The Internal Revolution with Leanne Aranador

By Allison Rapson

Today, I feel really proud to put Leanne Leilani Aranador in the spotlight as she is the woman who has been artfully designing the unique and totally rad doodles that have accompanied each installment of the Internal Revolution since we first launched the series back in June.

These doodles are Leanne’s love child; they are an offering for us to see the world the way she does and they are magnetic! In fact, the reason that Kassidy and I know Leanne is because a couple of years ago she decided to create a doodle inspired by We are the XX. She posted it on Instagram and we loved it and shared it with our community. Then, about a year later Leanne moved to NYC, contacted us and we immediately hired her to begin doing some design work for our company.

Finding and exposing your own voice is a journey unto itself and it can only ever look like you. For Leanne, how she’s chosen to artfully speak up is through these doodles. It began as a daily personal inspiration: post a doodle a day and dedicate those doodles to the unedited brilliance of the female experience. This project has turned into a business called, “The Doodle Journey,” and that business is up and live as of today! Amazing.

Leanne has figured out how to draw her way out of her head and into the world and, of course, that process was nothing other than deeply personal. Here’s her story of Internal Revolution:

Q: In your journey to where you are now, did you have a “dark night of the soul”?
A: For too long I allowed other people’s opinions and actions dictate who I was. A job rejection meant I was unworthy. A guy who never called me after the first date meant I was unlovable. A colleague that didn’t acknowledge my hard work meant I was valueless. These lies I chose to believe became deafening to the point that I couldn’t hear my own voice.

Q: What are the soul sparks that propelled you forward?
A: It was when my friend suggested, as a New Year’s resolution, to create a doodle a day for a whole year that I began to hear a faint, whisper of myself. In the beginning of my doodle journey I had two simple rules:

1. Draw everyday
2. Despite the imperfections you must post it.

My Instagram feed became my public, uncensored visual diary into my everyday life, including the emotions and life lessons I experienced.

On the 87th day I realized I had developed my own unique, artistic style, but it wasn’t until the 209th day that I recognized the true value of my voice.

My voice has the power to decide who I am. It has the power to turn my imperfections into points of interests and my vulnerabilities into strengths. From that day on I promised myself to always honor my voice above all others.

Q: Why is feminism personal and important to you?
A: Feminism is important to me because I believe the only person who holds power over what you can and cannot do is you.

Q: Are there any Goddesses / matriarchs / historical female leaders that resonate with you?
A: Joan of Arc. Not only was she one of the first women to take on what was then considered a “man’s job,” she also believed it was her Divine purpose and she didn’t care if people believed her or not. She believed she was born to lead her country to victory and that’s exactly what she did. Her self-confidence is something we should all take note of.

Q: What do you know now that you want other women to know, too?
A: While we all experience unique obstacles on our journeys, we all start in the same place — within ourselves.

When you transform your internal negativity into external positive thoughts and actions, you transform your world.

I believe that the first step in this revolution is honoring your voice and understanding the power it holds.

Here’s to you. Here’s to sisterhood. Here’s to The Internal Revolution.