Kerry Hussain is an intuitive artist with a distinct point of difference. She creates ‘paintings with purpose’ that help people to improve their wellbeing through the practice of visual meditation.
Her unique concept, Art For The Soul, was founded in 2020 and was born out of her own healing process from depression and trauma. The way in which the creation of her art supported her mental health and wellbeing led to Kerry discovering the wider healing power and therapeutic benefits of art and visual meditation.
As well as building her Art For The Soul concept over the last couple of years, Kerry has also written on the topic of visual meditation for publications including Psychologies, Natural Health & Women’s Fitness so we are thrilled that she’s taken the time to share some of this insight and wisdom with us here at Hudson Home.
Tell us about yourself? When did you start painting?
Hi, I’m Kerry and I’m an intuitive abstract artist. I’ve drawn ever since I could hold a pencil and would spend hours sketching my favourite pop stars and footballers as a kid. I had dreams of being a fashion illustrator but ended up working in Sports TV instead. I only began experimenting with abstract canvases in 2018.
How did your passion evolve into Art for the Soul?
Painting was my way of creating calm after several years of intense personal trauma. I began meditating at the same time and my lightbulb moment came when I realised that the two activities have very similar effects on the brain and nervous system and share healing properties. So, I combined them to make my ‘paintings with purpose’ that are intended to have a soothing effect and devised my own unique method of visual meditation.
How would you describe your style and creative ethos? What inspires you?
I’m still developing my style really, but at its core it is minimal and muted. I’m a big fan of wabi-sabi, a Japanese lifestyle aesthetic, but mostly I’m inspired by emotions and the desire to create a peaceful inner and exterior world. I translate this into a colour palette that feels in alignment and I work completely intuitively, directly onto the canvas. I never plan or sketch anything out beforehand, it is a spontaneous and organic process!
When did you discover the principles of slow living?
I’ve worked in live sports TV for over 20 years and it is such a fast-paced, high stress environment. When everything stopped during lockdown in 2020 it was actually a blessing in disguise. I thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet. Taking my time over things and being able to be totally present was a new concept to me and I embraced it wholeheartedly. I haven’t looked back since.
How would you explain mindful/slow living?
In my opinion, slow living isn’t simply about the pace at which you live or having less stuff (although that’s not a bad thing!) but rather it’s about curating your life to include more of what is important to you and letting go of what isn’t. It means taking pleasure in the little things and making decisions with intention. I’m not saying that you should give up luxuries and live like a monk but rather edit your life so that you can fully appreciate everything in it.
Talk to us about how art can play a role in mindful living?
Looking at art forces you to stop. The average person spends around 47% of their day on auto-pilot but art gives you a reason to pause, reflect and come into the present moment. When you are present you’re able to think more clearly, make better decisions and respond, rather than react, to stressful situations.
How can we all start to live a bit more mindfully? Are there steps that we could all be taking to incorporate a slow living ethos into our daily lives?
I would encourage everyone to start a meditation practice and ideally do it first thing in the morning (before you check your phone!!). Starting the day with self-awareness will have a knock on effect and allow you to move through your day with ease. Giving yourself permission to take time for yourself is a huge barrier for some people but if you can overcome it you’ll be much better positioned to deal with life’s demands.
Tell us more about art as a tool for meditation?
Art makes a great tool for mindful meditation because not only does it act as an anchor to the present moment, it also stimulates your emotions. Colour can play a big part here, for example, pale pink has been proven to reduce feelings of anger and blue tones can help to alleviate anxiety. Neutral, earthy colours and white are my go-to for creating calm which is why I use them a lot in my work. When you’re aware of how you’re feeling, both mentally and physically, you can address it and remove the energy blockages that are the cause for a lot of stress-related illnesses.
What starting points would you suggest for those looking to start exploring meditation?
There’s a wealth of meditation material available on YouTube and apps like Headspace and Calm are great for beginners. It’s important to remember that you really can do it anywhere and it’s not essential to sit in the lotus position! There are many different types of meditation (including my own method of visual meditation) so find whatever works best for you. I began with guided meditations (Emily Fletcher from Ziva Meditation and Vishen Lakhiani’s 6 Phase Meditation are my favourites) but now I also really enjoy a silent meditation. Don’t give up at the first hurdle because you ‘can’t quiet your mind’ - meditation is about creating awareness of thought, not eliminating them altogether.
What is your go to podcast?
I listen to A LOT! I’m obsessed with personal development, wellbeing and spirituality so anything in these genres gets my attention. I love Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place and the Mindvalley podcast.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I love to learn so I only ever read non-fiction. I have about 8 books on the go at any one time but the one I’m enjoying most at the moment is The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel van der Kolk.
When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Listening to podcasts and reading! As I get older, I’m also becoming more health conscious so I love doing yoga. This sounds really boring but, as a self-proclaimed chill seeker, I enjoy just being.
What can’t you live without!
My cats, Colin and Boots, because they bring me so much joy. And Cadbury’s giant chocolate buttons.
What’s next for you & Art For The Soul?
I just launched my new collection, Theta, so right now I’m focussed on promoting that and also growing my YouTube channel. Encouraging people to use art for meditation and live a calmer, more mindful way of life is central to my message so the more people I can reach the more impact I can have. It’s a huge step out of my comfort zone but I’m actually loving it!
You can find Kerry Hussain here: