“It’s so nice to be away from the normal tediousness of life” is what Stephanie Hlvanin, author and one of our latest Art Residents had to say about Azule when we sat down to speak on a sunny October afternoon. Taking full advantage of the weather, Stephanie laid out her work station on Azule’s main floor, just off the living area and overlooking the mountains. “I mean the view!” and that says it all doesn’t it.
Laptop open, manuscripts and folders piled around with sticky notes attached, Stephanie talks about her latest project, a memoir. “I’ve been working on this book for a while now, it was a script to begin with, a screenplay”. While Stephine is no novice to telling stories, telling your own stories is sometimes challenging, “it’s emotional, some of this is pretty hard stuff to write.” It has also been difficult to write in a style that didn’t come naturally to her, taking the time at Azule to switch back to a more familiar style of writing, “Azule is just sort of conducive to the creativity. You can be in a creative space and feel a lot of pressure, but I don’t feel that here, it’s kind of like , it’s there for you but you can use it , take it on your own terms. For me it just felt like safe, you know…it’s like safe and authentic and real you know. There’s no subterfuge”.
Having stayed and explored the area for almost two weeks, Stephanie’s advice to anyone considering a residency at Azule, “I would recommend it first, absolutely. If you are looking for a place that will help you feed your art and your soul, this is absolutely the place to come. Not to put it negatively but I don’t think it’s for everybody, but it can speak to you, it will speak to you if you let it. It just touches you, I’d highly recommend it.”