Updated: Jul 23, 2022
I started the month wrapping up event posters for the Fire Flies Forest festival series. This community gets credit for bringing me and my pArtner, Ocean Man, together one year ago. I had recently moved back from Los Angeles to my home state of Florida, and was beyond excited to connect with these wild Miami hippies. I’m grateful for their patronage and excited to contribute my art to their beautiful, transformational festivals.
Fire Flies Forest - Beltane
April 29 - May 1, 2022
Use promo code MOCEAN222 for 5% off
Their next fest is Beltane, the Celtic celebration of Spring. I'm very into my own Celtic roots, so working on this poster was fun. The third week of March brought one of my favorite holidays, St Patrick’s Day. I’m not exactly a fan of St. Patrick, as he and the other missionaries did a thorough job of dismantling Celtic Pagan beliefs to violently replace them with Christianity. These Crusaders drove the Druids away from Ireland. The Druids were high priests and priestesses of nature, long forgotten because their history was never written down. Thankfully there’s been a resurgence of people reclaiming and following the Druid path, making it up as they go along to the best of their knowledge.
Each St Patrick’s Day, I honor my ancestors by playing Irish music. I remember my Irish grandfather and all the lessons he taught me… the colorful stories he told me at breakfast every morning. Something beautiful I discovered while looking into my ancestry is that if I go back far enough, both sides of my family can be traced back to the Celt-Iberian people. They shared gods, goddesses, and rituals. Here are two pieces I painted after my trip to Spain in 2014, during which I visited Galicia, where my mother’s family is from. I learned about the rituals that were held in the Nemetons, groves of oak trees aligned in a ring, where the druids practiced their magic
Full Moon in Virgo
On March 18th, the full moon passed through the sign of Virgo. Virgo is a grounding earth sign. This sign is represented by the Virgin for its pure and discriminating nature. Observant Virgo is quick to notice flaws and fix them, helping others reach their highest potential. On the flip side, Virgo's perfectionism can sometimes be negative and overly critical.
As the moon fills and causes tides on earth to rise, the water and emotions in our bodies also feel the pull of its gravity. We can use the energy of the full moon to reflect on what’s been filling us up, and what we are ready to release. Virgo energy prioritizes routine, structure, and practicality. How can we balance this energy with honoring our intuition, being more accepting of others and ourselves, and still hold space for fluidity within our structures? This was the last full moon of the zodiac year as we reached the Spring Equinox on March 20th. It’s time for the seeds we planted in winter to break through the dark soil and bloom. Loosen up and allow for magic to work its way into your plans.
Let Go and Let Flow
I’m always reminded by these moon drawings to let go and let flow. There have been periods of my life where I held to tightly to structure; I felt as if every minute of the day should be accounted for. While I still love to plan as a way to accomplish my goals, learning to let go and allow for more magic has been such a blessing. I experience more laughter and ease now, and I trust the timing of the the universe. I know that divine forces are supporting me on my path.
I trust these forces especially when my bank account is thirsty! This artist path is a winding one, and finding regular income streams can be tricky at times (but totally doable). I find that every time I’m getting tight on funds, the universe will send a client my way. My lovely friend Shelby, an amazing yoga instructor here in south Florida, commissioned me to paint a portrait of her friend as a birthday gift. This was a fun little challenge and I was happy to try portraiture again after a bit of a break. Here is the final piece, along with a process video to give you an idea of the inner workings behind a piece like this. If you’re interested in commissioned artwork of your own, I invite you to fill out a commission inquiry form here.
Miami Music Week 2022
This month’s grand finale was Miami Music Week. Every year in March, the electronic music world converges in Miami for a week-long marathon of over 200 festivals, concerts, conferences, and underground events. Ocean and I started the weekend on Thursday at Lemon City Studios. We live painted while jamming to Stavroz, a Belgian band we’ve been into lately that fuses horns, guitar, keyboard, and electronic rhythms that flow between pensive, haunting, energizing, and extremely danceable. A couple of our fire dancing friends, Meli and Fred, were there performing and dazzling the crowd. They’re amazing at what they do! Follow them on the gram. https://www.instagram.com/fourleafentertainment_/
The next night we ended up at Rapture Festival on Virginia Key. Our friends pulled a few strings to get us in with VIP wristbands, an artist perk I’ve happily gotten used to over the past year. We painted by the ocean, danced and shared our art with friends, and met lots of friendly, wealthy, business-minded Miami hippies. We packed up around 4 am, with the full moon shining bright orange over the water.
On Saturday we put our brushes away and hopped from a boat party in Bayside, west to Wynwood, and north to Factory Town in Hialeah for the Get Lost party. It was a dark, twisted 24-hour electronic circus with very intense energy. They had stages with names like Carnival of Souls and House of Freaks, and a creaky Farris wheel that sounded like it might derail and roll away. DJs from all over the world, clowns, acrobats, and fire dancers kept us entertained until early morning. We fell asleep at dawn, officially nocturnal.
Around 5 pm we rolled out of bed to Oasis, my new favorite Miami venue. A few minutes after setting up our prints and paintings, I found out Duck Sauce was DJing that night! If you know, you know. They had a big hit a few years ago that you probably remember, even if you’re not familiar with them.
The following week in recovery looked like a lot of sleeping, cleaning, working a couple days at my office job to bring in extra cash, and prepping for the next fest: Tipper n Friends. I’ll dedicate a new blog post entirely to that event. I found so much inspiration and reconnected with so many beautiful people, it deserves its own recap. If you’ve come this far, thank you. I write these little adventures just for you. I want to share my magical experiences in the hopes they can inspire you to lead an exciting life that lights up your world.
What I'm listening to
What I'm reading
Just finished this super informative read. I learned a lot about opium, the secret (not so secret) motives behind the “War On Drugs”, what caffeine does to us and how the coffee and tea plant have both revolutionzed and enslaved our societies. The lat chapter is about mescaline, which I have a bit of experience with from a peyote cermeony I attended in 2021. Pollan goes into detail about the Native American Church, his interviews with tribal elders, the history of "the white man's" mescaline use, and the balance between sharing knowledge and taking advantage of cultures who's ways of life are already at risk.
In This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs—opium, caffeine, and mescaline—and throws the fundamental strangeness, and arbitrariness, of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs while consuming (or, in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants. Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings?