An Interview With Skylove Solei of Skylove Art
"There is this great energy moving through me and I am flying with my own two wings. One wing is art and the other wing is sound. One is visual with a lot of colour and shape. The other one is audible and unseen and it reaches deep into the being. They affect you in different ways but it feels like it’s the same energy."
Welcome to the world of Art and Sound with Skylove Solei in Ubud, Bali.
You have been on quite a journey to becoming Skylove. Would you like to give us some background?
I was living in Chicago with a family, a business, in a beautiful house and had generally a great life but see something was always missing. I never knew who I was or what my true purpose in life is and I felt empty inside. I was depressed most of the time and my life seemed meaningless. Then everything changed in 2011. That is when I could no longer wait for the meaning to come and decided I needed to find it myself! My journey as Skylove began when I decided I have to follow my heart and find out what is missing in my life. Even though I had a pretty successful life I never felt I was fully here and present on this planet. So I let go of pretending and I went on my journey. The path opened wide and the things and people that were not mine to keep disappeared quickly and my guidance took me to Hawaii where I went through an intense healing and transformation period for 5 years. I was dissolving myself and my past. The more I was able to let go of my past and let go of the ideas and beliefs of what I could and could not do, the more I became empty and my abilities and gifts started to come to me. I started creating conscious art and started venturing into sound healing, yoga and meditation.
The process of shedding the layers of my mind and identity is continuing. Over the years, piece by piece, belief by belief, I have been unwinding my old self including my age, where I come from and what my name is. I am not consciously deciding that I need to do all this. It is more like I am surrendering to the process and saying yes and letting go and the river is just taking me. I am facing forward and not looking back and I trust my guidance completely.
It was about two years ago when I felt my transformation was complete and I was ready for the world. The last piece of the puzzle was when my new name Skylove came in. I knew that I needed a new container to hold this new energy. My old name never really felt like me anyway but the name change didn’t happen overnight. I was calling myself Sky for awhile and playing with different varieties of the name. And then at the right moment at the end of my Hawaii chapter I received very clear guidance to combine Sky and Love which represents my essence. That was the birth of Skylove! Skylove is my first name: one word without a space to be precise! Friends still call me Sky! And my last name came at the same time through other ways. It is to be Solei. Sol is the energy of the Sun and Lei is a garland of flowers in Hawaiian. I knew to complete my transformation I needed to go all the way and change my name legally in the physical life. I have been growing into this new name for a couple of years. Now I am becoming more established in it but I still have no idea where life is taking me but I know I am going very fast!
Describe your current life in Bali
When I left Hawaii it was on a one way ticket. I was not traveling because I had a need or desire to travel. I felt guided to go to places that were calling me, to learn my lessons, meet right people, share my gifts and to grow in new ways. Over the past few years I have been to Bali, Greece, London, Spain, Thailand and Hawaii a few times. In each new place I never know how long I am going to stay. I don’t usually know many people when I arrive and I have to establish myself and ground and connect with the community.
When I come to new place I do my events and workshops in Sound Healing and Sound Journeys. This and my art it how I support myself. I feel working with sound and light frequency is my higher path and purpose.
I also practice yoga. It was in early adulthood when I discovered my first yoga class. Yoga was always easy for me somehow. I think I had a lot of experience with yoga and meditation in past lives as it's in my DNA and always felt very natural. What was missing was my soul: I was feeling disconnected from my spirit. I was able to do amazing yoga poses and yet I felt numb and empty inside. Now in my practice I feel I am embodying what yoga is, bridging together the body, mind and spirit.
What is the therapeutic goal of Sound Healing?
Sound is very powerful. The frequency and vibration of sound penetrates through every layer of our being. I use Crystal Bowls, Tibetan bowls, Didgeridoo and also chant mantras during my sessions. The sessions can either be private or for a group, although I love giving private sessions because then I am totally engaged with you and your energy. The way sound healing works, it can affect the mind, so people often go into a trance or altered state. It is as though the mind short circuits itself when exposed to different sound and turns off momentarily. Aborigines in Australia call this state dreamtime, the space between wake and asleep.
Sound Therapy is a very holistic, non-invasive way of getting you out of your mind and taking you on a journey of self-discovery. My job as a sound healer is to create a portal and a safe container for you to turn off your busy mind for a while and bring your whole being into vibrational resonance. In that state you can experience who you truly are.
