ARTWORK BY MANUELA BOSCO
My road to becoming an artist isn’t the most traditional one. If I make it quite short, it went like this...
I was born in a very sporty family and became an Olympic-level athlete, a 100 meter hurdler, at a very young age. I competed in the Olympics of Sydney in 2000. I was 18. In the beginning of the millennium many transformative things happened, and the strongest one was the loss of my father, who also was my coach. The death of my father opened my heart and accelerated a very strong awakening in 2004. I started to look for the secret of this essence. The reason to live.
It surely did hit me like nothing before. Things started to change - first internally, then externally - and they truly changed.
Since I started to look inwards instead of at the outside, material world, I began to grow, slowly transforming everything that I thought I was and had been. In 2006 I moved to Rome to study acting. In four years I became an actress and already felt like another person. My artistically oriented soul was dancing, because it had awakened, and I was listening to it with my whole life, and all its choices. I went to London for a year before I moved back to Finland in 2010. I became an entrepreneur, writing my first autobiographical book (Ylitys, Teos 2012) and doing acting work (in theater, tv-series and films). This time was not very easy - but easy never is the channel to growth, like the wise souls say. I was struggling for many reasons, mainly because I felt that I wasn’t satisfied professionally. I needed more. I longed after creating every day and wanted to live abundantly by doing what I loved passionately. And in 2013 I simply asked for it.
From the bottom of my heart, I asked for the creative work I was meant to do in this life with these criterias: I want to bring beauty, joy, harmony and empower people with my creative work - and I want to make a great living by doing this work, being able to do it whenever I want, wherever I want. I was ready to receive. And then painting came.
I was pregnant with my first child (I have three children nowadays) and started to feel that I should begin to paint systematically. I had been painting my whole life, but at some point I thought that it was a train that already went. But painting never left me even when I left it. It always came in at the lonely moments to whisper something interesting, and once again I was there with my colors and pencils - and I loved it. But the breaking point to re-member and re-honor the Artist in me arrived, and it came in a very clear way. I started to feel that colors were coming out from my hands. There were so many strong feelings and significant signs that I went through, preparing me for the artistry as a painter. I was challenged to take these visions seriously and appreciate myself enough to take these “asked” steps. After I let go of all kinds of doubts and decided to do it, things started to flow, like in a domino…
I began painting in a small ateljé next to my home and I absolutely LOVED it. What was even more miraculous was that my pieces started to interest people and I practically sold everything that I made. Commissions and exhibitions continued to follow and this boosted my courage and made me feel that I had heard right and was following the road of my soul. Now it's been seven years of full-time painting. I have had six studios and have painted about 1500-1600 big pieces in these years. And have practically sold everything I have made. And this is a miracle and the magic in the same box.
When I paint I jump into it with all my energy. I am not able to paint if I don’t feel the intense energy and emotion. For me paintings are (always) self-portraits, even though I do not paint traditional portraits of myself. What I mean, is that I transmit the energy in my mind to the canvas.
The energy I carry takes form in colors and shapes. This is why painting is mainly self-work. A very lonely work. Thinking, studying and transforming yourself, your energy, transforms the painting.
Putting the colors on the canvas is the smallest part of the creative process - as strange as it sounds. But for me that is the truth. I am working all the time - because everything - my whole life - becomes inspiration for my work. The Source itself comes from somewhere and cannot be “done” by me. I know and always feel that this whole painting thing - my profession and my passion - is given to me as a HUGE enormous Gift from Life.
This Brilliant Stunning Gift is so precious and I want to use it well and make the best of it by doing it as devotionally as I can. Because there is a very good reason why it is there. This reason is the reason for love - this reason is sharing love. At the core of my soul I just want to share beauty, strength and harmony with the world.
I want to create so that people can be inspired and empowered by these pieces, and these feelings can then grow and empower more people and spaces. Every single day. This is my dream - and my reality. Creating art, paint life-pulsing pieces for people’s homes and public places, where they can affect and bring conscious and unconscious power and light.
I have Academical Degrees in Performing Arts and Art Education from University of Jyväskylä and Accademia Europea D’Arte Drammatica, but I think that art is something that you cannot find in schools or books - technique is another thing - but only by accepting, daring and surrendering to the “call” you might feel inside. This is what happened to me.
And here I am. After seven years of full-time painting I feel so deeply grateful and blessed every single day for this work.
Every single time a person feels touched from my art I feel something I am not able to describe. It is one of the most meaningful parts of my work. To be able to touch someone emotionally, spiritually and physiologically. To be able to bring more freedom, creativity and empowerment. Courage and inspiration for a more relaxed, soulful and meaningful life.
I feel so gratefully attached to the source when I paint in my Helsinki roof-top ateljé and in our arthouse in Inkeroinen, on the river of Kymijoki.
I deeply hope to transmit this beauty into my art.