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Intuitive Artist Liane Wakabayashi

Interview with Liane Wakabayashi, Writer, Journalist, Intuitive Artist and Co-creator of the Genesis Cards.

Q. How did you become an intuitive artist?

It came about purely through coincidences. I'm not a schooled artist, meaning I have zero art school training, so when I first started getting this impulse to draw and paint nine years ago, I had only my imagination to turn to. So I would put nice colors down and wait for them to start looking like something recognizable. Doing art this way was fun and took a lot of the pressure I was feeling as a journalist to think in a linear rational way.

Genesis Cards by Liane Wakabayashi and Andy BoergerGenesis Cards by Liane Wakabayashi and Andy Boerger

Q. So intuitive art means that there's no planning or prior knowing what you're going to draw?

Well, not exactly. The drive to do art I think is universally motivated by a desire to express feelings. You want to see your feelings manifested in a tangible form. That's what art is about. So in my art, something that day in my environment or circumstances would set the mood. Like the first painting I ever did in my adult years, on my 36th birthday, came about at a wonderful artist's home near Mount Fujii, where the artist Pam Honda was giving me and my husband Aki a our first "art lesson". She flabbergasted us by putting out colors and paper and leaving us to it. No instructions! But it was a brilliant technique, because it got us to relax and fun and let go of expectations about results.

Q. Is intuitive art a term you've coined or has it been around?

I certainly am not the only one doing intuitive art. I'm not sure it's in wide circulation but I can tell you the artist who changed by life by making a very persuasive argument in favor of taking one's own creativity seriously. This was Sachiko Adachi. She had been a colorist for a design firm in Tokyo until her late 30s, when she left because of growing demand for her "intuiitve art". She was like an advice lady and artist combined. People would come to her with a problem and she'd draw them the antedote! The pictures were very simple, more like callligraphy, but beautiful colors and strong. Seven years ago I was asked by Sachiko's brother to edit the translated book, one of her last lectures. The book is called "To Live As We Are", and I highly recommend that anyone read it whose interested in the connection between spiritual development, creativity and intuition. Sachiko made an amazing case for doing art, saying the more you do, the more intuitive you become.

Q. Where can one obtain a copy of Sachiko's book?
Both the English and Japanese versions are available at Amazon.


Genesis Cards by Liane Wakabayashi and Andy BoergerGenesis Cards by Liane Wakabayashi and Andy Boerger

Q. Are people also asking you to do commissions for intuitive art?

Yes. I did a series of 8 pastels called the "Sonic Chakra" series that show the state of my eight chakras, and since this work isn't for sale, I'm getting orders for custom pictures to adjust individual chakras. But what I really hope for the future, is that the Genesis cards will give people the tools to make intuitive art for themselves. That's the dream. To have the whole world rising in the morning to make their own intuitive art, first by using the Genesis cards, then by even making their own deck!

Q. Can you tell us about how the Genesis deck came to be?

The Genesis deck consist of 44 cards made partially by me - half belong to the very talented artist Andy Boerger. When we first decided to collaborate 5 years ago, we began making these individual cards out of our separate bodies of art. At that time, there was more of Andy's art, and as a writer, I would come up with the card labels, then together we would think up creativity exercises that people could do to break out of old patterns of thinking. We wanted to reach people like ourselves, who were pretty good at one creative form, art or writing, but had a hard time switching on the possibility that they could be good at both. Over time we discovered that the cards were effective as a tool to get beginners going as well.

Genesis Cards by Liane Wakabayashi and Andy BoergerGenesis Cards by Liane Wakabayashi and Andy Boerger

Back in January 2000, we started to give workshops in cafe settings, where we'd hang what at that time was a home-made laminated deck from a clothesline and our group would pick cards to help them focus their intentions. The hardest thing that prevents many people from doing art is coming up with the idea. So say you pick the "Spring Seeds" card. Well, that card will lead to all kinds of associations to explore. So we'd have a dozen or so people all doing writing or drawing exercises from the Genesis cards for a few hours, everyone doing their own thing until the end. Then we'd all come back together as a group to talk and share what had just happened.

Being in a group setting where everyone is free to be creative in their own way, in their own artistic medium starts to make people adventurous. We'd all have this common bond through the Genesis cards, and when it came time to talk about our individual experiences, it would be amazing to see how people could take a single Genesis card and let their imagination take them in totally new directions. The Genesis cards were the trigger, the result would be totally original.

The only thing that's different now in the way we do the workshops - and this we learned from experience–is that everyone would do art from the start, rather than have a writing group and an art group. We found that the artists would be all chatty and sociable and having a roaring good time in one corner of the cafe while the writers tried to get intense and serious in the other! The spirit of Genesis is really having a good time together, letting the creativity blend with the social potential. So from now on, we'll have writing time at the end of the workshop for everyone.

Q. Is the workshop setting the only way to work with the Genesis cards?

Actually, it's only the beginning. The cards work like the tarot, so I do use them for individual readings to look at personal issues. I give readings, and I can recommend therapists as well who are using my cards for more professional help. There's a therapist in Tokyo, David Howland, who has come up with a brilliant technique of his own for doing layouts with the Genesis cards, so that you look at the various "rooms" of your life by choosing the cards face up, then replacing some of the cards to come up with a completely new "room" or way of viewing life. I've experienced David's reading and found it most interesting.

Q. Is this how working with the Genesis deck make you more intuitive?

Yes, it's one way, especially when you're working with a partner or a small group, because then you're taking time to explore at a leisurely pace a mind set that is keeping your life script confined to one particular drama. Doing the art exercise is incredibly powerful as a means to altering the life script because you are manifesting in color and design the blueprint for what you need to do.
Genesis Cards by Liane Wakabayashi and Andy BoergerGenesis Cards by Liane Wakabayashi and Andy Boerger

When you begin to talk about your own art and other people ask you questions, it opens up channels of thinking that weren't there before. I'll give a really simple example. You're stuck in Tokyo when you're doing the Genesis card session and the card you draw is "Adventure", so you sit down and draw yourself on a tropical island even though you think there's no way you can leave your job and family right now. Well, in your picture, you draw not only the beach but what's that off in the corner? It's a pod of dolphins. So a few days after the Genesis session, you get this sudden idea: hey, I'm going to take the kids to an aquarium. Of course, there by the dolphin pool you run into an old acquaintance who reminds you of past times when you didn't feel "stuck" in Tokyo at all, you get talking and he invites you to join his cycling group for a ride that changes your life. Well, that's an example of the intuititve chain reaction that can come when you start to draw from the imagination and then take action on the things that come out of your pictures. I've experienced this so many times I just take it for normal now.

Q. Are the Genesis cards available for sale?

Yes, you can buy the Genesis Cards from my website - I also offer Genesis Art Workshops.

Genesis Art Workshops take place in a peaceful and centrally located studio in Taito-ku, Tokyo near JR Okachimachi station, Hibiya, Oedo and Ginza lines.


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