A wonderful woman, artist, and mother Named Lauren Luquin recently interviewed me for her amazing blog...check her out at this link and read the interview below!
1. Hi, my name is Jen Otey. I am the founder and creator of MOONbow ARTworks. Currently I am living in Southwest Virginia in my hometown. I returned here a year and a half ago after living in Alaska for 10 years.
2. What kinds of art do you do?
For years I painted still life, nude, portrait, and landscaper paintings. While living in New Mexico in 1999 I fell in love with the landscape and the spiritual nature of the work that the artists in my community were creating. Up till that point I felt that my work lacked a feeling… emotional, mental, and spiritual depth. At that time I was also exploring different types of spirituality…I had been learning from and working with medicine people, shamans, and energy healers. My mind, my spirit, my physical body all started to change and to connect with the earth and the sky in ways I did not understand at times and with those changes my art began to evolve and change to help me understand what it was I was feeling, experiencing and longing for. I started painting what was inside myself…surreal at times, abstract at others, and more specifically the sacred feminine that was and is awakening within me...the Feminine face of God and its many aspects and forms.
3. What is your favorite part of being an artist? ...and the most challenging?
My favorite part of being an artist is having the ability to dig deep, pull what needs to come forth and create something that depicts what needs to be seen. I also love it when others resonate with what is created….it is that oneness that excites, exhilarates and inspires me to continue the process of opening to what God/Dess has for me to show myself and to share with others. The most challenging part is that I am unable to do it all the time right now. I am a single mother and not only am I the nurturer and the homemaker but I am also the provider and the protector. Thus, I have a “day job” that requires a lot of my time and energy. But, I am working on changing that. Each day I do a little bit to move closer to accomplishing my dream of being a fulltime mother and artist. I also find that the baby steps keep things at a pace that is manageable and not so overwhelming. In a lot of ways it really is a blessing the way things are gradually and obviously to me, evolving toward my highest good and my ultimate goals as an artist and a Mom.
4. How has your life prepared you and inspired you for this journey as an artist?
Like most folks I was born and raised in a family that had its quirks. But, it is healing that channels the most creativity for me. It is my personal path of healing that has enabled me to discover my gifts that God/Dess has given me. I am so thankful for the abilities and the skills and the path my life has taken from the start up to present…it has put people that have taught me to paint, healers, teachers, family, and friends that support me and enable me to do what I do.
5. What does your creative workspace look and feel like?
At my most creative times…when the juices are flowing full bore it is a huge mess. Currently, I am exploring a brand new space for creativity in my own home. My son and I just purchased our own little house and we have a space right off of the kitchen that is the Mecca of creativity in our home. It is small but, it is allowing for us to do big things with what is going on inside our minds and hearts. My son is a brilliantly creative spark of life who loves to create with and explore material…all different kinds. He is an inspiration to me. Our space has a French easel, a big old farm table, a cork board for hanging sketches, quotes, photos and messages of inspiration, and a bookshelf crammed with books, tools, paint, brushes, tool boxes, sewing materials…you name it and it might just be there.
6. Where do you live, and with whom? ... How does this arrangement affect your lifestyle?
I live in Southwest Virginia in a small town called Wytheville…it is the town I grew up in. I have returned recently after being gone for 15 years. I am healing and rediscovering my roots through the eyes of my inner child and the new eyes of my grown up self that has been and continues to heal and grow. I live with my 4 year old son.
7. What websites do you have, that you’d like us to know about?
I currently have my own website, http://www.moonbowartworks.com from there you can access my Etsy.com site. I also have a blog that I sometimes write in….I am not so good with keeping up with that. Here’s the blog link…. http://moonbowartworks.blogspot.com/ and then there’s my Facebook site. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/MOONbow-ARTworks/108932375589
8. Where do you sell your artworks? / Where can we find it?
I sell my work at my Etsy.com site that can be accessed through my website. I also have work at
Dos Manos in Anchorage, Alaska http://www.dosmanosgallery.com/
Babes in the Woods in Girdwood, Alaska http://www.babesinthewoodsak.com/
Galax City Gallery in Galax, Virginia http://citygallerygalax.com/
Ms. Divine in Black Mountain, NC http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ms-Divine/152624478088533
9. How do you connect spiritually to your art?
My artwork is how I explore what is going on within. I think I touched on that above…so I’ll keep this one short and sweet.
10. What is one thing you’re working on for your personal growth?
I am working on balancing my feminine and masculine energies. This seems to be a lifelong theme for me. I am doing this with my art, meditation, energy healing, and yoga.
11. Tell us about your background before deciding to do what you do now...
I was in architecture school when this type of art became an integral part of my life. I completed the degree and I still practice. It’s my day job. I guess I was always an overachiever and a bookworm. I did not often speak up for myself. I did what was expected of me without question…now I do what I feel is for my highest good. I listen within and allow for God to guide me. I don’t worry so much about what others think I “should” do. I set my own compass with the Divine and I follow it where it leads me. I trust more and my faith is the strongest it’s ever been.
12. Please describe your creative process...
I don’t know if it’s a process more than it’s my life….I eat, sleep, dream (awake and asleep), meditate, pray, it is who I am. Things come all the time. I try to make sure that I have something to write with all the time. Otherwise stuff comes and goes and as quickly as it’s right here with me it’s gone. I write and sketch a lot. The images come to me from Spirit like whispers and I not only can see them…but, feel them. It’s the magic of my life and can’t imagine it not being there. The more I develop my intuition the clearer the visions are and the stronger I feel, hear, see, and experience them.
13. Do you travel? ...where have you been...? ...where are you going?
I love to travel. I’ve been all over the continent of North America including a 4 month stint in Hawaii. I have been to Peru and I miss the Andes almost daily. I can’t wait to take my son there. I am currently planning a trip to England to see and experience the sacred sites around Glastonbury. Now that my son is older I am excited to start taking him out of the country. He’s been all over the U.S. He loves to travel like me and according the astrology book “The Birthday Book,” his day is the day of the wanderer. I look forward to taking him to Nepal and India someday. I want him to see how others live and to understand the abundance that he has in his life that he can share.
14. If you could travel back in time, when and where would you want to visit first?
Wow, this is a tough one….there’s so many places and times I’d go. I would have to mention at least three…one being I would love to meet Jesus in person as he was teaching his disciples in Jerusalem. I would love to see him in the act of healing. Another place I’d go is to Stonehenge when it was originally being used as a sacred site…right after or during construction. The third place I’d go is Machu Picchu during the height of the civilization there. I’d love to see a sacred ceremony held there.
15. What is one thing you’re willing to tell us that most people don’t know about you?
15. What is one thing you’re willing to tell us that most people don’t know about you?
HHHHmmm well that’s a tough one too…I’m an open book most people know most things about me. I guess one thing that I haven’t told a lot of folks about is my desire to help end world hunger. My heart breaks to know there are people in the world starving…families. I would love to find a way to use my art, like Betty LaDuke with Heifer International, to help feed the hungry. I pray about this a lot.
16. Please add anything here that you’d like to add, or let people know...
I am thankful for the time to reflect in this interview. The questions are awesome.