How I changed my life engaging in “Fine Art Lifestyle”

Hello! My name is Elena Fedorova and welcome to the “Fine Art Lifestyle.” For the next five-seven minutes, I will try to explain the concept and vision behind “Fine Art Lifestyle.” I have experienced the positive results of embracing that concept in my life, and I believe it can help you elegantly upgrade your life.  

The left photo is a kitchen in the apartment (famous “kommunalka” in the former USSR) where I lived from 2005 to 2009. Kommunalka is an apartment shared between multiple families, usually 6-8. Each family has its own room and shares a kitchen and bathroom. The right photo is the view from my apartment in Cancun, where I lived from 2021 to 2022. All the actions it took me to change and upgrade my life I call a “Fine Art Lifestyle.”
before and after implementing Fine Art Lifestyle
The journey of transforming my life took me many years. As you can guess, back in 2008, I didn’t know anything about the “Fine Art Lifestyle,” (though I already had a Master’s Degree in Art) but that’s when I started my career in photography, which opened many opportunities for me.
fine art lifestyle concept

You can’t change what you don’t know is happening. For several years (before 2020) I felt that something was wrong. My body was telling me that. I felt a deep emotional pain, I felt depressed often, but I couldn’t name the reason because I didn’t have the necessary information and mental resources to look for answers. It was happening at home, behind the white walls. In public, and on social media, my life seemed pretty good. You don’t expect less from a person that lives in a tropical paradise and has a successful photography career. You might think: “How can you be depressed when you live in a tropical area, where it’s sunny, and palm trees and the Caribbean Sea surround you?  

In reality, that was the time when crying was the only way to feel happy and get a sense of relief.

The last time I felt that way was at the beginning of 2020; that’s when I leveled up my life using the “Fine Art Lifestyle” concept; in other words, I upgraded my life.

After reading many books, listening to podcasts and doing master-classes of physiologists and relationship coaches (Candice Oneida, John Grey, Alison Armstrong, Michelle Marchant Johnson, Irene Lyon, Peter Levine) and analyzing, I knew what was happening to me! 

I had a repressed trauma, and I struggled with body-focused repetitive behaviors. Finally, I can name and say out loud that I have ereuthophobia, and most likely, it will stay with me all my life. My two divorces resulted from choosing the wrong partner, which took root in a battled woman syndrome. My first ex husband abused me physically and emotionally, and I was too scared and weak to talk about it with anyone. All that together enhanced a social anxiety disorder (SAD). What a “nice collection” to be discovered at the age of 39. It’s better to find it now than walk around and pretend everything is fine when in reality, I want to fall down and cry. I don’t like to take any medication, and I am a firm believer in the ability of the body to heal, with the right type of repeated, conscious actions directed to feeling better. When I found all that, I was able to change it. 

Add to these the fact that I was born in a Communist country (former USSR), where talking about anxiety or any other kind of physiological disorder was considered bad. Everyone was supposed to act happy, pretend that life was good, and be silent and perfect. Independent thinking and acting were not allowed by the regime. 

Naming all my fears and gradually working on healing myself, helped me to overcome my perfectionism. It’s only when you eliminate the idea of being perfect that you can be yourself. Only when you stop the struggle for perfection can you find your true voice. Life is not about perfection; it’s about being brave and vulnerable at the same time.

eliminate the idea of being perfect to be yourself

How I changed my life engaging in a “Fine Art Lifestyle”?

I have lived in Cancun since 2013, and all that time, I was working hard to build and promote my photography business, which turned out to be a success, but I can’t say the same about my social life and marriage. Emotional burn-out came from low self-esteem (despite a successful career), lack of social communication besides the work, and a difficult relationship with my husband. So in 2019, I decided to help myself and implemented “baby steps” of a “Fine Art Lifestyle.”

1- For several months, I was engaged in planting flowers and working with soil in the garden in front of the house.

Before and after photo of a small area in my garden.
I am taking macro photos in the garden, after planting flowers, and my cute, fluffy friend – Marucha.

2 – Next, I started practicing painting with oil and pastels every week. 

Practicing painting on the balcony in Cancun.

3 – Next big step – going to the theatre classes where I had to perform in Spanish, my second foreign language. 

4 – I painted the walls of my studio yellow and orange. 

