I’ve been a huge fan of Louise Androlia’s Instagram for a long while now, but until recently I had no idea she had a blog or this whole other internet presence where she helps others and herself take over the world. She’s vibrant, inspiring, and you’re going to love getting to know her.

Interview With Louise Androlia | Uncustomary Art

You are so impressive! I love that your interests and areas of expertise are so eclectic. You identify as a writer, speaker, artist, life coach, and more! Do you feel that all these parts of you are equally important, and would you suggest that anyone else with a plethora of interests ever narrow their focus in a professional sense or appeal to as many things that light their fire?

Thank you! I’ve never been happy just doing ‘one thing’ but that doesn’t mean it’s not essential to have focus. I identify as an artist and everything else are tools of my trade and they are all important and loved.

When you choose to pursue your passions for your day job it’s easy to get scattered. I would suggest to anyone who is multi passionate like myself, to consider what you might like to keep as a hobby, and what are going to be the moneymakers. Alongside that asking yourself what do you need to feel alive? What has to be in your day to help you feel lit up? And most of all, don’t try and do it all at once, or you may do nothing. Start with whatever it is you are the most excited about and what is pulling you the strongest – this is always going to be the right thing. On the flipside, don’t feel like you can’t do many things. If you really want to octopus hands it like me, then trust that you’ll make it work

As someone who has struggled with mental illness for almost my entire life, I really admire the way you were able to turn your life around and not only heal yourself but help other people with their own issues! Was there a particular turning point that you can put your finger on? Do you have any large-scale advice to give to someone who hasn’t reached that turning point in their own life yet?

Thanks again! It feels good to be at a point where I know that I can help even just one person. My only goal is to make as many people as possible feel less alone. This year marks 13 years since I was in my darkest time, and it took me 10 yrs before I started working to help others. In terms of a turning point, about 8 yrs ago I was out of the shadows enough to see that my experiences were in place for me to be able to help others, but it still wasn’t time for me to start the process. In 2010 however I woke up one day and heard ‘It’s time’ from my inner voice and that is when I started stepping into the work I’m doing today.

Advice wise, the most important thing you can do is to stop thinking of yourself as broken, sick etc – all those things that have an ‘end point’ and..
You are not broken, you are an evolving human. There is stretch to your life.

If you put your own mind health up as a desired destination like ‘happiness’ and ‘success’ you will keep on climbing to a made up place you may have just assumed everyone else is at. I work on my mental health every single day, and I feel ok, but I use tools to keep myself well every single day. The reason being is that I know there is no baseline ‘fine’ – we are human beings who are supposed to have a whole rainbow spectrum of feelings and they are all of value.

It’s hard to have faith when you don’t feel good but try and trust that you are moving forwards, even when it doesn’t feel like it. And keep moving and learning about yourself, but not punishing. You must treat yourself like the most precious specimen in the world and also not compare yourself to anyone else – which is tough, but your timeline is as it should be. You are perfectly designed to be you.

I also want you to believe it’s possible to be out the other side of your deepest fears. I remember a point where I thought the only option was for me to be sent to live in a hospital and now I stand here with no fear of my internal dialogue. I know none of us are truly alone and you are no different to me. Keep everything in the day.

Interview With Louise Androlia | Uncustomary Art

Since you’ve done so much for your personal development and encourage others to do the same, it’s pretty safe to say you’re a big advocate for self love! What ways do you practice self love on a daily basis and walk your talk?

I have many non negotiable practices. It’s not that I don’t ever suffer from a negative or self deprecating thought, but I’m able to catch them when they arrive and choose differently. I have a system where when I’ve caught myself in a non self loving thought where I can see what maybe my restrictive action would be, for instance self deprecation or some sort of punishing behaviour and instead I ask myself “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right NOW?” – even if it only serves as a distraction away from your fearful mindset, it works, and even better can become a regular habit.

I also practice daily body gratitude. I have an Autoimmune disease which means I don’t feel super healthy all of the time and often get a lot of associated anger. I know that if I hate on my body then I disconnect from it. The only way we can feel good is to be IN our mind, body and spirit and so I have a few mantras that help me.

“I am safe in my body” and “I am grateful for my body” – both of these keep me in myself and remind me that perhaps even when I don’t like what my body looks like, it’s still the safest place to be, and it’s my home.

