You come to this place to learn about color, design and how to live a purposeful life as a Creative person. My name is Angelica Hoyos I am an Art Director that loves to talk about color, about how to become better human being and about how to live this life the best way possible without setting aside your passions- the things you love doing.
Here’s to living a life of color and purpose!
Here’s my story in my own words:
The feeling that guides me
I’ve lived my life following a feeling. With little rationalization or strategy I have made all of
my decisions based on this feeling.
When you are 6 years old you believe in magic
Yes, a feeling. I can trace back the first time I felt the feeling. I was about 6 years old, my
mom took me to the most magical—beautiful place on earth. Nope, not Disney (although
Disney does have a part in my journey, but I’m not there yet). This
place is called “Los Termales De San Juan.” It is located in the south of Colombia, in South
America. This is where I was born Popayan, Colombia, a tiny city where by law all the
buildings and houses must be painted white. You can image how picturesque this is. I
remember seeing white and aqua water bubbling up from the earth, and deep green moss
covering the ground like miniature grass, where I used to imagine tiny people living. I
remember flowers that looked like glowing orange light bulbs.
I remember looking at all this beauty with this feeling. A feeling of wanting to capture all that
visual deliciousness. Touching it wasn’t enough. Neither was looking at it. I even stole some
of those magical glowing orange flowers and placed them in my Winnie the Pooh bookbag,
but of course they soon wilted. That was my first attempt at capturing that feeling.
When you are 10 your magical feeling begins to dissipate
My second attempt was when I was 10. By now, we had moved to Miami, I was new at my
school, I didn’t speak english and I was the only 10 year old in the whole Junior High. Fitting
in was a difficult task and it required a lot of experimentation and observation. I spent most
of my time attempting to fit in and home work or school work was the least of my concerns. I
had to learn english fast so I began to watch english movies and this is when I was
introduced to the movie Thumbelina. The film blew my mind, and that feeling became even
stronger. In desperate need of capturing the feeling, I resorted to prayer. I prayed to god
(not sure what my concept of god was when I was 10 but I believed in prayer) that I could
have a tiny person like Thumbelina. I am not joking, I really did pray, I prayed every
night that I would have a tiny person appear under my pillow or in my pocket. I truly believed
this was possible! But, after a while I forgot about Thumbelina and the magical feeling.
First traumatic event that changes everything
Switching from an all girl Catholic school to South Miami Middle School was traumatizing to
say the least. I was taunted, bullied until one day I stood up for myself, and that same day I
got beat up. Beat up to the point I peed my pants. This was a horrible experience for me.
Everything after that was dark and gloomy, there was no more magic. This experience
jerked the magical feeling out of me, and fear quickly took its place. After that all the magic,
all my courage and all my innocence was forced out me and I walked around like a shy, nice
girl terrified of speaking because I felt like if I spoke up or called the attention of people
something terrible would happen to me. I went on like this quiet and afraid. I numbed myself
so much that my friends in high school began to think I was slow because I wouldn’t speak
much and I had shut myself down from anything that could possibly get me into trouble. My
peers would refer to me as slow-Angelica because every time someone spoke to me I was
so scared that my brain would shut down and the only thing that came out of my mouth was
“what?” in an attempt to understand or prepare myself for what could happen in this
interaction. I assumed they were just calling me this, to poke fun and “friendly”, until a girl
came up to me and said: “ It’s ok your slow my, sister also has a mental disability, I
understand” I was in shock to hear this and as always didn’t say anything to to her.
But I understood that they really did think I had a mental disability. My grades were bad, I
had f’s and 1 A which was in Graphic Arts.
An opportunity to find yourself again
Then came a program called WISE. This program allowed students to create a passion
project. Student who signed up for this program got to explore anything they desired,
ANYTHING. This idea brought me joy and made me feel alive. I began to ask myself; what
do I love doing? and at first the only things that came up were: I love talking on the phone,
watching t.v, hanging out with friends etc etc. But I began to talk to people and inquire within
deeply. I remember talking to people and making a gesture with my hands as I explained
what I was possibly interested in: “I would like to make things with my hands” I would repeat
as I inquired within. I began to make sculptures out of clay and some of my friends were
shocked because they never knew I could do anything! To be honest I was shocked too.
From that moment I felt something change, I felt the magical feeling again and the feeling
was so beautiful that I had to continue to find ways to re-live that feeling. After college I
attempted to work normal jobs and I got hired by one of the worlds largest Advertising
Agencies, but the feeling wasn’t there! I waited a few months to see if it would change, but
nothing. I felt flat, sad and depressed after a few months of being stuck in a building without
creating anything special, anything magical. So I left and the search continued.
Your passion will take you on an unforgettable self-discovery journey
I read every self-help book I could get a hold of. I spent thousands of dollars on self-development
courses. I found mentors, I searched I asked and I created Art, I painted, I
drew I took a photograph daily, I took on self-healing meditation, I mended turned
relationships, had conversations to mend and heal relationships from the past, I changed
my eating habits, found new friends and guess what?
