Meet Janelle Gurchinoff... The Artist Behind Spirit Cat.
Art has always been in my life in one form or another. As a little girl I loved expressing myself creatively. You name it, I did it. I loved playing instruments, dancing, gymnastics, sewing, drawing and painting. As I got older, my interest in art led me to art school, which led to working as a graphic designer for 20+ years.
While experiencing chronic health issues, I started searching... hard core searching for meaning, answers, guidance and for a connection bigger than myself. For many years I felt drawn to Shamanism and finally had the courage to answer the call and start my healing journey back to myself. It’s been really freakin challenging and painful at times and truly magical other times. I’ve learned so much about myself in the process. It’s taken me years to figure out that I’m a sensitive soul or an empath and it took me even longer to truly accept it. I now know what feeds my soul and what doesn’t and started to understand how important creative freedom is for sensitive souls and how desperately my soul craved that freedom.
Between feeling burned out in my career and inspired to serve in some way, I naively jumped in head first and started my art business, which was exciting and terrifying!! Since then, I’ve learned a ton, made some great progress and also failed at things and stumbled. And each time I’ve grown and learned more about myself. I’ve learned that starting a business that represents me and my creativity is a healing journey in itself. It brings up fears and limiting beliefs I didn’t even know I had. It challenges me to look at myself and heal myself pushing me to be brave and move forward.
My spiritual journey has really helped my heart to awaken and gives me so much inspiration especially around spiritual connection and all the magic that it brings. I’m really drawn to our indigenous ancestors and their wisdom, our connection to nature and animals, and messages from Spirit that come in many forms like feathers and hearts. You’ll find hearts on many of my pieces as well as hidden messages of love. You can read about the significance of the photos of heart-shaped stones here in my blog post. I kind of sum up my work with the term “Art for a new consciousness”. For me this reflects the shifts and awakening that our collective consciousness is experiencing and the great potential that we all have to grow and heal. I believe we are all being called to remember our true nature and our oneness with each other and with all life. If I can contribute to that change through spreading messages of love and peace, that is a huge blessing and I’m so grateful.
My work is a combination of acrylic and watercolor painting, digital illustration and design. I really crave variety, so I find working with multiple mediums is perfect for me. It keeps things interesting and I feel more inspired. Whether I’m creating an abstract painting and just feeling happy and moved by the colors and shapes or an illustration that has deeper meaning that needs to come out into the world. For me it’s about honoring how I’m feeling and going with it, and just staying true to myself and my expression. I’ve learned that art is about being courageous and vulnerable and believing in myself enough to share who I am with the world.
I've had the pleasure of meeting some of my customers in person and hearing how my art has affected them. It's so amazing to hear and just fills me up. Here are some beautiful examples...
- A high school teacher bought a few of my prints to hang in her classroom so students can be inspired by and learn from the messages. Wowzers, how powerful is that?!!
- A couple visiting from New Zealand were drawn to my paintings of Native Americans and their wisdom because it so closely resembled their indigenous culture.
- A guy who became more aware after being in a profession that was damaging to our planet, bought one my prints that spoke to caring for our Earth.
- A young woman asked if she could give me a hug after looking at one of my prints that moved her so much.
- A mother and her young daughter bought one of my prints that speaks to not judging others based on their appearance. The little girl was very drawn to it and the meaning behind it, feeling the same way about kids in her class.
All heart-warming experiences that I’m so grateful to have had!