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Art & Life with Maezy Stardust aka Meg Cushing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maezy Stardust aka Meg Cushing.

Maezy, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. My mom introduced me to painting and drawing when I was toddler, showing me her landscape, nature and animal paintings from a class she took before I was born. I remember bombarding her with questions about how techniques were achieved so I could try to replicate them.

Since then I’ve studied many forms of studio art including life drawing and rendering, painting, 3D design, sculpture, and metalsmithing. In the last 4 years I’ve been diving into digital art with some of my favorite tools: iPhone, iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. I have also been a musician and writer since grade school, and the past year I have branched into lyrical free form prose and poetry.

In 2016 I became a Mom and briefly feared I may have to give up my art to raise my daughter. Thankfully my husband is also an artist and musician, and we are able to support each other to keep our passions alive and introduce our daughter to the magic of creating art and music.

I started teaching alternative therapy art classes last year and my goal is to help people heal, have a new way to tell their story, get over their fear of failure, and expectations of perfection. I always approach problems differently than those around me and find creative solutions. I love helping people recover from trauma and learn how to harness their past to bring peace to the present and excitement for the future. I have seen the power of Art and Music to help heal, and allow people feel the joy of creating something new and build their self-confidence, and relieve stress.

I was in retail manager and trainer for two of the largest Fortune 500 companies for the last 12 years and just took an operational support role out of leadership so I could have the energy to focus on my self-care, my family, and my art (which is a huge part of that self-care!)

Maezy Stardust is my nom de plume: Stardust pays homage to one of my Muses David Bowie, and the fact we are all made of Stardust. Maezy is my crazy play on the spelling of the Scottish nickname for Margaret, Maisie. My mother is Margaret Mary and I’m Margaret Anne. It’s just so formal, so we like other variations.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I create reminders that inhabit the home or live on your skin and help reprogram your mind to be more present and joyful. My Art is inspired by stories of Life around the world and comparative Mythology regarding birth, life, death and rebirth. It reflects my world view in a surrealistic, sometimes dark but honest way. I love to connect the dots between cause and effect in our world, our interconnectedness as humans and the impact we have on our Planet. Through breaking, reconfiguring, mending, binding, and repurposing ethically sourced materials my work shows that although Life may break us or wear us down at times, we are even more stunning at the broken places in our journey.

I am inspired by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with precious metals. Instead of trying to hide the cracks, they incorporate them beautifully, and they become a part of the objects story, and increases its value. Inspiration for my work also comes from a myriad of brave amazing artists before me that have dared to be open, and share their work and processes with the world. There are seriously too many to name but they are musicians, artists, writers, actors/actresses, entrepreneurs, and bad asses.

My home decor is inspired by nature, fantasy, and Art Nouveau artist Alfonse Mucha. It consists of acrylic abstract and surreal paintings, as well as custom manzanita branch frames. The frames are formed like a 3D puzzle around any canvas or panel and are embellished at all the broken edges with crystals, stones, shells, and copper wire. I also create jewelry trees from up cycled bottles with sand, and manzanita branches. The branches are from my mother’s property in Idyllwild, CA where I spent all my summers and many holidays throughout my youth, and still love to visit with my family to this day.

My free form lyrical prose and poems are like a firmware update for the mind. Written through my processing of my PTSD and grief, they helped me become whole again and I wish everyone that same peace. I have always loved bringing joy to the people in my life, and being present during their times of struggle.

My jewelry line consists of Gratitude and Transmutation amulets made from ocean stones, and sea glass from around the world. The gratitude amulets are a riff off of the “worry rocks” or “gratitude rocks” that serve as mnemonic triggers to combat anxiety and depression. If you’re anxious your mind is living in the future, and if you’re depressed your mind living in the past. As you feel the weight of the amulet throughout your day it’s a reminder to be grateful and grounded in the present moment. If you can breathe, you can always find something to be grateful for. The transmutation amulets represent transforming the pain and fears of the past into fuel for the future, and becoming your most authentic self.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
I define success as loving the journey, being my authentic self, putting work I love out into the world, teaching others, continuing honing my skills through practice, building my knowledge, learning from others, and inspiring others to embrace their weird awesome selves too. Love, Tenacity, Intuition, the ability to feel and harness all those powerful emotions as energy for creation, knowing your true value, and having a supportive community I feel are all essential to being a successful artist.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Currently all of my work is available to see and purchase on the worldwide inter webs through direct message. My Instagram is @maezystardust and my blog is maezystardust.wordpress.com I’m currently working with a few galleries, yoga studios, and a coffee/wine bar in a few cities to find the best locations to display and sell my art in person.

I also teach abstract, surreal/fantasy and realistic painting, and life development workshops for team building, family and group therapy, festivals and personal parties. I’m finishing my first book of free form prose, poetry, and artwork that will be available to purchase digitally and in print this fall, keep your eyes out for “Scattered Stardust” coming soon to a device or coffee table near you. I’m also building a nonprofit called Muzabox that will have an education and wellness center to help close the gap on total wellness support for all stages of life, as well as arts and humanities education in our communities. To learn more and get involved to support our efforts check out muzabox.wordpress.com and gofundme.com/Muzabox

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