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Creativity-Portal.com Creative Careers in the Arts Series
Lilly Fluger Interview : Page 2 of 4

Cartoonist & Artist Lilly Fluger

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Q: Can you talk about what influence, if any, the Shadow-Self has upon you and your work? It all seems so light and funny and sweet — Lilly's Magical Lollipop Kingdom — how do you navigate through darker waters? Is this "Dark Side" ever reflected in your work?

A: I have this "sunshine side" only because of darkness, and the strong desire to be happy and feel good that it caused in me. I am really quite well practiced in the (hehe heh) "dark arts." By that I smilingly mean, that I owe all this happy invincibility I feel to all the unwanted that I have experienced. Because of the law of attraction, (what you focus on you get more of), I don't really want to remember all the doubts, fears, lack of money, lack of health, lack of power, lack of freedom... all the struggles in my life made me want a deep understanding and clarity of how this universe works and to feel freedom, ease, and empowerment. But they were wonderfully powerful, motivating, and strong. Shadow is only the blocking of the light. Shadow is no force in itself. There is only a force of goodness, and thoughts we have that block it out in any given moment. Most of those thoughts are picked up from others around us and become habits.

© Lilly Fluger

How do I navigate through darker waters? In the past, I used action. I left my family, burned my pharmacy license, got mad, quit, and left it all to travel around and seek the magic of life. Now, I have a much easier method. I navigate by adjusting my thinking in the moment till it feels better. It took me a long time to make this transition because I thought life was hard, that simple and easy was a pipe dream. I thought if you ignored something unwanted, and focused on the wanted thing, you were living in some fantasy la la world. That you weren't being responsible and helping anything. After I learned about the law of attraction and the power of my own thoughts, it got clearer everyday. I like to think of myself as a belief wizard (Hocus Focus). Yes there's a cartoon. Or sometimes a thought swashbuckler, matey.

It is very important to allow one's self all the emotions — especially the ugly ones. Getting mad and raging and yelling and blaming and revenge thoughts are incredible self-empowerment tools. Not the taking of action, (that just causes trouble) and not staying in blame or anger forever. But letting yourself express it is a natural way to take you back into joy eventually. Every emotion is an indicator of how empowered we feel, and we have been taught that it's not nice to get angry or blame or rage. But that is the only path back to love. It's little steps.

So I navigate the darker waters of fear or despair, where there is no clarity, with getting damn hell mad, and reaching with thoughts to feel a little bit better. I am lucky cause my mom was off-the-charts inappropriate and a grand emotion expresser. She was a great example. (I didn't realize it at the time, of course.)

The dark side reflected in my work? Only in an appreciation of what negative feelings mean, as guidance... used as a joke in some Abrahamster cartoons. As I was reaching to grasp the concept of my feelings being my guidance from within, I would draw playful cartoon reminders for me. I used Abrahamster, based on Abraham Hicks, and made jokes about my inner hamster.

The dark side is the shadows; I use shadows ALL THE TIME! I love shadows. The shadows give rich beautiful 3D contrast and make all the colors stand out brilliantly in my watercolors! That's exactly what the 'unwanted contrast' of life does, it really brings into prominent focus and clarity the bright colors of joy.

Q: What is your greatest source of inspiration?

A: Nature. This week it is tropical fishes and unbelievable incredible uncanny incomprehensible magical creatures that nature makes that blow me away, like the leafy sea dragon. I also love animals and bugs and watching things sprout and hatch and flowers unfurling. I mean how do they do that?! I used to have preying mantis egg cases that hatched by accident in my bedroom. Boy that was exciting. I love going to the zoo to see the incredible zillions of animals and plants. I love travel and especially camping cause you get to walk and see nature up close. I love to explore a trail. I love waking up and your backyard is different and new. I love meeting new people. Going new places. New slants at living.

Q: Which painters have influenced your own work?

A: Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, Georgia O'Keeffe and Van Gogh. But I also love Frank Webb, Jeanne Dobie, Don Andrews, Barbara Nechis, Ann Pember, Jan Kunz, Nita Leland, Cathy Johnson, Steven Hanks and Bruce MacEvoy's fantastic watercolor website, handprint.com.

Q: Who are some of your favorite contemporary cartoonists and animators?

A: Quentin Blake, Jim Henson, Babette Cole, Dr. Seuss, Mark Parisi, Randy Glasbergen, Charles Schultz, Amy Winfrey, Kevin Henkes, Bruce Degen. Lots and lots of my favorites are children's book illustrators which is what I mostly read.

Q: When you get the Sunday paper, which section do you read first? (I personally go straight for the funnies!)

A: I don't get a Sunday paper. I don't read newspapers. For decades. Really. If I'm in a hotel and they drop a USA today... I look at the pretty colors in the weather section. I'll then look at recipes and food in the food section. And then comics. That is funny, I never thought about it.

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