Stephey and I enjoy a lovely friendship. When I came across her blog I was totally intrigued and captivated! Stephey poses provocative and thoughtful questions to challenge an artist’s thinking and self-nurturing. I am thrilled and honored to have the pleasure of introducing you to Stephey Baker!
Brand: Marked by the Muse™
At what age did you realize you are an Artist?
You know, I’ve never had the epiphany – I’m an Artist!
I didn’t need to realize that about myself.
Instead, I needed to realize How-To fulfills my needs as an Artist, not creatively, that’s easy, but rather emotionally, mentally, spiritually and personally. I find it funny that I have an abundance of ideas, a wild imagination and the ability to bring those ideas to life in various art forms (silversmithing, ceramics, wood working, home design, landscape architecture, fashion design, painting, photography etc) BUT Creating the right lifestyle to live free – as an Artist is a persistent challenge.
I had to break free of the opinions of others, even my own opinions that I picked up while growing up or created falsely as an inspired young adult, and truly do it my way (as Frank Sinatra sang). I found that to be hard.
A good Life for me doesn’t look like that of my family or childhood friends, in the sense that I don’t have a nine to five job – among other typical routines – but rather time for daydreaming, inventive problem solving, creative research and tenacious studies to perfecting old techniques and learning new ones in order to hone my artistic skills.
What inspires your creative passion?
Freedom – to Create from within
Beauty – to learn wisdom
Inspiration – to experience divine influence
Tenacity – to creatively exist
Tell us what you love best about your art and how it fills your life.
Connection. What I love most about Art is that it is my life and enables me to feel connected to LIFE – as a whole – and that whole is huge, universal, touchable and invisible and at times humbles me, empowers and touches with such tenderness and love I can barely hold it together. I believe every living thing shares that commonality – We’re all striving to live our best life free of restraint (self opposed or inflicted). In this sense, I see that we’re all Artists creating our masterpiece called Life.
What are your favorite mediums with which to create?
My favorite medium is the heart.
If my heart isn’t in something one hundred percent, I can expect complete inner turmoil, which makes it nearly impossible to complete, well, anything.
The truth is, I don’t have a favorite medium.
I have favored ideas and then choose the medium that best brings those ideas to life. It could be a sentiment wanting to be kept close to the heart and so a piece of Inspirational Jewelry is forged into a necklace. On the other hand, if colors want to spread out on a wall with the intent to stay awhile and inspire the environment then creating a painting is the perfect medium.
What made you decide to turn your art into saleable products? (be sure to provide links to products you want featured)
I recognized a need in others wanting to live a more creative life, experience their inner beauty, feel inspired, energized, renewed from disappointment, desiring hope, connection and validation that they can (and must) trust their gut and empower themselves to take action on what is inspiring them from within. The services and products I offer are possible solutions to these needs (among others). After all, Inspiration is the voice of our spirit and when we begin to listen to and follow our Muse, we find courage to do what we love and create the life we truly desire.
What else would you like us to know about YOU?
I like putting ice cubes in my milk and a little Hershey syrup – just enough to turn it a light mocha color.
I once resuscitated a tatter-tot from being drowned in ketchup.
I prefer being barefoot but if shoes are necessary will reach for my brown riveted faux cowgirl inspired boots.
Favorite color is Magenta though you’ll never see me wear it.
Space is the number one element needed for me to feel balanced, centered and whole – emotional, physical, mental, etc.
I prefer riding the train as opposed to driving.
I’ve had my life saved more than once by my guardian Angles.
I was born in Yokohama, Japan as a redhead, though it turned platinum blonde within the first year after returning to the United States. Yokohama is rich in ancient temples and shrines, one of the oldest is a cave in southern Yokohama called the Cave of Taya. This cave is said to have been carved in the mid-Edo period as a dojo (training hall) of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism. Though I left Japan by the time I was few years old, I think it’s interesting that I’ve always been fascinated with Buddhism, so much so that it was my minor in college. My major was Eastern Art. Also, I studied Aikido for five years with my younger sister. My Grandfather was a black belt in jiu-jitsu, and a translator for the Navy during WWII. I feel the east is somehow in my blood.
Nothing makes my heart flutter more than witnessing someone doing what they love. If I can help them do that – I rest easier at night.
The smell of Gardenias opens my heart.
Please provide a question you would like to be asked and the answer.
Question: What answers are seeking you?
Answer: How does my Life force support Creativity? Freedom? Beauty? Inspiration?
How can I become Brave?
* I believe when we recognize questions surfacing within us, it isn’t because we are looking to learn something new, to get answers, but rather we’re ready to be conscious of our true self, to receive pieces of insight that enable is to reclaim who we are and what we need to be whole within the moment.
What has being a small business entrepreneur taught you?
It has taught me boundaries.
Being a creative entrepreneur has taught me the What, Where and How I need to sustain my creative spirit, in the physical world and internal world, for me there is no difference.
I’ve learned that just because I have the skills to create something doesn’t mean I want to or even should. In other words, just because it’s a good idea doesn’t mean it’s the right idea for me to take action.
I’ve learned to trust my gut more than someone else’s opinion (paid or unsolicited) – this is an on going lesson.
I’ve also learned to spot when I’m the one in my way and to reach out for help to move past those blocks.
The most poignant thing I’ve learned about being an entrepreneur is that I’m the one who sets the tone of my success and perceived failures. There’s wisdom in realizing what I bring to the world, the market, people, environment, and others in addition to being aware of what others are bringing to me, into my space and to discern when to assert No and when to express Yes.
In other words, not only are we responsible for the energy we create and bring to the world but we’re responsible for the energy we allow to be brought to us from outside the world.
Tell us about the creative process that helped you finalize your shop name and brand?
Discovering my business name and developing the brand wasn’t an overnight realization. It took years of various incarnations – ten to be exact.
One aspect that each incarnation shared was the work being done behind the scenes, so to speak, with the people. I noticed that a project success was dependent upon the belief in what the business (large or small) was offering as a product/service. I often found myself having deep conversations with the owners and helping them move past what was in their way. It was easy to shift impossible ideas to possible or feelings of defeat to victories when focusing on taking action on what was inspiring. It was as if Inspiration was kryptonite to doubt. Following your Muse provided the protection from naysayers and the power to take action and create what was truly desired.
The timing became right, after all those years of trial and error, and I realized that I wasn’t to focus on one medium. I was to focus on the ideas.
After reflecting deeply on the suggestion that I wasn’t to pick one medium, on thing, but to create a business in which all the skills I had acquired were honored in a cohesive way and truly served others creatively.
I can’t tell you exactly how Marked by the Muse™ came about no more than a caterpillar can express what it was like in the cocoon. I imagine it only knows something happened because it now has wings and is left with a faint memory, if any, that it once was chubby and crawled on branches. The same is true with Marked by the Muse™ – it evolved and evolution is a hard thing to track especially if focused on the now.
What I can say is, I felt as if I had been Marked by the Muse™ by entire life, seeing beauty, listening to inspiration and witnessing magic from within and in others.
I think there is something magical when witnessing a person creates freedom within their life, grow their wings, so to speak and fly – Don’t you? That’s what Marked by the Muse™ is all about – awakening to who you truly are.
Other ways to connect with Stephey: