January 16, 2020 6 min read


Once in awhile this mortal brushes up against a spirit so strong, wise and beautiful, I feel it's a sign. It's the beginning of a new year. And this year, 2019, ladies and gentlemen, will be one for the books. I am ready. We are strong. I have a real live superhero in my corner to prove it. And I'm here to share Ms. Bassett's wisdom to all those dream chasers I am so grateful to orbit with.

Ms. Bassett is a beautiful New York native with an illustrious acting career spanning decades. She grooves, she purrs, she stands up, and love has everything to do with it. Yale educated, with a continuous run of amazing roles, this woman is the epitome of elegance and strength...she exudes a powerful beauty that is to be put simply: inspiring. Hearing her words of encouragement, and seeing the energy at work inspires me want to try harder, reach higher, stand taller, and share bigger and brighter. 


Angela Bassett


A few weeks ago, Ms. Bassett texted me and shared with me that she would be at the Golden Door Spa and wanted to stop by the studio and paint -- I said "Yes!" Then I quietly tried not to throw up, jump around (more than usual) and cry because the studio looked like a tornado had hit it post Black Friday. Like more than usual "hit by a tornado" look which I'm known for. 


Angela and Aviva at the Golden Door Spa


Our play date was amazing like all "let's paint" together moments are. We had a plan: to paint a duvet for her bedroom which we have been working on. She had never painted before but as with more fearless creatives, after a few moments, she not only painted a duvet and pillows at my studio but she made it look good. We also ended up painting on vintage white silk kimonos which was a first for me. I don't think I would've done that if it wasn't for the special occasion. 


Angela Bassett Visits the Aviva Stanoff Studio


Afterward, we sat and had lunch in the rec room. It was simple: summer rolls, veggies and rice.  

Between bites she shared with my son Rocket that she had been cast as the first female Decepticon in the recent Transformers movie. I saw a glimpse of the mother goddess in Ms. Bassett when she gave him advice on being strong, following your heart, and never ever giving up. And it was a beautiful moment of two mothers in a room wanting to fill a child with strength and hope. The magic was that she was the same at the Spa, painting, chatting with a 9 year old --  completely focused, present, and sure. She was there, and she was comfortable with the world, and it was this fluid elegance with the world that I found so impressive. I understood the importance of being authentic and present. 

After lunch Rocket went back to his H.W. and I was able to chat with Ms. Bassett.  

Here is the interview. :-)

AS: Okay, Hello Miss Angela.

AB: Hello my dear.

AS: How do we know each other? And for the record, what is your name?

AB: My name is Angela Bassett. Well, how do we know each other? Maybe about three months ago, we met in the elevator in Detroit.

AS: (laughing) That’s where I meet all my friends. You had a cute outfit on and it was an army green onesie, remember? That was really cute.

AB: And you had your PJs on. The top that looked like a caftan.

AS: That’s right, I’ll strike that from the record.

AB: A butterfly top.

AS: That’s right, oh that’s right

AS: My blog. We talk about inspiration -- both aesthetic inspiration, artistic inspiration and inspiring people. And you my lady, have had an interesting journey...

AB: Thank you.

AS: ...and a very inspiring journey and I thought maybe it would be fun to have some of your spirit be shared with our readers. I asked all the same questions, and the first question I usually ask is do you have a spirit animal Miss Angela?

AB: A spirit animal? Let’s see, the animal that sort of makes me smile…I like the zebra because it looks very familiar, but it’s unique with those stripes, sort of like what we're doing today here in your studio.

AS: Actually that's right, it reminds me of gravity. Kind of contrasty, but perfectly blended.

AB: So I like that.

AS: And as a professional being in the world, it's just moving and shaking all the time. I've imagined you travel a lot. And when you go and travel what are the main things you have to have in your carry-on? Like what is your “I-got-to-have-this-in-my-bag?” It's not going to be checked.

AB: Usually I'll have some tea and sweetener, xylitol. ‘Cause, you know, I don’t like to use the Splenda, the Equal, and not every place has the stevia, so usually I like stevia, or that xylitol sweetener so I can have just a cup of tea.

AS: I don't have any, I didn’t offer that to you just now.

AB: Or I'll have it plain. Um, what else do I like? Some sort of mask, maybe a hydrating mask because I travel so much, my skin can get dry from going back and forth across the country, so it’s nice to have those hydrating masks.

AS: Is there a specific mask that you like, because you are known for your gorgeousness?

AB: Um, nothing specific, usually they’re gold, a gold color.

AS: What are your favorite sort of snacks, or do you like to read of carry a book, or crossword? What do you like?

AB: My favorite snack, I’ll bring almonds or walnuts, some kind of good fat. Like that. Lots of protein bars, good tasty fats, and I always bring a book, whether I read it or not. (laughing). Depends on what…

AS: Do you still read a paper book, or do you have a Kindle?

AB: No, a paper book, I like tactical, tactile, I like the feel of the book, I like to underline things, and highlight things.

AS: And dog ear the corners and things like that? So, do you believe in magic, like Serendipity in Magic...

AB: ...and magical moments happening, yes.

AS: What does that look like to you, Miss Bassett?

AB: It just looks like a blessing, a surprise. I don't believe so much in luck, but in blessings, you know, in God’s magic. Meeting the right people, going around the corner, seeing something beautiful. Wonder. Never lose your sense of wonder.

AS: Oh, I love that. I feel that I try to remind myself of that all the time in my orbit with the world to. I'm sure it hasn't been exactly smooth sailing every single day of your fighting for what you fight for. What would be three things that give you strength when you’re shaken? Imagine if somebody that was also on their journey, maybe the beginning or in a difficult part of their journey, what would be some words, of pearls of wisdom or strength that you would want to share with someone?

AB: Trust your instincts, they won't lead you astray. You have them for a reason.

AS: I love that! Miss Angela, thank you for coming to paint with us today on a playdate I think it's really great that we were able to take away from work and just enjoy creative stuff.

AB: That’s magic.

AS: Yes, that is magic! High five! Thank you lady! I'm so glad that you came here and shared your afternoon with us with that is a blessing for me.

AB: It really is. You too, you too.

AS: So, thank you! I hope you don’t mind I’ll share your words with some of our people, you know, that are interested in us.

AB: Do it, do it!

Here are some photos of the fabulous Miss Basset in my studio - -so humbled to have her visit.


Angela visits Aviva Stanoff's studio

Thank you Ms. Bassett for stopping by my design studio. I am sorry about how messy it was. Your visit inspired me to continue sharing, exploring, and celebrating connectivity through art. You embraced the process of the unknown and created with us. You arrived as a goddess and left as a fellow artist. Amazing! You showed me that being graceful with the unknown is possible -- no matter what your "job" is. From one woman to another, thank you for your words:                                   

"...share your light and you will shine brighter."  

You keep shining Ms. Bassett!  xoxo Aviva


P.S. Your bedding is sewn up and ready to ship next week. :-)

Angela Basset painting


Xox Aviva

Bold Merchant Success
Bold Merchant Success

1 Response

Deborah Main
Deborah Main

February 13, 2019

WOW Aviva!!!! Sounds like an incredible time together. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful Goddess Angela with us. So inspiring!!! xo ❤

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