We had the good fortune of connecting with Sheryl Benjy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sheryl, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
When I was child I would give up very easily on things. I think it was a combination of my parents not pushing me to continue and me not wanting to fail. As I got older I realized I would not finish what I started. I would give up so easily. Now I finish whatever I start, no matter how difficult it is. That’s why I constantly challenge myself. I am almost finished with my 100 day painting challenge. This is the third year in a row I have been doing this. There have been many times where I wanted to give up on continuing with my art business but I keep going because I see the growth and the light it brings me and so many others. I look for the signs and if they are all there then I keep going.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am the creator of Body Soul Art. I am like a fairy godmother that turns women into goddesses. I paint women and sometimes men. I bring out their true colors and I love watching the transformation that occurs. It’s a time for me to get to know my human canvas, to dig deep into their soul. I get an idea of the theme and how I will paint them by a questionnaire they fill out. But it’s not until they are sitting in front of me and I get to talk to them that I truly know what I will paint. That’s where all the magic happens. I also do a lot of abstract fluid pieces that represent the flow of life and the universe. I am also in the process of completing my 100 day painting challenge. I paint portraits of people that I find or others find inspiring. My collectors have also commissioned me to paint portraits of their spouses or parents for their birthdays or anniversary. I do a video time-lapse of the process and post it on social media to surprise them with. It’s a special and unique gift, just like the body art. Many have said that Body Soul Art is a bucket list item and an experience everyone has to try. I am always trying to think of new ways of creating a unique art experience for people. Getting to where I am now has not been easy. There has been a lot of trial and error. I have made many mistakes but I have learned so much from them. I keep trying and I try to be as consistent as possible. I feel we need to fail many times in order to finally succeed. I try to give myself credit for how far I have come instead of looking at how far I still have to go. I feel the main key to success is mindset and not comparing yourself to others. I have learned that it’s easy to just give up. The hard part is not giving up. To remain focused is the key to anything in life. Distractions are a real problem especially with the internet and our phones. It’s all about setting aside a chunk of time where there are no distractions so you can focus and grow your business or whatever it is you are working on. I have also learned that having a good group of people to connect with is so crucial. People who are your tribe that are there to support you and who understand what you are going through. That to me is gold. I want people to know that I have had a challenging life and that art has healed me in so many ways. I want to give that feeling of light, healing, and transformation to my collector and to that person I am painting. I want them to feel the movement of my art and to feel the support of the universe whenever they look at it. My mission is to bring out my muse’s true essence, their authentic self. We are so used to hiding who we really are because of what society tells us we should be. We have so many colors that deserve to be seen, right? We are spiritual beings having a human experience. We are more than what others say we should be. We are masterpieces waiting to be discovered.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would take them to the Magic Castle, it’s so much fun and you can only go there by invitation. It’s quite the experience. Another great place I would take them is Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach, I grew up in that area and there is so much do there. There are new up and coming restaurants in that area and the beaches and views are just beautiful. There is also an Aquarium at the Manhattan Beach pier you can visit for free. It’s the perfect place to rent a bike and go cruising on the strand. Century City Mall in Los Angeles has been remodeled and is now the new place to go. There are so many great places to eat and shop. One of my favorite places there is Eataly. The Groove is also another fun place to visit and there is a Farmer’s Market right next to it that you can eat at and buy fresh produce from. Sur La Table is also located there and you can take some amazing cooking classes. I would also take them to LACMA to check out some exhibits. For dinner I would take them to Terronis, an amazing Italian restaurant in LA. I love Japanese food so Robata Jinya would also be another go to spot.
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?
I am very grateful for all the support I have. One person who started me on the journey of becoming a professional artist is my friend and mentor, Brooke Harker. She is also an artist and so talented! I look up to her. She has been my guiding light.
Linkedin: Sheryl Benjy
Youtube: Sheryl Benjy
Photography by Catherine Kang, Ryan Padilla and Sheryl Benjy