Creativity is genetic; at least I assumed it was in high school. If my mother could paint, I should be able to.
Every life is important, stored up with memories and layered with emotions that reflect where we've been, whom we've loved, what has dented us. I think that's why people feel a strong connection to art-- something sparks and shines a light on who we are, what we think, and Who has authored our stories.
Making art that is meaningful to people-- a map of the lake where you spent your summers, an image of the place where you've finally achieved your dream, a passage that was read at your wedding, colors that remind you of someone you lost-- makes it real to me.
So, this is how it works: an idea percolates or a client purchases a custom order. Using that information, I do a little research online and mark up the layout, usually with a sketch over blue marking paper. If there's any large calligraphy or places I want to remain the color of the paper, I draw on the masking fluid. I paint and wait and paint and wait a little more. Here I have to thank God for things like gravity, absorbancy, evaporation, horse hair, etc. If any calligraphy is required, it comes at the end. If it's a tricky or long piece, I'll write it out on scrap paper to sense the layout; otherwise I just charge in with India ink.
One of my favorite things about Etsy is the interaction with my clients and buyers. I don't ask, but almost everyone tells me a little backstory about who it's for, why it's significant-- and the memories for the giver and the receiver are all very powerful.
Why do I do this? I have been a marketing consultant, a trainer, a writer, a graphic artist, a web designer, an elementary art teacher, a wife and a mother...Passionate about medieval history, education, English literature, Pixar, my family, and the Bible, naturally, I opened an online shop offering maps, poetry, and calligraphy.