We had the good fortune of connecting with Magnolia Lafleur and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Magnolia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting my own art business, came about from my desire to make a positive difference in the world to as many people as I possibly can. I have been a Professional Track Athlete most my adult life as well as a Published Writer & Fine Artist. I have found many mental tools, whilst running Pro, that have been useful to me getting through problems and aiding in my creative process that I wanted to share with others. I came up with the idea of teaching art with the slant of using it as a means for people to learn more about their own mental processes in creating things and overall themselves. My dad used to say, “Wherever you go, there you are.” With the ability to read and interpret meanings in peoples paintings,(in the same vanity of graphology but with paintings) I have found that this saying is very true. Something that seems as trivial as painting, is not trivial at all, but a mere reflection of your thoughts, feelings and experiences current, past and future put to paint. I wanted to help people by not just giving them a fun way to pass the time but in utilizing art as a means of self-reflection and as an encouragement creation tool. In order to be a Professional Runner and represent Trinidad & Tobago and compete all over the world including 2 Olympic Trial finals, you have to work on exchanging your fears in the moment with courage and with an ability to focus on the present state and goal at hand while still optimistically looking towards the future. I hope to use my Paint company to not just teach the technicalities of art but to ignite peoples faith, happiness, inspiration and leave people thinking, feeling and painting positively forward.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been a Writer my whole life as I love storytelling, real and fictional. I wrote my first book when I was 5-years-old and have always had a calling to be a storytelling. Watching films became a major influence in my ability to understand scenes, images, lighting and how to visually manifest writing. When I went to college I decided to major in Print Journalism to refine my ability to tell tighter stories, to refine my research abilities and to gain a more in-depth understanding and knowledge of other peoples lives and stories. I have published my writing as a Journalist and my poetry. When I began painting in 2010 it was my way of getting my writing out there via art as all of my paintings were based off my short-story poems. It was my way of doing what took place before film, which was Narrative fine art that was bent on telling great and interesting stories. I am completely self taught, and while I did draw as a child, I hardly to never painted except in one art class in high-school. My ability to paint comes from my study of film and writing. Having a strong understanding for storytelling divinely translated to me understanding how to put the images to canvas. I also believe my discipline as a Professional Athlete taught me how to be very focused and patient, two very necessary ingredients in becoming a great painter. Painting is my way of doing film, frame by frame with stories written by me. In 2017 I started my own Paint & Sip company Art On The Run as a way to bring joy to others and encourage creativity, courage and self reflection.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’d first start with breakfast in Los Feliz at Figaro Bistrot. Los Angeles has so many varying terrains to attract the eye, so I would take them on a drive down the famous PCH coast as an introductory to L.A. Along the way we’d stop at a cheap taco truck as L.A has the best Mexican food. After lunch and a morning ride, we would rent bikes and ride around L.A in order to get a detailed perspective of what Los Angeles is actually like. For the evening we’d go dancing and dinner at El Floridita Cuban Restaurant. After a fun day of dancing the night away dessert and late night cool down at Alcove Cafe on Hillhurst Ave, This would be the first day itinerary. For the rest of the the week would be to drive to the Inland Empire and visit some of their hidden gem cities up in the mountains. I would keep the itinerary between the Inland Empire and Los Angeles so that they can get as much of a grasp of these areas and rest without jumping around to every cool thing Southern Cali. has to offer. Part of vacationing is not just to travel but to gain an understanding of the people and place you’ve traveled to, and the best way to do that is spend more time in less areas than travel to more areas and spend less time in them.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Firstly, I wouldn’t be able to paint, write, run or teach much less, be alive without God, my biggest inspiration. Secondly, my father and mother and then my siblings have been a main support and inspirational system. My tight nit group of friends have always been a source of happiness and education. I’ve had a few coaches over my lifetime of running since 4th grade that were pivotal to my success’s in life. Films and classical music have had a great impact on my story telling refinement. I paint most of my personal paintings and write most of my poetry to instrumental music. Philosophy and history play great roles in my storytelling. I’m grateful for all the people that have made a difference in my life. As no man is an island, I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had without so much kind support along the way.