Encouraging, Cheering, Supporting

Hello Friends,

I wanted to share a story with all of you, something that many of you probably don’t know about me.

When I was in high school and collage I ran cross country and track.  I was a fairly decent runner, I wasn’t “the” top runner but I was pretty good and in the top “pack”.  I loved the feeling of running and races I just loved!  I loved cross county the most, running through the woods and through the mud oh gosh that was so much fun to me haha.  I always prayed it would rain before our meets because I just loved getting splattered with mud!  Our home course was the best because there was this small hill by the “wall” in the woods and at the bottom was a mud pit – when it rained it would fill up sometimes almost up to our knees with mud.  Everyone loved to sit on the wall and watch the runners come through the pit.  When my race was not going on many of us went out on the trails to cheer our other teammates on.  I wish I could find the newspaper article (it’s somewhere in a box in my basement) but I actually made the local newspaper with a photo and article of me cheering my teammates on.  I was without a doubt the loudest of the bunch when it came to cheering.  I would come home with a hoarse voice for screaming so loudly – lol.

My favorite part of running track was relays.  At any given meet my coach would put me in 2-3 relay races as either the first or last runner and I just loved it.  The part I loved about it was that even though I was already part of a team, in a relay race there were 4 runners (for those who might not know) and you all had to work together to win the race, you were no longer on your own.  The feeling when you all work together and win a relay race is such an incredible feeling.  You all had to do your part to get the win.

Being a team player, cheering others on, its’ kinda my thing.  When someone wins, I’m happy for them.  When an artist hits a new milestone I’m elated for them and I do my cheering a little differently by sharing.

Today I am proud to cheer on, share and YELL from the roof top for my friend Jenni Zmuda.  She just released her first sets of stamps and they are so amazing!!  You can find them here.  She also has some amazing blog posts and videos she has shared, creating with her new stamps and you can check out the fabulous inspiration here.

I was honored to receive a set of these gorgeous stamps.  

Here are a couple art journal pages I’ve created with them.

Supporting others artists is special to me because as artists I feel we are all on the same “team” and when an artist puts themselves out there it can be scary and these products are bits and pieces of our souls put into the universe hoping to be received in a positive way.  Kudos to Jenni for being brave and releasing her stamps to all of us💕

Congratulations Jenni on your milestone as an artist.  If you want to check out her stamps click here

Thanks so much my friends for sharing your time with me, I cherish you all!!  Have an amazing weekend!

xxoo – Sherry

 

StencilGirl & Lindy’s bloghop

Good Morning friends:

Do you find it hard at times to stay creative when you just don’t have the time to really dedicate to making a “full” piece of art or art journal page?  Yeah me too.  Believe it or not, I do not always have hours to just sit and create in my studio even though I would love to.  So I have to find “creative” ways to stay creative.  I know that if I allow myself to just go days on end without touching art it leads to a creative block.

So today I’m going to show you a simple way to stay creative and keep those juices flowing.

One of the most enjoyable things to create (at least for me) are fun colorful backgrounds. I have found that when you are really pressed for time and you don’t want to pull all your paints out – wash brushes clean up pallets etc that Lindy’s Sprays are amazing to use and create luscious colorful backgrounds quickly.  Their colors add a lot of depth and dimension to your page as well as interesting visual texture and of course let’s not forget the shimmer.

In a matter of minutes you can create a bunch of gorgeous backgrounds for tags, art journal pages and more, that will be all ready to go.  Once you have a bunch of these in your stash you can take a few minutes here or there to add collage, stamps, journaling, stencils and more.

To take a peek into my process and see how I created this inspirational art card, click on the video below to enjoy some Lindy’s and StencilGirl inspiration today.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on my blog to be entered into the giveaway.  To do this click on the Title of my post – let the page reload and you should then see the comments section below.  Good Luck!  Giveaway details are below.

If your heart and soul are craving more than what most online art groups are all about – check out my post here I would love to invite you to  join my group the Empowered Creative Woman –

click here to join now. 

