Creativity Coach - Artist Desiree East

You want to THRIVE and live in the PRESENT MOMENT. You want to CREATE THE REALITY YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED through CREATIVE LIFESTYLE HABITS.You want to tap into that hidden, CREATIVE POTENTIAL that is ready to be UNLEASHED to the world. When your inner voice, your intuitive heart --- YOUR creative genius --- is nourished and pampered, you know you can create profound changes in your LIFE that is the art.

Desiree East is a Soulful Entrepreneur, Certified Master Transformational Coach, Creatively Fit Coach and Visual Artist. Desiree facilitates live creative workshops and retreats, as well as, online art programs focused on personal and professional development. She inspires her clients to create meaningful change in their lives through creative ritual, using art-making as a modality for creative wellness and deep transformation (no art experience required). 

Filtering by Tag: waves

weekly photo challenge: threshold

bali surf and exposed reef by desiree east Threshold - noun

  1. a strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room.
  2. a point of entry or beginning.
  3. the beginning of an airport runway on which an aircraft is attempting to land.
  4. the magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested.
  5. he maximum level of radiation or a concentration of a substance considered to be acceptable or safe.
  6. a limit below which a stimulus causes no reaction.


I immediately thought of this photo of How I Brought in the Balinese New Year in 2012.

As surfers, we have this hungry anticipation for playing in the ocean's waves like you wouldn't believe. Our hearts' start to pump, and our eyes start to dilate, as we scan the horizon for energetic lumps of salty goodness forming into the perfect platform for gliding to freedom.


And at this point in my life, it very much reminds me of the anticipation of building my dream business. One of my online colleagues and surfer friend, Srini Rao of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast (formerly BlogcastFM), happens to use surfing as a metaphor for life and business quite often, which I love. In fact, one of his biggest dreams of hosting a live, yet most intimate event is happening, as I type these words. Check it out: The Instigator Experience. Go Srini!

If you've been following me for the last couple of years you already know that I am also at the threshold of bringing my dreams to light as a creative entrepreneur. And it really does feel like I'm about to paddle out into some of the biggest waves I've ever paddled out into. The courage and confidence that I've gained in the last few years, especially in putting myself out there --- no holds barred --- has been incredibly thrilling, scary, exciting, humbling, liberating and freeing.

All while trying to be as focused and grounded as possible.  

Very much like paddling out into the ocean, I feel like I'm on the verge of having the best surf session in my life, with many more waves to come, in all different sizes, shapes, and forms. And I definitely feel like there is more to come on the horizon.

HERE'S THE THING: Experiences like this just don't fall into our laps. It takes knowing and identifying what you really desire in life. And, just like learning how to surf and getting used to an environment you may not be used to, it takes knowledge and practice. AND, more importantly, to cross that threshold, you must surround yourself with support, so that you're not doing it alone.




Is what you are about to do truly in alignment with your higher calling/purpose/soul's work? If yes, then fantastic, you'll be happier knowing you're on the right path. If not, change course.


To cross the threshold, educate yourself and take action by practicing the thing that you want to become. The more knowledge you have, the more comfortable you'll be.


Once you cross the threshold, connect with other people who have the same values and who are doing the same things that you doing, for support, accountability, and sharing challenges and celebrating successes. Having a sense of love, safety and belonging (our three basic human needs) makes a world of a difference.




vision board dreams with desiree east If you feel inclined to join me and other WordPress bloggers for weekly photo challenges, please do. Just follow the prompts for this week’s theme here: WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. You have until the following Friday to share what you’ve come up with…Happy Shooting!

how do you keep your sanity?


1. make a cup of yogi tea. breathe.

2. read or watch something inspiring (or ask my husband to make me laugh).

3. create. write. journal.

4. exercise. surf. dance.

5. connect with nature.

Easier said than done, I know. But these are my simple little go-to's keep my sanity.

I bumped into a former colleague/teacher the other night at zumba (and yes, I said zumba. don't judge. it's so fun, and thee best work out - did you know you could burn up to 500-800 calories in one session?) She was telling me that zumba was her only moment of escape and sanity...totally agree. Cha, cha, cha.


And, you probably haven't heard from me, because we had a little string of days when the surf was epic. If I am M.I.A., I am most likely playing in the ocean. A little salt cleansing, if you will. Totally addicting.

So, the latest news from my side of the world: Winter is still here (which is usually a slow season for work). To my surprise, the work has been flowing in with the rain. I am fully booked with design work and coaching gigs...very exciting stuff! Life is good, I can't complain, I am forever grateful and feeling blessed.

But let's get real.

