“Hi, Kathy!” she mentioned as she clasped my hand and shook it eagerly. “I’m Luisa and I just want to let you know we’re gonna be really good friends!” She then burst out in giggles and patted the air along with her hand to let me know to chill out. She wasn’t loopy, she defined, simply excited!

This was a number of years again after I vended at an occasion and Luisa walked as much as my desk and made this proclamation. At first I felt a bit overwhelmed at her boldness however then the vitality rapidly shifted to one in all delight. Her spirit felt acquainted, like… I agreed along with her sentiment.

And Luisa was proper. We turned very pricey buddies and mentors to one another.

This is a photograph from the day we met!

We had many completely EPIC adventures collectively. Painting, touring, educating artwork workshops, lengthy conversations. No matter what Luisa had occurring she all the time made time to study one thing new, assist out, make new buddies. So a lot vitality, energy and can – which is why I’m nonetheless shocked that she handed away. Even although it was final August, it looks like final week.

I’ve tried to put in writing this publish for months however each time, my feelings take over. But now that the brand new 12 months is right here, I’m doing this to honor her. I would like her to know the way a lot she is cherished and remembered. Luisa was one of many brightest, strongest, gifted, prolific individuals I ever met in my life, and I do know others will agree.

She was additionally one in all The Phoenix Fridas!

phoenix fridas
Phoenix Fridas, circa 2019, meet up at my casa. Rest in peace to Monique and Luisa.

I look again and understand how tightly packed and concentrated her life was. She completed a lot in such a brief period of time. 

So I’m going to share a few of the items she left for us – life classes and sensible phrases!

Make each day a masterpiece.

This is from my podcast! One day we have been at Fair Trade Cafe, deep in dialog and I felt so impressed by our discuss, I whipped out my cellphone and interviewed her. This is such an ideal episode, I extremely advocate giving it a pay attention. Other individuals may say, “Kathy, I need time to prepare!” however Luisa was like – “Let’s do this, bring it on!”

And her masterpiece wasn’t all the time literal as in artwork – she additionally meant it for relationships. With her daughter, her sister, mother, El Novio, and her buddies.

Takeaway: You are answerable for your ideas, actions, and intentions.


Be daring, fearless and unapologetic.

When Luisa set her thoughts on one thing, she adopted via. She wasn’t one to procrastinate. I believe she knew she didn’t have time to waste so she made each day rely. As a single mother, she left a full-time job to pursue a profession as a full-time painter. And she succeeded in so some ways. From portray pregnant bellies, faces for Halloween, sides of big buildings and naturally, canvases – she hardly ever set down her paintbrush. One time I texted her, “Can you paint Adam Sandler’s portrait on a pumpkin for me?” and increase!  She got here proper over and did the job.

Luisa continually got here up with advertising and marketing concepts for her enterprise and set all of them into motion. If she had a collab thought, she reached out to attach with individuals and pitched her concepts. That’s how she created so many great alternatives, she acknowledged her worth, honored her present of creativity and put all of it into movement. By her instance, many people round her adopted that mindset as nicely. She believed something was attainable. She as soon as priced a tiny portray at $200, as a result of why not? She knew her work was value it!

What I cherished was she threw herself a celebration yearly to rejoice her accomplishments! She knew every part she created was to beautify our neighborhood, lives, the world, so she labored exhausting at it. 

Takeaway: If you have been to throw a celebration for your self, what wouldn’t it be in honor of? Think about your accomplishments and rejoice them!

There is greater than sufficient house for everybody to succeed!

This image was pre-Covid, Luisa used to show portray lessons throughout Phoenix. When  Mucho Mas Art Studio was open, she taught there and we might barely include all the scholars, her lessons have been so common! Once Covid got here and all of us went on lockdown, Luisa began what turn into one in all her greatest tasks – educating a free livestream portray class for 100 nights in a row. In the early days, she had 10-12 individuals, by the top she had lots of of budding artists tune in every night time and adopted alongside along with her. I noticed households at eating room tables portray collectively, it was lovely. Many mentioned her nightly periods are what helped them get via that anxious time of quarantine. 

From that have, lots of her college students went on to develop their very own artwork careers, utilizing what they discovered from Luisa to create their very own type.

She helped to co-discovered Mujeres Mercado, Phoenix’s first and largest Latina month-to-month mercado.

Takeaway: Your contributions matter, you could be inspiring individuals and never even understand it.


