An Expressive Nature
AJ Gogas is a regional emerging artist based in the Lockyer Valley. She is deeply engaged within her community, including running creative workshops, and she is working towards developing skills to provide art therapy in the future. She has an expressive, contemporary nature and unveils this in her work.
What do you specialise in and when did you start to get your work out there? ~ Expression has always been at the core of my being. Every venture, development and growth of my journey in this life has always connected me back to my creativity. Engaging with the vulnerability of expressing myself through captured moments to share with others has become an ongoing practice from 2010. Exploring that connection and the depths of energy, experience and how we nurture ourselves nourishes my creativity. This allows me to exhibit the empowering relationship between femininity and masculinity through delicate yet strong deliberate line work, carried forward through vibrant contrast and repetition.
Where are you based and how do you get involved in the community? ~ Surrounded by the beauty of nature and nourishment I am based in the Lockyer Valley. Connecting with people while nurturing a sense of self and acceptance of the present moment has always existed in my adventures. Having the opportunity to be involved and engage with our local community through creative ventures, festival workshops, group shows and having grown through the development of our expanding creative community, I am blessed enough to now hold space for my own workshops and connection through Lockyer Valley Creative Workshops.
Who is the most positive influence in your life and how has this kept you grounded? ~ With change always within sight I am grateful to have an incredible, humble and supportive environment of influence grounding me throughout life. The energies and love that embrace my every day are more than I can place into words. Presence and acceptance allow me to have the continued growth that nourishes my expression from each experience and encounter I share.
What are your goals for the next 12 months? ~ Within the next twelve months I am focused on developing a presence for Lockyer Valley Creative Workshops, a welcoming and supportive space, where individuals can take the time to connect with themselves, nurturing self-awareness and mindfulness, embracing acceptance and developing their own unique style of expression. Bringing together the release of creativity, the empowerment of connection and the vulnerability to accept. These workshops are created to support and provide space for growth while developing creatively.
As well as being a continuing part of our local community I am also beginning my own personal journey into art therapy, something that has taken my interest from a young age. I believe that the most integral stages of self-awareness are within our learning environments and through this awareness we each have greater possibility to achieve not only our best but the best for what surrounds us.
What does success mean to you? ~ Success means to me, to love who I am. To wake up every day in love with my growth, with my emotions, with my choices. To be happy, to find that happiness in every moment and not hold happiness to specific attachments. Success is being my authentic self.
What inspires you? ~ Experience inspires me. The depths of mentality. Energy. Emotions. The connection between mundane longings and inevitable interactions. The unknown. Separating our existence from the physical presence of our body and releasing all expectations and projections to find a raw and authentic being. And Nature.
Where does your love of painting pet portraits come from? ~ The infinite love between souls inspired my passion for painting portraits of our furbabies. The connection that is purely manifested through energy, that emotional development that comes from a space of understanding. That even though there aren’t words, what is shared between two souls creates an existence that nourishes the needs of two beings with completely contrasting lives.
What are your other interests? ~ Life fascinates me, mentality, change, growth.
Working with children has always interested me. I feel as though this is the place to make a change. Embracing mindfulness and our connection to self, to encourage expression, releasing and letting go, focusing on what is inside and how we can nourish ourselves. To support and provide time for children to be themselves, learning through their own interests and nurturing their identity. With encouragement and engaging through an understanding that it is okay to be still, to be quiet, to just be present and allow the over stimulation of this generation to subside.
I enjoy grounding myself within nature, swimming completely embraced and supported submerged within the ocean, live gigs and the connection through music and sound. I love meditation and yoga, colours, I am a mindfulness enthusiast, a crazy cat lady and foster mum, moon lover, crystal collector, light bearer, a ‘look at the sky!’ person, I love reading, learning, writing and emotions especially the ugly ones and I am smitten for the love in my life and the family and extended family who are ever present in this journey we share, earth side and beyond.
Where can people find you and your work online? ~ I am on Instagram and Facebook @sugarrayart as well as a newly established page Lockyer Valley Creative Workshops also on Facebook or get in touch through firstname.lastname@example.org
In five words - who is AJ Gogas? ~ Creative, Empathic, Vulnerable, Growing, Lover.