Sometimes, I can't breathe. And when I can't breathe, that's my body's way of telling me to slooooow down. To chill out.

So I listen. Or at least, I try.

We live in a world that is dominated by the monotonous day-to-day grind, grueling deadlines, scheduled appointments, be-there-or-be-square weekend commitments, following the Jones' program --- only to numb it out with reality television shows, reality drama of your own, alcohol, or the latest pharmaceutical miracle drug.

As of late, I've been hearing tales of 'unintentional' self-destruction...and, this is not to say, I've never been self-destructive before...we are all human, after all.

But it makes me think: why the drama?

How do you get from that stage, where you throw your hands in the air, and give into the chaos, and quietly go to the place of enlightenment, to respect what your body, mind, and soul is trying to tell you. (Because, we all secretly want to be enlightened - don't we?) Well, maybe not like the extreme Buddhist monk type of enlightenment or wanna-be yogi lifestyle --- but, a lighter life. An easier life.

To live simply (or, like that bumper sticker, to simply live).

Where you can breathe. Feel moments of peace and contentment.

If you could just spare 15 minutes to one-hour a day --- or even once a week --- to get this feeling, how would you spend that time? What small steps can you do to make it happen?

What would you do? What's stopping you?

What arrangements and small decisions can you make to allow yourself the time you deserve to just be?

Please, share in the comments below, for we can all learn from each other's wisdom...xo

i finished a painting marathon...whew!

Yay! I finished a painting marathon! Never thought I'd say that, but boy was it fun. That was about 3-1/2 weeks of painting straight. You can read more about how my painting adventure unravelled in these two posts:

Have You Ever Tried Painting, Marathon Style?

Totally Addicted

And tonight, I am prepping for an Art Show. I have lots to do, so I am going to leave it at that. If you live locally, I would love to see you and chat about how I can coach you through the next Painting Marathon. Crossing fingers that it doesn't rain, as I plan on doing some live painting demos and inviting YOU to help throw paint on the canvas!


dec 1_art show_sandbox coffee house_desiree east_charney and friends

made with love...

mothers day illustration by desiree east

Brendon and I are a million miles away from home...How can we celebrate mother's day this year?

Usually, at this point in the game, you can find us elbow-to-elbow in the stationery store with other well-meaning daughters, sons, children, grandkids and husbands, trying to pick out just the right card for the women who have influenced our lives in every which way possible. Don't get me wrong --- I can get lost for hours looking at stationary. What I love the most --- if I have the time --- is figuring how to create something crafty and handmade. (If you don't know me by now, i'm a little bit of a stationary and gift wrap freak).

For the last few days, Brendon and I have both been wondering, "I wonder what everyone (Suzy, Lynne, Betty, Grandma Campbell, and all of the other Moms we love) is doing for Mother's Day this weekend...???" One thing is for sure: we will miss out on all of the delicious grub --- and spoiling you, of course (wink, wink).

So, this year (because, we are not home to shower everyone with gifts and flowers), here is a time-lapse video/illustration, made from the bottom of my heart. We may be halfway around the world, but we are thinking of you and send muchos, muchos besos...

This is dedicated to all of the wonderful moms my life, and especially to my beautiful mother, Suzy...


Produced and Illustrated by: Desirée East

Soundtrack: “Bonjour” by Fuji Kureta Used with permission under a CC-Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: Fuji Kureta – Sweets EP

If you dig the tunes you heard, please support the artists and visit their site at:

Please SHARE the love below...thanks for watching!

it's official...we're in love

I'm gonna keep this one short. But, by all means, please keep the questions and emails coming. Our friends and family have all been asking if we've settled in; if Bali has been what we expected; if it's all that we've hoped for; if it's getting easier... Our two-month anniversary of living in Bali is here, and I can definitely say that we have found our groove.  A routine, if you will, and a very nice one. It almost deserves a Marvin Gaye soundtrack to go with it. Seriously. And I can talk for hours on end about what we did and didn't expect. I think I might save that for another post, because I will just get all philosophical about it, because that's just how I am.

That said, I have a gazillion photos to share, and we haven't even really done any touristy stuff yet. We are just getting I will keep shooting and promise to share more later.

Besides, the truth is, we just bought a bunch of pirated DVD's for super cheap (my apologies to my brother, Kalae, but that's all they have available to sell here, in the malls and everywhere...and somehow, it's completely legal???), and I just want to veg out in front of a movie in our cool, air-conditioned studio...aaaahhhh.