 

GIVEAWAY
One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to Lindy’s Gang
AND a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products!

Enter to win by leaving a comment below.
Then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment to win.

Carol Baxter
Sandee Setliff
Karen Gaunt
Louise Nelson
Sherry Canino  – You are here
Kerry Fellowes
Yulianna Efremova
Kasia Bogatko-Skoczypiec
Olga Bielska
Olga Ravenskaya

Click here to see the list of blog hop participates from Days April 18 & 19
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments!
(One comment per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, April 24th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl’s Facebook page and Lindy’s Gang’s Facebook page on Wednesday, April 25.

What’s in my heart…

Today my heart is heavy…

as it is the anniversary of my dad’s death.  2 yrs ago today he passed, in one sense I can’t believe it’s been 2 years and in some aspects it seems like it’s been a lot longer.

I was on the fence on whether or not I would do a post on this.  I have been struggling this week, well if I’m being honest I’ve been struggling for about a month now – since mid-March.  That was when it all started – he got sick we found out he didn’t have long to live and 5 weeks and 2 days later he was gone.  But it didn’t happen quite that simple.  There was sooooo much turmoil.  My mom has dementia and so trying to handle her, and help take care of my dad was mind blowing exhausting.

At the time I just did it, I didn’t think, I immediately jumped back into my role of caretaker and just did what needed to be done.  My mom mostly wanted me (I have been the one she has leaned on a lot when was growing up and a young adult) so whenever one of my brothers couldn’t handle her I got a call to take over.  My sisters were all at a distance and did not partake in the care taking, they came to visit and left.  Not that it mattered because again my mom wanted me and you can’t reason with someone who has dementia no matter how hard you try.  Not her fault her whole world was being turned upside down.

The last night was the worst. My dad was really bad couldn’t walk or get out of bed, was constantly choking and throwing up fluid and my mom was just off the wall because with dementia you need routine and well she was not getting it.  It was not her fault but it was a nightmare.  My one brother was staying over night with me that night.  I don’t even know what time it got to because 1 hour seemed like it lasted the whole night.  It was constant go upstairs because my mom wanted to go to bed, run down stairs bc my dad is choking – ugh.  The details are unimportant at this point it just seemed like time drug on and on.  I will say that my brother who was with me – one that the family does not look highly upon for stupid judgmental reasons was a ROCK that night.  He helped me with my dad and handled my mom like a pro, so much love and compassion and tenderness.  I thank God he was there with me!

You know how when 2 people share an unbelievable traumatic experience it bonds you – like forever because you were both there, you lived it together – well that’s us!

The ironic thing about my dads death is that even though we were never close it’s hard, it’s sad, it’s all those feelings all over again from 2 years ago.  As I write this I am not looking for sympathy I am just sharing my story, and that if you have a loved one who’s “death” anniversary comes up and you are all kinds of emotions and sadness – I get you!  Mostly I would like to share a few pics of my dad with all of you and to have them on here as a memory. Although he was not the greatest dad, I loved him, he was my dad.

This was an old painting done of my dad when he was in the Air Force.

Me with my parents at my brother’s house probably about 6 years ago.

This is almost my whole family one sister is missing in this photo 

I thought you would all enjoy this throw back to when Elias was just 5 months old – I was 20 Yes I had long hair and a bit of an 80s style haha – don’t judge

This is a photo of my parents at my first wedding – yes they are a little bit country for sure! 🙂

This song reminds me of my parents so much, I wanted to share it with all of you.  They were married for 60 years.  I would not say it was 60 years of bliss but I know that in their own ways they loved each other.  They both came to their partnership with their own baggage and sometimes people never learn to unload it and get over it.

and a photo of my mom and I the week after my dad passed.  This is the last photo I have at their home – the home I grew up in.  Yes she is drinking Starbucks with a ton of sugar haha – it became my ritual in the morning after my dad passed ….stop and grab us both coffee at Starbucks before I headed to her house.