High frequency mindset, therapeutic.

In the final 12 months of her life, Luisa actually stepped up spiritually. She knew the significance of being current and the impression every day had on the large image of life. Embracing imperfection, pushing to develop and study. LOVE was what mattered to her – self love, love for her household, love for her buddies, love for all.

Even individuals who blocked love, she nonetheless despatched them love!

She was by no means one to gossip or gripe, and didn’t take it private if somebody didn’t like or agree along with her. She knew she had an enormous character and quite than diminish her voice or presence, she respectfully gave them house, genuinely wished them the perfect, and moved ahead. I seen she paid consideration to issues that bothered her and labored to determine why so she might repair it, no matter It was. I by no means as soon as noticed her have a sufferer mentality. Except if somebody drank from her iced espresso with out asking!

Takeaway: Appreciate each second, don’t sweat the small stuff. Work on therapeutic your self and there might be a constructive ripple impact.


Chapter 9 of 13: “Living in Abundance” #azlotusart #10kartists #iCarlyAffirmation #PrimeDayShowPJParty #healing

♬ Dreamy Vibes – Ocean Bay Jazz

Have enjoyable!

Take time to play, dance, and create new experiences. She let go of worrying about wanting foolish, that’s what we cherished about her. She didn’t care, and that made for lot of giggles, and full-on snort periods. Her life wasn’t about wanting cool, it was about embracing all types of experiences!

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to be the focal point and reside your life to its fullest. Don’t take issues so severe, let your coronary heart be mild, discover one thing to snort about each day.

No mud, no lotus.

Failure wasn’t a phrase in Luisa’s world. Lesson studying, rising, evolving have been there as an alternative. She used each setback as a redirection and verbally acknowledged what the lesson was so she might develop from it. She’d typically inform us, no mud, no lotus, to remind us that going via the mud is totally vital if we need to bloom. I consider this phrase each time I’m going via one thing tough.

No mud, no lotus!


Chapter eight of 13. “The Path is Clear” 🦶🏼🌊 #azlotusart #healing #10kartists #iCarlyAffirmation #PrimeDayShowPJParty

♬ Sweet Dreams (A cappella) – Holly Henry

There are so many extra classes I might share. If you have got made it this far, thanks for studying via this!

If you knew Luisa and need to share one thing, please achieve this within the feedback!

This has been so therapeutic for me. I’ve been holding on to this heaviness for months and doing my finest to have a stronger outlook, however I’m studying that grieving actually is a protracted course of. I can’t even picture what Luisa’s household goes via and I pray for them continually.

I do know Luisa is in a greater place. I really feel her spirit with me each day.

OMG, you’ll by no means consider what simply occurred!

I turned emotional penning this publish and was going to take a break when hastily I heard my printer begin printing. I knew Patrick didn’t print something, I assumed what if a neighbor discovered our printer or one thing. I stood over the machine to see what would come out of the tray.

LOOK: It’s a print out of a draft of this weblog publish!!! WHA???

I’m critically laughing via my tears, Patrick simply mentioned – “She is trying to tell you: “FINISH MY BLOG POST!”

Okay, Luisa, I hear you! I’m ending! And I’m smiling so vibrant proper now!

Takeaway: Our family members who’ve handed are with us each day in so some ways. Keep your thoughts and spirit open to see the indicators of them, hold sharing their tales and recollections. The BEST present we can provide to them is to maintain them alive via our conversations, photographs, life classes. Talk to them if it brings you consolation. Know that grief is just not linear, it should come and go in waves and let your self cry when you must, welcome your feelings in no matter means feels best for you.

One month after dropping Luisa, my mother handed away, a month later, my uncle, weeks later – my subsequent door neighbor of 20 years. Grief is one thing I’ve turn into accustomed to. In case you questioned why I haven’t blogged so much final 12 months, that’s why. I needed to decelerate and handle myself. All we are able to do is make house for it, help one another, have empathy and compassion. Get remedy if attainable, that’s what I’m doing (I’m going to Luisa’s former therapist!) and it has helped a lot in dealing with all of those feelings!

Sending LOVE throughout this time and for the brand new 12 months. I really feel excited to create new weblog posts, artwork, tutorials and extra for you.

I’m closing this out with the final message I acquired from Luisa.

My sentiments precisely.

Luisa, gracias…

Love & mild,

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