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Friday, December 3, 2021

Denton local business is an ‘ode to an inner child’

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Article Originally Published by Adrianna Barrera on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Adrianna Barrera on North Texas Daily

What started as daily nature walks to clear her mind during the COVID-19 pandemic is now an alumna’s newly bloomed art shop: Rise and Earthshine.

Dozens of freshly hand-picked flowers covered 29-year-old Reina Waller’s work-from-home desk, when she thought to herself, “I need to preserve all of these.”

“It brought me this shred of joy in such scary and chaotic times,” Reina said. “One day, I came home with a fistful of flowers and knew  I would want to remember this uncertain period of time in some way.”

After graduating from the university in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in photography, she began working as a graphic designer, allowing her to maintain a connection to art.

Reina, with technical skills from her collegiate years and passion for nature, found a new hobby in preserving her collection of flowers by making hand-pressed flower designs. These designs have evolved into prints, buttons, shirts and stickers.

“It just made sense to me, to join my love of nature and my love of art,” Reina said. “The flower picking was a very cathartic experience for me, and it’s like my therapy.”

Growing up, “little Reina” could be found playing in her mother’s garden with small muddied hands holding flowers or frogs. She said the pandemic helped her take a break from routine by bringing herself back to these smaller, simpler joys in life.

“In this way, my artistic process has definitely been an ode to my inner child,” Reina said. “I think seven-year-old Reina would be excited to see what I’m doing now, and this has in some way or the other helped me heal my inner child.”

While connecting with people through her art can be one of the most motivating parts of her artistic process, Reina said it can sometimes lead her to feel lost by seeking the validation of social media.

“A really important lesson I’ve learned is my art won’t be liked by everyone, and that’s OK,” Reina said. “My artistic process is like self-care to me and as long as it makes me happy — that’s all that matters. I find that people will connect more to art anyways when they can see it is genuine and relatable.”

One of the people Reina connects most to is her sister and fellow artist Whitney Waller.

“What I admire most about Reina is her courage to create,” Whitney said. “To put your art out there for all the world to see — something you have made with your own hands, heart and soul — it takes a lot of courage.”

The Waller sisters have had a strong bond that Whitney said has been strengthened by their mutual love of art and creating.

“We are constantly inspired by each other’s creativity are each other’s biggest fans and cheerleaders,” Whitney said. “One of my favorite things about her art is the patience it takes to create one of her pieces.”

Tarra Beale, Reina’s friend and graphic design co-worker, said watching Reina build her business while also expanding the limits of her creativity has been inspiring.

“The evolution of her pieces in the short amount of time since she’s begun just gives you an idea of the drive and passion she’s found in her work,” Beale said.

Reina, who sources items for her art directly from nature, creates pieces that Beale said “are made with unmatched skill and a perfectionist’s eye.”

“Her pieces are not only focused on the beauty she sees in the world, but they also focus on the unseen potential beauty and energies around us,” Beale said. “Each piece is made with her love, care and attention.”

Reina can be found vending with her sister Whitney in Every Witch Way’s Oddities Market on Nov. 6 and the Mosaic Market Nov. 20.

Image courtesy of Reina Waller

Source: North Texas Daily

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