I was able to experience that feeling doing almost everything. I was now creating Art work
people were mesmerized by. “wow” they said when they looked at my photographs. “How
do you do this?” they asked. If I had to answer that question again, my answer would be:
changed my opinion my self. In the midst of this journey I felt the need to get away and visit
nature so I went to visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in California. As I walked
in the middle of these glorious-giant trees I saw an image in my minds eye. The image was
so vivid I had to stop walking. It was a little girl wearing a white robe, she had black hair, her
cheeks were wind-burned and she was being lifted from her heart by a radiant azureous
light. My boyfriend at the time was talking incessantly and I had to stop him so that I could
“see” this image. A little after I saw the image I saw a burned tree and I heard clearly in my
head “ you must listen, or you will too become like them” When I heard “them” I saw an
image of a monster eating and destroying everything without remorse.
I didn’t know what to make of these messages so I wrote them down in form of a “poem” but
it didn’t work as a poem it was just too factual. It was an image, a message, almost as if the
trees were speaking to me. No, I wasn’t consuming any drugs, if that’s what you’re thinking.
I was as sober as I could be.
After this trip I began to write thoughts that didn’t seem like mine at first. Because I had
become a different person. I wasn’t the lost artist, or the shy girl I felt like a messenger. I felt
whole and complete, like I was being used for a higher purpose and my only job was to
listen. Soon I began to write, I never thought of myself as a writer. I wrote about the
environment and spirituality. This felt odd and I felt a bit embarrassed to share these
writings with anybody because it seemed like I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I
never cared about the environment or I never gave it much thought. But these words came
to me so naturally and I cannot begin to explain the feeling I experienced as I wrote. I felt as
if someone was whispering in my ear and touching my heart. I wrote and I cried and cried, it
was the only way I could express the feeling of joy and completeness as I wrote. I began to
post them as blogs and this is when magic began to happen. I began to experience a series
My concern for our destruction of nature grew and I began researching
about everything to do with preserving nature. In this search I found a group of indigenous
people in my homeland – Colombia who had climbed on top of one of the highest mountains
in Colombia to run from the conquistadors and they were never colonized. When I read
about these people, the feeling was present in my body and I had to continue the search, I
had to ask my family and my friends about them. I felt such love for these people and I
needed to go and visit them. At the time I worked as a photo retoucher at large camera
shop in Los Angeles and one afternoon a man arrived with a tiny black and white
photograph in his hand. I was the only one there to help him so I walked up and asked how
I could help. He handed me his photo and to my surprise it was a group of indigenous
people. He told me that he had actually visited them and now they are all losing their native
language and their culture will soon be lost. My heart shrunk, it felt as if this man came to
deliver this message specifically to me. It felt like I was being called to be a witness. However the
synchronisisties and coincidences did not stop here. A few days later my co-worker had
arrived from a trip to South America and she wanted to share some of the photographs she
had taken. She opened her hard drive in my computer and when she opened the fourth
image, I was shocked to see this image. It was an image of a little girl wearing a white robe,
windburned cheeks and black hair. I asked who this girl was and she told me these were the
Kogi, an indigenous tribe. Well this was the tribe I had researched previously, this was the
tribe I had been asking about!
I didn’t need anymore signs, or messages. I got on the phone with my parents and told
them I was going on a trip to the jungles of Colombia to visit an indigenous tribe. Yes, you
can image their reaction. Their 27 year old is going to the jungles of Colombia where there
is a civil conflict between the government and left-wing rebels. I had phone calls from my
aunts, my dad, my brother, friends. All trying to persuade me not to go, but I was sure. I was
100% sure I was going and there was nothing that could stop. I also knew that I couldn’t
wait, I had to take the trip now. Magically I got a gig that gave me money for my plane ticket
and some money to take on my trip. The minute I booked my flight I felt like I had just dove
off head first from a tall cliff into a beautiful pond. It was nerve wrecking but exhilarating at
the same time.
I spent two months traveling through the jungles of Colombia. I witnessed despair in the
indigenous people, I witnessed women desperate to save their home. But I also witnessed a
sense of richness and simplicity I had never witnessed before. These people are beyond
rich, there is no money in the world that could buy what these people have. They had
values, a connection to nature, a sense of respect and reverence towards each-other and
towards nature. A sense of equality that no socialist or communist government could ever
dream of accomplishing. This trip changed me forever and I understood that my work on
earth was not simply to create beautiful Art but to deliver a message through my Art. That
my work was far more important than hanging square pieces of canvas on a white room and
wait for people to buy. I understood that as Artists, our job is to let go of limiting beliefs,
clean our mind from guilt, jealousy, resentment and learn to listen to our hearts. I learned
that our job is to connect to the universal life force and be an instrument of creation on
earth. I understood that our job as Artists is equally as important as that of doctor. That we
have the power to heal and drive humanity forward.
My journey is proof that even if your experiences have proven that you are not smart, or
talented, that you have tremendous amounts of power underneath all of the self-limiting
beliefs you’ve acquired through the years. That you can create breath-taking work even if
your mind says you are not good enough. That you have an important message to deliver
through your Art and it is sitting inside your heart waiting to be discovered. All you have to
do is follow the feeling I speak of, follow what I refer to the Glowing Orange feeling. Follow
your bliss, follow you passion and you will begin to unlock unbelievable amounts of power
and creativity you would have never dreamed of. So my questions to you are; What do you
love doing and are practicing it often?