We had the good fortune of connecting with Rhonna Del Rio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rhonna, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for your children?
Sometimes I still catch myself wondering if I’ve truly become the student since becoming a mother. My daughter Chiara teaches me a lot with her questions about life, and my work. When she was in first grade she wanted to bring me to her school to talk about my work during Career Day. Chiara asked what she should tell her teacher to describe my work. I couldn’t come up with one “title”. You see, I have a formal college degree in architecture, at the time a Feng Shui consultant (today I refer to it as Spatial Harmony: The Sacred “FunSchway”), and I am a spiritual artist who paints art-for-healing. I remember holding her hands and looking down and I confidently told her that although I offer so many types of work, every one of them, I do with love and passion. I suppose the most important thing I’ve done as her mother is not only tell her but to show her daily that that the most important thing is to live with passion and that if we are doing what we love, life will love us back.
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about?
My Story- In the early years as a professional, I worked for architecture firms as a designer and an associate. Architecture was my only passion in the beginning of my career. One day, I began to recycle square coffee filters. I stacked them up until they were like a loose pages of a journal. In February 2011, I took a yoga challenge- 20 yoga classes in 28 days. I wanted to journal the challenge on the coffee filters I collected and ‘write’ about the experience, but instead I started to doodle forms that became clear between the coffee ground stains: all depicting feminine archetypes with hearts and wings. As my yoga practice got deeper, my faith and prayers did as well. The archetypes got bigger and I began to paint bigger feminine figures with hearts and wings. I am proudest of how my art pieces always find their “person” and are now in homes around the world! I am excited firstly about a book project that will showcase the entire recycled coffee filter series. Secondly, I am expanding my clientele for home and landscape design service. And thirdly, I’m happily re-branding my 15 years of Feng Shui consultation into a Funshway: The Art of Spatial Harmony. I am also praying for the success of my up and coming collaboration with two non-profit organizations: KISS (Keep It Sacred Sister) geared towards helping and empowering women of sexual abuse and AWBW (A Window Between Worlds) an organization helping heal women of domestic violence through the use of art.
How did you get to where you are today professionally? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
I actually can’t remember what I did step by step that got me to where I am today professionally. I went to school for architecture and I never imagined then that my career would be beyond doing architecture. One thing that I am certain about is I overcame all the challenges and decisions along the way with one LEAP OF FAITH, after another. I remained hopeful and believed that everything was happening for a greater plan.
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
There are many lessons that I’ve learned all of my adult and career life but three that first come to mind are: 1) Never stop learning. Keep creating. 2) When in doubt, take a LEAP OF FAITH, and 3) Never stop praying.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I want the world to know that without persistence and faith, I would have never witnessed the power of healing through art. Ultimately, my mission is to create and serve with passion everyone’s home, heart, and mind. My ‘brand’ is my soul. I can’t imagine doing what I do without putting a part of my heart in it, with both life and work. Lastly, everyone’s story has a power to inspire and I hope you share yours too!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I normally would not plan an itinerary when any of my best friends visit. We would always play by ear and be absolutely fine if we simply “hang”, talk, cook, and repeat. Whether we are praying deep for each other’s hopes, dreams, and healing or sitting across the sofa, or dining table and simply hanging out. However, I can also imagine us taking a sightseeing drive and see where the car takes us. We would pull up when an interesting shop from the side of a road appears. It could be a small old bookstore or an antique shop or a fancy shiny, glam boutique. We would for sure catch some time with nature, hiking or staring at it. And for plan B for my more extroverted best friends, I would probably plan something along these lines: Monday: Walk or drive to my local favorite “mom and pops” coffee shop for breakfast- Blue Butterfly Coffee! Walk and talk around the neighborhood. Show all of my favorite mini shops. Take her to your favorite yoga studio in town –YogaBiss, El Segundo. Tuesday: Adventure to SouthBay, through Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach (Gum Tree), and Redondo Beach. Pop in to cute stores by the pier and relaxing environment. Wednesday: Headed to Westside: Venice Beach (Abbot Kinney) Cafe Gratitude, Santa Monica, Urth Café! Obligatory LA spots photo shoot. Thursday: Time to adventure out of LA! Drive to Ojai, stay overnight glam camping! Definitely take a yoga class. Eat a simple dinner at a small local restaurant. Then chill next to bon fire with blanket. Whilst sipping wine, tea, coffee and talk till the wolves howl. Friday: Wake up in Ojai, to walk to the Yoga studio nearby and take a class. Then we adventure out for a hike, to breathe nature. Saturday: Back to my local area with lots of chilling and more talking, while also letting each other be on her own for independent contemplation -this definitely would happen each day sometime in between. J Sunday: Mellow hang out…and maybe a little crying. I would already be missing my best friend before she even leaves.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout out to God who always helps me rise back up, my daughter, Chiara who inspires me just by being herself, my warrior/prayer sisters who remind me daily of the power of prayers and gratitude, my family, soul-best-friends, and colleagues for their encouragement and love, and everyone who found and resonated with my paintings and has given them homes around the world!
Website: www.inephesus.com and www.rhonnadelrio.com
Linkedin: Rhonna Del Rio www.linkedin.com/in/otonome
Facebook: Yoga and Art Journey
Other: Available for viewing on YouTube: Short Documentary: “A Yoga and Art Journey: Filter” and upcoming Trailer: “Rooted: A Journey through yoga that led to art”