"Earth" spelled without "A-R-T" would just be "eh". Art is something that brings us all together, no matter where in the big beautiful world we're from. We can all connect over creativity. Maybe that's why artist Meera Lee Patel's colorful design "World Map" has resonated so strongly with people. ...Or maybe it's just because her design is stunning! We talked to this featured artist about the three books she's written, her art, and about her work being featured by Oprah! Read the interview below.
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First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a self-taught writer and artist currently living and making a home for myself in Nashville, TN. I moved here about a year ago from Brooklyn, NY.
Meera with the books she's created: "My Friend Fear", "Made Out of Stars", and "Start Where You Are" (Instagram).
Tell us about Made Out of Stars! Where did the idea behind this come from?
I wrote Made Out of Stars because I wanted people to feel more connected to themselves and the world around them. It is becoming increasingly easier to feel like each day is a monotonous routine, to feel disconnected from each plant, animal, and person you meet. But if you can learn to find meaning in the smallest, most trivial actions and routines—you will see that each day is a beautiful possibility. Made Out of Stars hopes to help people find and reclaim their most honest selves—if you see and value yourself, it’s incredible how easy it becomes to find value in every small part of the world.
Meera's design "World Map" in white.
Your "World Map" Bucketfeet are extremely popular - what inspired this concept?
I am a big advocate for travel. I believe the best way to truly know yourself is to escape from the comforts of familiarity. I’ve met so many people who live differently than me, who think differently than me, who believe in a different world than me, and the only lesson I keep learning is that we are all the same. When you travel, you are exposed to a world outside of yourself, and it becomes so easy to find yourself in everyone else.
Meera's "World Map" in black with the new blue soles!
What does the "World Map" design mean to you?
Your book "Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration" was featured by Oprah! What was that like?
It was surreal. I love Oprah (who doesn’t) and to be recognized by her was a true dream. I never thought I’d be in that position.
Meera at work.
Where's your favorite place to travel?
I love big cities, and Barcelona was a recent favorite. It was the perfect city to me: large enough to get lost in, small enough to walk across. The sights were beautiful and surreal, the food incredible, the people inspiring. I am currently writing to you from Berlin, having just landed here yesterday, and I really think it’s going to climb to the top of my list.
Some of Meera's art (Instagram).
Finally, what podcasts, tv shows, or books inspire you creatively?
Poetry moves me in a way nothing else does. I like Anne Sexton, Frank O’Hara, Bukowski, Pablo Neruda, and Richard Brautigan are favorites of mine. I admire the ability to say so much with very few words.