For now, here are some photos. This is a typical day for us: wake up, stretch, eat breakfast, check the surf, paddle out, eat again, and work on business/creative projects at home when the waves aren't good --- maybe go sightseeing, if we feel inclined. And then, Repeat. It's going to be hard to leave, and I don't know how we're going to break it off to beautiful Bali gently when the time comes...

it's official we're in love. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

everyone wants a piece of the action. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

where are we? i think we were supposed to go over there... bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

surf check. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

surf check from the cliff. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

entrance before walking through a tunnel. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

loving the adventure. sea cave at uluwatu, bali. desiree east

yes, it was that big. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

shooting from shade. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

brendon fave empty peak. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

bigger than it looks. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

cute little side-of-the-road calf. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

balinese woman in red. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

diggin the freshly blended fruit juices. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

we like lemon iced tea, too. bali, indonesia. desiree east

 lemon iced tea. photo by desiree east

one of our favorite places to eat. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

balinese seafood satay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

time for ice cream. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

be careful what you ask for, you might just get it

the biggest wave brendon duck dove. bali indonesia. photo by desiree east For weeks on end - no, wait...months, actually - all I've heard from my darling husband is: "All I want is to get some, barreling lefts... just a nice, clean, hollow left." This statement is almost always accompanied with him posing in a front-side stance, along with sound effects of what it's supposed to sound like when you get barreled.

"Wow, babe, you're good. You'd make an excellent sound-effects dude, too." I always told him that he could go into voice-over acting. You should hear him, he's really good.

As you know, we are blessed with a wide variety of waves in Ventura County. Well, all of California, for that matter. And Mexico. And Hawaii. And we've had our share of travelling to other states and countries, as well, to seek out fun, rippable waves. It's what we do. Mandatory.

But, what we all love (we, meaning regular footers) about California and Baja are the plethora of right-hand point breaks...makes me all giddy inside, just thinking about it. However, being married to a goofy-footer makes me realize, well, how badly I feel for all the people who have to ride back-side on a perfectly, peeling right-hand point break. Like, all the time. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) No, but really, I feel for you...

Brendon has had a taste of the Mentawais, and he's been itching to spend more time in Indo. So, after a series of unfortunate events - coupled with the perfect timing of a down economy - we decided that after all was said and done, time is more valuable than any material wealth. So, we put our rose-colored glasses on and decided to stretch our dollar in Bali...and here we are.

Several weeks ago, the Bukit finally turned on. Seasons are changing, and the trade winds are blowing off-shore on the west coast of Bali. And what perfect timing: a significant swell hit the shores of Bali.

And Brendon lived to tell about it (because it was that big).

I bribed him to write a little blog post for us, just because. So, just grab a beer and pretend like he's all salty-dogged out, and doing his usual hand-gestures and sound effects. I wish I could have gotten his reaction when he came in from the water, but this is the best I can do for now. Hopefully, next time, I'll have the video cam on stand-by...

walking out to paddle out zone. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

Guest Post written by Brendon:

I think that was the biggest wave I’ve ever duck dove.

It was my first time paddling out at this spot, and it was firing. I was watching the other people jump off at the paddle-out zone. Some of them made it out clean, without having to push through too much duck diving drama. Others were getting caught at the wrong time and getting sucked down the break, while having to duck dive, like thirty pretty good size waves in a row.

I must have calculated fairly well before paddling out, because I didn’t have to duck dive a single wave on the way out - except for the one right when I jumped into the water; the current started sucking out so fast, I ended up dry-docking it with my fingers in between the board and the reef. Great.

So, I make it out and try to find my place in the lineup and noticed, along with my now freshly sliced index finger, that there are guys way outside and some on the inside. I know there are bigger sets, but I get antsy and try my luck picking off some of the smaller, head-high ones bowling up nicely on the inside section.

perfect inside balangan. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east.

lonely guy getting barrelled. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

That was a dumb move on my part. Out the back, came one of the biggest sets that I had seen all afternoon. Shit.

I started to paddle out to meet a giant wall of water that seemed to keep getting bigger the closer we came together. At that point, I started to think to myself, "Can I even duck dive this f***ing thing, or should I ditch my board?"

It was at least triple overhead.

Usually, I would just ditch my board and swim down, but I had an old leash on (another smart move), which could easily snap. The last thing I wanted to do at that point is take the rest of the set on the head without my board.

At the very last second I decided to duck dive it.

The wave breaks about ten feet in front of me, and I had about 10-12 feet, like ceiling high or more, of white wash coming toward me. I pushed down into the water super hard and tried to time it to avoid getting annihilated. I got bounced around pretty good, but somehow managed to hold onto my board.

After duck diving the next 15 waves and getting pushed further and further down the reef, it was over.