A life time of memories with my dad ended for me at the age of 43 – seems too young to lose a parent, but when you are the youngest of a large family you get the least amount of time with your parents.

Thank you dear friends for once again allowing me to share my life with you, and for taking your precious time to spend with me.   xxoo- Sherry

Embrace your own handwriting +Video+Freebie

Hello beautiful friends,

I hope you all have had an amazing week.  I have had a bit of a crazy one to be honest.  I have been up to my eyeballs in paperwork – putting together everything for our taxes (so so much fun haha) . I am happy to say I am DONE! Wooo Hooo!!

I also had a beautiful meeting with my spiritual mentor yesterday – Im not going to lie it was hard and emotional but all in all it was amazing.  You know how you feel when you talk to that one person who “gets” yes that is one huge thing that my mentor does for me. She is also always so full of positive inspiring talk for me, about me that it makes all this “hard stuff” seem even more worth it.  Right now I’m still processing all that went on and things that happened so hopefully when I have more of a “clear” vision and way to explain things I will be back to share some of what came up for me in this meeting.  I will share with you this – I found out what Bunny was trying to tell me and will share with you all later 🙂

Embracing your own handwriting

But that’s not why I”m here today, today I’m here to share a video that shows you how to enhance your art journals with your own handwriting.  If you are like me for a long time I seriously did not want people to see my handwriting, but I just loved to look of it in others work and that inspired me to keep pushing myself to make things that had my writing on them. Here are some examples of me using my own handwriting in my art.

Believe it or not I used to have really beautiful handwriting – I mean I learned old school cursive and I used to love it.  But as time went on and we got computers to do so much of our writing, my writing has turned into a bit of a hodgepodge style haha.  Some cursive and some print.   So I am learning to embrace my style and let go of the need for perfection – I mean after all it’s an art journal right?!

In This video I share with you how I add my own writing to the background and then create over it.  I love this style and plan to do some more with this idea.

Weekly Recap

If you missed last weeks video on how to Enhance your art journals you can view it here

This week I shared with all of you my new and exciting Endeavor that’s on the horizon… you can read about it here

If your heart and soul are craving more out of a social media or facebook group – please check out my group The Empowered Creative Woman .  We have been engaging in Healing Circles, sharing soul cards, we have a weekly creative Prompt / Inspiration – to keep those creative juices flowing.  We do oracle draws a few times a week.  It is a beautiful group of uplifting women and if this sounds like something your heart is craving I encourage you to join us – we would love to have you join our tribe!!

Here is a peek at one of this week’s oracle draws that happened in

the Empowered Creative Woman Group – this deck is called the Moon Deck

Last month for those who are signed up for my email list I offered a free Mini downloadable Art Journal Kit.  I am offering one of the pages here for you free for those that missed it as a thank you for all your beautiful love and support to me on my blog it really means a lot to me💕.  The full kit will be available in my Etsy shop starting next week if you are interested in getting the whole kit.  You will be able to purchase just the pages you want.

 

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter because that is where you get to snag all the freebies, discounts and goodies that come out each month.  Sign up here 

Wishing you all a wonderful and peaceful weekend!

xxoo – Sherry

New Endeavors on the Horizon

Hi Beautiful Friends,

The past week has been a whirlwind of ups and downs for me.  The meditation / vision and enlightenment that happened earlier in the week was very powerful and full of intense feelings/emotions and healing.  But I didn’t truly get in enough self care for myself after that and so it left me feeling drained and a bit off and irritable as the week went on.  As we still have remodeling construction going on in our house it’s so very hard for me to get that “quite” time that I really need to just decompress.

