“I am my own muse, the subject I know best, the subject I want to better.”
Learn about our dear friend and first-ever featured Maris Muse, Sarah Caudle. An incredible artist and business woman, Sarah has inspired and empowered many young artists and continues to push the limits of her own creativity.
While we have personally been lucky enough to work with you in the past, for those who are unfamiliar, can you introduce yourself and let us know a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Aloha! I’m Sarah Caudle and I’m an artist inspired by the beautiful world around me. I’m grateful to have been able to follow my dreams and become a successful full-time artist while living in Hawai’i. Unfortunately, I faced burnout and closed my art business at the end of 2021. Now my focus is to guide and inspire others on how they can also create a business with their art while avoiding burnout, as well as take some time to paint for myself and rediscover what art means to me. When I’m not painting, you can find me practicing yoga, hiking with my dog Mowgli, and traveling to soak in new inspiration around the world.
What initially brought you to Hawaii? How has your time living on island shaped you as an artist?
I have always been drawn to the ocean but never imagined that I would live on an island so beautiful! My background is in industrial design and two weeks after accepting a new job as a CAD jewelry designer in Hawai’i, I packed all my few belongings and moved to my new island home. Deeply inspired by the stunning beaches that surrounded me, I was inspired to paint them. After playing with many different mediums, I discovered resin through one of my design projects. I had never seen another artist paint with it before, but after playing with it, and also learning epoxy is used for surfboard glassing, I knew it was just what I was looking for! After a year of trial and error, painting and pouring in my tiny studio apartment, I was finally able to bring my vision to life. Mixing acrylic paints and pigment powders with resin, I carefully built up each piece one layer at a time, carefully controlling the flow, while allowing it to settle on its own, emulating the movement of the ocean. I lost myself and found myself in the process, similar to the feelings of immersing yourself in the deep blue sea.
Not only was I fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful places, but also, I was able to follow my dreams and become a full-time artist. Hawai’i was more than a home for me – it was the place I discovered myself, created my art career, and found an amazing and supportive community of creatives (including sharing my studio with Stephanie, owner of Maris Pearl Co.)! It has forever shaped who I am as a human and as an artist and the aloha spirit will live through me always.
This year was full of changes for you! You recently stepped away from your art business and moved back to your hometown in Atlanta, GA. What led you to this shift in direction? Is there any advice you would give to aspiring young artists or those facing changes in their career?
As a small business trying to stay afloat during the hurdles of Covid shutdowns, as a sensitive human overwhelmed by the emotional turmoil going on in the world, and as an artist feeling exhausted by the demands requested for my art, I eventually hit a wall and became completely burnt out. I knew if I continued, my art would no longer be genuine and my mental health would suffer. I knew the only way I could move forward was if I closed down my business and forced myself to take a break. After I closed, it made sense for us to move back and be close to family after being so far for so long. Although I deeply miss Hawai’i – it’s beauty and friends who became ohana – here, I feel grounded, rested, and re-inspired to create again in a new style. I’m also incredibly grateful that my agents are continuing to license and sell my art prints on sarahcaudleart.com, which helps me to fund my new art supplies.
For anyone else who is facing challenges in their career, I recommend pausing to re-evaluate the purpose of what you are doing. Ask yourself if you are happy, and if not, will you find happiness on the same path in the future. We only have one precious life to live so it’s important that we do what makes us happy. It’s ok to take a break, it’s ok to quit, and it’s ok to change direction. Do what feels best for you.
How do you continue to maintain and celebrate your connection to the sea in this new chapter?
I’ll admit, I miss being so close to the ocean and it’s been difficult adjusting to life without daily dips in the refreshing blue sea. However, I know those special memories will forever be a part of me. Every time I continue to paint the ocean, I bring myself back to those moments and fully immerse myself. When I paint the sea, I feel the water splash over me, all my worries wash away, and I feel at peace in the present moment. I look forward to more traveling and finding inspiration in beaches and oceans all over the world!
Your creativity spills over into so many aspects of your life, we’d love to hear more about your new business venture M COLLAR.
If you ever visited my studio in Honolulu, you were greeted by many smiling dogs! Other than art, the ocean and nature, my other passion is animals – especially dogs. They are the best companions and my dog, Mowgli, has brought so much happiness and positivity to my life! Since I always like to have some diversity with my business ventures, as a fun project, I started M COLLAR (mcollar.com). Using EM® (Effective Microorganisms®) ceramic beads that emit non-evasive, far infrared waves, the M COLLAR will not only naturally repel most fleas and ticks, but it will also improve your dog’s coat, skin microbiome, blood circulation, and their overall body function. And how cool that you activate the non-toxic ceramic beads simply by rinsing them in water and letting them air-dry in the sun?! Plus, profits from all sales are donated to help rescue organizations and homeless dogs. It’s just another way I can give back to the world I love so much.
What does living a life ‘Shaped by Water’ mean to you?
As humans, we were formed in water, are made of about 60% water, and are naturally drawn to water. Water is part of who we are and we can relate so much of our life back to water. Just like a river flows, life is always moving. Just like the ocean current pulls, life guides us in new directions. Just like rain falls, hard times can overcome us. However, with all of that, new life is formed, and as we grow, we are shaped by our experiences and the way we navigate them. Just like a natural pearl, we are all shaped by water.