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Meet Sheila Darcey of SketchPoetic in Venice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sheila Darcey.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Art has always been my passion. It was my haven as a child, a means to creatively explore my inner thoughts and emotions. In my youth, I viewed my talent as a gift, and would often share it with others as a way to show my love. As a young adult, art became less of a focus and success in business became the driving force that would propel me forward.

Twenty years later, I hit the pinnacle of my career and striving to find balance in my life when work consumed so much of it. As my role grew, so did the divide between myself and others. The mask of perceived success was suffocating. After some extensive soul-searching, I decided to reignite my true passions and returned to my artist’s roots. This was when SketchPoetic was born.

My initial goal was to commit at least 30 mins each day to daily art practice. I started my Instagram account to track my progress and hold myself accountable. It was also the perfect platform to share my thoughts and musings that inspired my art. It gave me an opportunity to express my voice in a way I’ve never done before. The anonymity of SketchPoetic gave me the freedom to embrace the artist within. What I didn’t expect is how vital this community would be in my growth and transformation.

Within a year, my following grew, and with it, the purpose and mission of my art. It unfolded naturally and eventually deepened my resolve. Through art, I was able to find time to reflect, express emotions, and process past trauma. It allowed me to go inward and give myself the gift of self-love. As someone who prides themselves in taking care of others, it was an important decision to choose myself first. Seeing the benefits of this practice lead me to create collaborative art experiences for others to do the same.

Art is a healthy way to express emotions we may not want to show. It is a tool that bears witness to what you’re feeling without fear or judgment. When you embrace this process, you begin to experience a shift in perspective. You start to connect your inner world to the world reflected around you. Going inwards gives you permission to be whole, and to see yourself in all your technicolor ways.

The intention of my art is to make it accessible to the masses. I want people to connect with the process as much as the outcome, to create without over-thinking, to create without fear, to create without expectations, and to create because its fun. It’s about being in a safe place to quiet the mind and spark the child-like curiosity we sometimes lose in our busy lives.

Ultimately, I hope my art inspires and brings light to the world. We all need more of this in our lives.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road has not always been smooth. It comes with the territory of being a working mom pursuing a passion on the side. As with most endeavors, life can sometimes get in the way. Time limitations, competing priorities, unexpected events… all realities that lead me to creatively solve the how and why it all mattered.

I believe as women, and as moms, we must free ourselves from the guilt associated with putting our needs before others. Each stage of motherhood brings about new challenges. It’s hard enough navigating the waters of being a mom without adding self-judgment or extreme expectations into the mix. Balance isn’t about equal distribution of time and energy, it’s about feeling grounded and connected to one’s self.

The constraints of being a working mom also forced discipline in my practice, patience in the process, and a renewed commitment to the purpose of my work. It also taught me the power of surrender. There are so many unknowns in the path forward. I have no idea where it all leads or what it will look like. All I am certain of is the impact it will make in the lives of others.

One of the most humbling lessons of this journey is learning how much my ego has influenced my life. The behaviors that once served me in the past, no longer serve me today. Today, I focus more on being present and less on making things happen. It has taken a long time to embrace this fully and is an uncomfortable place to be. However, this discomfort has lead to intense growth, and this growth has lead to a much greater good.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Through individual and group art sessions, I share tools and techniques that help people overcome their fear of a blank canvas. It is about letting go of the expectation of what it will look like and focusing more on the process of creation itself. Using the medium of watercolor and ink, I help people tap into their subconscious mind and achieve a state of flow.

The longer term vision of SketchPoetic is to build a platform for artists, creators, practitioners, and experts, who support the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of others. The power of collaboration is an integral part of the way forward and a catalyst to the experiences that have come to life.

Whether it’s hosting a sound bath + creative workshop with Revolution Voice, inking a 3.5ft x 21ft commission for a retail pop-up store with StyleFirmLA, hand painting a custom dress with M | R R O R c/o 6123, creating a unique art + music composition with composer Ronen Landa, collaborating with Venice artist Gary Palmer, or being part of an activation point at SummitLA, each one share the common themes of connection and community.

Part of the beauty of collaboration is learning through the eyes of others. There is incredible power that can be harnessed when the collective work together. Collaborations unlock new ideas, forge new partnerships, and can make way for new trajectories in our pathway forward.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Since much of my focus is on the therapeutic nature of creative expression, Los Angeles has been the perfect place to explore the breadth and scope of the work I do. Between the city’s focus on health and wellness and the vast community of creators and artists residing here, there is a wealth of knowledge and resources to tap into.

In the future, my plan is to expand SketchPoetic into corporate settings, non-profit organizations, and educational programs. I want to give back to our community and be of even greater service to others. I’m also in the midst of writing a book about SketchPoetic that will include a compilation of sketches and musings along with a resource guide to get started. This book is intended to reach a wider audience and serve as a tool for creative expression and healing.

It has been a challenging, yet rewarding couple of years. I look forward to seeing where this artist’s journey takes me next and deeply grateful for everything that has lead me to where I am today.

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Image Credit:

Denise Demarest Photography

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