5 – At the beginning of 2020, I went on my first solo trip to Merida, where I admitted that divorce is inevitable. I spent half of that trip hiding in a hotel room and crying. 

6 – In March 2020, I filed for a divorce, moved out, and rented an apartment a week before a global pandemic was officially announced. That resulted in five months of zero tourism in Cancun and directly affected my income as a photographer. 

Financial challenges were inevitable, resulting from having just one income based on something so fragile as tourism. But I learned to see a crisis as an opportunity to grow and change a life. So, with the knowledge of finance that I had, I practiced conscious planning and was able to get through that shaky stage of my life. 

During the pandemic: 

I wrote a 250 pages memoir during the first three months that opened my eyes to the fact that I completely forgot about myself as a woman during many years of intense work and building my photography business. For example, I realized I didn’t have perfume for many years. 

In the kitchen, writing my memoir, during global Pandemic.

After tourism was more or less restored and my income started gradually coming back:

  • I took private golf classes because I always wanted to do this, and during one of the conversations with a coach, I heard some words that made me research the topic of femininity. At the end of the article, I will attach a link to a video that became a breakthrough in my perception of myself as a woman. 
  • I rediscovered my femininity!
  • I upgraded my phone and the laptop. 
  • I read and listened to physiologists and dating coaches.

All that I described previously were acts of what I call a “Fine Art Lifestyle” the results were the following:

  • I gradually changed my wardrobe, filled it with colorful dresses and skirts, and added accessories like necklaces, rings, earrings, and other beautiful things. And – added a collection of the perfume.
  • I started practicing massages and going to SPA regularly, and inviting myself to the restaurants.
  • In April 2021, I went on my first “Feminine vacation” when I wore only dresses, even at the airport. Being lonely is not fun, and “Happiness is better when shared” with the right person was the During that trip, I had an experience of staying in very nice hotels, which resulted in the next step.
The photo on the left I took several hours before flying to Los Cabos – my first “Feminine style” vacation. Traveling in a skirt or dress is Comfortable! Just try it!
  • I invested time, effort, and money in the interior design of the rented apartment. After all, it’s where I spend most of the day, and it doesn’t matter if it is rented. 
  • I pampered myself by choosing a great hotel to celebrate my 38 birthday with my good friend, a life coach Alma Gonzalez (her project “Ama tu Cuerpo con Alma”).
  • I met the man of my dreams!
  • I fell in love with flying dresses, bought a collection, and started promoting flying dress photo sessions, which became a big success. 
  • I went on a dream trip with him to Costa Rica and spent a wonderful week in a 5-star hotel in a rainforest.
  • In October 2021, I moved to a gorgeous apartment (previously, I never thought I could afford to rent it), where months later, I came up with the concept of a “Fine Art Lifestyle.” 
  • In January 2022, I ventured to go one more time to Mexico City, one of the biggest in the world (23 mln. population), where I did a flying dress photo session on the streets. I also did a personal photo session first time in my life. I searched for a photographer for me. I visited as many museums as possible and got inspired by ART. 
  • In March 2022, my big dream – a solo female trip to New York – finally became possible. 

All the way that I did from living and working in a little room with white walls and moving to a luxury apartment with an incredible view in Cancun – that way I call “Fine Art lifestyle.” All the personal work that I did, from believing I don’t deserve good and getting a used bike as a present (from my second ex) to receiving nice jewelry and trips from my new boyfriend – is what I call a “Fine Art lifestyle.” 

Since I moved to Cancun in 2013, doing regular exercises, running and yoga was an essential part of my life that helped a lot in stabilizing my emotional noise. And I got into the habit of exercising gradually; first, I started practicing running, and in two years, also doing yoga. In addition, taking photos, doing photo sessions, and meeting people from different cultures, embracing their view of the world helped me a lot in eliminating a restrictive mental block that was installed in my belief system from a very young age.  

how to be yourself photo

I made art with my hands, thus extending my tactical feeling ( painting, gardening) after engaging in theatre classes where I learned to work and listen to my own body, facial expression, and voice and understand the importance of working in a team. However, artistic activities are not directly connected to survival instincts and cover your basic needs (especially finance), so many people tend not to pay attention to this type of activity. It might be partly because of our “result-oriented society.” We want immediate visible results, or it’s considered not worthy of attention. 

Art is associated with creating, craft, and beauty. The more engaged you become in a “Fine Art Lifestyle,” the more flexible you understand there is something more to life than just living in a “survival mode.” It’s a combination of learning and educating yourself, which includes: reading, listening (education and personal stories), and experiencing life, which means taking action and not only dreaming of changes. 

Taking theatre classes helped me unfreeze my body, voice, and mind in my life. It looked like I was stuck in that “fight, flight, freeze” mode for a long time, so engaging in that beautiful activities helped to activate the flow mode, and inevitably I started acting to relieve the emotional pain. And in my case, that was connected to being in a painful relationship, and the only way out was to divorce. I enriched my environment by adding artistic activities that helped me realize how to feel better. Later, while doing my research and getting ready to write about the concept of “Fine Art Lifestyle,” I found out that all that experience is connected to a Neuroplasticity – also known as brain plasticity, a term that refers to a brain” s ability to change and adapt as a result of experience. That’s a big topic to be discussed in the other article. 

Left photo – me on the beach during a photo session in 2014, wearing shorts and a t-shirt; photo on the right – on the beach with the client after the photo session in 2021, after applying the “Fine Art Lifestyle” concept in life.

“Fine Art Lifestyle” concept:

In 2022 I started “Fine Art Lifestyle” project with the idea to share this concept and how it can help you feel better. 

Every dictionary explains fine art – creative art, especially visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content.

In the concept of a Lifestyle, Fine Art symbolizes creating, having, experiencing, and engaging in all things aesthetically and intellectually beautiful. Gradually allowing yourself to have a “Fine Art Lifestyle” will allow you to be more gentle and kind with yourself, and we all know that that’s how love feels. 

Engaging in a “Fine Art Lifestyle” will:

  • Help you switch from thinking “I don’t deserve good” to “I deserve”, “I want …” and dream big to continue the phrase. 
  • Make you see and believe that you can have the best in this life! 
stop being perfect

Start little by little with what you can do at the moment. Understanding that you deserve the best life has to offer is a Process that requires Commitment. And that’s when the visual tool comes into action. Visual tools can be (but are not limited to): painting or doing other crafts, going to a theatre or musical classes, wearing nice clothes, working on your style, going to a cooking class, having an interest in interior design, applying colors, going to the SPA or having a massage, buying yourself flowers and unexpected presents, going a solo vacation to explore a new country, reading a good book, learning something new (trust me getting knowledge can be a fun experience).

“Fine Art lifestyle” is a gradual process, and it doesn’t mean you have to go over your credit limits and get into debt. In fact, managing your finance well is part of that lifestyle. A commitment – is what turns a single action into a lifestyle. Allow yourself to feel good and dream big. Be brave and courageous because it might happen that you will meet confrontation, mainly from people who were getting empowered from you feeling miserable. But you need to understand that loving yourself is not selfish. It’s a very healthy habit, and practicing love is part of a “Fine Art Lifestyle.” And you are brave and courageous, even if you don’t feel it that way now. You have to start practicing that. That’s the only way to feel your courage and love and eventually upgrade your life. 

Left photo – I am traveling in Mexico City at the end of 2020. Next photo – I am at the airport in Mexico City in January 2022, after embracing “Fine Art Lifestyle” concept.

An example of a “Fine Art Lifestyle” in practice. If you want to paint – do that, and don’t overthink. It’s your subconsciousness talking and asking to express itself with colors, textures, and patterns. This is like a baby step to learning to trust yourself. Once you do it, you will feel good, you will want to repeat it, and you will know that you followed your desire, your “I want,” and it felt good. So, the next time you hear a creative calling “I want,” you will trust it more. That’s a way to build trust in yourself and better understand what you want. 

Your own “Fine Art lifestyle” is a manifestation of a life you want to have. It’s about filling your life with beautiful experiences that will change how you think and perceive yourself and help you make positive changes in your life.

How does the concept work?

I started this project with the idea to share beautiful stories, ideas, theories, photos, videos, and all the correspondent information about fine art, artists, traveling, fashion and style, creativity, and other beautiful knowledge and experiences that has the power to inspire you. Of course, those are only tools and important visual information that can enrich your mind, empower your visual picture of the possibilities, and thus help you to make positive changes in life – but you are the only one who can make them happen. Just act courageously, experience life, and you will see the results.

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