Behind the Specs: Finding my Vision

(Pardon the pun!) I don't know if you've noticed but while I've changed the look of S&W, I've also changed my  "vision". Before, I didn't exactly have a direction that I was heading in as a business. I just wanted to paint and create things for people. But...it also felt like something was missing. I spent a long time this past year considering what other changes I wanted for my business and I came across some online business classes from Braid Creative. (You'll remember Kathleen of Braid from my logo story!) The "Ecourses" were set up for right around the time I having my logo designed, so my business goals were definitely on the brain.

Braid is a consulting agency JUST  for creative entrepreneurs and they decided to offer these Ecourses for anyone who was interested in their methods, but unable to afford the one-on-one consulting. The classes were offered at a discount at the time and after talking it over with my sweet Jeremy, we decided it would be a good investment.
I took the first class called "Shape Up Your Content". Part of the class was filling out a worksheet with what you love most about what you do, what you want to be doing, how to offer that as a product and how to share your expertise. It was kind of intense to think through each part. I remember filling out each part of the sheet and it suddenly dawning on me... I LOVE telling people's stories through art! A day or two later, Jeremy and I decided to go get Thai food and I brought along my worksheets. I bounced my ideas off him and we both got very excited about a new direction for S&W!

When I say "telling people's stories through art" what do I mean exactly? Well, these are a few examples...

(Top left in photo)
I was able to paint this pair of Toms for a sweet bride who married a man in the army. The shoes were ordered by a friend for a wedding gift and this friend is also an army wife. Through the process of hearing their stories and learning the meaning of different patches and emblems, I was able to design a pair of shoes that she not only wore on her wedding day, but that remind her of their brave commitment in marriage and to our country!

(Top right photo)
This special painting was created for a sweet friend to hang in her office. She had recently experienced a really tough time in her life and with the passing of her grandparents, she wanted a memorial as well as an expression of God's faithfulness. She told me different meaningful stories, full of detail and precious memories and I used them as symbols in the painting. Now she is able to share her story of God's faithfulness when anyone asks about the painting!

(Bottom left photo)
I painted this as part of a fundraiser for my friend Alison when she was raising money to move to Africa for a year to love on orphans. She had been there a few months before and came back with so many stories. One of her stories was about how the precious children in Africa were so generous for having so little. One gave her a bracelet and when she tried to return it, the sweet girl said "Keep it, ...just remember me."

(Bottom right photo)
This painting is a memorial for a sweet friend who lost both of her grandparents. Through that time in her life, she experienced Christ as her anchor of hope. She had considered getting a vintage style tattoo of an anchor, but opted for a painting for her home instead! Now when anyone asks her about the painting, she gets to share the story of how Christ is her hope, even in the darkest times.

God is writing beautiful stories in the lives of everyone around us! In sharing our stories, we share our hearts, mourn our losses, are lifted up through struggles, celebrate our triumphs and share Christ with each other. Expressing these stories and emotions through art is such an honor and I love that I have a small part in helping someone continue to share their story! Each time I hear stories, I build friendships. I feel so blessed that God would give me an opportunity to do this!

I've also changed some of my blog content to learn/share the stories of other artists and entrepreneurs! We can learn so much from each other. I hope that this blog can be a source of encouragement for you! The name "Specs & Wings" actually comes out of my own story of learning to be authentic and live out of who God made me to be as an artist. It's exciting to share that story every time I paint. What's your story?

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