Thursday, October 21, 2010

PLPT GEMS: Meet Carla

Our GEMS feature showcases women who are tapping into their unique talents and breathing life into their dreams.

GEMS stands for:

Grace and
Encouragement for
Motivation and

The women who are showcased as PLPT GEMS are accessible examples of women who are doing interesting things, overcoming challenges, expressing themselves and making a difference in a unique and beautiful way.

As they share their stories, we hope that you will read something that inspires you to reflect, laugh, cry, dare, question, create, understand, and most importantly - get involved. The world needs your perspective and your contribution. When you focus your energy on a goal that reaches beyond personal gain into a context larger than yourself, there are no limits to what you can create.

PLPT GEMS presents ~ Carla b. Jupiter
Artist. Creator. Free Spirit.

1. What is your passion and what is your outlet for it?
I'm most passionate about staying true to my life path, living my life's purpose, mainly through creating my soulful and funky paintings and spreading the positive messages within each piece. But I'm an all around creator, so I'm all about creating my own paths and opportunities, if I can bless others along the way, even better.

2. How did you get started? How did you prepare yourself?
I've been a lot of things in my life, but the only thing that has always been a constant for me was art. I was always an artist, I just went back home. My mom always loves to tell the story of how I shocked her with my artistic abilities at the age of two. I don't remember that of course. But in school I was the kid who always daydreamed and drew pictures instead of listening to the teacher. Crazy thing is, as a kid I never imagined myself growing up to be an artist, and even became disconnected from it at one point, especially during my teen years. I always knew I was different but I was too busy being caught up in the matrix. In my beginning adult days I started out trying to be all these things that I thought the average person was "supposed" to be.

By the time I was twenty five I woke up, accepted the fact that I was far from average and started realizing that my art could very well be on someone's wall just as I often saw the same paintings/prints in different homes. I began to identify with this and and decided to run with it. I started painting every chance I got. My first painting was a piece I quickly did to improve a bare wall in my house; I was living in DC at the time. In the beginning my paintings didn't really look anything like they do now and there were times when I didn't know exactly where I was heading as an artist, but I knew I needed to keep honing my skills. So that's what I did. As an artist, preparing yourself is an ongoing process. Your constantly learning and growing. So I guess you can say I'm in constant preparation, but looking back, I've come a long way.

3. What obstacles did you have to overcome?
I think for me, a lot of obstacles came from dealing with other people, especially when trying to grow. It's sad, but most negativity came from those closest to me. From those who couldn't see my vision, to those who tried to throw wrenches in my plans, to those selfish energy vampires. I'm very sensitive to people's energies, so I have learned to be careful who I'm around. Then there were times when I didn't have the resources to do all that I wanted to do, like build my own website but couldn't afford a website building application. My earlier art images were pretty poor because I couldn't afford a really good quality camera. And in the art world quality images are everything. I learned to work with what I had until I received what I needed. Everything happens for a reason.

4. Is your passion your full time occupation? if not, how do you balance it with the your other responsibilities?
It just recently become a full time thing, it was not always this way. As of yet, I really don't have balance. Its still something I'm striving for, I could really use a set schedule, that's one of my goals. When I did work I found myself up late nights trying to squeeze in painting time. Now that I no longer work a job, funny thing is, I'm still up late most nights painting. And once I start a painting I usually can't break myself away from it until it's complete, so other aspects of life sometimes get neglected. I have a teen daughter also, so I'm always between guiding and ensuring she has a creative foundation to follow her own life purpose and making time for my life purpose. That's usually when those late nights come in handy. All in all, I know I can't do everything myself, I try to incorporate outside help whenever I can. That gives me more time to concentrate on painting.

5. How do you stay motivated and overcome doubt, fear and negative thinking?
My art is like a drug, so I really can't stop. When I'm not painting, I'm thinking about painting! For me, there is no other way. I really don't suffer much from doubt or negative thinking when it comes to my art, because I intuitively know everything will fall into place. This is how it is when you are on a true life path, it has been so much bigger than me. When it comes to fear, I'm human, but I refuse to be paralyzed by fear. I prefer to face it head on. It may take me a little longer when fear is there but I will face it. My desire to go places by far out weighs my fear!

6. What advice would you offer to others who are searching for their purpose or are afraid to take the first step towards their dreams?
Go for it! Especially if you have strong convictions about it. If you can't take a leap of faith due to responsibilities(which is understandable), ease your way into it. Research and learn as much as possible about what it is you want to do whenever you can. Try and surround yourself around like minded individuals, or those who are already in the area of what you want to do. There will always be naysayers, let it go in one ear and out the other, brush it off, be strong and always believe in yourself! When trying to find your purpose, looking into your childhood usually holds clues. If there is something you can't stop thinking about, or that one thing you enjoy doing so much that you could even do it without pay and still enjoy it, this could very well be your life purpose. You just have to manifest it to work for you. If all else fails there is always prayer, ask God to show you your life purpose. I'm a firm believer in ask and you shall receive. Last but not least, there are no mistakes, only lessons and opportunities to come back bigger and better!

7. Name someone who has inspired you and why.
I came across a picture of Michelle Obama once where she was draped in blue. I couldn't get this image out of my mind, it was memorable and touching, something about that blue too. I created the painting "Mother Supreme". It isn't her, but Michelle Obama was definitely an indirect inspiration.

Carla Byrd-Estrada, aka “Carla b. Jupiter” is a NYC based artist that keeps her art down to earth, soulful & funky. Expressionism with an urban edge that people can not only relate to, but have access to. Working mainly with acrylics, she blends color, shape, and form, celebrating the love of life, dreaming, long summer days, friendship, roots, learning, and positive growth. Each piece of art carries with it, a moment, thought, or emotion, through it’s vibrant liveliness and movement, concentrating in the area of all things positive. Her work has been featured throughout NYC and can be found at several retail locations. She curates several art exhibitions throughout the year, providing business and artist opportunities while linking art with communities. In 2009 she started b. Jupiter Studio, and signs all her paintings Carla b. Jupiter. You can visit her online at


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful concept (GEMS) and how wonderful that Carla decided to follow her heart and live out her dreams. Her work is beautiful!

Dee O. said...

Absolutely wonderful!!! This is such a great idea! And I am in love with this woman's artwork, it's absolutely incredible!!

Join me on Facebook:
That GOOD GOOD Blog fan page

Post a Comment

RSS Feed Like us in Facebook follow me!