When I was eight, we spent Christmas in Florida with my whole family. I have a few distinct memories from that trip, but one of them was a little book of colored paper that my mom and dad got me. The morning after Christmas, I got some scissors (where was the surveillance for this child with scissors!! Lol) and made a little paper girl in a dress with some flowers around her, all made of paper, like a 3D drawing. I was so proud of it, and slid it under my parents bedroom door with my eight year old heart swelling with pride.
That little book of paper started something random and fun. My mom grew up in a family of business owning, extremely creative entrepreneurs, so she and my dad immediately came up with an idea that they pitched to us kids. I made my paper-people cutouts, and my brothers came up with their own designs. I have this memory of sitting around the table, in complete heaven, just getting to make my paper designs. We started a business called Ezra & Lolli (my brothers name and my nickname) and it actually worked! We were all in it together, and all we kids had to do was what we loved...make our ideas come to life.
I don't remember how long we had that little venture, but I kept doing my paper designs even after we moved away from the business part of it. I entered a contest put on by Mini Boden (a British clothing company), and the winner would have their art on the front cover of the magazine. I. WON. I was elated. It inspired me to create even more, and I think that’s when I really began to love creating art. My dad is the most incredible artist I know, so getting to watch him create inspired me. I painted. I sketched (REALLY. BADLY.). I watercolor-ed. I started lettering and filling sketchbook after sketchbook with words and pictures. It was my hobby, but it was also more than that. It was how I expressed certain parts of myself, things that I couldn't say with words.
I love the creative process. From the moment an idea slips into the back of your mind, or lunges at you and throws you off balance, it’s a process that reflects the ultimate, divine Creator. I believe that each of us reflects Him in a small way, even if we don’t know it. Following in the footsteps of the originator of creativity (God), we get to make things that have never been made before. Art is like an expedition into uncharted territory, and every time you pick up a paintbrush, or a pencil, or a keyboard, or a guitar, you have a beautiful world of possibilities in your hand. Jesus gave this to us, and I think it gives a tiny glimpse into how he sees us. Just like we pour time and energy into our art, He poured His love into us. Time, effort, not a mindless doodle on a page but a detailed creation of something beautiful, and then went a step further and brought us to life. WOW!!!! I just love that, and am crazy about the idea that we get to reflect Him in creating the ideas he’s given us.
In 2018, I had this crazy idea. I love changing my room around every once in a while to keep things interesting, and I wanted a statement wall. I’ve always liked the idea of a bright wall in a white room, so two weeks before we left for a west-coast tour with Willow City, I scrounged together some paint, and started. I had no plan, and had never painted with acrylics seriously before. It took about ten days, and I’ve never listened to so many audiobooks and podcasts as I did then. When I finally finished, I was stoked. It’s the BEST feeling when you create something and are completely satisfied with how it turns out. AAAHH! (The WHOLE process of painting my room is on my Instagram in a story highlight!)
A company called GreenBox (greenboxart.com) reached out to me about reproducing my paintings for online sale, and of course, I was OVER THE MOON. I started painting like my life depended upon it, and that’s where my collections were born. I’ve got another one in the works, and some reeeeally fun things coming soon.
I can’t really believe I get to do this for a job. It blows my mind every time I think about it and I’m SO GRATEFUL. I hope my small story inspires you to create more, and start something new, or pick something up that you might have started years ago and forgot. I’d love to know if you’re an artist/creator! How did you get started?