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9.24.2015

Lindsay Dot Art: She’s not just painting hearts--she's changing them


                                                 fierce female, inspirational women, girl boss, girl boss inspiration, lady tribe, #girlboss, #ladytribe, entrepreneur, strong women, female artist, project happiness, #projecthappiness, lindsay dot art


I am so SO excited to introduce September’s Fierce Female—bad ass and bay area artist, Lindsay DeAlba of Lindsay Dot Art.  I first learned of Lindsay and her art watching the nightly news with my mom.  They were discussing her passion project—Project Happiness.  I’ll leave it to her to explain the details, but in a nutshell, she’s not just painting hearts, she is changing them.  With a mission that has now spread across over two dozen states and internationally, Lindsay is the definition of a fierce female.  But don’t try to put a label on her—she’ll be the first one to tell you that she doesn’t fit in a box. 





BACKGROUND INFO

Name:  Lindsay Lauren DeAlba (Maiden Name Lindsay Lauren James)

Age:  31 and Fabulous...

Job Title:  Instructional Aid Teacher

Education: UC Berkeley- Go Bears!

Etsy Shop: : Not yet! I sell most of my paintings through instagram

Website:   www.lindsaydotart.com


QUESTIONS

1.  Who is fierce female Lindsay Dot?  How’d you come up with your business name?

Gosh, It's always interesting when you are faced with describing oneself. I'd say I wear a lot of hats. Literally and figuratively. I am fueled by inspiration and backed by my loving family. My husband has always supported my quirky projects (even when I'm giving everything away!), my obsession with vintage furniture and clothing, and my weekend desires to simply see the ocean. He is the rock that allows me to be free, and to be fierce Lindsay Dot Art. I wish I had an epic story about how I created my name. It was a matter of keeping one "painting name" as I transitioned from Lindsay James to Lindsay DeAlba.

2.  Are you a full time Maker/Artist?  If so, how did you make that transition? 

I WISH! It's the goal of all goals. 

3.  How do you balance making time for your own art while also teaching at the bridge school and completing your credential and masters in special education?

Although, I'm taking a break from school right now, its still a struggle balancing working full time and creating a small business on the side. I sit "down" when I go to bed. It's just how I'm wired. If I'm awake, I'm doing, I'm making, and I'm hustling. No one is going to do it for you.

4. I’m passionate about advocating for disability rights too!  What inspired your desire to create a non-profit art program for adults with disabilities?  

I have worked with students with severe disabilities for the last seven years. I understand the day-to-day struggles and challenges that a person faces.  I also understand the healing power of art. Art has a way of setting you free.  You're able to express your emotions and use a variety of mediums to tell a story, especially when you might not have a way to communicate.  So to me, I think that art programs for adults with disabilities is a great way to focus more on art and less on the disability and to discover your own personal dialogue. And although, I have expressed interest in working within the special education community, I think art is a fantastic healing resource for everyone. 

5.  Can you tell us about Project Happiness?  How’d you get the idea and what does “painting the world a prettier place” mean to you?

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Project happiness:  Paint the world pretty has become more than I ever could have dreamed of. The idea came to me one day when I was sitting in my studio surrounded by my own art. Creating has always been my source of happiness and I wanted to share this emotion with the whole world. I originally thought, if I could change one person's day and create a positive moment for them or even a smile then I had succeeded. After I set the project in motion I was shocked with the positive feedback I had received from the community. Most of the credit should be attributed to the amazing people that reached out to me on via social media that wanted to help. The most humbling aspect of the movement has been the exchange of kindness, gratitude, and love from people involved in dropping the art, to the lucky finders around the world. They say, "it's better to give than receive", but in this case, I believe everyone involved is benefiting. I think it's attributed to the fact that happiness and enthusiasm are very contagious and that small gestures can make a difference in someone's life, and to me, that's "painting the world a prettier place".

I can happily say, the project has grown to 26 states, and 15 countries and STILL growing. Thanks to THE PEOPLE! 



6.  What is something that we don’t know about you?

I have dual citizenship, I’m American and I’m Greek. I played softball for Greece in the 2004 Olympic Games. 

7.  What is the best advice you have for budding artists/makers/entrepreneurs?

The biggest advice I can give for makers and new entrepreneurs is goal setting. When you are your own boss, you need to create structure. There will be a lot of self-doubt, and anxiety about putting yourself out there to the world but in the end if you love something it's worth the stress. Life is too short to live in regret, go for the things that light up your life and make you smile.

8.  Anything else you’d like to add?

My whole life I I have worked really hard on diversifying myself so that I'm not just one box checked off. I don't identify as a teacher, I don't identify as an athlete, and I don't identify as an artist. I identify as a female with complex interests and a spark for life. I try not to get caught up in the norm, and, although I sometimes struggle by comparison, I think it's ok to be different, raw, and ever changing. 

I feel like today in our society young adults feel the pressure of just making money and personally advancing, which I understand to a degree, especially living in the Bay Area. To me, I have found that personal advancement isn't always monetary. As a community member interested in the future, I have always found balance in "living" and "giving".  

I'd also like to give a shout out to my mother Kristie James, She is indeed a fierce female. She is an artist, maker, dreamer, that has always pushed me to be a strong creative woman!




I hope you've enjoyed getting to know Lindsay as much as I have.  Not only is her work amazing but (as if you haven't noticed yet if you've read this far), she is a pretty amazing person as well.  With all the inspiring things she's done to paint the world pretty, she ended up thanking me, for, in her words, "pioneering a small women's movement."  I knew she would be the perfect person to join forces with for an upcoming project.  But to hear more about that, you'll have to stay tuned!

What do you do to paint the world a prettier place?

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