CHAPTER 23Not All Flow Is Created Equal

“I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body.…I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit.”

—Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

For Lila, her downtown studio has always been her escape. A sanctuary that protects her from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. A magical place where the combination of pigments and canvas become worlds in their own right, worlds that she creates and then becomes enveloped in. As she steps into the studio early this Saturday morning, Lila feels more excited than usual. There's a burning anticipation in the pit of her stomach. An idea has been simmering in her mind for the last few days, and when she woke up this morning, it had suddenly crystalized.

As she enters the studio, she removes her sneakers and steps onto the paint-splattered hardwood floor, making her way to the sunlit corner where an empty canvas is waiting. A subtle smile makes its way across her face as she sits down and grabs a brush. She takes out a large tube of cobalt paint, squeezes it and watches a blob ooze onto her palette. She continues with several other tubes and mixes the perfect shade of teal. She dabs her brush on the paint and her world dissolves as she paints her morning vision.

She applies color after color, following the vision and letting it guide her hands. Streaks of cerulean followed by whispers of white make their way across the canvas. After ...

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