Friday I had the house to myself to in the  morning I took some time to just “be”.  I drank my tea, sat on the couch with Luna snuggled in next to me and the pugs in their “spots” by me.  I lit a candle, dabbed on some of my favorite essential oils (of course Luna has to have some too because she loves the oils lol), put on some soft “Healing Harp” music, flicked on a little mood – lighting ( little lights I have next to the couch).  I allowed myself to just shut my eyes, breathe, let my thoughts wander, relax and enjoy the quite, the peacefulness of the morning.  I sipped my tea and watched the squirrels outside my window running about the trees.  The rain was just coming down every so gently and what should have been a gloomy rainy day was a day of peace and tranquility for me.  It was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate from the week.

We always talk about “doing the work” to heal, the process you go through, the steps that one needs to take, but we all but forget to talk about the self care that is so very much needed when doing this work.  We forget that just like when engaging in physical work we need to rest – with emotional work we need to rest and be gentle with ourselves as well.

I have learned for myself that if I do not get the time to do this self care and for me a lot of it really is just about having quiet time – peaceful time – time to reflect and just be, then I get very anxious, overwhelmed feeling, and a bit stressed out.

Once I was feeling more like myself I sat down at my table and decided to draw an oracle card from a new deck that I have been totally crushing on,  it’s called Earth Warriors Oracle by Alana Fairchild.

Rarely when I use my oracle cards or tarot cards to I ask a specific question, I almost always ask what message do you have for me today?  As I’m shuffling my deck, I think in my head:  allow me to draw a card that I need today, be the guidance and show me what I need to work on or whatever message that I might need to know.

So this was the card I draw:  Anka – Kin of the Red Hawk Tribe

Instantly upon seeing this card I thought WOW this is a powerful card.  The colors, the imagery, that hawk staring right at you.  I have not worked with this deck enough to know what the message was, and intuitively I just knew it was a powerful message but was not sure what it was going to entail.  So I went to the guide book to read the message this card had for me.

It totally blew me away as it was right inline with the things I have been putting into motion these past couple of days.  I have been going over in my head a vision I have had for probably over a year now.  Asking the Universe to help me bring it to fruition.

My Vision…

I have been envisioning leading a gathering of women – coming together for more than just art – but for the community, for the support, for the healing that a gathering can provide.  So one of the steps that I recently took to move forward with this vision is signing up for a certification class called the “Art of Circle” this will guide me on how to hold Soul Women Circle Groups here locally.

And so a new endeavor is born…

I am planning to hold my first “Circle” sometime in May.  My Circle Gatherings will encompass art and rituals that you will then be able to use again on your own, there will art journaling, connecting with ourselves and each other.  We will support and uplift each other, we will learn how to connect again to our true-selves and use the 4 elements Earth, Wind, Water and Fire to heal and strengthen us on our journeys.  When our circle is complete you leave feeling full of life, love and support.  You will feel grounded and whole.  If this sounds like something your soul has been craving then fill out the form below to be notified when I launch my first Circle Event.

These gatherings will be small, intimate and open to a  limited number of participants.  To have exclusive access to join fill out the form above and you will be notified before my event goes live on my blog and social media.

And so I created a soul card for my new Endeavor – She is holding a sword and above her   the question Fear or Courage – as she looks below her with sword in hand the words purple power are there.  This week in the Empowered Creative Woman group   our Weekly Challenge was to create a piece of art using the color that you see yourself as.  I see myself as the color of a purplish – indigo and so created this card using those colors to express my new endeavor and these colors.  What I am undertaking is powerful – important – challenging and yet I feel so strongly that this is not only what I need but what the world needs right now, that I am choosing to use my “purple power” to move forward with courage.  I choose courage and I encourage you all to choose courage as well,  if you feel drawn to step out of your comfort zone, to connect and learn to live a more full life, come with me in this circle journey and embrace your life’s journey with me.

Here you can see what I glued on the back of my soul card

I would love to hear what you all feel is “your color” leave me a comment below and tell me.  Have an amazing day my friends!

xxoo – Sherry

5 Ways Sleep Can Promote Creativity

Good morning creative friends,

Today I come to you with a heartfelt post that I feel I must share with all of you.  Up until just recently I have been not giving my body enough rest and had been living off caffeine.  Getting enough rest and not needing caffeine has been such a game changer for me.

