We met downtown and immediately dove into discussions about the beauty of creating and sharing joy through art. Shelly brought her niece Lauren along for the fun. When we began doing the jumping photos, it was clear that Shelly and I had a lot in common, we fed off each others excitement and laughed hard at every photo. Shelly emanates a joyful, adventurous energy and we all had a blast creating and playing together.
Get to know a little more about Shelly:
Q: What inspires you to jump for joy?
A: Getting great news; creating joy for the people around me; feeling happy with my life, which can be for “no reason.”
Q: How was your experience doing the jumping photos?
A: Doing the jumping photos was absolutely fantastic. I made a commitment this year to push myself out of my comfort zone so doing the jump was an exciting chance to do just that. Before the shoot, I felt anticipation yet wasn’t sure what to expect. After, I felt elated, liberated and more alive.
Q: How do you describe the feeling of joy?
A: The feeling of joy is a kind of unbridled delight. Joy has impacted my life with the power of positivity and enthusiasm. I have learned to acknowledge — and be joyful about — the smallest things. A perfect cup of coffee, drawing a tiny thumbnail sketch, finding the perfect word to help tell a client’s story, taking in the desert’s beauty. It’s about living with gratitude, every day.
Q: What is your greatest passion in life?
A: I am passionate about being passionate. I love to empower and inspire people, to encourage them to discover what lights them up, and do more of that (like jumping for joy!). I am passionate about being with, and being present for, friends and loved ones. I am passionate about connecting with people, writing, pursuing all creative endeavors from art to interior design and color, reading, learning, and moving the planet forward. Why? Because I am acutely aware of time passing. I know that by living all-out and staying true to myself, I get closer to what brings me — and hopefully others — joy.
Q: How do you feel about being part of a collaborative community project that promotes joy?
A: I love being part of a collaborative community project promoting joy. It embraces everything I love: being in the moment, celebrating life, contributing to a shared passion, and to the artist’s (Eyoalha Baker) inspiring pursuit!
Q: If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
A: I would have unlimited time and funds to improve the world: end hunger, stop violence, promote literacy and the arts, protect the environment, and advance humanity. I am working toward these things but plan to do more. I would also travel more. I seek to work with socially conscious businesses in my brand development and content writing business. Why? Making a difference is important to me and a vital core value.
Q: What are you working on?
A: My primary work for the past two decades has been working with companies to help develop their brand. I collaborate with creatives — designers, developers, videographers — to create everything from digital content, websites and videos to collateral and campaigns. I help companies, cities and organizations articulate who they are, what they stand for and the promised experience. I write about everything from travel and tourism to design and architecture as well as on creativity and innovation. In the past, I painted murals and canvasses and hope to get back to that. I also am a contributing writer to Palm Springs Life, which has been a great community-connecting experience.
Q: Mini bio or something special you want to share.
A: I grew up on the East Coast and have lived in many states, Los Angeles and the desert the longest. I love California and everything it represents, having moved to LA in 1986. I celebrate different places for their distinct energy and experience: I love the desert, the city, and living by the beach, which to me symbolizes freedom. My favorite subjects are: inspiration, the creative process and finding your grit, which I write about. I believe life is about overcoming obstacles, persevering, and learning to thrive. I write about travel and tourism as well as the concept of placemaking; I am fascinated by what makes a city desirable and how geography impacts people’s creativity and inspiration. I love to hike and work out at Orangetheory Fitness. My mantra for 2018: love, transformation and badassery. If you want to create something, get out there and make it happen. Don’t wait, life is short.
Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful bouncy joy with the world Shelly!
Thank you to the Palm Springs Cultural Center inviting me to be your first Artist in residence and bringing the Jump for Joy Photo Project to the Coachella Valley.
If you live in the Coachella Valley and would like more info on the project, or would like to take part, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org