Artist & Full-Time Momma
Bryanna Villarreal is a photographer and full-time mother based in Watsonville, California. As she spent most of her life along the magical coast of Santa Cruz County, she explored the art of self-portrait and her personal symbiosis with mother earth. The theme of Nudity is nothing foreign to Bryanna, for some time she has experienced to embrace and love the changes of her own body and mind, through motherhood but also through the loss of a loved one. Today she shares a part of that sheer intimacy with us.
To me, to be nude is to simply be your most vulnerable raw and authentically beautiful self. It is not always so simple though, to really look into your reflection ... to acknowledge the darkest parts of not only yourself, but even the things that have happened to you that you didn't choose for yourself. As hard as these times are, I am learning that we can hold space for these periods of darkness because they can bring us so much truth and light.
Through my process of capturing myself in this "Nude" state I have found that not only has it allowed me to be completely open and unashamed with myself, but with others on that deepest level as well. To be nude is to be real and to be real, is to be true to myself. That is a promise I have made not only to myself, but to the Divine Creator. It is how I feel. I can live my best life... by honoring and fully loving not just what is seen on the outside, but all the irreplaceable qualities on the inside that make me who I am in this world.
Besides creating, more than anything what I want is for my son to feel this same profound love for himself. To know that he is forever safe and loved for exactly what is in his soul, what he also desires to share in this world. We are here to create heaven on earth ♡ and I just feel that loving others starts with loving ourselves.
Where are you from?
Watsonville, a coastal city near Santa Cruz in California.
Your pictures seem to be mostly self-portrait, is that something you shoot often?
Yes, I feel self portraits have allowed me to connect with myself more intimately, on my deepest levels that I tend to keep hidden and tucked inside. Through this type of photographing, I feel I am able to bring this rich inner world outside of me and fully love on.
How did it feel to shoot yourself within the Nude Theme?
Very much natural, in my element and overall...healing <3
You’re a mom, can we ask you what was and became your relationship to your own body during that life transition?
Before Theo I was in pretty good shape and mostly comfortable in my skin. Being pregnant, as beautiful as it was to be growing this blessing inside of me, it was also hard to accept that as my body was changing my identity was also changing... so it was uncomfortable. Since the birth of Theo I've been learning to love and accept my body for the beautiful temple that it is and nude self portraiture has helped me to embrace all my curves birthed by Mommahood and being a WOMAN.
Nature seems to be an important inspiration of yours, is there a dream location you have yet to visit?
I feel it’s been years now that I’ve been daydreaming about an epic roadtrip to Monument Valley and into Utah to explore the National and State parks there. I had planned on going with my boyfriend Jordon for my birthday a couple months ago, but a few weeks prior to he left his physical body and it was too hard for me to even think about or imagine going without him physically present. I know that I will eventually go and it will be beautifully healing for the both of us.
Do you collect?
Crystals, photos, flowers, cards, vintage treasures, quotes, Art by Theo, butterflies, and the list goes on
Tea or coffee?
BOTH, usually coffee in the morning and either a lavender or chamomile at night
What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
That I had to be "more" than what I was to be loved.
Sparkly baby blue
What are your plans for this weekend?
Spend time with my family and guinea pig/baby girl Lana, write, read, maybe draw, eat good food and soak in a bath of fresh lavender from my backyard
Too many to choose from... but I guess if I had to choose, “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star.
Right or left handed?
Your idea of happiness?
Laying naked in a forest, feeling Momma Earth underneath me, butterflies all around me, the most angelic humming sound and uninterrupted peace.
Your idea of misery?
Going through life fearful of everything
If not yourself, who would you be?
The most enlightened possible version of myself
The Divine Creator, my forever love Jordon, my son & my light Theo and my Momma.
What is your present state of mind?
Hopeful, grateful and knowing that I am deserving of all the good things
Bedside table books?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Rumi's Little Book of Love and a Crystal healing book
What do you do if you can't sleep at night?
Snuggle up close to my son, pray, watch The Office (lol)
What is the best dish you can cook?
A delicious egg scramble with mushrooms, spinach, Monterey Jack cheese, bacon, thyme, and black pepper with garlic and rosemary baby potatoes.
What is your middle name?
What do you do in your free time?
Listen to music, go to Feiton to my favorite crystal and metaphysical shop Mountain Spirit, pull a few Tarot cards to draw wisdom/inspiration from, journal, spend time in nature and/or with friends when I can and always take photos.
What inspires you?
My son’s caring and empathetic soul, songs that resonate, acts of kindness, synchronicities, my photographs, sunshine, the moon, feeling my other half Jordon guiding me… and on & on…
What do you do for pleasure?
Buy and light my favorite Reiki charged healing candles, cleanse and change my crystal babies, eat some Honey Mamas Lavender and Rose Petal chocolate, drive out to Big Sur, sit in a river, park by the ocean and watch the sun set, play with different essential oils in the air diffuser and take a hot bath with Dead Sea Salt and fresh lavender (clearly I'm obsessed with lavender)