Funny how we absolutely love something so much that we can’t see ourselves doing without it. I handcrafted greeting cards as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family near and far. My motto was, “Everyone likes to receive something special in the mail.” I took it a step further and was published in a couple of trade magazines, a stamp company catalog and sold a few at a local mail shop for years. But, something was missing. I no longer had the passion I once had for card making. It didn’t become a chore, it was, well…just boring. I wanted a different look to my cards. I think what I really wanted was for them to ‘say’ something…something other than the standard greetings (Happy Birthday, Friday, Retirement, etc). Finding different types of sentiment was not a problem. There are tons out there, but it wasn’t my voice coming through. And that is what I believed was missing. It was another artist that took the time to make, then market that stamp sentiment.
Well. I have plenty of alphabet stamps, stickers and there are lots of inspirational quotes from here, there and everywhere and none of those were on a card.
So, I made these:
This freedom from the norm pushed me to use something other than rubber stamps and dye inks. There are other mediums out there. I have to preface this by saying I had no idea what a medium was. I remember walking in a local art supply store and the clerk asked which medium I prefer. I said, “Paper.” She laughed and I smiled, though I didn’t get the joke. I had no idea what she meant.
But words like journey, explore, freedom and embrace kept swirling around in my mind. Initially I thought the words were foreboding of my grades for the semester since I was quite nervous about returning to school at 50 years old. The word explore really got me though. I have enough paper craft goodies to fill a store, but also in my space were bottles of acrylic paint that were given to me along with brushes and other supplies. Since I don’t believe in coincidences, they were given to me for a reason. I just didn’t know it then.
Then…light bulb came on.
Hey! I’m going to paint! I don’t know how, but let me check YouTube; no, I need to learn how to draw first, what does wikiHow – how say? Wait, there’s a craft channel? OMG! I wanted to do it all. I wanted to be on the journey of an artist and explore with different mediums and embrace my not so great attempts!
Fast forward to today. That’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m exploring while on the art journey and embracing everything including my mistakes. I have good studio days where I am on point and in a zone for hours on end. Then there are those days when I think that I must be the craziest person on earth to not find a real job. That ‘real job’ phrase gets me every time. This is my real job and I love the person that hired me for it. God gave me this passion and this purpose.
So, when my studio days don’t seem to be as productive as I think they should, I take a step back, and remember where I started. I wanted to do something different, and He made that happen.