Ciao, I'm Aimee Johanan.

I'm an artist living in east London. I create abstract art prints with bold colours, shapes and patterns to lift your energy and help create a home sanctuary that reflects your fullest self. The real you.

My story

I have always had a flamboyant , ridiculous, too colourful side to me. It's been clear since I learned to walk and talk at 1 years old and choose my own footwear (my mother's heels of course). I would shuffle into the garden (it's really tough to walk in giant shoes) and revel in the beauty of her Bombay pink, heart-drop blooms, vibrant, velvetty tulips and sweet-smelling cabbage roses, bursting with petals.

I remember one rose so clearly. It had ribbons of deep pink and white with tiny flecks, as though it had been painted and splattered by the brush of an artist. It still takes my breath away today!

My dad feared I was lonely. "We need to give her a sibling!"

But I was in my element. Those flowers were SO majestic, so unapologetically gorgeous and luxurious in their shapes and textures. Each completely unique.

And with such flamboyant style influences as these flowers, why would I ever choose to blend in?

Skip forward a few years to sixth form school assembly. 'Business' dress. We're lined up in rows like army cadets. Teachers patrol up and down to make sure nobody talks, hands are out of pockets and everything is neatly tucked.

She eyes me up and down: "Is THAT what you think appropriate office wear?"

I glance at the row of black, navy and charcoal suits in front of me and then down at my own ensemble. Cherry red, 4 inch platform shoes, a black and white tweed skirt that I'd chopped in half myself and attached a white scalloped lace trim to the hemline, and a smooth cotton shirt (very smart really) with glossy enamel buttons and sleeves that bloomed out, Shakespeare style, into wonderful folds of unnecessary fabric at the cuff.

My choices were all playful spins on the office classics. An ode to office wear, turned up 10 notches.

Obviously lost on this woman.

She shot a deeply disapproving look at me that I'm sure was meant to cut straight to my approval-seeking heart, but instead it just bounced off my patent leather armour.

Theirs was a factory meant to churn out the next generation of great minds. And part of what we had to give up for this greatness was self-expression. Perhaps they thought it would be useful for the engineers and scientists who had bigger problems to fry with their incredible brains. 

But what about the artists who had accidentally stumbled into this greatness factory?

I escaped and set off to fashion school.

You'd imagine then, with these flamboyant moments in my past, that bold self expression comes easy to me now, wouldn't you? 

But no. In fact, I have found it incredibly difficult to draw out the real me. Even in an industry that champions self-expression.

During a year of intense internships, I dipped in and out of high fashion houses, borrowing their accents, their ways of draping, combining fabrics and colours, imitating the chic designers with their head to toe black uniforms (which lead to a moment of pink-sparkly rebellion a la 1 year old Aimee).

I wondered if this could all be the real me.

Terrified I would never find a job (side note: I needn't have worried, still to this day I have never had a 'real' job and I have lived to tell this tale), I buckled down on my pattern-cutting skills. Rules! Rigidity! Tailoring! Precision! And I managed to create a stiff collection that I couldn't see my reflection in at all. Apart from a sliver of fuchsia pink suede.

My lowest moments ensued shortly after that.

Now escaping fashion, I hid from the world. Tried to become the plainest, camouflaged, quietest me that I could.

I reached a point where I couldn't see that sing-to-the-flowers girl anymore.

It was time to re-invent! And I embarked on years of skill gathering, learning and the slow process of finding myself.

Until finally, after many detours, I somehow found my way back here.

Back to art. Back to pattern, rhythm and colour.

Now every day that passes, I'm uncovering her again.

Just like you, I'm on a journey.

Returning to art to uplift myself & and those around me.

 

Self expression isn't easy

Expressing the fullness of your flavours in all their wild intensity is not easy.

Especially when the system is designed to dampen, dilute and compress you, so you'll blend in, feel less, question less and do what you're told.

The process of re-discovering your voice (RE-discovering because at some point, we knew it well) is messy, challenging and even painful at times when we feel impossibly far away from our truth.

