Welcome to my interview page. I've been interviewed and I've interviewed others. Here, you'll be able to learn a bit more about my coaching philosophy, my personality, and hear how I sound, as well as learn about the amazing individuals I've interviewed who use the arts as a way to cope, reduce stress, heal, gain insight and grow. Thank you so much to the interviewers and interviewees for their time and consideration. I enjoyed each one very much. To request an interview, please email using the subject Interview Request. I'd love to share my story and I'd also love for you to share yours! Thank you!
An Interview with Denise Vargas
Denise is a life coach, mentor, speaker, and facilitator based in New York State.
Who were some of your artistic influences over the years?
I do not have any artistic influence… per se. I do love abstract art as it is free-flowing and I don't feel like it has to be "perfect". It's ok if my nose doesn't look like a nose. Or if my sky is purple instead of blue. I also love Digital and mixed media art. I enjoy using my computer screen, if you will, as a canvas and then be able to print my creation. I can then take it a step further by mixing different media on my print out.
What a great idea to create on-screen then print out and add more to it. Love it.
Was art something you were drawn to early on, something you couldn't imagine your life without? Couldn't imagine not creating?
I've always created… if not tactile… like physically, manually, most definitely in my mind. I have a very active imagination, where I can see and feel things quite vividly.
Me too! Exactly!
As a coach who is using art as a coaching tool, I am curious about your view on art's healing/coping/transformative capabilities. Would you be willing to share either your personal experiences with art being comfort/ transforming/healing to you, or a story or two you have heard from people who have been touched/transformed/comforted by your art?
Art is absolutely healing. When I'm creating, anything, my mind is so focused on what I'm doing, seeing and feeling that it's truly an escape from whatever I might have been stressing on before. It's just me and my creativity at that moment. And I say moment loosely as I can get lost in my creative state for hours.
Oh, absolutely, me too. I get into "the zone" and forget about everything else around me, I'm so focused on the creative project I'm working on. It's an amazing state. So freeing and calming. If someone comes into the room during this time and I'm brought back to reality, it's really jarring.
Who were your artistic influences over the years? What drew you to them and their work?
Nobody in particular.
Where do your ideas for new artistic projects/pieces come from?
I often look at other people's work and think I would do it this way or that way. Then I would pretty much "recreate" it until it's something completely different.
That's fun, yes. Recreating others' pieces to make them your own. You could start with one thing and end up with something totally different. You can truly make it your own without it being a copy of someone else's work. Their work plants a seed of an idea in you and then your imagination kicks in and you make it your own.
What bit of wisdom can you share that you have gained through the years as a creative person?
There is ALWAYS a different and unique way of doing things. A way that shows the world who you are. That's why I named my company Live Creatively, to help people paint a picture of their desired life.
Amazing! Yes, I agree. You are the artist of your life. We all are. Love the name of your company, by the way. Perfect.
Have you ever worked as a professional artist or is art something you do strictly for fun/stress relief, etc?
I do it mostly for fun… but I have created and sold digital designs as well as hand-made invitations and note cards.
Nice! I used to make and sell my own designs, too--note cards, labels, business cards, etc. It was so much fun.
How can people get in touch with you for more information regarding your coaching and artwork?
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. And, my website is livecreativelyinc.com
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I just want to say that I love your DIBA (Dream, Imagine, Believe, Achieve) coaching program as it really utilizes the imaginary part of oneself to shift your beliefs in order to live the life you truly want. So thank you for that amazing coaching method.
Thank you! I'm so glad it resonates with you. I've been using DIBA all my life to help me cope and thrive with chronic health issues, surgeries and other stresses in my life, and one day a light bulb went off and I decided that I wanted that to be the focus of my coaching. To help people to live a more meaningful life and gain confidence through DIBA.
I honestly never thought of myself as a “creative person”. There were a few kids at my school who were really great artists. And I could never create the pieces they could. So, to me, they were creative and I was not.
However, when it came time to decorate my first apartment, I got really excited. I loved picking out every piece, painting the walls, and all the finishing touches. I really loved how it turned out. I loved being there. And, I will never forget when a friend of mine saw it for the first time and said, “Wow, I had no idea you were this creative!”
Me, creative? But she was right. Creativity isn’t just tied to art. It’s everything. The outfits you wear, the food you prepare, the home you decorate…these are all things that stem from your creativity. It was then that I really started investing in my creativity and it really helped me create a life that I am now living, happily.
Pixel Bash Designs, my company, started off as strictly Web & Graphic Design. As I began to really explore my creativity, however, my company started evolving more into creating fun, positive tangible products for people to add to their home, office, and daily lives.
I knew I always wanted to create a business of my own. I never knew exactly what it would be or how I would do it, I just always fantasized about having a small business. What started out as a life coaching business has evolved into a graphic design company, where I actually get paid to draw (which still baffles me!). But, this is where my truth has lead me. I never had the urge to draw for a living. Like I said, I never really explored it because I didn’t think my creations were good enough to share. But once I became a mom and my child wanted me to draw Disney characters, I discovered a new layer to my passion.
