I first discovered Reyna Noriega's art when her beautiful
New Yorker cover appeared in my mailbox last spring. It was the March 2021 style issue — and portrayed a confident and sartorially-inclined woman standing in the sanctuary of her plant-adorned home in elevated loungewear. It was a colorful, spot-on rendering of what self-care and creative rest looks like today. A perfect blend of aspirational and relatable, the issue promptly went into my magazine display rack to further fuel my own contemplations about how to balance my new work-from-home reality and my need for greater self-care in what was very much a difficult pandemic year.

Noriega, an Afro-Caribbean Latina artist and author, has made a career of not only centering women of color in her work, but also ensuring that her depictions of these often marginalized figures are vibrant, full of joy, and empowering to all women. She's designed uplifting murals for high-trafficked destinations in New York City like Brookfield Place and also had her designs featured on an Old Navy Black History Month tee which sold out within weeks. For someone so creatively productive, I couldn't help but wonder what her self-care routine looked like.

She was kind enough to invite us into her studio life in Miami, Florida to show us exactly what creative rest looks like. In addition to providing key self-care tips for women like listening to your body and creating an ambiance that encourages rest by lighting candles and tending to houseplants, Noriega also shared how it's imperative to outsource work that falls outside of your niche to keep work-life balance in check. Particularly as we hit the crescendo of tax season, that looks like trusting the experts at
TurboTax Live to keep our unique, tricky financial situations out of our routines so we can focus on doing the things that truly brings us joy. Keep reading for more of Reyna Noriega's tips and watch her video below.

Watch Artist Reyna Noriega's Best Self-Care Tips For Women Below

1) "When I decided to become a full-time artist, I knew my practice would have to be sustainable and that meant making self-care a part of my process," Noriega says. "It is so important for me to be in a good headspace for my ideas to continue to flow. As I have grown, I have learned not to deny myself rest or think of it as something I must earn. If I'm having a tough day, I do not hesitate to lay down, light a candle, read a book or do whatever I need [to feel rested]."

2) "On very long days when working from home gets monotonous, I like to take my dog for a walk. Luckily we live by the beach, I'm grateful it's just a walk away as it's nice to be outside and see all the beautiful sights."

3) "Painting is a great way for me to relieve stress and release energy and get back to what I love most about creating art. I can get lost in the process of mixing colors, cleaning my brushes and trying new techniques. I find myself exploring and creating in a way that is different from my professional practice."

4) "As my career grows and my projects get bigger, self-care becomes more and more important. Worrying during tax season is not a part of my self-care plan, so I leave that to the experts at TurboTax Live. That allows me to focus on what brings me joy."

Reyna Noriega studio

We love these self-care tips and hope you find them soothing for your own creative practice. For more on Reyna Noriega, follow her at @reynanoriega_.

Photos: Courtesy of Reyna Noriega.

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