Not everyone goes to such a deep place at first but if you are genuinely seeking to step beyond your limitations then sound can be a very powerful tool that opens the gate for you. That deep space within is where you are tapping into your higher mind. You leave your body and it’s like giving yourself an energetic reset, rebooting your computer! After your reset you feel fresh like a newborn that just got a new start! People look for that feeling all the time. We always try to come back to that space of connectedness and centered self-awareness, whether it be through meditation, making love, drinking alcohol or even taking drugs: anything really that takes us out of the ordinary mind! Sound works very quickly and is not invasive!
When people come back after the session I look at them and they seem like newborn, they do not have any mental interference. They become pure and innocent like children. You look into their eyes and you see presence and love. Some people cry, some people laugh, each one has their own unique experience after which it feels like waking up from a long nap. It may take a while to come back to the body. What I tell people after a session is that you pushed a reset button! So whatever was stuck in your energetic field, your mind and body has been released. You have been given an energetic refresher. Although, of course, sound therapy it is not a remedy for all ailments or appropriate for all people.
At what point in your journey did Art appear?
It was a gradual process. I knew how to work with computers and graphics as in my old job I was a Web Designer for many years and I am pretty skilled on a computer. In Hawaii I started using my skill for that new energy coming through. I did a series of images for the Chakra System and they came through pretty quickly as if they were being download through me into the world. I knew they will help a lot of people.
The more my ego wants to be involved in the process of creation, the harder the process becomes and creation becomes impossible. When I become empty and free of my own idea, of what “I” want to create, the more I become a vessel for the true creativity to flow through me. I have this new design that I call Peace Buddha which is just beautiful, light, happy and colorful. The process of creating Peace Buddha was amazing. I do not paint with the brush but with my computer mouse. It is a combination of different techniques I perfected over the years. I had all these random images sitting in my hard drive and I did not know what I was going to do, I just knew I needed to sit down and just start working! I was witnessing the process of this design being born, watching my hands and my mind working effortlessly with ideas and inspirations what comes next popping into my head. It took several days for this image to complete and at the end right when I placed the Earth next to Buddha’s head was when this piece started glowing with energy and meaning! I was mesmerized, just sitting there for hours getting the transmission and a message from this composition and realizing that the world would be a better place if this design went to lots of homes!
My designs are portals for higher vibration to come into the world. They are filled with positive, uplifting and empowering imagery that can open the mind and inspire a new thought. I feel my art right now is a good antidote to all the struggle and the birthing pains we are going through on this planet.
What is the benefit to using Graphics in Art?
I love the graphic art medium as it can give you that feeling of instant gratification. To paint a Buddha with the paintbrush is a totally different thing. I used to paint with a paint brush and would just get lost in the process for hours and days. I didn’t need to eat or sleep and was in that blissful creative flow as I was painting. It was great and I loved it! For me now however it is not about the process of creating but more about the effect and how my creation can affect others. It is more about sharing my message through my art. I don't have to spend two weeks anymore with a paintbrush to paint Buddha's head when I can manifest a Buddha on my screen in just minutes! With graphic arts you can experience multiple options of your design and shift instantly to another perspective which gives you a lot more creative power, I think. When I create my art it feels to me like I am working on a jigsaw puzzle putting the right pieces together right where they belong.
I also enjoy just looking at the finished piece. I can disappear into my art for hours connecting with it deeply, receiving its messages and going deeper into the meaning. Every piece that comes through me is different, almost like they came from different people. So it is not really about my unique style. It’s more about the function and purpose for my art. My last four designs I created on Big Island in Hawaii are just like that:
One is for activating;
One is to create peaceful energy;
One is to help with the creative flow;
One is to put us in touch with our manifesting power.
Do people commission you to paint?
Some people ask me, “Why can’t you do something customized for me? Instead of Buddha can you do a Jesus?” I really can't do it because Buddha came through me. If Jesus comes through me I can do it. But I cannot reach inside myself and try to find Jesus or whatever else you want as then it will be like selling myself. I used to do that when I was making websites. People gave me an idea and said, “Do it and here is the money! Let’s make something pretty!” That is not the energy that makes my art possible. More and more people are interested in my art decorating their yoga studios and festivals. Just recently I printed a new order here in Bali and sending a set of large Chakra Banners to a new yoga festival happening in California! So my art slowly is starting to be recognized and I am so happy that people see value in it!
