Meredith Ochoa used Overly app to bring her story to life with augmented reality. Her book on healing endometriosis and attaining power and freedom from pain, titled ‘Face Your Shit, Heal Yourself‘, features artwork from the first year of her ongoing ‘Every Phase‘ art series. This AR project immerses readers into the series, illustrating how she healed herself living by the female infradian rhythm 28-day clock instead of the 24-hour clock of ‘everyday’ modern life.
Readers have expressed very positive feedback about the AR and art in the book. The AR sets everything in motion and makes Ochoa’s book one of the few that truly incorporates AR into the story and author’s experiences.
Primarily, Meredith is an artist, more specifically ANOTHER F*#%ING ARTIST, the name of her business. And for this project she was inspired not only by her 17 years of debilitating endometriosis pain, but also as a response to Beeple’s record-breaking NFT project, Everydays: The First 5000 Days where he made a piece of art every single day for thirteen years.
On the quest to find answers on how to heal herself, she studied how women’s hormones function and learned more about the female infradian rhythm clock (the female monthly cycle) and the science behind it. The female infradian rhythm clock is a 28-35 day series of 4 phases that cyclically repeats: Follicular, Ovulatory, Luteal and Menstrual. Similar to the cycles of the seasons and earth.
After learning this, she recognized how for the most part the world lives on a 24-hour clock, benefiting testosterone. The modern 9-5 work day begins in the morning when testosterone is the highest, around 9 AM and ends in the evening when testosterone levels begin to drop off, around 5 PM. She saw how efficiently men have leveraged and optimized their biology and thought, “why haven’t women done this?”.
The contrast of these ideas became the inspiration for the ‘Every Phase‘ series, which began in April 2021. So as a response to Beeple’s NFT project, Meredith decided to create a piece of art from start to completion, not every day, but every phase that will continue for the next thirteen years (approximately five-thousand days). The accompanying art of each phase metaphorically illustrates the different brain and body chemistry of what’s occurring during that particular phase, educating the viewer as she lives the art.
Fine art is usually seen as unattainable and inaccessible. Meredith wants to dispel this and make the world of fine art more approachable. Since the book is a much lower price point than a one-of-a-kind art piece, one of her intentions was to provide a more attainable and interactive AR entry into the world of custom art, and make working with local artists appear much less elite. In addition, Meredith’s goal is to unite the elite with the humble, as augmented reality merges the physical with the digital. This effectively allows more people to view and experience her artwork.
Meredith’s project centers around the various phases that the brain and body go through during the feminine cycle. Each of the art pieces represents a specific phase, illustrating what the artist feels about it. For example, Meredith describes the follicular phase as “a blank canvas time of new beginnings”. As an illustration, “the art for that phase can be thought of when winter turns to spring. A time for planning a new beginning and creating a roadmap for where we want to go.” says Meredith. For the luteal phase, she incorporated the use of water to compare the similarities to a “cycle of a wave, building a crest and then crashing back into the body of water it just came from”.
The immersion of the reader was what Meredith really focused on. By considering factors like movement and interaction, she used AR to take readers on a journey and experience the story through visual and audio dimensions. She believes this enhances their understanding of the various phases far more than simply reading about them.
At the core, ‘Face Your Shit, Heal Yourself‘ is a book about freedom. Meredith aims to open the reader’s eyes to the fact that we often tend to trap ourselves in a prison of our design. In the long run, to allow ourselves to heal and gain power over our pain, we must face our demons and acknowledge our own shortcomings. She describes the process of setting oneself free as “being able to change their relationship to pain, ask their pain what it needs, and realize their truth”.
Incorporating augmented reality and interactive art into the book makes readers feel like Meredith’s journey is their own. Rather than simply looking at her artwork, they get to experience the emotions and intent behind it through AR. This engages readers far more than simply reading science facts or looking at diagrams of the human body to understand the feminine infradian rhythm.
Meredith plans on continuing the series of art titled ‘Every Phase‘, of which the first installation is ‘Face Your Shit, Heal Yourself‘. This series will be spread out over thirteen years and she is already in the third year of producing artwork for this series. Follow the series and be the first to receive the monthly seasonal art piece by subscribing to her ‘art is not what you see…‘ newsletter as she creates and lives through each phase.
Meredith’s podcast, Face Your Shit, Heal Yourself, accompanies the book and focuses more on the health and science behind healing yourself from not only endometriosis, but various chronic conditions. She also uses her podcast to explain her project in more detail, including what ideas and practices helped her heal.
Meredith describes this year as her “true blue year”. This year she will be creating all her pieces as cyanotypes, also known as sun prints. This is an ages-old form of photography that uses the sun as the darkroom for photographic printing. This form of printing creates a cyan-blue print that almost looks like a print from an X-Ray machine.
Readers can purchase a personally signed hardcover copy of ‘Face Your Shit, Heal Yourself‘ on Meredith’s website. Meredith also has an e-book option, but recommends the hardcover book for a better reading and viewing experience. Coupled with Overly app, the immersive experience that Meredith’s book allows is truly an exciting and informative journey.