A while back I made this banner for a social media page. I was following one of those guided design templates which offered inspiration for a company slogan by way of asking the question: "What does your organization have to offer?" I answered honestly.
This week we finally opened our online store and have added a few items to get things started. You may not have known that we were ever planning on starting an online store. You may have suspected that, if we ever did, we would be selling goat milk soap and homemade bath bombs like other respectable small farms online. And that's okay. Because all of this is pretty surprising to us, too. It started with that inspirational question from the guided design template - and snowballed from there.
I have always spent a good portion of my time.. or at least a good portion of the time when I am not wrangling animals or being a homeschool mom or repairing fences or building chicken coops... Okay. I said 'a good portion of my time' which is completely relative. Where was I? Oh yes... I have always spent a good portion of my time being creative. Making art. Whatever you want to call it. Ninety-nine point nine nine percent of my artwork has never been seen by another living soul outside of my family and closest friends. And much of it hasn't even enjoyed that much publicity. I suppose it was never the point. Or I'm just a cowardly ninny. Regardless, it's pretty much been a lifelong secret.
My absolute favorite medium for nearly a decade now has been oil pastel on paper. I have drawn cute pets and farm animals, but my main inspiration comes from highly stylized ancient religious art - stained glass, icons, et cetera. I am drawn to the patterns of stylized hair and clothing which contrast with the super simple lines of the faces. There is something so very peaceful about drawing in this way... Sometimes I binge-draw and produce dozens of these (which are promptly secreted away into the back of my sketch book) in just a couple of weeks. Sometimes the pastels gather dust.
A couple of years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with the crazy idea (I think that's how these things happen.) of combining my religious art drawing with pyrography. I bought some little wooden plaques and a wood burning kit and created several pieces. I was pleased with the texture and with the rustic and aged touch the unfinished wood added to my work. I even gave two of these away as gifts -- which is real progress for me... although I still feel silly every day for having shared them. It's a curse. The rest are hidden in the barn office. The wood burning pen is gathering dust at the moment, but sometimes it calls to me. Someday.
The one thing that I have always openly shared with people would be the rosaries that I make, although it is a rule of mine that they always only be given away. I figure that my design or skill do not matter in the crafting of a rosary -- as it is the prayers offered that are beautiful.
Also, and this is not much of a secret: I am a huge geek and have absolutely no fear of technology. I had to throw this in there... and if it does not make any sense that I have mentioned this at this point - don't worry.. it will all be made clear momentarily.
And all of these revelations bring me back to today and the opening of our online store and the prospect of offering something of my creativity to the general public for the first time ever. We will be offering funny t-shirts and coffee mugs and the like because we can be pretty funny, we wear t-shirts, and we drink a lot of coffee... and who doesn't need those things? Really. But we will also be offering some pieces from my latest artistic endeavor. Which makes me really nervous.
Combining my love for the bold and stylized lines of the artwork that has always inspired me and a nearly limitless amount of subject matter here on the farm - I have taken up the digital pen (actually it is just a mouse at this point) to create fun little pieces that are both easy to share and affordable. But mostly we are having a lot of fun as a family coming up with subjects or titles and snapping tons of great photographs to work with. Fun. Family. Fur. Feathers. It's all in there.
We hope to someday be able to set up a booth full of our t-shirts, prints, and canvases right next to the goat milk soap lady at the swap or trade or fair. For now we are working on finding the perfect print medium for our art and navigating the complexities of e-commerce.
We are nervous and excited. I think that is a good sign. Wish us luck. Buy a coffee mug. Let us know what you would like to see in our store. And please do send us a message if you have any kind of problem with an order.
Posted by Anita
Understands why most artists become famous after they are dead. Needs a faster computer.