Who is Cher the Fire?
(Originally posted on IG and FB in a series of smaller posts, November 2022.
I thought I’d do an introduction howdy post since I don’t think I’ve done one. My name is Cher Kaufmann. I am a surface designer, artist, and author. I’ve been interested in patterns since childhood. But maybe not the kinds of ones you’re thinking.
Yes, I’m interested in patterns on your shirt or the color of your shoes, but I’m also drawn to the waves and ripples in rocks, the scale patterns on snakes, and the feather arrangement on birds. Even insects, with the multiple different ways yellow and black can show up on bees, wasps, and hornets. I’m interested in how the wind or a breeze can sway grass, make tree leaves sound like water or make your hair dance.
I’ve long been interested in how people have patterns because I could feel and see things about people long before they said a word or made eye contact with me. I am both intuitive and synesthetic. Let’s break those down.
I come from a long line of intuitive family- from both sides. The family has manifested “knowing things” in different ways. My paternal grandmother and my mom (different sides of the family) both had prophetic dreams among other indicators. For me, I get indicators of emotion regulation from a person and other things too.
This lead me to do extensive studies of patterns with people. I was a massage therapist with an active practice for 20+ years. I studied Chinese Face Reading, Five Element Theory, Ayurveda, homeopathy, multiple healing modalities, behavioral patterns, body shapes, and more. I was looking for the answers and confirmation of how or why I knew things and what it meant. It’s taught me a lot about the way we connect to one another.
Synesthesia is when the brain perceives a trigger, like music, and processes it through another method of organization, like color. In my case, I could feel a room, a person, a sound through color. Then as I got older I realized I was actually picking up emotions emanating in the environment. I later realized that the way I “see” numbers, dates, alphabets, calendars, seasons, etc are in distinct patterns that no one else did. I thought everyone saw these patterns. It wasn’t until this year that I saw other synesthetic number forms from other synesthetes (a person with synesthesia). I like to think of it as a way my brain “translates” life into different “languages.” Instead of English to Spanish, I might compare it to anything having to do with the numbers 7 or 70’s is black with a red halo. The thirties are yellow. Mung beans taste like 1970’s avocado green color. And an acquaintance I know feels like the guitar sound from the band The Eagles. There are many ways experiences are interpreted with me.
I have been using a combination of intuition, synesthesia, education and experience to look at, interpret and create. I was lucky enough in my 6th-grade year to participate every week for the school year in a live archeological dig with my class and archeologists from the University of Arizona. Touching ancient artifacts from the Hohokam for the first time since they were put there, observing changes in dirt, paint on shards, sifting, cleaning, and documenting also helped me to appreciate and respect the patterns of the Southwest, the land, peoples, and creatures. Every experience is a stepping stone to the next.
I studied art and writing in college, and decided on massage school after debating between theology (I’m fascinated by belief systems as patterns that shape people's lives, clothes, food, and interactions) and chiropractic (I was looking for a way to help create change for and within people). I did this for over 20 years part-time while we raised a family.
This next part I’m going to have to make brief because there’s so much to it. I had an experience that moved me back to art, painting a ceiling mural, teaching meditative drawing classes, getting book contracts to do coloring books, a YouTube channel, an aromatherapist certification, and an aromatherapy book. I was was contacted by PBS to do a pilot show and a secondary pilot program channel that was looking for programming to pitch. This had me delving deeply into the world of tea, I even traveled to a US based tea farm and am a level 2 certification of the International Tea Institute. It’s kind of crazy when I write it all down like that.
Needless to say, I shut down my massage business and opened up my art studio. I also went back to school to learn surface design and surface pattern design. Surface design is designing for a surface, like a mug, sweatshirt, logo etc. Surface Pattern Design is repeat patterns, like fabric or wrapping paper - the patterns repeat. I was able to put together my love of world patterns and art together.
I changed my business name to Cher the Fire because I believe when we are “doing our thing,” whatever that is, we ignite something in others, we literally and figuratively share the light within which spreads joy, love, happiness and inspiration.
Everything I create has meaning and energy within to support or brighten your well-being. I am here to Cher the Fire, and to help you share yours.
I love to create for you, license, collaborate and bring you multifunctional, multipurpose art creations that fill your heart and bring you light.
If you read the whole thing - whew, good on you! -, was there something that you could see in yourself? Something you could recognize? Have questions? Let me know!
You can always check out my website and the shop if you are curious about more.