real talk

A Little Summer School Never Hurt Anyone

If you haven't noticed, things have been pretty quiet around here. Posts have dwindled to once a week, and soon, that might become once every two weeks. This will be only throughout the summer months, as the outside calls me, my sister in law is getting married, and we have many more guests visiting our little home. I've been doing a lot of thinking, and have decided the slowing things down around here is going to be the best. The best for my sanity, creative juices (which are flowing super slowly right now) and for my overall stress levels. I just need a break. A time to slow down, rest, and get renewed. So that means a few other things are happening around here, besides just less blogging...

Custom Orders

Unless you have some custom orders already booked with me, I will not be accepting any new custom work until the fall (official date to be announced). I touched on the idea of restructuring my custom order workflow in a previous blog post here, and I'm going to continue on that path of being more specific about the kind of work I'm taking on, as well as how much. An online calendar is in the works to launch in the fall for booking orders. 

Time in Books

I have a large LARGE pile of books I'm wanting to read this summer. I'm finishing up The New Bohemians, Wild, and Four right now, and I have The Girl on the Train, To Kill a Mockingbird, Anna Karenina, The Poisonwood Bible, The Power of a Praying Wife, and Reshaping It All in my to-read pile. I haven't read enough these last couple months, and now that's all I want to do. A good book, a cup of tea (sweet southern iced, or Lady Grey are my favourite) and my hammock creates my favourite place. I find that since I haven't been reading as much lately, that I'm feeling a little stuck when it comes to imagination. Watching less TV and reading more books allows my brain to start to thinking harder, creating imagery in my mind, and pushing my imagination a little harder, and little further.


I'm going to be filling the parts of my days where I would otherwise be working on custom work, with education. I've started creating a course load for myself, filled with a couple books and a slew of online classes. Skillshare and Lynda are my go-to for online learning, and I'm starting to learn a whole bunch of new things. Classes at the top of my list are Digitizing Calligraphy: From Sketch to Vector by Molly Suber Thorpe, Photoshop for Lettering Artisits by Foto Rx, and Techniques for Lettering with Illustrator by Spencer Charles, as well as (hopefully) Lauren Hooker's (of Elle & Co.) Illustrator course. Since I've purchased the full Adobe Creative Suite, I really want to get my feet wet in Illustrator. It's pretty intimidating, but so was Photoshop once upon a time, so I'm hoping I can handle it. I'd love to be able to get my designs into vector, which will hopefully open up more opportunities when I'm ready. I think that it's important to never stop learning, and since I haven't been on the learning end of things in a while, I'm spending the next couple months in 'summer school'. I encourage you to take a little class in something that you're interested in, expand your mind, and push yourself a little this summer too. You never know what kind of doors it may open!

Fear of the Unknown: Teaching Classes

I have recently been asked by a few different people to teach some classes. I'll be honest, when I receieved by first email, I froze, flagged my email, and put it out of my mind for the first day out of fear.

Day two, I read it again, and was still scared.

Day three, I had another person ask me about teaching a class, still scared, giving no answers.

Day four, I had my third request. Then I started praying about it, and tried to get through the fear.

Day five, I decided to say yes to my first request. My heart began to beat a little fast after sending that email back (sorry for taking so long to reply Sarah!), but it quickly returned to its normal rhythm. 

Day six I replied to requests two and three, and let them know that a class was in the process of being built. Again, quick little heart beats before finally settling down again.

Now I have to put on my big girl pants, and get to work creating the lesson plans for these classes. Cue the being scared thing again. Here's a little clip of calligraphy, a little sample of something I'm hoping to pass on to future students.

I will let you know, being scared joins me in my daily life a lot. Usually, it appears most in my daily work life. Scared I won't create something that a custom client will like, scared I won't sell anything in my shop, scared I'll be a total failure at creating work that glorifies God. Every day when I come into the studio and sit at my desk, I have to talk myself into knowing that I can do this. Knowing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I can take baby steps, and know that it's going to be ok. This may seem so silly to you, looking at someone who just makes 'pretty drawings' for a living, but that doesn't mean anything to me. My job could be building airplanes, or drawing pretty pictures, and I'm going to have the same insecurities, the same fears, and the same end result. I'm going to have to lean not on myself or my friends or family to get through everything. There's only One whom I can lean on wholly. I encourage you, if you need someone to lean on, to look to God too. He will help you through the tougher stuff, as well as be with you in the easy stuff. 

For now, I'm going to put focus on getting these lesson plans ready, letting people know about the classes that I want to offer (calligraphy, watercolour, and Bible painting!) and when they are going to be available. And I'm going to focus on taking it one step at a time.