Rebranding and the stories behind it

You may have noticed that things are changing a little bit around here! 

New artist name!
New website/storefront!
New art style!
New offers!

Yes to all of this!!! I've been feeling this shift for awhile.. but finally sprang into action over the past few days. I knew it was time to shed my proverbial skin! 🐍

When it's time, it's time!

If you've known or followed me within the past year, you would know that before Laura Mitsu Art, my brand was called "In Search of Joy."

"In Search of Joy" was the brand I founded in 2021 when I was looking for my next path. Amidst the beginning of the pandemic, I decided not to return to the food industry. I had come to the harsh realization that it wasn't good for my mental health. My partner and I made the call and moved from NYC 💔 back to California to be closer to our families...

I wasn't sure what I was looking for, but I knew a few things:

  • I am not willing to sacrifice anymore time that could be spent with the people I love because of a job. Life is too short and those people are too precious to me.
  • I want to do something I love and be able to make money in a way that I can work from anywhere, so I can see my friends and family, travel, etc.
  • I am not working anywhere that is bad for my mental health, no matter what.
  • I am capable, smart, driven, and creative.
  • I've always loved art.

These realizations came about while in NYC, still working for a chef/friend who needed some help during the pandemic. Knowing I had some things to figure out, I started listening to Cathy Heller's podcast called "Don't Keep Your Day Job" to and from work. Those commutes were so illuminating to me. I remember sitting on the bus on my way to work, looking out the window while listening to it and realizing that instead of feeling trapped by this feeling of not knowing what would be next for us... we should feel liberated by it!

I mean, I knew that.. but I just needed to be reminded.
I needed to hear that I can create the life I want, on my own terms.

Once we moved back to California, I started dabbling back into watercolor painting, drawing, made a few post-card prints of work I was doing. I was tie-dyeing, distressing jeans, bleach dyeing... trying out so many different things that I thought could be the path to joy. 

Soon, I started ISOJ. My first offer was colorful, custom, hand-painted stationery. I had always made birthday cards for people that they really enjoyed, so this felt like an easy segue into starting a business. It was fun, but I knew deep down it wasn't the long-haul passion that I yearned for. It was simply the ball I needed to get rolling, so that I could see for myself that it's possible.
I could make something and offer it to the world.

As I was building and studying how to start a business, I would admire the abstract artists on Instagram and their beautiful works of art. I've always been drawn to abstract work, but I never thought I could do it myself! I didn't think I had the training, knowledge, or skill to make beautiful & impactful work like so many others. 

I asked a couple abstract artists how they got started, and some advice.
One artist replied and said,
"Keep creating. Even if it's rubbish. Just keep going."

So, I took a chance and I just started creating.
Experimenting. Playing.
Creating things I've never thought I'd create.
Using mediums and tools that were new to me.

I'm still very early into my beginning stages of abstract art but...
It just feels SO good.
So aligned.
Better than anything I've ever made before.
And I'm so excited to share this with you.

What I'm trying to say is...
The search is over: I’ve found joy. 

It’s within me. It is me. 
It’s in how grateful I am each morning. 
It's in the amount of precious time my partner and I get to spend together now. 
It’s in my love for my family and my friends who are cheering me on.
It's in knowing that I can see the people I love more than once a year.
It's in not feeling guilty for taking time off of work. 
It’s in the sunrises and sunsets I get to see, now that I work from home.
It’s in taking care of myself first.
It’s in learning how good my body and mind could feel when I take care of myself.
It’s in lifelong learning.
It’s in taking risks. 
It’s in pursuing something I previously thought HAD to be a hobby instead of a career.
It's in creating a life where my career can coexist with the rest of my life harmoniously.
It’s in following my own path— doing what feels good and aligned.

It’s in making beautiful and impactful art

and creating/living the life I've only imagined.

There's so much joy in my new artist name:
Laura Mitsu.

Mitsu is a shortened version of my middle name "Mitsuho."
I was named after my grandmother Mitsuho (lovingly called "Mitzi").
She passed on from this realm in 2011... my family and I miss her deeply. 

I feel empowered being named after her.
The older I get, the more I look like her.

She loved to draw. 
I feel her presence often when I paint.

It felt right making this my artist name.
It brings me so much joy... 
I'm in tears as I write this.

I hope this shows you a little bit about me, a peak into my story, about how and why things are shifting the way they are.
I hope you can feel how excited I am about these changes!
I hope you can feel how grateful I am that you who took the time to read this.

I hope you're along for the ride! 💖


With joy,

Laura Mitsu

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