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5 Queens, NYC Artists You Should Know

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Queens is probably one of the most under-discovered places in New York. It is usually known by sports fans all over the world because of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, home of the annual US Open tennis championship. As well as Citi Field which is another sports complex, situated in the Park. But most people are unaware that Queens is also home to many great, emerging artists. 

Some of these talented artists in Queens are mentioned below:

AJ Lavilla 

Born in Iloilo, Philippines, AJ Lavilla is a self-taught artist, currently based in Queens, New York. He was introduced to art at the age of eleven and learned a great deal by observing the works of his favorite artists which include Picasso, Murakami, Basquiat, and KAWS. 

AJ Lavilla’s main interest is in street art and graffiti. His work is unique in the sense that he uses pop culture icons and vivid colors to bring his art to life. He is also known for the use of inspirational quotes in his work. The Queens artist has graced many walls of New York with his murals, including the World Trade Center.

OG Millie 

Kamille Ejerta, known more popularly by her street name OG Millie is another Filipino American artist. The New York artist is widely known for the amazing art that she creates despite being visually impaired. Art became her safe escape after she suffered a vision-threatening emergency. 

Her art can be easily identified in a sea of paintings because of its uniqueness. She uses vintage decorative mirrors as a canvas to paint portraits with acrylic paint. She is also a mural artist and her work can be seen on walls throughout New York. Her paintings are an embodiment of old school meets new school. OG Millie’s art focuses on colorful portraits of iconic figures.

Shaun Lee NYC 

Shaun Lee NYC one of the most talented artists from Queens, New York. Specializing in a broad style thats unique enough to distinguish. He started developing his art career at a very young age, which prompted him to participate in many programs since a child. He has showcased work in art shows all around the world, from Paris, to Quebec, and Montreal. To residences in New York Cities night clubs such as the Freehold NY.

The Queens artist is widely known for his unique art style which includes unique shades of red in majority of his canvases. However diverse in his mediums with ability to control a spray-can like a brush. He currently has murals displayed in the heart of Queens and has plans to create many more. His artwork is popular for converting traditional art ideas into contemporary pieces.

Savior Elmundo 

Savior Elmundo is a New York artist, dancer, and filmmaker. He is well known for the 3-D letter work that he started experimenting with, in 2015. Since then, the 3-D letters have become his trademark. His art icons include Dali, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Matisse, and Frida. 

Elmundo loves playing with different textures and he does a lot of message work. His art can also be identified by his logo, ‘Make Art’. According to him, his logo represents all forms of art and is a simple way of reminding people to make art.

Turtlecaps 

Turtlecaps is a Queens-born graffiti artist. He started practicing his art in the late 1980s by drawing on streets, train tracks, etc. True to his name, Turtlecaps, his main character is that of a turtle.

This character is made up of a turtle shell, with Mickey mouse shoes, a spray can cap for a head, and a wind-up key at the back. The Queens artist spends his time painting murals of his representative character on the streets of New York, with various adaptations. 

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Lifestyle

Why Healing Yourself is the Gateway to Helping Your Clients Heal

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In an old play based on Greek mythology, there’s a poignant chorus that talks about how physicians should best know how to heal their own illnesses. It goes like this: 

“You have suffered sorrow and humiliation. You have lost your wits and have gone astray; and, like an unskilled doctor, fallen ill. You lose heart and cannot discover by which remedies to cure your own disease.”

In the olden days, society shared a strong notion that those who are capable of helping others to heal must be capable of healing themselves as well. Today, people might be the same. Not many are so inclined to see a skin specialist whose skin suffers terribly, for example. 

And while this ideology might seem a little unforgiving, it persists. 

Doctors and those who specialize in helping others heal are at a high risk of ignoring their own struggles in favor of their work. This can be due to their personalities or the public’s expectation that they’re meant to have everything together as professionals who provide aid for others. 

This also applies to those who help others heal emotionally or spiritually.

And no one knows this better than Robin Rivera.

Channeling One’s Life Experiences to Guide Others to Exponential Healing

Spiritual healer Robin Rivera believes in embracing one’s past hurts and taking the difficult — but important — journey towards healing. She founded Robin Rivera Global to help people heal through holistic and shamanic techniques. 

