Doodlin’ in Queensland: an interview with Jodie Lyons
In 2010 my friend Jodie sporadically decided to put her stuff in storage and travel to Australia for a few months. A few months grew quickly into a year and right before the start of 2012 she set foot on American soil for the first time since she left. I was excited to see her again, but to be quite honest I almost didn’t recognize her. Never mind it was a New Year’s Day after-party and we hadn’t slept yet, the girl looked completely different. She was fitter, tanner, and she had this magical glow about her. Travel fiend that I am, I wanted to know about her adventures, and most of her answers stemmed back to her solitude in Queensland and the art influenced by it.
Looking at her pieces I see a journey with both bright colors and darkness that wouldn’t have taken place without an adventurous spirit, and a whole lot of confidence. I want to share with you some of the beauty that travel has inspired through Jodie. I hope you enjoy her words, her art, and her tutus.
What inspired you to travel? I am not sure I was truly inspired to travel. I think it was influenced more by the fact that I have sporadic fits of insanity that seem to lead to extremely awesome adventures. I guess my spontaneity is what ultimately got me where I am today.
Five years ago did you ever see yourself where you are now? Five years ago I couldn’t even see the people standing in front of me. It was my 21st birthday and I was dressed up offering my sushi to homeless people on the streets of San Francisco because I was too drunk to eat it and didn’t want it to go to waste. I had just recently returned from my first travel outside of the United States. I was with my new boyfriend for 2 weeks before booking tickets to Germany on a whim. I was broke, in school, and did not see traveling being possible in my future due to financial constraints. So absolutely not.
How did you end up in Australia? Australia can be traced back to one of the random occurrence’s that seem to happen out of nowhere at Burning Man and seem to impact your life forever. For those who have never been to Burning Man before, what I am talking about is the synchronicity that occurs whilst on the playa. Burning Man has a way of always supplying you with what you need when you need it, [it] left me with the words, “If you ever make it out to Australia, you have a place to stay.” That was all of the inspiration I needed. I immediately found a second job and booked a ticket.
What locale do you consider your home now? California, more specifically San Francisco will absolutely always be home. No matter what.
How does the Gold Coast contrast with San Francisco? Night and Day. Honestly. You could not get more of a difference in people, environment, culture, ideals, values, etc. San Francisco has ruined me due to the fact that we are spoiled! We are surrounded by the most open minded, creative, unique, inspiring individuals. There is always something to do and the music and art scene is overloaded with talent. The Gold Coast is a very new city. Its landscape is gorgeous. Picture white sand beaches, crystal clear blue ocean, tanlines, bikinis, surfer bodies, rain forests, birds, wildlife. The thing that is lacking on the coast is the culture. They are very far behind anywhere else I have ever seen in the arts department. In the past year or so of living here I have seen the first arts collective open, I have seen the first cafes begin to display a local artists work, and the very small community that I have met who are artistic have been working their asses off to try to get others interested. It is a very interesting phenomenon to watch it happen.
Do you plan your art before you create or does it just pour out when necessary? Today I finished a piece where I had a very solid plan, I knew exactly what it was going to turn out with. I then got distracted by a pattern in the paint and went with it. It is the first time I have ever painted without a plan. It feels good to let something evolve organically.
What is your dream? Which one? Ha. My dream is to figure out how to stop worrying about where the path is headed. To stop wondering where things will end up and to enjoy the process. I can’t begin to explain how many pieces of art I have not created due to the fact that I was too worried of messing up to even start.
How has your art changed since traveling and how has it been influenced by your surroundings? I wouldn’t say my art has changed. To change means you had to be doing it previously and it is now different right? My art has just begun! Having a very different lifestyle, a very small social life, and a deep love of wine, good music, and hot dates in my room alone with some art supplies gives me a lot of time to be creative and to actually make art which I was not doing while I was at home.
Jodie currently lives in Queensland, Australia, but is saving up for more travel in Southeast Asia. Wanna help her out and buy any art? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s another example of her being awesome: