my vibe my tribe


When I think about all the incredible people I’ve met and gotten to know over the last couple of years I just have a moment of awe. I created this blog a little over 2 years ago, at a time when I was craving a different type of connection that I hadn’t known or experienced much of in the past. I was holding onto so much baggage and negative emotions about being around other people. Usually feeling drained at the thought of spending time with others, let alone the actual experience. I wanted to be around people that made me feel uplifted, inspired, and who would allow me to bring out more of my real self. It did take moving location again into the city to actually get me out of the house and create more real world connections. I would never have imagined how much it would impact me in the best way possible.

I was very active on social media before this and for a period of time it felt like enough. But after a matter of years of still being quite the hermit, things needed to shift. I still get to meet and connect with amazing people through these channels. It’s where I continue and adore ‘meeting’ people who become real life friends too. I love that I could visit almost any city in the world and be able to catch up with someone, no matter how well we may know each other, as long as there was a genuine resonance there.

I love the communities I am lucky to be a part of now, and it grows more and more each day. I have been wanting to create a special online community which encourages myself and others to live our best creative life. To share our experiences and expressions of art. It’s been on my mind for a few months now, but I recently had a lovely vision of bringing it to life sooner than expected.

I can’t express how fortunate I am to be witness to, and a part of, the lives of some incredible women. Women who hold no bars to just putting who they are out there. Doing whatever they need to do to align their life and work to who they truly are, what they believe in and who they are here to help.

I’m also thrilled when I hear stories of so many lovely followers of The Darling Tree and Maps to Herself who have begun to include art, creativity and passion back into their lives. To hear it’s given them a new and beautiful way to express themselves, or discover more about the essence within them, is incredible. It blows my mind to be a small part of that, and it drives me to keep doing what I’m doing.

Thank you for being here with me and thank you to those women who are now in my life. It’s a true blessing, and I still feel like things are just getting started!


invoking joy

Invoking Joy - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity especially after reading Big Magic, which I’m sure quite a few of you have also read over the last month, but in particular the way we interact with it. I am definitely someone who thinks that engaging in or expressing creativity is not something that should create angst and anxiety, and if it does it’s most likely because you are doing it for the wrong reasons.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve taken from the book is the simple idea that creativity doesn’t owe you anything. Not money, success, fame or answers. It simply invites you to come play with it, and it will continue to engage with you if you continue to respond back. This becomes pretty interesting when you desire to build your business around such interactions. Quite often Liz mentions that you need to do whatever it takes to make time for your creativity but that doesn’t mean you get to pressure it with needing to make you an income. Which might mean for some people that their job has nothing to do with their creative passion.

While for myself I believe it is both and it can be, I am definitely finding more and more that I can sense when I’m creating just for the fun and joy of it, regardless of whether is becomes a source of income, and when I’m trying too hard to make creativity fit into my own neat and convenient plans. And it’s primarily when I don’t feel joy or flow. Resistance is more of a difficult one to decipher at times. On one hand it can either be because it’s scary but absolutely something you are meant to do, or on the other because you don’t actually feel aligned with it. It might be one of those things you think you should do, instead of want to do.

Last week while I was working with the ‘Joy’ alchemical oil from Sacred Self, I was receiving a lot of messages to remind me to relax, not be so serious, grab some paints and get messy, just for the hell of it. Because it’s fun. And I had a lovely couple of hours painting this bright and happy floral inspired artwork. It helped me to experience that feeling of simple creative joy, and reconnect back to doing the things that give me this sense of creative freedom and energy.


realigning with a vision

Realigning with a Vision

It’s been almost two years now since I created this blog. Around the same time it launched I signed up to an online writing course to learn more about starting, planning and writing a book. Having never really identified with being a writer I thought it was strange that this new blog stirred something within me that thought at some point there could be a significant piece of written work that would evolve from it.

I’m not suggesting I’m about to embark on writing a book, not just yet anyway, but in the course I only got so far as the completing the first assignment in which I was just brainstorming the idea of what it could be. It was and still is something that I really want to bring forth in my creative work and offerings.