Something else. Your life purpose is not to be unkind to yourself. Sit with that thought and realize it’s true! None of us are here to self suffer, so we must learn to practice self forgiveness and love as a non negotiable daily practice. Everything is of value.

Interview With Louise Androlia | Uncustomary Art

Mental illness, turning things around, self love… we’ve already got so much in common, but then you’ve got some witchy babe tendencies, too! (We should hang out.) Tell me a little more about your interest in Tarot Card reading, and what you might say to a skeptic on the powers readings can have.

Ok, so everything esoteric is the only thing I know. It’s not an interest or a belief system, it’s just as normal as say an apple is. So I love to really bring everything down to earth so that people can realize they are completely able to use meditation, Tarot and all sorts as practices for self-awareness and empowerment.

I do not practice fortune telling because everything beyond the present moment is fluid. The Tarot is an incredible form of self-help, as each card represents an aspect of your subconscious and the world around you. When you do a reading it’s the contents of your subconscious laid out in front of us and I’m acting as an interpreter to reconnect you to what you already know. Divine timing IS in place in terms of the cards always being exactly aligned with you – but even that makes sense, we experience divine timing all day everyday, when life slots into place and flows. Everything moves, it’s all aligned.

I also have no interest in trying to prove anything to skeptics because I think it’s important that we take what WE resonate with and leave the rest. I believe we should practice constant compassion and be non judgmental of what works for some people. Whatever resonates with you will work for you, so if you don’t feel interested in Tarot then it’s not for you. Our self-awareness journey is a journey of remembering our natural state where we didn’t have the clouds of fear with us. However you find ways to dust back that shadow is amazing and perfect.

You recently transplanted yourself from the UK to Los Angeles! I haven’t lived in either of those places, but it seems safe to say that’s a bit of a culture shift! Have any American customs totally surprised you yet and do you have any advice for someone who is totally uprooting their life geographically?

I have indeed and I’m so excited to be here! I’m very grateful to be able to live and work here and also have been able to slot myself in fairly easily due to the abundance of friends I have in LA.

I really cherished the moving process because it’s humbling and hilarious. Everything is the same but NOT THE SAME AT ALL, so getting to see somewhere with fresh eyes is a joy.

The most useful thing if you are taking on a similar move or actually any sort of big shift is to understand that change feels very uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Change creates anxiety and overwhelm so it’s important to remember that each day so you don’t put pressure on yourself to be ‘fine’.

Interview With Louise Androlia | Uncustomary Art

And last but not least, what are some things that inspire you?!

I’m inspired by anyone who is showing up for their life and diving in fully and I am always inspired by anyone who shares their story and uses their voice to be able to help others.

Outside of that I’m inspired by Mickey mouse, the weird and the wonderful, pajamas as daywear, whenever I get my paints out, all animals and plants, mother earth and the seemingly subtle and benign.

 

Interview With Louise Androlia - Uncustomary Art Louise Androlia is a writer, inspirational speaker, life coach, artist, tarot card reader and general magic-maker. Originally from the UK, she’s now based in Los Angeles, CA, where she works with clients one-on-one, in groups, and through writing, and believes in empowerment through self-awareness. Check out her website, and be her friend on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


In August, I hosted my very first Instagram Challenge: Uncustomary August. There weren’t ten thousand participants, but the people who did take part pretty much kept it going till the end, and that is beautiful. I really appreciate all the work you put into this challenge and the beautiful images you shared with me and the world of Instagram.

Uncustomary August: Instagram Challenge | Uncustomary Art

I’ve gone through and selected my favorite photos from each prompt and embedded them here. You can go through and “like” them if you want, or even follow people you find interesting! The post is super image heavy, so click through to read more. The winners are announced at the bottom.

Day 1: Rainbow

Rainbow kaleidoscope. From LGBT#rainbowflag put through Kaleider super duper app. #uncustomaryaugust

A photo posted by Heidi Rand (@garden_delights_arts) on

 Day 2: Random Act Of Kindness

 

Left this guy in a pile of potatoes at the store. #UncustomaryAugust #origami #raok A photo posted by Cara (@chewytulip) on

 

 

 Day 3: Favorite Summer Food

 


It’s September and it’s still 90 degrees. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I want to wear boots and hoodies. Or at least have the option so when I wear sleeveless dresses and flip flops people can say, “What is wrong with you, where is your jacket?!” I don’t know what I’m saying. I’m pretty tired right now, just blow past it.

