Grace Granted Through Passion

Artists

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“I choose to journey, and not to conform…”

-Lauren J. Covito

We journey through life with intentions of reaching ur purpose. Our purpose is what we are destined to do, why we are destined to do it, and who we are destined to be. This journey often leads us, as individuals, to identify who we are. Once we identify who we are, it allows for us to remain true to our self in the process. A significant factor that allows for us as human being so identify is through our spirituality. Created in God’s image and likeness, we are molded and crafted for a sense of self, that God already knows. He knows who we are capable of becoming, and gracefully transgresses us for a higher purpose. He graciously grants us with what we have been gifted, to share with others. Through our passions, our connections with others, and our faith we are able to understand our destiny and fate. How do can we utilize the tools we have been given and the faith in our “process” to evolve into the best versions of ourselves and share our journeys with others. Lauren J. Covito shares her personal journey as a Christian, and the role her spirituality plays in her passions, especially music.

A 28 year old musician, Lauren “Joy” Covito lives through prayer, love, and music. The songstress duos with her husband of seven years under the stage name Elle Deva. Covito shares her journey in her interview of growth as a Christian, a wife, and a musician.

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Question: Explain how your spirituality plays a significant role in the passionate areas of your life

Lauren: As a singer/songwriter, my spirituality plays a huge role in every aspect of my life, but especially where music is concerned. As a firm believer in Christ, I feel music is prayer and I may not write Gospel or mention His name, however, it’s worship. Each time I’m on stage and in every moment of writing, I get to use what He has given me, a kind of grace I am fully aware of in my life.

Question: Explain the challenges you have faced with individuality (staying true to yourself) in the world of music.

Lauren: A few years ago, my duo (Elle Deva) was approached by a very well-known label with an offer specifically for me as a singer. They were prepared to offer me a complete deal, including writing for me. The thing I find at times with music is that, to make music and succeed you often have to sound like the music that already exists, we’re closing our minds more and more with every generation to new sounds and new music. This is one of the main reasons I don’t often take a liking to mainstream music, it’s already been done, the lyrics cover similar topics. Indie music on the other hand is what I’m drawn to mostly, the lyrics are vast, very relatable and takes you places, it paints pictures that expands the imagination. This is what commercial music lacks, it’s no longer a journey. Getting back to my experience, I chose to journey and not to conform. I may never reach the level of listeners as a mainstream artist, the few I do reach I pray only I’ve managed to help them dream, to comfort an emotion and express it purely.

Question: What do you believe are some of the beautiful components of your faith?

Lauren: Being completely immersed in my faith, often allows me to remain sane, keeps my communication calm and the anxiety at bay. One of the most beautiful components is definitely that fact that people often pick this up, pubs, bars any venue I’ve performed in I usually have people who do not believe asking me if I’m a believer. The conversations get deep, where people open themselves without me asking, they share their deepest regrets and sometimes even question me being a musician and a christian. This is where I am able to show that it is possible to believe and be a blessing.

Question: What are some of your most significant lyrics? (lyrics that can resonate with other viewers, listeners, and yourself)

Lauren: ‘Rain Roses’ was written in a very difficult period of my life, a period where nothing made sense and all I could do was look at the heavens, asking God to let it rain roses in my life, send the miracle in this confusion.

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Rain Roses:

Colours turn to shapes

Shapes into lines

Nothing’s as it seems, we’re delusional

Heartbeats turn to stone

Bones into dust

All we cry is fire all we see is smoke

Sky open

Chance fall down

And rain, would you rain roses

Before the sky falls

Would you rain?

Your promises become lies

Your comfort changes into wind

And the words you speak

Are like killer bullets to my soul

All I do is sigh

Now I’m bleeding hope, I won’t give up, I won’t give in.

Question: What do you identify as key components of staying true to yourself (this is a good area to enlighten others with advice, steps to take, and how navigate through their journey)

Lauren: Staying true to myself has never proved difficult, as I have never been easily influenced. Bullying, the urge to become something I’m not never phased me. No matter your spiritual beliefs, something I find helps me stay true to myself , is always making time to learning new things about myself, accepting my weaknesses and rejoicing in my strengths. The more you know yourself the easier it is to be yourself. My faith in this case of course plays a major role, because not only can I accept myself but I have a belief system that encourages me to ‘be’.

Question: Explain ways in which you connect with various people through your connection with God.

