The archival boxes...

I have ideas that just keep whispering to keep pushing it forward...the archival box is one of those whispers that turned into a scream! The collection takes you back to trips to museums with artifacts encased in acrylic so we don't dare touch, gives such a crisp and noble feeling to whatever is found inside...We have refined our archival box options to include the textiles printed on Belgian linen, the design is then floated on a crisp white stretched linen. Each artwork is washed giving it a naturally aged appearance with unraveled edges. Each work is numbered and dated with a certificate of authenticity. 

 
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The linen obsession

I have been obsessed with digitally printing on different substrates since I started printing years ago...I would (against the advisement of Epson) turn my canvas over and print on the reverse, giving a very natural cotton look. It was the beginning of my other obsession...printing on linen. The process has taken years to really have a color corrected collection of fabric by the yard and pillows. In the beginning I dabbled, not knowing if this made any business sense...as an artist, fabric + pillows? With the John-Richard brand partnership we quickly turned the dabbling into product, offering the first upholstered pieces. We now had a process that made sense...I think one of the key pieces of advise that has helped me push forward with ideas that may or may not make sense sometimes is to follow your gut and recognize failure is a sign of forward movement...it is how you choose to reapply the valuable lessons you learn at the hand of failure. In a sense, failure is a gift, testing your abilities to evolve. 

To blog or not to blog...

I thought long and hard about the whole "to blog or not to blog"....It is one of those things that puts you out there for the world to read...well, I'm officially out there! My goal for the blog is to give an insight to life as an artist from my window view...

It has been a fast and furious climb and I am finally starting to see the view and slow the freight train down enough to enjoy it. This High Point furniture market I had several "Design Short" interviews, the questioning and interaction takes you to a place of reflection, reminding you how and why you are where you are. I have been an "artist at heart" since I was at least 6...I remember the feeling of playing in the mud, trying to get that perfect design by mixing the water from the puddle into the dirt...I was fortunate to grow up in the country,  on the back of a horse most days. I am quite certain the freedom of "traveling" molded my free spirit and gave me the independence to follow my heart most of the time. I would grab my bridle that hung in my room and take off early morning not returning until dark. I had a group of friends that loved to ride and we would explore every meadow and dirt road that we could find. My Mom was very trusting in the powers that be to take care of us. These are the experiences I long for my kids to have...a life of imagination and exploration without technology to hold you hostage!

I believe it is the combination of that freedom to explore and having several key people in my life who deeply influenced my creative growth that gave birth to my career. Probably the biggest influence was my aunt and uncle. Both were amazingly creative people with their own gifts. My uncle was an architect, living in various cities. He would send me his drawings on occasion, seeing my interest and sharing the process.  I was very young but it really stuck with me and from that spark my creative journey was eventually ignited. The next influence was a school mate who moved in from California. Her mom was an artist and had a studio in her basement. We would mix our love of music with paint and behold...the rock start portraits oozed out of us! My first art business emerged, painting iconic musicians for anyone with $10.

I think the reflection process for me has given me peace in who I am and what I have accomplished. It is sometimes quite uncomfortable to be on the other end of "being a successful artist". I climbed into an arena with no formal training, no idea of who was who in the design industry. I struggled with "why am I doing this" for several years, thinking I was putting myself and kids through unnecessary chaos and uncertainty. All and all it has been a hard road with late hours and little sleep...we have had unexpected moments of joy and utter fear! I can finally say it has all been worthwhile and I recognize that kid in the mud. So I step out "to blog", as I believe in the spirit of paying it forward, As uncomfortable as it may be to "put yourself out there"....I know there are so many artists who just want to know where to start and how to find their niche. Stay tuned...