Here’s what I submitted when asked to give an outline of the subject area I intended to explore:


My goal is to help others create a more fulfilling and joyful life through art. I want to share ways in which creating art intuitively opens up a new way of learning about yourself and your desires. I feel that in a world that is so hungry for technology and the constant output of information, it has disconnected us from ourselves and each other. Everything is designed to be consumed quickly and efficiently, we are told how we should look and feel, what we should desire and what makes our lives enjoyable. But it leads us away from what we truly need and want, and we find that the harder we aim for what society tell us to aim for, the unhappier we become.

Everyone is capable of being creative. I would like to encourage and inspire people to just experiment different techniques and have fun with it as a method of removing them from their computer screens or smart phones and tapping into their own imagination. By accessing your intuition and using spiritual and other creative practices like meditation, visualisation, and journalling you can begin to receive messages that also appear in the art you create. This unlocks a deeper understanding of yourself, which allows you to begin implementing things into your life that align with what you want. You also begin to connect with other beautiful souls who are on a similar path to you. This opens up a supportive network where you can learn from and share with each other. It really can open you up to creative a beautiful life.


So much of this still rings true for me and just reading this back has me excited to explore this further, who knows what form it might take, but I can definitely feel myself aligning with the desire to encourage any woman to intuitively and artistically create maps to herself.

Artwork available as a print in my Society6 store.


creative output

Mandala - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

By now I’m sure, or I hope, that we all understand that everyone is creative or has the ability to add more creativity into their life no matter the job, task or situation you’re in. Something I’ve been thinking about lately is what makes one person create a huge amount of work/art/content while another struggles to begin or find flow in their work or in pursuing their passions. I think there’s a lot more to it than just finding what you’re passionate about because that alone, at least for me personally, is not a magic pill that gives me the drive and energy each morning to get up early and be productive all day.

I’ve always admired people who work on their craft each and every day, it almost seems like they were born that way and aren’t as easily distracted by everything else going on. I’m sure some people are built that way, but in the interests of finding hope for the rest of us, I think we can each find a way to create consistently that works for us. There’s lots of ideas and methods and books on this topic, which is great because I think for each individual the way to increase their creative output is going to be different. We each have different beliefs and levels of confidence about our work which will also affect how much of it we bring out into the world. One negative comment might be enough for one person to stop what they are doing for fear of more negative feedback, another will shake it off and keep creating for the countless others who do love what they are doing.

I think one of the key issues we have is making everything much more complicated that it needs to be, creating page long to-do lists and saying yes to too much. What if, for one day, or series of days, there was only one thing on your to-do list? It would feel pretty great to tick that baby off and then choose how you want to spend the rest of the day or evening. Just one task completed, one baby step, can be all it takes to lead into becoming motivated to take on another, or grant you permission to say ‘I’ve done enough, I’m proud of my progress, I’ll now go read a chapter of that book that’s been sitting beside my bed for weeks’. I think that even doing a little can lead to doing a lot more. Completing even a small task can make you feel better about yourself, and more confident to continue on.

Mandala Canvas 2 - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Thinking back to recent years, the time where I most felt connected to what I was doing and could easily sit down and be truly focused on what I was doing, was when I took part in a month-long social media rehab. No Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for 30 days. Even if I did procrastinate, it took the form of doing chores around the house, which is far better than losing a few hours on Facebook. It really did amaze me how awesome I felt for that whole month and I’ve always wanted to do something similar again. Hmmm… maybe a September Sabbatical should be on the cards?! And while I really love connecting with others, sharing with and supporting each other, I just wonder how to do that in a way that doesn’t impact my own thoughts, beliefs and confidence as much.

When I’m not freely creating, I can quickly fall into what feels like a lengthy hangover. It leads to self-sabotage, unhealthy habits, negative thoughts, and low energy. So it’s really important that I don’t fall into that space, because doing even a small amount of work each day is much easier than getting back out of that again. What helps me is to always carry a sketchbook around with me and write and draw anything, even if it looks crappy, because it will eventually lead to the next step or idea. I’ll often go into my studio over the weekend to just play around which always makes it easier to get going on Monday. At times when the last thing I feel like doing is to stare at my laptop, I’ll ask friends to meet me in a cafe to work which always makes it more fun.

