Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: Yeshela24

Teryl grew up in the oceanfront town of Marblehead, Boston. "I was born in Salem, which had the history of the persecution of women healers," she explains. "I felt the pain of that suffering strongly as a child. My heart wanted to heal it." She also had an early passion for art. "We had tourists that came through the town in droves every summer and my first experience of selling my art was making sculptures from beach stones and then selling them to tourists," she says. By nine she had raised enough money from her work for a trip to France, where she spent time at the Ecole Freinet school, "which was created for the children of Filmmakers and Artists." Her time there was well spent. "We made art in the forest, created fetes(skits), created large sculptures, ate from a garden there at the school, skinny dipped in icy cold water each morning to awaken for the day, bathed in the sun in the afternoon. Quite an awakening from Boston puritanism," she jokes. "I learned that art could be integrated with nature and every moment of life. Art was not a compartmentalized element." At 19 she travelled the world on her own for 18 months: China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Israel, Greece, and Turkey. "I came home turning 21," she says. "I had surrendered my journey, listened to my heart and let it guide my journey." She worked in villages, taught English, and became a part of every community she visited. Upon her return she went to college, which is where she met her Tibetan teacher, "a cave dwelling yogi that had escaped persecution in Tibet and carried his (own) teacher out on his back." She says, "He taught through his presence rather than trying to impress externally. His purpose was to help other refugees and that was the only reason he had left the cave and his meditation." Awed by his dedication and resolve, she quickly started her own efforts to sponsor refugees. After Grad school she returned to Asia for meditation retreats in the sacred places she visited 12 years before. "On this journey I lived in Bali and shot much of the Lotus series seen on my website." Along the way she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but never let it get in the way of leading a full and happy life. She has triumphed over her illness, depending on her spiritual Faith and art to see her through the tough times. She reminds her fellow artists to "encourage each other." Please check out her shop:

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

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