We've been away for the past couple of weeks; I took the kiddos to visit my parents in Maine and then we all went to Chris' parents' house for a big visit. It's been fun to do vacation-y things. I love the summer! I'll admit, I got exhausted a lot with the two kids and everyone always needing something from me at the same time. Luckily, I had a lot of help too, so everything worked out. I'm happy to be home and getting back to a new routine. Paige has started summer school (for preschool.) She's busy each day learning about the ocean and its creatures and comes home exhausted! Noah is busy learning to roll around the floor and I can't believe he's so mobile now. Time to re-baby-proof the space and figure out where everything needs to go all over again. I feel like we just did this! Mothering is one busy job. It's never dull, that's for sure!
As I mentioned in my last post, I've been thinking a lot about my artwork and how it's been so long since I've done anything with it. I have done so much praying on the topic for the past few years and simply could not come up with THE idea for what I truly wanted to be doing. It's bothered me for a long time. So, I shoved it out of my mind and tried to forget about it as I busied myself with the kiddos and Paige's special needs. But, now P is in school and they are working with her so I'm back to having time for my own goals again. I've decided that I want to create illustrated art prints targeted for children or adults wanting whimsical art. There. I said it. I've been sketching in my little moleskine book for a few years now just waiting to hit on some magical idea of what I'd like to create and I finally uncovered an illustration style I never knew I had. It was like unearthing buried treasure (or what I imagine that to be like)! The inspiration came the literal DAY after I had a big prayer session where I asked for help coming up with the idea for what I most wanted to do. (I'm shy talking about the power of prayer, but I WILL say that it's worked wonders in my life in the most unexpected ways. There's definitely something to it and it never hurts to ask, right?) The next day, I came across some drawings that struck my eye and the ideas began to flow. I began drawing and doodling like mad and found I have a thing for drawing animals that are in funny little situations so I decided to go with that as my running theme. And to see that I actually have a particular illustrative style I never knew about really shocks me. I thought I would need to spend so much time developing that. But it's been there all along just waiting for me to discover it. For the first time since I was a kid I'm completely excited, giddy, and pumped to draw. My University art education sort of squashed the joy for me when it became about getting good grades, competing with ridiculously talented people and pleasing crazy professors. Somewhere along the line I lost the joy and what I most wanted to do. But, I've found that excitement again and I've been riding the high. I've just finished 5 different illustrations and am developing 2 more. I'm finding time during the kids' naps or stolen moments during the day. I get so much relaxation in working...it's very therapeutic to get lost in a drawing. It quiets the mind. And strangely enough, it's very energizing. I feel like I could work all night long (if I knew I didn't have little ones needing me to be awake in the morning!). So, I plan to dust off the shelves of my etsy shop and do a product overhaul. I'm even considering a new shop name. In the meantime, I'm developing my illustrations and researching the best papers to print with and all the other nitty gritty details that go into running my little store efficiently. Here's a sneak peek at a piece of an illustration...just to give you a taste of what I'm doing. Can't spill all the beans yet! Things still need to unfold. I'll be back soon to talk about this more, no doubt! Until then, my friends!