A couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a little bit of time to myself to regroup. Being in the business of art, it is sometimes difficult to find a balance between the ‘business’ part and the actual ‘creating.’ I had just received some new supplies and I was longing to try them out, but there was always so much to do. By the end of each day, I felt a bit too tired to be creative and kept pushing things to the next day. And the next. And the next . . .
Finally, I decided to try to step away for a couple of days at least. Those of you who also create and have a business tied to your art probably understand how difficult this can be. We work so hard to be successful, but it sometimes seems that the more successful we are, the more difficult it is for us to find time to create. We need to find a balance that is suitable for both the creative side of things and the practical (business) side. It isn’t always easy.
But I did my best and I was able to unplug for a few days. While I didn’t really disappear from social media completely, I definitely took a step back and found some great creative time as well as time to do some thinking and organizing. It was a nice break and turned out to be very functional after all.
In the process of organizing, I discovered that I was pretty far behind with promoting some of my colleagues that I have collaborated with in the recent past. Many wonderful and talented designers have used my unique surfaces for their painting patterns or asked that I outsource their own unique designs for painters to use with their patterns. There are fewer and fewer wood companies and because I am a pretty small operation and a graphic designer, I am able to offer them personal service and can create their pieces from sketches just about any way they like. It is really nice for them and also a great plus for me, as it expands our own customer bases and is a win/win for all involved.
I decided to write a list of these partners and also list which surfaces of mine as well as their own designs they are using, as I felt I was beginning to lose track of things.
This seems like it would be a given. One would think that it would be easy to remember things like who used which pieces. Especially when the resulting designs were so beautiful. But what began as a few pieces here and there from a couple of designing friends, seems to have quickly snowballed into quite a collection. As I listed the ‘current’ designs and designers that have signed on in the past few months, I immediately saw the issue: there were far more than I realized, and the list was long and impressive. No wonder I couldn’t keep things straight in my head! I don’t think anyone could.
To make a long story short, I spent the next several days thinking things through and coming up with a better way to sort through and organize everything. This is a particularly good time to do this, as Keith is currently rebuilding my “Tole Painting Designs” painting website and he is trying his best to make everything easily accessible and easy to locate for our customers. I am really excited about both the website and my new found system of working with my very talented friends. I think that I will finally be able to do justice to not only them and their work, but also to be able to better share things with you all. There are so many wonderful things to make! I look forward to sharing everything with you in upcoming posts.
What I plan to do here is showcase these talented designers and friends one artist at a time. I think that would be a wonderful treat for all of us here, and it will give me the opportunity to see a variety of work from some of the most talented designers in decorative painting. I think it will be a fun and inspiring series.
I am going to kick off my series with someone who I met many years ago through a group called “Painting With Friends”. Deb was the coordinator of that group of artists who expanded on the whimsical and fun designs of the late Terrye French. Terrye passed away in 2014, but Deb has carried on her legacy as well as her own talents through her Etsy shop: Painting With Friends. Both Deb and Terrye brought so many painters and designers together through the joy of painting. I am grateful that they took me on in the Painting With Friends group way back when I was just returning to the decorative painting community. It also exemplified the benefit of working with other designers and taught me that we each have something unique to offer. This is a mindset that has become a way of life for me. It is why I love to promote my colleagues and support them. We all do better when working together. Together we make painting better for all. I will be forever grateful.
Deb also has her own website called Painting With Deb. She continues to create and share her adorable designs through her website, Instagram, and publishing. (Follow the links to see what she has to offer)
Deb’s newest design is an ADORABLE set of three nurse angels that are now published in the July 2020 issue of The Pixelated Palette Emagazine:
The ornaments are bright, cheerful, and oh- so timely for what our world is going through now! You can subscribe to The Pixelated Palette magazine for a full year for the cost of just a couple of patterns. There are 12 full issues per year, and so many adorable painting projects you won’t be able to decide what to do first! The current issue is the “Christmas in July” ornament issue and has patterns for 57 unique and fun ornaments! It is a great place to start!
I am offering the cut wood pieces on my Tole Painting Designs website here: http://www.tolepaintingdesigns.com/product/SLDPK777
They are made of 1/8″ void-free Baltic Birch, and are fine-sanded and ready to paint. I can think of all kinds of wonderful uses for these cute ornaments, from random acts of kindness to a thoughtful gift to someone who may be not feeling well. You can’t look at them without smiling.
I hope you like the idea of this series which focuses on my painting friends. As we build my new website and I have been sorting through things to organize them for the new platform, it just made me realize how fortunate I am to be working with so many talented and gifted artists. Each one of them has a unique style and adds something fun and new to the mix. I think that benefits just about all of us.
I truly consider each one of these amazing artists friends. It’s no wonder I love what I do so much! Their creativity and contribution to our own happiness is something that we enjoy every day. I hope you all agree!
Until next time, Sheila