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Life and Work with Delaney Kochan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Delaney Kochan.

Delaney, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up, I never thought I was creative. I was raised on horseback, hands always dirty, and tough. That ‘hard things are worth doing’ mentality turned me into a competitive athlete and intellect at a challenging school where I learned performance and progress were the things that made the world turn.

It was a quiet, stretched journey learning my own mind and how it works primarily in impressions and feelings. As it turns out, poetry is my birthright. It was my emphasis for most of my college schooling, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned my grandmother is also a poet. Poetry is fragmented and lyrical and sort of my native tongue. Anything I’ve created is spoken to live in that language. As someone who believes creativity is completely integrated into the life and how we each see the world, I find I use that language every day, more than any other. Calling out beauty, highlighting what is already magic in the world, and helping people to see more deeply is what motivates everything I do and each business I find myself parenting.

Has it been a smooth road?
I often tell people I stumbled into the journey I find myself on. I wasn’t mindfully chasing down a dream to own a business. I was following my curiosities and my joys. And where I thought they might end, I found an open door. I had to decide whether I had the courage to say yes when shown that open door. And whether I’d say yes again at the next one, and the next.

It has not been an all smooth and all wild success. It’s been lots of trial by fire and long hours of doing things the hard way and losing money where it could have been avoided. But it hasn’t felt frustrating on most nights because I’m still following those curiosities and joys. I’d tell others that’s where the magic is. That’s how you know you’re living into your fullest potential. You need to be faithful to your ‘why’, so you need to figure that out early and do all you can to protect it. That will include becoming very comfortable using the word “no.” Everything you say ‘yes’ to means you have to say ‘no’ to something else. So, choose your ‘yeses’ carefully as you discover more about your own passion.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Delaney Darling – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
This is the part where I shake my head in disbelief. I’m still surprised to find out that it’s true – I run businesses! Three right now to be exact. I am a writer, a floral designer, and a Splankna practitioner. The writing is simply done under my own name and is primarily editorial, but I also freelance for local, lifestyle, outdoor adventure, nonprofit, and ministry magazines, blogs, and websites. I’m also dabbling as developmental editor and ghostwriter on a book that might take the rest of my life to complete at this rate!

Both the floral design and the emotional-healing protocol are done under my umbrella business as a creative service called Delaney Darling. Wonderfully enough, this means all of my work is done under my own name. My last name actually translates into English to mean “darling, beloved, cherished, or sweetheart”. Remember that whole calling out beauty, finding magic, and seeing deeper ethos? It starts close to home, kids. Literally colors everything.

When I explain my role as a floral designer to clients, I tell them I’m actually a floral interpreter. I love learning people, their hopes, and anything they mean to communicate at their wedding, event, editorial shoot, holiday, funeral, etc. and say it using flowers at the medium – creating a physical space that embodies them. There are rules to design as with any art-form, but they aren’t what I give the most attention to as I work. I don’t count stems and I don’t mimic photos from Pinterest. I get to know people, really try to see them clearly, and let my mind – the one that thinks in impressions and feelings – sing and paint with flowers so that I end up with a portrait of my clients at the end. It’s incredible the way beauty and the physical world can communicate value and deep truth to people. That is always my goal in designing – that people feel known and cherished and inspired through their experience.

I’m betting few people have heard of Splankna. It’s a Christian mind-body combination technique that utilizes redeemed energy psychology to achieve emotional healing. Sounds complex, but this is the part where I looked deep to discover that so often, science is where the magic and the beauty lies. I believe we are integrated beings, and as such, we can’t isolate one part of ourselves, talk to it, and expect the rest to fall in line. So, I was trained in this protocol that engages the mind, body, and spirit in the process of healing emotional trauma. It has been completely transformative in my own life in the years I’ve been receiving Splankna therapy, and believe so powerfully in the peace and restoration it can deliver, that I’ve been trained so I can offer it to others.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
Part of the way I continue to learn my own mind and passion is through the things I consume, so here I also follow my curiosities and joys more than I seek practical business assistance. Not sure that is something to be totally proud of, but it is that way for the moment! I’m just discovering Corita Kent, a former nun and influential artist – she’s a fascinating woman who I have much to learn from. I spend time with a community in Colorado Springs called the Anselm Society which holds conferences and recently started a few podcasts which are fantastic for artists in the faith. I’m also forever indebted to a woman named Abby who runs a yoga studio called Flourish Body & Soul. Now that she lives in New York, the video practices she’s recorded help me create space to reorder my mind and spirit through movement. I will say, too, that nothing can replace conversations with other creatives in your industry. You need community and people walking through similar struggles to journey with. Don’t think you are ever doing work in a vacuum or alone.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Adonje Jaja, Gina Hancock, Allison Easternling, Jessica Drew, Tori Willford, Dana Jensen

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Patricia P. Glenn

    May 7, 2019 at 4:49 am

    Great job, Delaney. I love your floral Pieces, just lovely and unique.

    You may not know, but one year not so long ago, I gather up all your Grandmother’s Poetry and had a book made of them. Your Mom has a copy.

    Genetically, there are many good writers on the Powers side of the family, the Irish, you know !

    Good luck and Fair Winds,
    Aunt Pat.

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