MY APPROACH TO PAINTING
I've tried everything from detailed drawing & portraits, to calligraphy & hand-lettering to abstract panting. What I've discovered through exploring each style is that each process offers different emotional and physical results. The style and process I love the most is painting abstractly because painting for me is more of a therapeutic release, an expression of emotions, and a game of tug and war with my fears and limitations. I enjoy the feeling I have at the end of each painting–the feeling I worked through something and I am better because of it.
THE SHORT VERSION
It’s not easy to share who I am and what I do in a short bio because there are many things that led me to where I am today. So if you’re like me and love to know the whole story, keep reading.
I was a small town girl with big dreams, raised by entrepreneurial parents, and encouraged to create a business with my talents. It took me years to figure it out, 13 years of being a hairstylist and several attempts and ideas in my Etsy shop, until something finally took.
I was able to quit my day job, explore my creative ambitions and learn how to support my family doing what I loved.
My business evolved from serving weddings to working together with creative entrepreneurs and artists. My husband and I moved to Nashville, we got pregnant, and a voice told me to start painting again–so I did, and now I’m here living my big dream, creating art and teaching others how to live their big dream too.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS I'M PROUD OF
I was an Etsy Featured Seller, my calligraphy work was featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper, Once Wed, Carats + Cake and Besotted Blog. I’ve taught dozens of creative workshops, spoke at a conference and founded a woman's creative retreat. My artwork has been featured on The 100 Day Project and Chairish and published in Mud Season Review.
THE LONG VERSION
I’m from a small town where neighbors lived at least a half a mile down the road and our home was nestled between corn fields and farms. As a kid, a lot of my time was spent outdoors playing in nature with my siblings and inside drawing and rearranging my bedroom furniture (my husband says this hasn't changed).
Both of my parents were entrepreneurs and encouraging of a creative and entrepreneurial path. In my small town, art, museums or a career in art was non-existent, so it was impossible to imagine what it could look like to be an artist for a living.
I always admired my aunts, who were both hairstylists and business owners, I also had long hair for most of my life and would style it differently often, so I decided to attend cosmetology school and began my career as a hairstylist directly out of high school.
After several years of building my clientele and gaining experience as a stylist, I found myself searching for more, something that fulfilled my artistic side. Not sure what I was doing, but knowing I had to do something with art, I attended a community college when I was 25 years old, studying art education. Even after receiving a wonderful award from my art professor (she even purchased on of my pieces of art!) and landing a spot on the Dean’s List after one semester, I confirmed with myself I wanted to be an artist first (maybe a teacher second) and that I wanted to pave my own creative path, just as my parents had encouraged me to do.
From that moment forward I made a commitment to go after the creative life I envisioned, to educate myself on how to start and sustain a business and to put myself in front of as many opportunities as I could.
That inspired me to move out of my small town to Ithaca, NY, a more creative town where I saw possibilities with my art. After settling in, meeting the right people, and constantly carrying a sketchbook around with me, I had my first exhibit at a local bar. And for the next few years, I exhibited in various establishments throughout the region.
I got a taste for what it was like to create a body of work, install it, host an event to share it, and sell it (PS: I loved it). But I was still lacking the skills on how to sustain a living as an artist.
So I continued to search, exploring other facets of creating, like calligraphy. One day I posted a custom calligraphy rubber stamp I designed for my wedding invitations in my Etsy shop, and it sold. Not only did it sell, it filled a demand and nearly overnight, I received dozens of emails for more custom stamps. With the unexpected (and welcomed) success of the calligraphy stamp, I juggled my day job and my Etsy shop, filling orders morning and night and cutting hair during the day. As if that wasn’t enough, I discovered another demand for on-site hairstyling services for weddings. So I launched another business and provided exactly that. The next year was wild and full of a lot of learning, failing, and more learning, till I was finally able to quit my day job and focus on being a business owner.
Both were financially successful, but my creative side, the side that wanted to paint again, was still tugging. So I poured everything I had into my art endeavors, and dissolved my hairstyling after a few years.
I outgrew my Etsy shop soon after I was a Featured Seller and evolved from offering wedding related items and paper goods, to serving creative entrepreneurs who wanted to make a living doing what they loved.
My husband and I moved to Nashville, TN, where I renamed my business to be my actual name. I started to teach workshops on calligraphy, blogging, social media, painting and hand-lettering.
And remember that tugging, that desire to make a living as an artist? It’s now been over a year since I began weaving my artworks and paintings into my business. I now have people hire me to paint for them. And in just a few short months I will resume (after over 6 years) exhibiting my art.
Life is wild and our dreams are wild too. What if we could change the way we thought about life and success? What if the act of having a wild dream meant it was possible?
I believe in your wild heart and the creativity and grit you hold within it. I know, and I’m proof, that the life you dream of is possible.
ABOUT THE LOVE'S OF MY LIFE
The day I met my husband was the day I found my equal, a man passionate about his art and living a life fully supported by it. He was a seasoned business owner offering wisdom to support my ideas. He was touring nationally with his band, over 200 dates a year, and was pouring his heart into lyrics and music that held meaning to him.
We both shared in our desire to live in a city with more art and music, more opportunities for our careers, and the ability to afford a home we could raise a family in. We explored many cities and ultimately chose Nashville, TN.
We moved to Music City in 2013 and purchased the house we were renting after a year of living in it. Our home is a 1950’s brick ranch surrounded with tall trees and rose bushes and a railroad track in the back that reminds us of our desire to travel. We both are able to create and work from home, which allows us to eat lunch and dinner together almost everyday.
My husband's music inspires me. His love and encouragement support me, and our commitment to making a life with our art is something we take seriously.
We endured two miscarriages before welcoming our beautiful son, Noah Augustine, into the world in August, 2015. Because of that experience we are stronger and know how truly precious life, and the way we choose to live it, is.