If you’re a business owner of any kind, you probably began with a dream - but I didn’t think that I had dreams or goals - or even that I deserved to.
At the age of 48, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’d been looking for something that made me happy, but I could honestly say I didn’t really know what happiness was. But I was slowly getting closer. I was writing a book titled ‘The Me Book - a journey of self discovery,’ borne out of the necessity to become my own counsellor. I began sharing what I learnt in writing this book, at scrapbooking classes where I taught. At the time I was trying to supplement the farm income by working as an intuitive healer and Reiki Master, running yoga and bellydance classes, And in my spare time working as a photographer and restoring vintage photographs. (All of this while bringing up two children, getting them to dance classes and helping on the farm) And whilst I wasn’t there yet, I felt that somehow, I was on the right path and I wanted to help other people find happiness too.
Then suddenly something interesting happened. It started with an idea to create mandalas for healers like myself to use as visual aids whilst working with a client’s energy centres or chakras. I knew something of the healing power of colour and light., and as a photographer and graphic designer I thought I’d try using some of my stock of photos to create them. After many weeks of trial and error sitting at my computer I had created a complete set of 12 Chakra mandalas and 12 colour wheels. I wrote a manual describing how to use them and sold them to my clients and fellow healers loved them. I thought that was it - end of story.
But then the dreams started happening both in my sleep and during meditation. Guiding me towards a new path. They were ideas and instructions for creating even more mandalas. As a healer and past-life facilitator, I had learned to follow my intuition no matter how far out it seemed, so I followed my dreams to see where they would take me. What eventuated was set of 48 oracle cards with readings channelled by myself and an amazing friend Vikstar. The Mandala Oracle was born (You can find this in online store HERE) and out of this developed my work as an illustrator for a publishing company.
As I continued to create my designs, more and more people were describing to me how they could feel the energy from my art, some even revealing stories of complete healing. I began to do more research into the healing power of colour, shapes, symbols, light and vibration. This combined with the knowledge that “thought becomes things” gave me the answers I needed and the inspiration to take things even further.
While mandalas are no longer the major focus of my art, I tell this story because creating them was my first big move towards a “dream” business. One that was drawn by my desire to help heal others, and it was a major turning point in my life. The first time that I had consciously followed my heart and my intuition with regard to what I wanted to do.
While I still create mandalas, my art is now more focused on painting acrylic and mixed media works. I hadn’t considered myself an artist but after year long course of intuitive painting lessons - of which I spent the first few in tears, I eventually learned to tune in to spirit in the same way I did with healing. I began to paint from my intuition, not my own emotions and eventually I developed my own style of painting. One with the intention of carrying the energy of love to heal others.
I am constantly amazed at the pieces I produce. And it is a privilege for me to see the changes that happen for my customers. I love hearing how my arts presence in their lives has brought joy, healing or even just reminders to smile. Or how through attending one of my workshops someone has found their own path.
My journey as a business owner began more than 20 years ago, and since then it has had its fair share of twists and turns as I have moved towards a purpose that truly brings me happiness. With the Egyptian Goddess Isis as my inspiration, I began by using my healing gifts and the many modalities that I had studied over the years, to work with women helping them heal and to find their joy in their own lives.
Then as my business grew, I began visualising owning a healing centre where I could teach the Me Book program, yoga and bellydance - a space that would have room to set up a small gallery, a healing room and teaching space. One day, two or three years ago after the rental cottage on our sugar cane farm had been vacated, I heard (or imagined) a voice in my ear saying “ You’ve got your space - now go and use it”. The cottage is now my gallery/shop and healing rooms and an old tobacco storage shed has been turned it into a dance/yoga/meditation studio and art workshop space.
In my art workshops, I don’t teach fine art. That’s not what it’s all about. I teach fun, interesting techniques that can be used in many different ways. The workshops are loosely structured beginning with a meditation, some journaling followed by a day of painting, good food, good energy and connection. Participants always leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated with a piece of art that they can be proud of. I have some who come back each month for their “Me day”. I love seeing how they heal and grow over time and it always astounds me how Art and creativity can build confidence, grow character, promote relaxation and reveal purpose.
Outside of my studio, working with troubled and under privileged teens and adults over the years has really allowed me to make a difference in the community doing what I love. Using the me book program we create art journaling pages that we bind together into a book for them to keep. I love seeing the girls blossom and open up with the positive affirmations and easy fun artworks that we create. Or we spend a day painting a fabulous canvas. Their ingenuity blows me away and my heart sings with every “thank you” I receive.
Through Jaaneman Art I am able to bring light, love and joy into more and more people’s lives, and that is something I still can’t quite believe is real. They are things that came to me relatively late in life after many years of pain, trauma and hardship. I’ve learnt that it’s all about the choices we make. And my choice is live with love and joy and My goal is to help others to find their joy also. Because it could have ended very differently for me.
As for my business, I am working towards creating online workshops so that they can be available to more people and to find new and beautiful ways to have my art printed and turned into wearable pieces.
Through my journey to Janneman Art, I can say without doubt, that helping people heal is my purpose. And healing is about finding joy in life. I create my art because it is an accessible way for people to touch that joy. The energy of a piece I create will never diminish, meaning it will keep on working for as long as it exists. Knowing that my art has the capacity to impact so many lives is empowering, and I never fail to appreciate the gift that I have to paint.