If I’d been told 10 years ago that a career as an Artist was in my future, I’d have thought “no way!” It never occurred to me that I harbored any special gift for visual art. I’ve always been creative, but that often stemmed from not having the money to make things The Way I wanted them. Creativity was a way of being resourceful--and that I have always been!
Over the years my art has been revealed to me by missed calls and failures. There have been several unsuccessful attempts at creating businesses; the first involved purchasing an embroidery machine with all the bells and whistles. Some of my first pieces of art were done with fabric. But the embroidery never quite felt like a fit. As great a machine as I had, it was it just wasn't enough to handle the kind of work I wanted to do. It couldn’t keep up with the big visions that floated in my head, and so I made some great gifts.
Like the embroidery, my art supplies are endless. I'm not much of a pioneering woman. To do anything, I need all of the tools available. This means I have struggled to stay "Upside Right" as Chip Gaines from Fixer Upper would say. I can’t help myself! The pull to create is strong and I’m compelled to buy what I need to create what dances around in my head.
Most people don’t budget for art. They run to the nearest big box home store and buy mass produced art to fill blank walls. Most never consider an original piece from a local artist. There is a mindset that wealthy people purchase original art, or that only those who are ‘art educated’ should consider purchasing unique local art for their homes. In more recent years, that (I believe) is changing. I’d always felt that way too, but I never wanted the same things everybody else had, items mass produced and sold in retail stores. Hence the embroidery machine! I’ve always created unique pieces when decorating my homes. I made linen napkins, table runners, blankets with the embroidery machine; always gave everything a personal touch. I also designed and had my husband and the boys help me build custom furniture.
Creating art and not selling it is a hobby--not a business
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m passionate about my art. But I'm the first to admit that I’m not very business savvy.
A while back I came across Marcus Stanley on Facebook. He was doing a live open prayer session and encouraging people to post requests. I quickly felt that I should ask for prayer over my art, but then just as quickly I thought that I didn’t have Facebook time, so I shrugged it off. Then a small voice inside of me said "you can pray about your art yourself" and I said out loud "God, please…my art." (Had I truly believed God was listening at that moment, I might have put more effort into that prayer!) I didn’t give it another thought.
The next morning began as my mornings usually do. I start out almost every day in my “Girl Room.” (I have a husband, 4 boys and a male dog.) No boys allowed in my “Girl Room!” Even the dog stands at the threshold, not daring to set a paw in my room. I love this room. It is all me; sparkles, fairy lights, candles, vision board. And I go in there to pray, read, and have peaceful time…usually very early in the morning snuggled up with a blanket, my bible and a pot of coffee. When my husband and the boys stir, my day officially begins. That is when I grab my phone to check emails, Facebook, and connect with the world.
The morning after my four word prayer to God, I opened my email and spotted a subject line that read “Chinaza Sold God Answers.” I immediately thought about Marcus Stanley and my call out to God. I was flooded with emotion all at once; excitement, awe, and joy to name a few. That was the first piece sold from my African Series "Strong and Courageous" and it sold from a site that I’d never sold on before. Chinaza has lived with a family in Long Island, N.Y. since being shipped that day.
That is the reason I create art. When I called God, he was quick to email me back the next morning. He told me to continue on, to be obedient, and to do it his way.