But I believe it's the secret key that opens the doors to vibrant health, deep honest, connected relationships and that mysterious idea of fulfilment everyone talks about. 

You and I, we're made of the very same potent, powerful stuff as all of nature. And that same potential for bold beauty and unapologetic expression is available to us.

You may find it in the parts of you they called "too much."

No, self expression isn't easy. But it's our lifeline. Because when we find ways to give voice to the parts of ourselves we've been hiding, we heal ourselves.

Physically. Emotionally.

And when we present our honest selves to the world, suddenly we're open to connect raw human to human. That's where the love is.

When we express our fullness, we reflect the fullness of everyone we meet back to them. Giving them permission to free themselves.

And when we finally stop stressing about all the ways in which we're not good enough, and all the ways other people are unacceptable, pouring all this energy into controlling ourselves and those around us...

Then we free up our energy and focus for appreciation. Helping each other. Enjoying this life.

Self expression is healing.

 

A love letter to you

Dear Darling,

How are you feeling today?

I believe we can use the magic of colour to help you express your true self, significantly alter your mood, and shift your vibes.

And we can use pattern to inspire you to move, create, celebrate.

Or on the other end of the spectrum, pattern can help you go deep, quieten and meditate.

You've heard this truth before, and here's a reminder...

Change your state of mind by changing your environment.

That energy that runs through us, the heightened palette of feelings we're able to experience, is really what makes our brief moment on this earth EXTRAORDINARY. 

For some reason, our bizaare little human species has been gifted with these strange sensitivities. Why? Who knows.

Outside, there may be structures, systems, individuals trying to keep you small, muted, invisible. Numbing your senses.

But what if your home could be a safe sanctuary where you can feel fully and express your true self?

I see my role as an artist to create art pieces that bubble up fresh energy and to help you design a space that reflects the magic in you.

When your space begins to reflect what's really inside, you feel better, you can hear your intuition clearly, you start to tap into what inspires you.

Life starts to expand, brighten.

Coming home to the fullness of who you are, is more important that you may realise

There's a powerful ripple effect from you expressing yourself and enjoying your life.

When you allow yourself to shine brightly, accept your imperfect edges, embrace your deep desires, feel your full range of emotions...you heal us.

Because you inspire and give us permission to do the same for ourselves. 

So how would you like to feel today?

Grab a pen and notebook and jot down the first things that come to mind, uncensored.

Perhaps you want to be vivid, vibrant and full of positive energy.

Or maybe you're craving softness, stillness, deep pause.

Self expression is a practice that asks you to sharpen your focus and intentions so that we can spot the signs, collect the clues to who we are and try on new ways of being in the world.

Begin to notice all around you what makes you feel. You'll start to learn what your sensitivities are.

What are the ingredients that raise your energy, and allow you to tap into the emotions you want to embody?

I encourage you to start collecting the ingredients and begin testing your own recipes.

It can start with something as small as a beautiful mug to enjoy your favourite tea, a special garment, a vase of sculptural eucalyptus branches, a piece of art that gives you all the feelings, a song that takes you deeper...

Yes, I'm here to create artworks for you. But really, it goes beyond artwork and filters into every aspect of your life!

Time to open your eyes and your desires.

Let's draw out the real you.

 

Love,

Aimee

xxxx

  

Brushstroke by brushstroke, I'm building this space

For years and years and YEARS I've dreamed of having this space to share what inspires me and play out loud. What a joy to finally begin bringing it to life!

And as with all new projects, I have grand dreams for this space, plans that stretch far into the future. 

A thousand times along the way, I've had to remind myself how necessary it is to start somewhere and be open to all the chance and inspiration that says: "here's your next step".

Thank you so much for stopping by, I don't take it for granted.

I hope you'll find something that whispers to the magic you have inside!

My promise to you - to keep asking questions, appreciating the beauty all around, keep creating the work and inviting you in.

 Cup of matcha anyone?