Out of breath, super hot and exhausted, I manage to make my way back out and sit on the outside corner for a couple. I was clearly under gunned that day but managed to get a couple.

cleaner day for surf. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

simplicity. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

a balinese hindu ceremony...offerings to sea. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

The next day, was a bit cleaner and smaller, but there were still some decent size sets coming through. I paddled out with my buddy, Ken, and he makes his way up the break past the crowd. I went the other way to try and pick off one of those wide, swinging ones.

Just as I get in the line-up, the first wave of a set comes right to me, so I turn around and take it. I don’t know what happened, but I think I caught my rail when I dropped in on the wave.

Snap. There goes my leash.

I started to make the long swim in with the rest of the set breaking on me, but it wasn’t too bad. This is where a pair of reef booties comes in handy, because the reef is sharp with urchins hidden in the cracks. Urchin fest.

Some ladies kicking it in a tide pool grabbed my board.

Oh well, at least I got some exercise from the swim in. I called it a day, went in and got a Bintang and took some video footage from the warung. It's true, be careful what you ask for...

close up from warung. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

view from warung. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

my fave big sur shot

my fave big sur shot. by desiree east just got back from a little trip up the coast, and spent the summer solstice in complete quiet bliss. this photo was actually hanging on our fridge door. i forget what year this is from...but it's one of my favorites. hence, it's qualification for being refrigerator-door-worthy. hopefully i can make some time this summer to do some post-editing and upload more big sur pics - and archives of endless photos - to my portfolio. digital, film, lomo fish-eye...oh, and a million little pictures project. it's a grueling task, editing and organizing, but i love to reminisce (isn't that what it's all about?) also, a note to family and friends: please remind me if i need to send you a private link to any past events, because - like brendon said - i am as slow as molasses. stay tuned...xo

inspired by national geographic

quick whale illustration. by desiree east we don't have cable. we netflix. don't judge.

i do admit, though, i do miss the occasional reality drama. people are funny and fascinating. kinda like the jersey shore crew...(i mean, WOW).

but still, those fools have nothing on national geographic's series, 'great migrations' (cuz i'm a nerd like that).

my husband and i netflixed a couple of episodes of nat geo. then i got inspired.

media used: pen and ink {prismacolors: jad green, violet, rhodamine, apple green, aquamarine}

here are some fun facts about sperm whales - that's Physeter macrocephalus, for all of my fellow geeky naturalists and friends (yeah, i'm talkin' to you):

  • sperm whales don't really look like my cartoon illustration, but one thing they do have are very large brains (the largest brain of any animal)...hence, the exaggerated head.
  • their very large heads also hold the oily substance called 'spermaceti', once hunted for a variety of uses, such as cosmetics, machine oil, and candles.
  • sperm whales don't really float on the surface, as shown in the illustration above, unless they are 'logging' or floating, usually with their fluke (or tails) down (and again, it's a cartoon, so cut me some slack).
  • exposing their flukes, or 'lobtailing', may be an indication of going down for a dive or slapping the surface of the water to communicate with their pod.
  • sperm whales are one of the deepest diving mammals, holding their breath for up to 90 minutes while diving.
  • sperm whales eat about a ton of food per day, which consists of squid, octopus, and fish. soooo let's see...that's about equal to a volkswagon beetle. or maybe an elephant. or even a hippo!
  • the classic novel moby dick was based on the actual events of a sperm whale that sank the ship 'essex' in the early 1800's.
  • yes, for all of my local peeps, sperm whale have been sighted in the santa barbara channel, near channel islands national park.
  • the females and their calves usually travel in pods (yep, just like the illustration above with the mama and her bebe), and the males usually travel solo or move from group to group (because we all know how much guys like their freeeeeeedom).

(oh, i know! how un-scientific of me - personifying whales and turning them into cartoons!)

but whatevs, it's all in good fun...i hope you enjoyed my lil' illustration and learned something new!

transformational creativity coach desiree east

Desiree East is a Soulful Entrepreneur, Certified Master Transformational Coach, Creativity Coach and Visual Artist. Desiree facilitates live creative workshops and retreats, as well as, online art programs focused on personal and professional development. She inspires her clients to create meaningful change in their lives through creative ritual, using art-making as a modality for creative wellness and deep transformation (no art experience required). 

desiree east - certified creativity coach - master transformational coaching method - creatively fit coaching - creativity coaching association.png

All images, illustrations, and artwork on this site are copyright © Desiree East unless otherwise noted, and may not be edited, reproduced or sold by any party without written permission. You may have permission to distribute and share posted articles and content, although credit would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to purchase or license any images, illustrations, or artwork, please contact Desirée East directly for more info.

Amazon Associates Disclosure: Desiree East Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to