support your work.
How can we find your work or get involved?
The easiest way to contact me and see my most recent pieces, images and videos of my process is through my Instagram: gina.gaetz.art I also have images on my website! ginagaetz.com I love connecting with other artists, art lovers, and community members to chat about art. I also work out of my art studio in the Casket Arts Building. I hope to see or hear from you soon!