I was lucky enough to grow up with a mom who is also an artist, and who always encouraged my brother Travis and I to draw. She really believes in never stifling a child’s imagination/creativity. I’m thankful for that! I know that is the exception rather than the rule from what I hear from others.
My mom draws/paints realism with a twist… realism as the style but something fantastic might be going on, like fish swimming through palm trees. She also really loves to paint food, probably from having grown up without a lot of it back in the day. Her favorite mediums are pen and ink, colored pencils, and acrylics, so these are the things my brother and I got to play with most often. She never restricted us to “kids” art supplies, but always let us play with the good stuff – professional artist grade.
Yeah, we ruined brushes, design markers and tubes of paint of course, but I guess she figured that was worth it. 🙂 I’m glad she did. I also have some awesome aunts who encouraged me art-wise from a young age. They were happy to send me art supplies.
So, how did I come to do this professionally? I’ve always had two main branches of creativity: art and music. I was extremely focused (one might say *obsessed*) on the music branch in high school and college, studying classical voice and piano. When funds fell through for finishing that degree I became discouraged and seemed to lose my creativity entirely for years. I worked in retail and forgot about both music and art, except for the occasional sketch.
Eventually, in 2005 I had some personal upheaval and thought I might try drawing/painting again to get back in touch with the creativity and deal with emotions in a good way. What did I have to lose but paper? I still had my old watercolor palette from a class I’d taken in college and some brushes, so I started there. At the time I mostly painted fairies and fantasy themes, since I loved the idea of escaping from the everyday world. I also went through financial hardship at that time and saw that other people were selling their art, so I decided to take a crack at it, too. I painted ACEOs by the bucketload, one almost every day. Painting so much in volume helped me to rapidly improve my watercolor skills (which were abysmal when I started out), and I sold the tiny paintings on Ebay. The little art business was born!
My subject matter and motives have changed some over the years, especially when I came to know Jesus and my faith changed away from my former Paganism. I became more fascinated with God’s creation, the tiny amazing things He creates, innocence, childlike perspectives. I still paint a fairy now and again (and I don’t think there is anything wrong with fantasy!), but it seems the beauty of creation and childhood themes usually capture my interest more these days.
Currently I find myself back at eBay selling little ACEOs once again! Mostly kitty cat and other little animal illustrations, which I adore imagining up. They are doing well, which makes me even happier.