Hey, if you can knit or crochet and want to participate in a collaborative guerrilla art project, make sure you check this out! And don’t forget that Inspiration For Your Inbox is on sale right now. I also added some new things to the shop like rainbow glitter pills and funny door knob hangers.

Here are some things that have been making me happy lately:

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
1. A vending machine full of colorful ducks

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
2. Buying myself chocolate after stuffing my stomach with Indian food

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
3. Pulling up to Cristen’s house, looking across the street, and seeing her creepily staring at me while eating an egg roll

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
4. The meta puzzles from the Puzzle Art Project arriving

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
5. Playing mini golf with Joe

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
6. Colorful homes in Baltimore

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
7. This heart tree stump seat my neighbors carved

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
8. Tie-dye ice cream

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
9. On Wednesdays We Wear Pink

Weekly Happiness | Uncustomary Art
10. Dancing when the mail truck comes

Extra Happiness* the best tacos ever at a Food Network approved restaurant in a gas station * getting back the edited photos for my book * the super full moon on Saturday * seeing single sunflowers while I’m out driving * Red’s apple ciders * my neighbor making me pasta salad * watching season 3 of The Mindy Project and season 6 of The League coming on Netflix * my friends running around my room in leotards * being really unfancy at fancy restaurants * starting to read Yes, Please by Amy Poehler * my friend Leigh’s letter to her 15-year-old self * going to Costco with my mom and getting new pillows

What’s on your happy list this week?


Yarnbombing Collaboration In Baltimore | Uncustomary Art

At the beginning of this year, I wrote down a lot of goals for myself. It turns out publishing a book takes up a lot of your time (who knew?!) and I realized there’s not enough time before the new year to cross off one of my yarnbomb related goals by myself. I’ve had a few people reach out to me about wanting to collaborate on guerrilla art projects, especially after the Puzzle Art Project, so I want to ask you all if you’d be interested in helping me make this goal come true.

There is a vacant parking lot next to where Old Town Mall is with 80 parking meters (see above photo). I want to bring color to this area! The project in question would require you to knit or crochet something.

If you’re interested in participating, here’s what you need to know:

+ You would be knitting or crocheting a rectangle, 7 inches by 36 inches. Just basic stitches are totally fine, you don’t need to worry about any fancy patterns. Mine will be knitted stitches on both sides. Do not bind the ends of the panel beforehand. Just prepare rectangles!

+ Keep in mind that the panel is going to be stretched around the pole meter, so as long as it comfortably stretches to 7 inches, we’re good to go.

+ You can use any kind of yarn of any color. My goal is to add color, so the brighter the better, but feel free to use up your stashes or things you haven’t been able to find homes for. Solid colors, stripes, designs, whatever are all okay. As long as it’s fun and happy!

+ You can also use any size needles you want. Obviously it’s fine if you want to make it closely knit, but it’s okay if there’s lots of room between stitches, too. These knit up pretty quick, but it’s even quicker if you use larger needles!

+ If you have enough yarn at the end of your project, it would be ideal if you could leave a tail of about 50 inches so it can be installed. If not, no worries. I will tie a tail on. I do want you to bind off, though. Finish the panel and when you tie the last knot, leave a long string if you can.

+ You can participate from anywhere in the world, but keep in mind you’d be paying for shipping.

+ All participants will receive credit on my blog, and you can add this public art project to your CV.

+ If you’re in the area, I would love for you to come help me install the yarnbombs! I made an event page for the install date (that is subject to change due to inclement weather) for December 5th. I will provide tapestry needles and take photos. Bring a jacket and something to sit on! We can have a dance party afterwards.

+ If you’re interested in participating, please add your name to this Google spreadsheet. You are more than welcome to make as many as you think you can handle, but be realistic when you sign up. If you’re signing up for more than one slot, just copy and paste your info down as far as you want so we all have an idea of how many slots are left. I am signing up for 10 right now, but will take over whatever the remainder is.

+ Please sign up to knit panels by September 30th.

+ All finished rectangles need to get to me by November 25th. You can mail them to
Uncustomary Art
PO Box 354
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090
USA

Let me know if you have any questions, RSVP to the install date, and feel free to share this call with people you think might be interested.

PS – You might like my Yarnbombing Pinterest album and this post on Why Yarnbombing Isn’t “Gentriffiti”


Older Posts