This sweet and beautiful woman lights up a room with her joyful smile. She creates paintings that exemplify this playful joy, which she will tell you about. Im so glad she has graced us with her soulful presences!

Consu Tolosa: I am a curious & creative creature. Always wanting to learn and explore new ideas. I am a friendly introvert — a combination of traits which sometimes confuses people. I was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay. I came to the US when I was 17 and I felt at home. I knew I had to stay. After moving around from the gorgeous high desert of northern NM to the gritty urban areas of the Mid-Atlantic region, I settled in Portland, Oregon in 1997.

I enjoy being in the role of the observer, and my favorite thing to observe in this world are People. I am fascinated by the way we think, act, look & interact with one another. And so I paint People, infusing the process with my quirky aesthetic & point of view. In doing so, I transform ‘People’ into ‘Personitas.’ Personitas are often humorous and are born at the junction of play and joy, providing me endless sessions of delight in my studio. The painting process is spontaneous and unstructured at first.

I start without a plan, simply responding to color and form. At some point a tiny window of clarity appears and offers me access to the magical world that will later emerge as the painting itself.

Adding JOY into the world through my artwork is a goal close to my heart, and witnessing a human connection with the audience is the unexpected reward of my work.

Will you please illustrate a children’s book, because I think every mom in the world would buy it. Seriously. Are you planning too?

I would love to illustrate a children’s book but I don’t have a concrete plan yet… I think for this the story and concept will come first, and then the characters will emerge from there… any ideas?

I read you say: “I recognized a desire to anchor the unleashed creativity to a deeper part of myself.”

This statement is part of my reflections in choosing my 2014 word for the year, which was ‘depth.’ In 2013 I emerged from my self-imposed shadows and decided to be brave and vulnerable by sharing my artwork with the world. Coming out was scary, but the response was wonderful and encouraging… so I kept going. It was exhilarating to have the approval of others, but I realized that this could create an unhealthy dependency if I did not tether this newly unleashed creativity to a deeper part of myself. I had to continue to be in touch with my personal ‘why.’ 


Will you explain a bit about this journey? 

Going deeper in 2014 was amazing. I began to play with the ideas of personal power and magic along with courage and accountability. I made it a game of saying yes to things that scared, but thrilled me, and no to things that felt like obligation or some form of a ‘should.’ 

I reconnected with my ‘why’ {I make the choices I do including delving wholeheartedly into a more creative life} and developed a level of trust in the process that I did not know in this context. As an experiential learner I need to feel and see the outcomes before I deeply ‘get’ that something is true… and for this I had to take some leaps of faith.

We do not cease to play because we grow old. We grow old because we cease to play.”

-George Bernard Shaw

Ironically, I take play very seriously. 

The definition of play in the dictionary will tell you that it is a pleasure-seeking activity rather than one with a ‘serious or practical’ purpose. I beg to differ. Engaging in play allows us to improve our mood, which in turn supports our overall health. When we are more relaxed we are better problem-solvers and have access to deeper insight. Play connects humans to joy. Joyfully connected humans seek peace… you see where I am going with this?

I absolutely and unequivocally trust the need to dedicate ample time to engage in joyful activities. I do recognize the level of privilege that my stance implies and have tried (and will continue to try) to offer others in my community opportunities to experience moments of play and joy.

How do you make time for play? What does play look like?

Making time to play has to do with assessing your priorities and being good at setting boundaries. It means saying ‘no’ more often to things and relationships that are draining, and YES to what your heart whispers and longs for. You practice noticing moments of joy and being grounded in the moment when you allow yourself to be playful.

In practical terms, I made more time to play in the last year by recognizing where my time, and most importantly my energy were going. Changing my work schedule radically and cultivating the habit of showing up to my studio. Every one of the days that I freed-up allowed me to deeply trust that I could honor my needs AND that play does have some amazing fringe benefits. As I got ready to change my routine & schedule, I was wondering if I would be able to relax and play or if I would start doing house work instead… I am happy to report that my vacuum is still in pristine condition… 

Play for me looks like this:

picture a little art house nestled in the back corner of your garden (the photo is in my website, but I can send you another if you can’t find it!). There is good lighting, sometimes you can hear music for dancing during breaks, and sometimes you can hear amazing inspiring books on tape. The walls are lined with neatly organized art supplies of every sort and stripe! There are three, four, five pieces going all at once. I let go of expectations & facilitate a dialogue between my ideas and my supplies.


What supports the true expression of your authentic self?

My commitment to show up to those whispers in my heart with a curious and compassionate stance.


What is your mantra, your words to live by?

Hmmm, two of my dad’s sayings come to mind:

Querer es poder” and “Lo mejor es el enemigo de lo bueno” … which would be equivalent to “Where there’s a will there is a way” and the second one I am still searching for a saying in English… I have heard “Done is best” which comes close in spirit since it’s meant to encourage movement and combat any perfectionistic tendencies. (it literally means ‘the best’ is the enemy of ‘the good’ – i.e. there is no such thing as ‘best’ and its pursuit can keep you from getting things done at all!!).

You said: I have a blast tuning into my creative impulses each day!”

Tell me dear one, what does your creative impulses look like most days?

Every day that I show up to the studio to start a new piece or indulge on exploration I know I am likely to create a ‘Personita’ (which is what I call my many 2-d children!)… and I am always dying to meet them. It is so much fun to play with color and slowly watch a character emerge. By the time I get to their little faces I am literally smiling with them (or making whatever facial expression they are making). Sometimes I have a flash of awareness at that particular point and I wish I would have a hidden camera to see how often I crack myself up during a painting session.

What are you saying YES to these days?

I am saying YES to acknowledging dreams.

Anything that scares and excites me at the same time gets a YES!

I am saying ‘yes’ to walking out of my comfort zone.

I am saying yes to believing in {my own} magic and power to realize dreams.

What lights you up? What turns you on? What makes your heart quicken?

Laughter, color, thinking of obstacles, solvable puzzles & intelligence. Oh, and cats!

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild precious life?

This question will make my interview be late!! It is so big and so awesome … and I want to get it right!

So I will have to keep my answer as broad as the question. As it deserves to be. And let the details emerge unique for each season of that one precious life.

I think my plan is to always try to walk my talk. I plan to be brave and follow my gut to keep me grounded in my spirit, and be present so that I am able to contribute something relevant to the world at each stage. In this present stage I want to live the idea of turning inward for direction and trusting whatever comes up. My word for 2015 is ‘focus.’


You can purchase an original piece by Consu HERE.

As well as stop in and say hello on her website HERE and on Facebook HERE! 

Keep an eye out for more to come from this creatrix over on her blog HERE…