Artist Spotlight: Thuy Dockendorf

Hi Thuy! We are going to jump right in, WHAT inspires you?

All life inspires me! The Moon, Nature, other humans, experiences with other humans, experiences within myself. My son Kyren is my greatest teacher. I find everything as inspiration, even the bad things I use as inspiration to do better for myself so that I may be better to serve the rest of the world.   

What is the meaning the behind the name of your website Cedarwood & Sage?

I think it’s important first to share that my intentions for creating Cedarwood & Sage are that of PURE love for my son Kyren whose middle name is Sage, to let him know that all I do is for him. I want him to know that it is important to reach for your dreams and to pursue your passions and to do so with pure intentions. Cedarwood and Sage are both used in the purification process of many ancient traditions to clear, cleanse, and protect one before ceremonial rituals. I use a similar process of Cedarwood & Sage to remind me of my pure intentions, to stay true to myself, and to Kyren <3… speaking of this always brings tears to my eyes haha.

When did you discover your amazing artistic abilities?

I started drawing when I was in elementary school I had an obsession with drawing unicorns and dolphins. At that time my biggest inspiration was Lisa Frank with all the rainbows and Christian Lassen who creates amazing sea life pieces! My school supplies consisted of goodies with their creations all over them :D 

How long have you been painting?

Painting started back in 2012  as an experiment after a very long hiatus from drawing I had not been very creative since my middle school days.

How does yoga fit into your artistic life?

Yoga to me is an art form in itself, when I create whether it is artwork or yoga it becomes a meditation for me.

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What is your favorite pose?

That’s a hard one I really enjoy all of them from the basics to the more challenging I like them all… but if I had to choose I’d say vasisthasana and Wild thing.

When is your favorite time to get on your mat?

My favorite times are usually in the afternoon or at night. 

Do you mostly have a home practice or do you go to a studio as well?

I usually do a home practice but lately I have also been venturing out to a couple of local studios. I enjoy both and I think it’s nice to have a little balance between the two 

What is your advice for yogis trying to start a home practice?

Please be patient with yourself, take time to learn basic alignment and not to force yourself into any shape. 

When is your favorite time to create your works of art?

I usually begin my “deep creation time” in the mornings and end at about noonish so that I can spend time with my son Kyren. 

Where are you from?

I was born in Biloxi, Mississippi raised as a military brat so we moved a lot. Its funny when I get this question because I haven’t lingered anywhere longer than a few years other than the panhandle of Florida which was 10 years so I guess I identify with there? Haha 

What do you love most about being an artist?

I really enjoy the process of watching something come alive with my own hands… There’s a sort of happy high that you get. It’s kind of like being pregnant with a little life growing within you from the conception to the birth. (Except nothing will top the happiness chart than birth of my son haha) What starts as a blank canvas and morphs into something new and then can grow even more from that is always a joyful experience.  My artwork has definitely evolved so much this year already which has actually blown my mind. It's an empowering process and teaches me to believe in my own abilities as, “She who creates” 

Music go to?  What is bumping on your spotify/ipod/pandora these days?

I love everything Ludovco Einauldi and Garth Stevenson super soothing music with lots of emotion. Sometimes I find myself crying when I listen to them. I also love indie, folk, ambient, and electronic. I really love everything… besides country which I used to like but that phase over. 

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

Create, even when you don’t want to. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day, experiment, and do your research! When first beginning you will have a lot of questions but I ask you to look up the topic of interest first and try. I have learned everything I have by experiencing and experimenting on my own without the bias of someone else. By putting in the work yourself you reap the benefits on a deeper level and are able to tap into the conduit of creativity more. Also inspiration is beautiful, be careful not to abuse it but take what you need, add a lot of  YOU to it  grow from it in your own way.

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What do your mandalas mean to you?

Mandala creating is very meditative for me. They give me space to calm down and the space to feel into other deeper feelings. I appreciate the ornate, intricacies, symmetry, and imperfections of all mandalas as to me they resemble how life is viewed. When seen from far away they seem perfectly ornate, symmetrical, but when you look closer you can see the more masculine and feminine aspects as well as the unique imperfections such as caffeine infused crazy lines, smudged dots, cat hair, and the occasional garlic leaf. They remind me that all life is intertwined and connected.

Any cool things/feels/info about the moon you want to share with us?

I love the feminine energy. Her softness, her dark side, and the phases she moves through really resonates with how my life is. I have always loved the moon but I didn’t start painting the Luna Phase until after Kyren was born.  She to me embodies “Motherhood” at this phase in my life and has taught me to embrace both the light and dark aspects of myself.