I found myself drawing more and more, even when my children were sleeping. It was relaxing. It helped me quiet my mind. When I was drawing, I noticed I wasn’t stressing out about the things I didn’t accomplish that day. I wasn’t anxious. I noticed that when I sat down to draw, especially when the kids were sleeping, I was creating a small space of time, just for me. And that was priceless. It was one of the first times that I started making time in my day to do something just for me.
I started buying sketch books and materials to keep exploring. Eventually, I started sharing my creations and now, like I said, it has become part of my business. I had the hardest time calling myself an artist. In fact, I still use the term ‘doodler”. To me, it’s less serious and more fun, which is exactly the vibe I want my creations to have. Whether it’s a doodle print, a book cover, a sticker design, or even sparkly glitter stickers, everything I now create for my ETSY Store brings me that peace, during its creation. It is definitely more than a hobby. It is a passion to create these things. The fact that other people buy them to add to their lives is a wonderful side effect!
As far as an influencer, I honestly don’t have one. I am mostly inspired by everyday life. I am definitely inspired by quotes and inspiring words and I would say that whatever wise words inspire me is a direct reflection for what may be going on in my life, or perhaps something I encountered that day.
It is an absolute joy when I share a creation and it speaks to others. “I needed that reminder.” Those words truly make my heart and soul smile. As humans, we are wired to connect with one another. I used to connect with people through words and stories. My art has now offered another way in which I can connect with others. It’s both healing and vulnerable. Even though being vulnerable is quite uncomfortable, it is also needed for love. And love is the best connector of all.
For anyone out there who has a gift within them, yet is too scared to share it or worse, explore it, I offer you this. Creativity is truly unique to you and it may also evolve as you evolve. Example, when I was 5, my favorite food was Mac and Cheese. I still love it but now, my palette is a little more refined. We are made to evolve. So, what seems like your way of creating today may look completely different tomorrow. And that’s ok. One day you may be wanting to create cupcakes and the next, pillows.
As a self-proclaimed multipassionista, my truth became clear once I started focusing on the feeling vs the bigger picture. Keep being true to you and keep creating. You don’t need to make money off of your creations. You don’t need to share them with the world, if you don’t want to. However, you must create something, anything. Be vulnerable to try and “fail”. A lot of us are so scared to fail that we miss the opportunity to succeed.
So, all in all, keep creating. Keep healing. Keep exploring. Keep going, whatever that may look like to you. You make the rules and boundaries of your creativity. The only this you must do, is just start.
My name is Sarah I am lead designer and owner at Pixel Bash Designs.
I am a wife, a mom, and poodle mom. I love all things creative. Baking and decorating cupcakes, doodling, and writing are my love languages. My favorite time of day is early, early morning when everyone else is sleeping and I can enjoy a cup of black coffee and have a little “me time.”
I never thought I would be a web and graphic designer but here we are! And it really all happened because I couldn’t find what I was looking for in a designer. So, I created it.
I recently opened an ETSY Shop where I offer doodle prints, stickers, bookmarks, glitter stickers, hand drawn logos and more! It’s been so fun to add new products and see where my creativity takes me.
First, I'd love a little background. When and how did you get interested in acting, and particularIy voice acting?
I have wanted to work in voiceover since I was in high school. But acting, in general, seemed more fantasy for me. In school I always participated in play and choir. I have always enjoyed singing and theatre but would only participate as an extra activity. Eventually I came to realize that it could, for me, be more than an occasional indulgence.
Please tell me a bit about your education and work as a voice actor. Artistic influences? And, what drew you to the work of those influential artists? Anything you would like to share.
I started my coaching for VO in 2015. It's hard to talk about VO and not talk about Don LaFontaine (the original "In A World" voice). At the time, unless it was an on-screen celebrity whose voice I recognized, I didn't know any of the voice talent. You just knew you liked certain voices that were associated with certain products. So I would think which voices I liked and then how speaking about a product would sound in my voice. I have done some meditation VO for an app, but the bulk of my work has been in e-Learning, which I enjoy immensely.
As a coach who is using art as a coaching tool, I am curious about your view on art's healing/coping/transformative capabilities. Would you be willing to share either your personal experiences with the arts being a comfort to you/transformative/healing, or a story or two you have heard from people who have been touched/transformed/comforted by you as a performing artist?
For healing, I lean towards music and poetry. So many artists have found ways to communicate that just plain talking can't always cover. I find music to be restorative and inspirational. When I get low, I have specific songs or albums that get played on repeat. When the words are too difficult to hear, I will also listen to classical music. Extended silence is damaging for me. The music helps me focus and prblem-solve even though it's in the background.
Where do your ideas for new artisitic projects come from?
My ideas tend to come from life. Whatever I'm experienceing at the moment. When it comes to interpreting a scrip, it helps to know what tone the client is going for. Then I can draw from within to get the client's message across.
What wisdom can you share that you have gained through the years as a creative person?
There is not a wrong way to positively channel creativity. Allow yourself to experiment with music, voices, writing, paint.
I’m Melodie Maynor, a retired Air Force voice talent who has made the transition from the military to voice over with projects on guiding meditations, demonstrating skills for corporate customer service and helplines, and helping young people make safe decisions about their bodies (to name a few). The military helped teach me to be timely, and gave me a desire to produce quality products as efficiently as possible. Being a voice talent allows me to channel my creativity for you at the same time.
For more information, visit my website VoiceOverMelodie.com