Rich ChapmanNovember People's Choice Winner

image8As a child, art was something that came easy to me. My first drawings were trees, tulips, dogs and cats, imagined in my mind and created on my walls, blankets, furniture, anything with a surface. Although my parents were not a fan of where I chose to draw, I could not quell the creative juices that just had to come out.

My intention was to duplicate realistic depictions of the world around me - people, animals, and landscapes. I admired the work of the artists who could create from their minds without a need for a model for reference. I longed to be able to do the same. I was a perfectionist always seen with my supplies (never without an eraser), with fresh drawing paper within arm's reach. Multiple crumpled drawing attempts accumulated on the floor of my room, yet, my childhood home was decorated with my successes. 

I studied illustration at Ray Vogue School of Design, Chicago, graduated, and almost immediately began a career in graphic design. For nine years, I was lucky enough to work as a graphic designer for two small advertising agencies. This afforded me the ability to learn not only my specific design position, but all aspects of design production. This gift opened doors as I developed the skills necessary to transition into freelance graphic design. 

Aside from occasional design and illustration projects, my art career took a pause, while I raised a family. My personal passion, was to create landscape oil paintings. Back then, it took years to paint a single image because I had the misconception that my art had to be perfect. I rarely had the time to allow my creative juices to flow in the way I thought was necessary to create an image up to my high standards.

A catalyst to change……

I was guided to step out of my comfort zone by an unfortunate event. A classmate of my young son had passed away. It awoke my creative passion as “I knew” I needed to create a piece of art in her honor and memory. Although painting realistic portraits was not something I was comfortable with nor enjoyed, I still accepted this personal challenge. It took eleven long months for me to bring her memory to life on canvas. As the eyes are the doorway to the soul this part would not come out accurately. I found myself repainting her eyes over and over again. When I finally surrendered the need to control, her likeness flowed quickly from my brushes, and there “she was.” This was a milestone in my art career. She freed me to be me.

Hers was the first of three gifts I created. Each triggered within me a memory of how much I yearned to draw and paint.

In 2015, I was accepted into the prestigious juried art fair “Art in the Barn” in Barrington, IL.  I was eager about the challenge of having to create enough images to fill the 10x10 booth. This empowered me to step into my gifts. A new chapter in my life began. I felt honored to be a part of an event where I could express myself freely. With two months to prepare, I noticed a dramatic shift in my art. It was like I was unwound, and my images went from a tight, limited view, to a more open organic style. Within one month, I was able to create more than twenty surreal, dreamlike visions for my booth. It was exhilarating, surrendering control as I switched from realism to abstract surrealism. The world was a blank canvas and I could create anything I could dream into reality. No limits! I just drew. Image after image flowed. It was the most freeing experience. Suddenly all of the ideas that had gathered in my head through the years poured forth. In that final month, I amazingly brought to life twenty-five chalk pastel drawings. 

The evolution of my artistic style continued and I have now become more of an Intuitive Artist. Along with surrendering, I listened to the guidance that comes to my head and heart, and my hand follows the creative inspiration of the universe.  Through a stream of consciousness, images are miraculously born. I am a conscious creator of light - intentionally creating uplifting pieces to elevate on sight. Light essence and vibrational artistry pour forth into my creations. They are no longer just images and pictures, but a form of energy healing embedded in colors and textures. As a Reiki and Shamanic Practitioner, my art becomes a vibrational tool for elevation, healing, and upliftment, guided by a higher power flowering from subconscious worlds.

Since 2015, I have created over 70 chalk pastel surreal pieces, including acrylic paintings, over 1000 intuitive abstract energy paintings for clients, and multiple inspirational oracle card decks with the Intuitive Life Coach and Channel Writer, Lisa Gniady. 

My work has been exhibited in galleries, stores, and juried art fairs.

I am a “conscious” graphic designer and illustrator, and Intuitive Visionary Artist. As an artist, I embrace the thrill of what is next on the horizon for me. The blank canvas shifts and morphs with the tides and I welcome what the future is ready to show me, as the creative journey continues…...