The Appalachian Mountains
Black Mountain, North Carolina ~
Instagram: @chelsearaganart | chelsearagan.com
She’s an illustrator, baker, nightgown enthusiast, mother of two and thrift store junkie. She lives a simple life nestled deep in the Appalachian Mountains where she creates colorful handmade paper cut collages depicting nostalgic moments of Americana.
Taking Care of Your Spirit
I try to treat my spirit the way I treat my body. I try to be aware of what goes in and pay attention to its needs. For me, this looks like visualizing the clutter being pushed out and inviting new clean space in my soul throughout the day. Meditative prayer and thanksgiving for my blessings.
Slow Living To Me
I live on the edge of a ridge in the Appalachian mountains that backs up to hundreds of miles of protected national forest. I don’t have a cell phone, a microwave, or heat and air conditioning. I have made conscious choices to create a more peaceful environment for my body and soul. The more static we put in, the more dif cult it is for us to connect to nature, other people and ourselves.
Great Business Advice I've Received
Money will come and money will go. Freedom was found once I realized that money is not a constant.
Books + Authors I Love
Possum Living by Dolly Freed. She shows us her 1970s path to living off the grid with her eccentric father in old suburbia.
Losing Helen by Carol Becker. I was fortunate enough to receive this book from Carol Becker several years ago. I was given the book right before I boarded a plane.
I couldn’t put it down and read the whole book on the night. She talks about levels of loss and how to continue your life.
Mostly True by Bill Daniel. He’s an amazing photographer, filmmaker, teacher and historian. This book catalogs his special love of hobo and freight-riding culture.
Advice For Creatives
It’s okay to make changes and to grow. It’s great to stay “on brand” in the public eye if that matters to you, but don’t be afraid to take risks and do what calls you. One of the rarer things to have these days is the courage to take risks.
Creative Tools I Love
Lately I have really been loving children’s art supplies. Good ol’ tempera classroom paint, construction paper, newsprint and really waxy crayons. Simple supplies can still lead to complex designs.
Great Advice I’ve Received
Create a schedule for creativity. At first I was very resistant to this idea. The thought of scheduling in creativity sounds absurd, but to my surprise it really helps. Just like eating lunch at the same time every day, your body expects it and prepares for it. I found that if I have studio time at the same time every day, my mind naturally gets ready to create.