Today, she also helps fellow spiritual coaches to reach others. 

“It’s all about liberation… I want to liberate as many people as I can to greater and greater states of love and freedom. And this really comes from a place in me that is driven by freedom and liberation,” she said. 

As someone who deals so frequently with the art of helping people heal emotionally and spiritually, one might expect her to be someone who’s always had it together from the start.

But this is far from the reality. 

Robin Rivera didn’t have a peaceful childhood. Her family was well-versed with child abuse for generations. And although Robin recognizes that her parents brought her up as well as they could, she still knew what violence was from a tender age.

“At 5 years old, I had decided that all I had was myself,” she recalled. 

Robin got into the habit of alcohol and substance abuse at the age of eleven. It was not long after when she became suicidal. It got to a point where Child Protective Services had to step in. 

After that, Rivera frequented the system. And it wasn’t smooth sailing from there, either. She underwent more abuse, collected more experiences to add to her traumatic past. Her parents eventually sent her to a boarding school in Mexico, where they hoped she would get the help she needed. But in that school, the students were locked in for over a year. 

Rivera recounted her experience in that school. It was shut down for child abuse shortly after she left. However, she realized that this difficult experience taught her how to survive, how to persist even when the odds were stacked against her.

Robin Rivera’s Rocky Journey in Search of Healing

Rivera eventually survived the ordeals of her childhood. But when she matured as an adult, she still struggled to find her way. 

Her past experiences taught her to survive, sure. But all the support, safety, and guidance she lacked growing up came back to haunt her. She found herself treading precariously over the edge, searching for a way to find her balance. 

“All I had was emotional baggage and trauma that I began to unlock and look at powerfully,” Robin explained about her past. 

Having been kicked out of her home at 17, she needed to support herself. She delved into the world of exotic dancing and more substance and alcohol abuse. She was also employed as an escort. 

The trigger that got her out of that lifestyle came in the form of a terrifying experience. 

Rivera somehow found herself under the grips of a human trafficker. She eventually began to sense that something was off about the way they operated. 

“I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “But I knew I was very confused and that these were dangerous people.”

She did the only thing she could do: she ran. She was only 23 when she accepted help from her ex-boyfriend. After some time, when she decided to leave him to return to her parents, she found out she was pregnant. 

Love and the Pivotal Role it Plays in Healing

For someone who went through so much at such a young age, Robin’s pregnancy might have seemed like an impossible situation.

But Rivera recognizes her pregnancy as the pivotal turning point in her life. 

As Robin described in an interview: “I wanted to be a good woman for this innocent child, and that gave me the power to do things I thought were nearly impossible.”

She decided that she needed to change her life if she wanted to make a home for her child. She got herself a Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and went on to obtain a Master’s in consciousness and transformative studies. Rivera also spent her time and energy volunteering with the anti-human trafficking movement.

Rivera’s current specialization in spiritual healing stems from her training with the Chicana Latina Foundation. There, she met a shamanic therapist who made her realize her worth. She was told that she wasn’t broken; instead, she was spiritually gifted.

“Those words shook me to the core, and that was when I got to see with my eyes and feel with my heart what was possible,” Rivera said. “I delved into a lot of research on shamanic and holistic healing. And not long after, I created a business out of it.”

Flawed, or Relatable and Human?

Today, Rivera dedicates her time to aid others who struggle with their own trauma. Her journey down the path of healing has brought her eventual success; Robin Rivera Global now rakes in multiple six figures. 

And while Rivera is a spiritual healer, this lesson possibly applies to everyone whose job it is to uplift, cure, or support others in their physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual infirmities.

“At the core of what I do is I’m trying to create beauty out of my suffering,” Rivera explained. 

And perhaps, that is the best anybody can do. To help others is a noble thing, but we often forget that we cannot do so if we ourselves are burnt out. It’s like pouring water out of an empty kettle: it just won’t work, no matter how hard you try. 

Rivera turned her flaws into something her clients can relate to, something that makes her human. Maybe those who make a career out of the art of healing are called to do the same. 

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