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Before I draw I listen An interview with Robin Landsong

February 26th, 2015

Before I draw I listen   An interview with Robin Landsong

Robin Landsong is a Visionary Artist, Author, and Craniosacral Therapist, who lives in Olympia, WA. I had a conversation with Robin where she shared how she receives the inspiration for her images, and the results for people who are inspired by her art.

When I asked Robin where her inspiration came from she answered,

“Before I draw, I listen. I have a dream that has a special quality…. An animal that speaks directly to me, or a person tells me a story usually about an animal that makes my heart beat harder, something inside me flutters and I know it is instructions from Great Spirit. Then I get a flash of an image. I know the next thing to do is follow through on the instructions for a drawing I have just been given. I say yes to being guided, ‘ if you give me a clear sign, I will follow.’ That is how I receive more instructions.”

To Robin, drawing is a sacred act. “Before I draw, I bless my studio by cleaning my drawing table and all my tools. I don’t put anything on my drawing table… no bills, no clutter. I keep my table clean, and only for drawing. Next I do a prayer of surrender- I lay my head on the pencils, ask for instructions, ask the animals to draw themselves.”

By entering into the art-making process with a clear intention, honor for the work, and a deep level of surrender, the quality of touching colored pencils to paper becomes a transformational experience

Robin told me that some times the level of surrender is scary. “My ego is completely obliterated”. For her, drawing can often involve shaking, physical discomfort, and intense emotional release. Although it can feel scary or unsettling, she has learned that it is “part of the process and a lesson in trust”.

Robin has learned to trust the images she receives, to push through the discomfort, or beginning stages of not understanding what is being drawn.

“Great spirit knows me, that I am impatient, so I am given pieces of the image, rather than everything at once. That way I have to go slowly and gradually. I sometimes feel frustrated - Can’t you just show me everything now?! I am being taught patience.”

Robin works in colored pencil, which is part of her practice of developing patience. She describes the beginning stages of a drawing as slow. “It takes 5 layers of color pencil before it begins to develop. I have to go on faith.” And during the start, there is often a feeling of doubt, "Well, I may have pulled it off before, but this drawing is not going to turn out.”

It’s amazing for me to realize that even a successful, brilliant artist like Robin Landsong has those thoughts of self-doubt when beginning a new piece!

“Three fourths of the way through, I start to like it, and then I might think I ruined it because color pencil can not be erased with much successby. Now I laugh when this happens because I’ve done it so many times, I know it is Great Spirit helping me learn to let go of my ego attachment to the outcomes.”

After 10-20 hours with colored pencil, Robin spends about an hour adding with pastels at the end, which totally changes the drawing. She finds it satisfying to do the pastels because everything comes together. There’s a new sense of ease as the pastels cover so much space so much faster than the pencils.

“Then I look at the drawing for an hour IN LOVE. And I think ‘wow, who did that?!’ And then I fall out of love quickly and want to move on to the next drawing. I think Great Spirit designed me that way so I can create a large body of work in this lifetime.”

As an intuitive artist myself, I understand that the creative process is not always comfortable or easy. I asked Robin what motivates and empowers her to do her work, even when it feels hard. She explained that there are important messages coming through that she picks up, she feels responsible to make these messages available.

“Spirit works through people who listen. I listen. These are not ‘my’ images. They are from spirit. They are my renderings of something for the collective. It’s important to put this kind of art into the world, to make it available.”

When I asked how she knew her work was coming from collective imagery, her response was amazing. She told me story after story of people connecting deeply after seeing her images. There was a troubled young man in a juvenile shelter who couldn’t bond with other people at all, but he did connect with Robin’s art book. A woman chose Robin’s art to be laid over her mother’s heart before she was to be cremated. A young woman had Robin’s art tattooed over the back of her heart to remind her that she has the strength and guidance to overcome drug addiction.

And there have been a handful of Robin’s Craniosacral clients who have sat up after a healing and described to Robin an exact image that was currently on her drawing board!

Another story Robin told me was about the daughter of a client. The client brought home one of Robin’s images and the daughter exclaimed, “How did she get in my dream to know what to draw?!” After telling me the story, Robin noted, “When I ask myself why I do this, it is stories like this… the girl was depressed and not sure of herself and this image validated her, showed her she was on the right track. People need to see or read about another person having spiritual experiences similar to their own that they may have difficulty articulating so they can be assured their spiritual experience matters.”

by Mo Omeh
She is an interdisciplinary artist based in Olympia, WA. In addition to her art, she offers workshops and private sessions, supporting people to connect deeply with their inner guidance through the expressive arts. You can learn more about Mo and her work at