On April 8, 2014, our friend, Elle Luna, shared an article she had written on the blog-publishing platform Medium titled “The Crossroads of Should and Must”. In the weeks following, the article went viral — tweeted to more than five million users, shared thousands of times on every social platform imaginable, and read by over a quarter million people. A year to the day, Elle published her first book, The Crossroads of Should and Must — which has inspired and motived readers to take the personal leap from what they feel they SHOULD be doing to what their heart and deep desires tell them they MUST be doing.
She is an artist, designer, writer — we’re also convinced she is a superhero.
Elle grew up in Texas, desiring to pursue a career as an artist from her youth, but shares that, “Somewhere along the way, I kind of lost sight of that dream.”
A failed attempt to get into law school, which Elle now views as “one of the universe’s great gifts to me," led her to create art around the clock. This passion for the visual would eventually open doors to pursue a career in graphic design and art. Her professional journey brought her to San Francisco, where she worked with companies such as Ideo, Uber, and Mailbox, before taking a bold leap into full time painting.
We met Elle at her studio — a sunlit white-walled place of dreams clad in giant canvases, batiks, painting supplies, and indoor plants. Her furry companion, Tilly, shuffled from wall to wall. Parked out front was the matriarch of Elle and Tilly’s girl band - Auntie ZuZu, a simply beautiful ’91 Westfalia Vanagon.
Auntie ZuZu is to become the white-walled studio on four wheels. For roughly six months, Elle and the rest of her “girl band” will call the road home as she works on a new project. “I’m really craving more time in nature. I feel like I’m a little out of balance.” She acknowledged the weariness of constant technology and overall busy-ness, and shared that much of the drive to explore this new lifestyle comes from a need to slow down and recenter.
ZuZu is modestly decorated and intentionally organized — a colorful altar adorns the back of her passenger seat, a piece of brick from Elle’s childhood home sits tucked away in a drawer, painting materials are carefully stored in preparation for this next great journey.
“When your whole world becomes your van, the entire world becomes a part of your house.”
Listen to the full audio interview below.