Explain the process in designing your Chakra Banners
Creating the Chakras series was a quick process that felt like an energetic download. It was deeply personal process too as I was going at the time through my transformation and doing a powerful daily practice called Chakra Clearing. The chakra designs carry the meaning on many levels. Each piece has a specific colour, geometry, imagery, shape and Sanskrit letter. Since ancient times yogis have been meditating on the chakras to attain higher consciousness and find enlightenment. My images stay true to that ancient knowledge and I add more sacred geometry and other creative flavorings to the mix as I feel guided!
So take for example the Heart Chakra: it has the six pointed star on which yogis meditate to Chakra is a doorway for love energy to flow and be expressed in our life. I felt it appropriate to add Krishna and Radha as they symbolize this divine unconditional devotional love and devotion.
For the Throat Chakra: on one level you have the colour sky blue. Then you have a specific number of petals and shape of this chakra and the Sanskrit letter for the sound of this chakra which is "Ham". Then I was guided to add a whale as I felt it really belonged there. Whales sing their songs and communicate over long distances in the ocean. And what is the Throat Chakra: the center of communication and expression.
For the Third Eye I wanted it to have a deep and internal feeling so I placed an image of a Buddha meditating with eyes closed.
For the Crown Chakra I was guided to just place an almost alien like silhouette of a face with these clear eyes looking straight at you! It does not look very human even because this chakra activates our higher consciousness and connects us with other dimensions and the higher self.
What positive feedback have you had from creating the Chakra Banners?
My chakra art went through an evolution since I created it few years ago. I kept fine tuning it with new details until it finally felt there is nothing else I can possibly add or change to each image. My chakra art has been with me around the world and shown at many festivals, retreats and workshops. Every time my art is displayed I feel it becomes more potent somehow. The same with my sound healing. Every new session goes a little bit deeper. I may be playing in the same way as I have been playing, but the energy moving through me right now feels more potent. I think everything we do, if we do for long enough, we will become masterful at.
Each image has a story to tell. The more time you spend with it, the more of its meaning comes through and it can take you as far as you allow it. My art can be used as a pretty decoration and it can be used as tools for alignment and vibrational portals. My friend put a heart chakra piece in her room. And I could not believe in such a short time how much her place changed. She used to live in a very disorganized kind of state with dirty dishes and clothes everywhere. Two weeks later I come to her place and I could not believe how clean it was. I then heard that she just had a loving couple of friends stay with her for a few days who left her with good energy. The image was still there on her wall with Krishna and Radha in a loving embrace, and it was perfectly adding to her new environment. You put a piece of art in your space, and your whole life can change! That is the power of art!
Does art also come into your Sound Healing?
During a sound healing session I surround my clients with art. Usually I tune in and feel the energy of each person before a session and feel intuitively guided to place a particular piece. Recently I’ve been working a lot with Metatron, an archangel also known as a patron of sound healing. I made a powerful design not that long ago, I call Metatron’s Cube. There is a presence that emanate from this design, it has this activating energy connecting you with your creative power, helping you to realize how everything is a creation of your own mind and consciousness. Everything that you think about will manifest and Metatron reminds us of this. It is a very powerful symbol to have around you during a sound healing session.
During sound healing I can feel people dissolve their physical tension and move into their energetic flowing state. They often get out of the body and out of the mind. From that place we can recreate our life. That is why sound healing is such a powerful healing modality because it goes so deep into every level. You cannot influence much of your life if you’re just working on the physical level. You can have all the massages and changes in diet to bring you temporary relief but unless you address the energetic component, your hard work will not last. You have to address your problem on the energetic level. Metatron helps me to stay aligned with that realization when I am working on clients. During a session I also use my touch, which I call TantricFflow, to open the body in specific ways to help release tension in the body so then when I do the sound it can go so much deeper.
How do you travel the world with all your gear?
It often boggles people when they try to figure out how I can fit nine crystal bowls, two didgeridoos, a gong, a rain stick, a bunch of Tibetan bowls and even some clothes into my two suitcases! Somehow I have exactly what I need to do my work and travel and I am totally maxed out on my airline luggage allowance to the point that I have to put all my Tibetan bowls in my backpack which makes it very heavy. I get stopped often at security checks as they want to know what is all that metal in my backpack! Then I show them and even sometimes play for a moment of calm and peace! :)