I’d love to hear what helps you become more productive in your work or increase your creative output, please comment below!


creating space

New moon art - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Right now my mind could be equally split into two parts; ‘oh, shit!’ and ‘hell yeah!’, because of the place I am in right now. It’s been two years of gradual changes to lead to this bigger shift, and the last six months have been particularly significant to get to this point. The first half of 2015 I was still primarily spending my time working with design clients and projects, but I stopped booking in any new projects to get me to this point right here and now. The place that I have really felt was the right next step for me, but also a leap of faith, as I focus on creating and making a living with my artwork and my own creative projects.

I absolutely love working on developing my craft and creating offerings that align with that. For a while I have wanted to be able to spend most of time doing that, while letting go of a bit of financial security that came with constant client work and income. With this new side of my business some things haven’t worked so far, some things are growing very slowly, so there’s some fear around letting go of the certainty. There’s a point where you have to make a decision between what you really want to do and follow your intuition, as opposed to keeping super busy and occasionally satisfied. You realise how much that joy is worth to you (hopefully priceless), and what you are happy to compromise on, maybe for a short time, perhaps longer, in order to follow that desire.

It’s true that running your own business requires a certain amount of self motivation and drive, and having clients meant that I really was held accountable to getting the work done. Even in the last couple of weeks of having a different dynamic in my work, in that I’m not as accountable to other people, I had found it more difficult to focus on different tasks that I’d like to do, and choosing between so many different ideas of things I’d love to create. On the other hand, I’m relishing in this space of actually allowing myself to slow down and do things that aren’t necessarily ‘productive’ but enjoyable, but it’s really hard to get out of the mindset that it’s wasting time.

Intrinsically I know that looking after yourself, spending time on learning, discovering, pondering and pampering should be non-negotiable, but I still feel a bit of that underlying anxiety that I should always be doing something to earn money. I’m sure it’s just a simple mindset that I grew up with, working (in the traditional sense) means surviving and keeping busy and not working means falling behind and struggling. But in an artist’s world, it’s such a different dynamic. You want to create what you feel pulled to create and have the freedom to experiment without needing to have a perfectly finished artwork that you can sell or reproduce and so on.

For the last six months I’ve had the words ‘create space’ on a huge chalkboard in my living room (made from an old door). I wasn’t sure if I would get there, but now I find myself here. Space to breathe, space to think, space to create. I think part of KV’S recent Full Moon reading on Aquarius Nation expresses this perfectly:

There is something you are working on now that is going to be quite epic! You are working on a creative project, or projects, or something that is in the works that deals with your creative gifts. There is something with uncovering too, so it may be that new gifts are coming to you, or better uses of what you have always been good at. You are owning a particular power with your creativity and this has you feeling very connected and kind of excited. You also are working to create more self care time as you are feeling that your roots need some love and support to be able to fully anchor the power of what you ARE going to do in this world. This also feels like you are very busy on the home front with many ideas and are working to create the space so that you can develop more genius ideas that will allow you more down time. With all the down time you create in your life, you will have more space to create more ideas that create more stability. It is this cycle you are on and each one feeds the other.

I’m excited to see how things unfold over the remaining half of the year, and I hope you’ll follow me along the way!

Artwork available as a print on Society6.


doorways series

Doorway - Jo Klima - Maps to Herself

Over the last year and a half since Maps to Herself came to be, I’ve been inspired by so many various things that I love which make their way from my soul to the canvas. Geometry and sacred symbology, animals, crystals, nature, astrology and the divine feminine. At least one of these will always play a part in my artistic expression and there is always a beautiful message to receive from them.

As I continue to explore different themes or styles, recently there has been a growing desire to explore one particular theme more deeply. A kind of artist study. It stems from my fascination for the intricately decorated doorways and exotic arches that grace the cities and towns of places like India. I have never been to India, but I know that it won’t be long until I find myself there, being mesmerized by all the beauty, colour and spirit that infuse their culture.


I feel drawn to this subject not only for the visual beauty but by what is intrinsically represents. A narrative, a ritual, a symbolic interpretation of the metaphysical world. The doorway allows positive energy (prana) into a space while keeping negative energy at bay. It’s the progression from outer reality into the inner sanctum where everything is considered most beautiful and divine. It is the movement from the materialistic to spiritual world.

I’m excited to share more over the next few months, and there’ll be plenty of progress shots shared on my Facebook page and Instagram.