Deaf Artist Emily LaVelle - Joins the Guest Artist Team at Big Raven Yoga

Do you ever have a conversation with someone you’ve just met and feel forever changed when you say goodbye? I had one of those recently and can’t stop thinking about it… or the person on the other side.

Emily LaVelle is a Deaf artist from Northern California—she is wildly talented, incredibly joyful, wonderfully insightful, and a treasure to spend time with. Emily is a new Guest Artist at Big Raven Yoga and we are really excited to welcome her to our little family. Her first addition to our collection is Fog in Yosemite the design is peaceful, balanced, detailed, and a beautiful contrast of hard and soft—gentle and powerful, much like Emily.

When asked to tell us a little bit about herself, Emily shared the following: “First of all, I am Deaf and proud of it! I love my culture and community. Secondly, I am passionate about art and nature. All of my artwork are inspired by the beautiful nature surrounding us. I like to bring awareness to people and help them to realize how important it is to take care of our beautiful planet because we only got one.”

Emily became deaf when she was eighteen months old and grew up somewhat shy and quiet—art became her medium for expressing thoughts, feelings, and emotions. She credits her Mom, Karen, who was a talented artist and great lover of nature, as her primary inspiration for the artwork she creates. Losing her mom when she was just 16 had a profound impact on Emily—her heartbreak became her fuel to pursue her passion as a full-time artist and follow the dreams she shared with her mom.

Emily smiles easy—laughs with contagious joy and creates artwork that will take you on a journey inward while appreciating the world around you. Emily’s challenges haven’t been the only defining variables in the woman she’s become but rather they are chapters in a story whose sum is greater than all of its individual parts. I guarantee Emily LaVelle is an artist to watch—there is something incredibly special about her and her artwork—I promise you’ll love both.

More sunshine and goodness about Emily…

  1. Emily says Cats all the way! Even though she loves dogs—cats rule.
  2. Her favorite foods are guacamole and French fries! [Together, Emily? Together? No judgment-that actually sounds kinda awesome.]
  3. Emily is currently reading the Dune series and says it’s very interesting! [There are 8 books in the series each one is about 500 pages—wow!!]
  4. The first thing Emily does in the morning is stretch and meditate for about 10 minutes to start her day on a positive note! [We should all follow Emily's example]
  5. Henry Cavill is— for very-good-and-sound-reasons-Emily’s celebrity crush.
  6. Emily’s wardrobe staples are plaid flannel shirts, yoga clothing, and anything outdoorsy.
  7. For her first job Emily worked as a Barista in Roseville, California. 
  8. Her favorite way to spend the day is hiking somewhere in the Tahoe National Forest or Stand Up Paddle Boarding on a quiet alpine lake. [Can we go too, please?]
  9. Emily is afraid of spiders—and her reasons why make perfect sense: “they move so fast and you never know which ones are poisonous — and they lay eggs inside your house and millions will hatch!” [I am now officially afraid of spiders too.]
  10. Emily’s biggest pet peeve is people who assume that Deaf people cannot do anything... and discriminate. Emily says she receives this type of treatment all the time—even while grocery shopping.
  11. Emily dreams of becoming known worldwide as a Deaf Artist and Advocate. She longs to be a champion for nature, wildlife and protecting what is rare and beautiful in our world—even spiders as long as they are not in her house.
  12. The best advice Emily has received that has served her well, “Love. Always Forgive. Life is so short—don’t take tomorrow for granted.
  13. For Emily, her yoga practice helps her connect to Mindfulness and a Mediation practice.
  14. Emily practices 4-6 times a week on her Fog in Yosemite mat.
  15. Her favorite poses are Child’s Pose & Downward Facing Dog [I was expecting Emily to say “cat”]
  16. Emily describes her Fog in Yosemite design this way: "Fog In Yosemite is an oil painting I created to represent the wonder and magic of a foggy forest. My hope is that you feel a sense of tranquility and peace as the misty atmosphere surrounds you.”
  17. Fog in Yosemite was inspired by a photograph Emily took on a hike to Half Dome in Yosemite in the summer of 2013.
  18. For Emily, it was a really rare type of California day—the mist, fog, and light rain combined to make their very own unique kind of magic.
  19. Emily hopes her design brings a sense of wonder, peace, and serene feelings to those who experience it.
  20. She describes her style as realistic with a bit of imagination and the abstract thrown in.
  21. Emily is drawn to creating mainly nature, mountain, and wildlife art and has been inspired by a wide variety of artists who create work across several unique mediums. Regan Johnston, Rachel Pohl, Vicki Speck, and Carl Benders are just a few of her influences.
  22. If Emily could have dinner with one person it would be her mom. “I miss her so much. She passed away suddenly when I was 16. We discovered she had Pancreatic cancer and she was gone four short months after being diagnosed. My mom had the most influence on me as an artist. She was an amazing painter who loved nature and sharing it with me.” [I’m sure your mom loved you in a way that is impossible to measure!]
  23. Emily believes yoga can lead to greater happiness and keeps her personal mantra close to her heart, “Live and love today to the fullest, for there may be no tomorrow. Be positive always and find joy in small things.” [You are a treasure Emily, and we love you lots and lots.]

You can learn more about Emily and her art by checking out her website, following her on Facebook, Instagram, or taking a peek at her design, Fog in Yosemite in our Guest Artist Collection. We are delighted to welcome Emily to Big Raven Yoga and look forward to all of the wonderful things current and to come!

Beautiful, foggy forest of YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK on a yoga mat

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