Erin Faith Allen is the spirited, rich, raw creator of Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreats. These art retreats are as filled to the brim with heart and soul as she is.
Erin Faith Allen; I am an artist, filmmaker, and event creator who moves in many directions at one time.
Describe a time when you walked through the doors of passage? How has it transformed you?
Last summer when I decided to research my lineage, I had no idea the power that my ancestors were just waiting to pass through the ethers to me. What I have discovered has been nothing short of mindblowing – it’s like suddenly I am a complete picture, made up of fragments of so many people I’d never even heard of. To feel a belonging like I suddenly feel cannot be put into words … but I paint it every single day.
How has being female affected your spiritual journey?
This is a big question. I get stuck on the word ‘spiritual’ because it’s become a bit of a buzz word, or a label, or a way of separating self from other. I suppose the same could be said about the word ‘female’ in some ways. :) For me, being human – whether spiritual, male, atheist, female, etc – is the real journey. Every day I deepen into a more profound relationship with human nature, only because I dig into myself and explore my own motivations and how I navigate interactions with others. I used to spend a lot of time thinking about femaleness and woman-ness, and while there is massive value in that, these days I’m all about settling into human connectivity and recognizing that underneath the skin we wear we are all just trying to experience love and acceptance; it’s an innate craving that is gender-less.
That said, there is definitely a massive power blast that moves through my art about the spectrum of experiences a woman has. For example, these days I am doing a lot of work about the concept of mothering – which is a female experience. I guess we are made up of slices: I am a human who is a woman who is a mother who is an artist who is hard-working who loves nutrition and CrossFit who loves sunshine and Los Angeles and also loves thunderstorms who loves the color red who is obsessed with genealogy who is an introvert who was born under a Scorpio full moon. After so many years of endeavoring to integrate aspects of myself it’s hard to separate the slices and isolate just one of them.
How do you show up? Who are you becoming? How do you rise up in your fullness?
I show up by showing up. I am becoming who I’ve always been. I rise up to my fullness by constantly falling down.
What is pulling you forward? What is your motivation?
Happiness and beauty. Happiness pulls me forward, and every day I am happier than I was the day before. Beauty, the enigmatic muse, is the road I walk to happiness.
What does being BRAVE look like these days? What does it feel like?
Being brave is something I do well … even though conversely, a lot of fear has passed down through my lineage and I spent many years being subconsciously governed by it. After being around the block a few times now, I like to think I eviscerate it every day. At least most days :)
Tell me about what you crave? What are you saying a big Holy YES to these days? Tell us the juicy details of what makes life GOOOOOOOOOD these days?
I crave solitude, hours of creating without interruption, and soaking in other people’s creations. I say a Holy YES to surrendering to the ‘tricky’ moments in life … sometimes after a little kicking and screaming. And the juicy details? I have a rare version of synaesthetic response to sound, color, texture, and line. I always knew I was acutely sensitive because the world has generally overwhelmed me. The more at peace I am within myself, the more pronounced the synaesthetic engagement with my surrounding becomes. It’s a blessing and a curse, it is beyond description, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Who are your heroes? What are their stories, myths? What did they teach you?
My heroines: Anais Nin, Sylvia Plath, Sally Mann, and myself. I’ve walked through, and subconciously masterminded, a lot of sh!* in my life, but I never fall down hard enough that I can’t get back up. My heroes: Cy Twombly, Walker Evans, Mozart, Klimt, Christian Dior. I am enlivened by people who are geniuses, who ‘see’ and ‘hear’ things nobody else does, who change history with their tenacity. Equally, any person who has ever crashed down into hell and kept on walking with their head high and heart open are my hero. I have a really big soft spot for the veterans of WW2. My grandfathers both served in that war, and I think all those men and women are absolute heroes. I went to the DDay celebrations in Normandy a couple years ago and I was cracked open. All the ‘old boys’ walking around in their medals, heads high, hearts open. They are an embodiment of the strength and fragility of humans. How we suffer, how we survive, and how our bodies carry our memories. It can sound so trite to say ‘they sacrificed so much’ … but they DID.
Tell me of myth? Of Magic? What they mean to you, how they show up in your work?
Oh goodness. They are so much a part of me and my process that I am not even sure how to articulate or express it. Symbols and subconscious urgings ARE my work. At the end of the day I’m just a person with chewed fingernails, food allergies, skin, bones, and blond hair who sits in front of an easel. The rest is magic.
What would you like everyone to know deep into their bones?
That our bones are literally made up of everyone who came before us. Our story, both present and past tense, isn’t just our personal story woven of tragedies and victories and all the spaces between. It belongs to every ancestor we’ve ever had. Their decisions pulsate through every thought, decision, action, and desire we’ve ever had. It’s breathtaking when you recognize this, life takes on a certain meaning that changes perspectives, patterns, and opens possibilities.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild precious life?
Experience true, unabashed peace that permeates every cell of my body, every wisp of my soul, every root that takes hold in my mind.For more information about her art, upcoming retreats and classes visit: www.erinfaithallen.com
Also check out her film series Art Shaker and Soul Shaker.