Lauren: Connecting with people is a blessing in disguise, it always lifts me in my lowest times to connect with people, religious or not. There’s always something to learn. One of the main things I do before performing or even reaching the destination is I reach out to God and ask Him in prayer, to help my voice touch a life, to send me people who might need a word of encouragement, or perhaps people who might have a word for me This has always been my help, as I’ve never once completed a performance where I haven’t gone into the most amazing conversations. Human connection is simple, in a small amount of time, you give and receive, that’s the power of not only connecting but the blessing of words.

Question: What are some words of encouragement that you would offer to others to reach their divine calling?

Lauren: Finding your divine calling really begins with knowing yourself. Everything you’ve been handed in life, begin to see it as grace, don’t get easily discouraged. Everything takes time, especially the big things in life. Trust me, when things take time, you’ll be prepared to handle it when it shows up and also have an intense gratitude towards your calling when it is made visible.

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“The struggle to identify love from destruction is something that blinds us all”
-Nour Tohamy

How we perceive and interpret the world around us plays a vital role in our journey. Our perception determines how we identify through our ideas, morals, beliefs, and interpretations. Nour Tohamy explains the moralistic theme and concepts of her work as, “The exploration of human vulnerability through conceptualism and femininity.” Tohamy encourages through her deep provoking work on the reflection of nature, and how we as humans can engulf the healing and serenity within it. Her inspiration as she quotes, “My travels. Conversations with strangers. Train rides. Strangely shaped leaves. Babies laughing. Abandoned warehouses. Anything and everything.” Tohamy gives an in depth explanation of her conceptualistic perspective in the analysis of art. She shares her beliefs that we are capable of understanding the value of art beyond its colorful layers. Nour Tohamy journeys viewers through strengthening their vision and what captivates the eye.

Brief Background Of Conceptualism

In retrospect to an article presented by Widewalls, “The Conceptual Art Movement is probably the most radical and the most controversial plane in modern and contemporary art. Conceptual art is the dimension of art being an idea or a concept. This art form involves the minimal use of material, in order for viewers and interpreters to embrace the power in “idea”. How do they interpret the work? This concept steers away from the perspective of the artist’s intention. Nour explains the frame of mind and perspective she utilizes to intrigue viewers, draw them in, and allows others to become a part of the vision.

Question: Define “art” in your own format.

Nour: Art for me is the key card to your most raw self and your imprint on the world.

Question: In the interpretation of conceptualism, explain this art form and movement.

Nour: This art form is very open to interpretation. My concepts are never too grounded, so my audience can wonder between stillness/ movement, strength/ weakness, innocence and everything that counteracts it.

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Question: What do you feel are some of the most important aspects of creativity?

Nour: Reflection. Adventure. Don’t spend too much time browsing for ‘inspiration’ on the Internet. I feel like too much of it numbs originality. Spend time outside of your comfort zone (and your house). Explore your potential. Go for a live muse and in fact treat everyone and everything like a muse. All of it has a story and can have an effect on you and your art. Find who you are inside and go for it. And ride horses man! They’re super spiritual and stuff!

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Question: How can a person interpret creativity through the naked eye?

Nour: That is the amazing thing about true creativity; it cannot be forged because it is based solely on your now interpretation and experiences in the world. Every thought and opinion is shaped by a particular life and I feel that once a person can access that uniqueness that they have, it opens up a door or incredibly endless creativity whether it is expressed through art or any other outlet. And once it is released into the world, it could trigger and be part of someone else’s journey of creativity! Behold the wonderful circle of art.

Question: In the interpretation of conceptualism, explain this art form and movement.

Nour: This art form is very open to interpretation. My concepts are never too grounded, so my audience can wonder between stillness/ movement, strength/ weakness, innocence and everything that counteracts it.

Question: Explain the moralistic theme behind your work. What inspires you?

Nour: The moralistic theme of my work could best be described as the exploration of human vulnerability through conceptualism and femininity. Inspiration? My travels. Conversations with strangers. Train rides. Strangely shaped leaves. Babies laughing. Abandoned warehouses. Anything and everything.

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Question: What makes you stand out as an artist?

Nour: What makes me stand out? Nothing fancy, just me being myself. It’s a very cliché concept but it really is very true. There will be no muse more unique and accessible to you than the miles your heart and mind has done.

Nour Tohamy aspires to inspire others on the importance of authenticity. She states, “In my opinion, the most important think an artist can do is being honest and daring. That’s where the art comes out the strongest- from our most desperate states. Tap into them and break into yourself. The art is just a bonus!”

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Artists