Sometimes life’s transitions can leave a person feeling lost and disconnected. This was true for Hillary Ailor after the birth of her daughter, Ivy — who is now seven years old and later her son, Dean — who is now in Kindergarten.
Ailor had a successful career in the hospitality industry before deciding to become a full-time stay-at-home mom. Around the same time, she and her husband, Mike, decided it was time to move to Colorado, after falling in love with the state.
As she grappled with so many big changes, she found herself drawn to creating art to reconnect with herself and find balance.
"It was a big transition for me to end my career and then move to a new state where I didn't know anyone. I think that it was a hard time, but it was a beautiful time because I really got to know myself. I got a chance to realize how much doing art makes me feel connected to who I am," Ailor said. "It feels like an old friend when I get out my paintbrushes and it just feels like home.
"I've been an artist my whole life. It's an innate part of me. And after I became a mom, I quit my career and I was a stay-at-home mom. And my art came back into my life as a way to stay connected with myself throughout adjusting to motherhood and adjusting to letting go of the career that I had worked really hard to build up," Ailor said. "My art was my healing place and my me time."
Ailor incorporates agate crystals — which hold a special place in her heart — into all her work which she does through her business, Agate and Indigo .
"I've always been really connected to and fascinated by crystals and their healing energies. They just feel good. I've been collecting them since I was a child and I've always kept them in my room, or put one in my pocket when I felt like I needed bravery or support, or a self-love type of feeling," Ailor said
Through meditation, Ailor visualizes what her next piece of art will look like. She considers herself an Indigo soul — someone who uses creativity to create change within their bubble and to raise the consciousness of the whole global community through creative pursuits.
"I do what I want, what I find the most enjoyment from and sometimes that's a big, meticulous piece that I'm going to pour hours into. Other times, I want to make a bunch of different pieces that are smaller," she said.
What is important to her is that it resonates in some way.
"They (the art pieces) usually have some sort of encouraging phrase. I want it to be uplifting to people. Sometimes I make something that seems really random and I just feel like I know it's going to find the person who needs it," Ailor said, "And it usually does."
She likes hearing from customers that they've found something meaningful out of the pieces. "I like hearing 'this is exactly what I needed; I have it hanging in my room every morning so I can look at it,'" Ailor said, "that's what just fills up my heart."
Ailor recognizes that those reminders are for her, too.
"Sometimes I'm making it for myself. Like I have a little sign on it that says trust. And I keep it in sight all the time, just to remind me to trust my journey, and that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be at this moment," she said.