My name is Sunny Carvalho. I am an artist living in Alabama. I make art because there is something inside me that just has to come out. Not a statement or a commentary on life or injustice… nothing so serious. For me, it’s more of a way of living. I have often said that even if no one cared about my art, I would still have to do it, even if I were standing in the middle of my studio with stacks of my art to the ceiling, my brain would still shout, “HEY! What are we going to make today?!”

In the Art Is You series of retreats, I have found an art home. I am able to get outside my own little world and interact with a group of amazing, interesting, like-minded people (and often very NOT like-minded…which is always interesting and fun in itself!). I initially became a teacher in an unusual way: I went to a retreat as a student and even though I was just beginning a new phase of my art (meaning I didn’t have any idea what my path should be…no style of my own and simply everything to learn!), I found out that I was not a good student. For me this ended up being a blessing. I came home so full of inspiration and determination that I thought I might burst! I knew I needed to be with other artists, leaving behind the drudgery of daily life – even if only for a few days at a time.

So I became a teacher. Even as I teach, I learn as much as the students every single time. While online classes are good, there is just something magical that happens when you get to spend time literally side by side with others that have a passion for the same things that make you light up. If you have never been to an Art Is You Retreat, you are truly missing out on a special gift that you give to yourself. I hope you will join us!

Sunny is teaching in Minneapolis in September