As I have mentioned before, I am a painter, writer, owner of greeting card company and accidental creative entrepreneur. My hopscotch into owning Carpe Diem Papers was out of necessity when life through me an unexpected unemployment curveball. I was, however, passionate about making art, writing, helping others (and myself) find their voice, and surrounding myself with people whose life philosophy was that the pie was big enough for all of us. The rest, I thought, I’ll figure out as I go along. I was also, and continue to be, a seat of my pants kind of dreamer and do-er. When I started my line, I used images from the blog I had been keeping on my 100 paintings. They were paintings of…well, weird and sometimes wonderful things I wanted to capture in the spirit of doing 100 paintings, 100 times. I did not create with a plan. I did not think that they would be cards. Or for sale. Or…anything. Some of them are huge on quality thick canvas, some are small primitive gouache rendering in a well loved sketchbook. At best, they were created willy nilly with a lot of heart. At worst, they were exposing myself to criticism and judgement. And that was kind of the point. Not to welcome judgment but to not be afraid of being seen as an artist. Work simply can not improve if you don’t keep practicing it. Which leads me to a series of birthday cards I am working on. These aforementioned 100 paintings, and the 40 paintings that have since been added to card collection, rarely had a theme. It has been gently kindly and not kindly brought to my attention that my line, in order to SELL SELL SELL, needs categories. Ugh. And no, those don’t include subtitles like My Cats. With these well-meaning suggestions, I have dipped my toe into the birthday/thank you/you’re swell categorization of greeting cards and I have not melted. I can paint over them! It’s not difficult. Like most things, it’s only a perception shift. Do this!! Makes me want to do the opposite. Have you thought about doing this? makes me think, huh, that’s a good idea, maybe I’ll do that. This past week birthday messages have been popping left and right. Will they be for sale? Probably not. Are they fun for me to produce? Absolutely. Some I am painting over, some I am keeping the message and will gift the painting but all remind me that you don’t need to see the whole creative highway ahead, just as far as your lights shine will usually get you home.
“Laduree and Brushes” 12×18″ (no birthday message on finished piece) available at ElizabethW Carmel