Being dedicated to your craft is admirable, but to maintain or improve your artistry, rest is as important as devoting time to create art. As I talked about in my post here taking some time off can bring about a different perspective. It lets you reflect on what you really feel inside as well as what you want to express.

In fact, the amount and quality of sleep you’re getting has a lot to do with your creativity. Sleep has been proven to promote creativity in multiple ways, and here are 5 of them.

Keeps your creative juices flowing

The part of your brain responsible for creativity is like a machine that churns out new ideas. It needs fuel to run properly, and this is replenished when you get enough sleep. It was proven in a study from University of Haifa cited by Leesa, which found that people who slept sufficiently were more creative than their sleep-deprived counterparts. This is more important if you’re a visual artist, because the researchers also observed that visually creative people have more difficulty functioning during the day. Needless to say, you don’t want to make that worse by skimping on sleep.

Dreams make you more creative

Sleep is your ticket to dreams that make you more creative. “Dreams are just thinking in a different biochemical state. In the sleep state, the brain thinks much more visually and intuitively,” explains Harvard University psychologist Deirdre Barrett. Many priceless works of art actually sprouted from their respective artist’s dreams, and one of the most famous is Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory.

Maintains memory skills

Memories may also serve as inspiration for art, be it a profound experience or something rather mundane. ABC reported that sleep strengthens the connection between brain cells, which helps you consolidate memories properly. Among today’s talented contemporary artists, J.M. Culver admits to frequently incorporating his memories in his work, especially those with his grandfather who suffered from schizophrenia.

Reduces stress

When you’re suffering from stress, your creativity is stifled because you’re overcome with negative thoughts. Sleep counters this by regulating cortisol, AKA the stress hormone. Albeit some great artists were able to channel stress to create a masterpiece, like Vincent Van Gogh, not everybody can do the same. When you’re well rested, your mind is calm and you can maintain focus on creating your artwork.

Enhances problem-solving skills

Rapid eye movement sleep helps incorporate information from your brain, and the compounded knowledge is useful for solving problems. It’s important to remember that creativity is also about finding new ways to correct an error or turn it into something positive. A mistake or accident can provide ideas for artwork and may even make the project more interesting. A good example is Alexander Cozens who started his skill of illustrating landscapes from ink stains on his canvass when he was lecturing one of his pupils. Today, his works and art form are considered to be one of the most beautiful in the field.

In a time when virtually all ideas have already been thought up, creativity is even more important. Today’s artists have to push the boundaries when making their art or craft pieces, and sleep can help you achieve your next magnum opus.

Thank you dear friends for sharing your time with me today.

xxoo – Sherry

This is a contributed post

 

 

My Journey Continues + New Video

Hi Friends,

So I had a really deep / strong awakening the other day.  It was so enlightening and so beautiful that I really wanted to share it here with all of you.

If you are not interested in reading about my journey you can scroll to the bottom where I have a fun creative video tutorial for all of you. 🙂

I am currently taking a class that helps you find and connect with your Animal Spirit Guides, in addition to working with my Spiritual mentor I have come to know that Swan, as I mentioned before is one of my Power Animals as well as Bunny.

Up until a couple days ago when I was working with my oracle cards I still didn’t know why either of my Spirit Animals were with me, what messages they might have for me or guidance they might give.

So when I was using my oracle cards and had a realization that the Swan was here to help me mourn my loss of innocence as a child and my loss of my childhood.  Growing up how I did, created a situation where I really lost my innocence very young. Below is the deck and the Swan Card from the Deck that I was using.  Until this moment I had not really a great connection with this deck, I loved the imagery but never really connected to the meaning written on the cards.

After my latest class in my Spirit Animal Journey I realized that Swan is here to protect me.   I went into to the meditation and actually was asking Bunny what message he had for me. It started out with visions of sitting on the grass when I was a child, it was sunny and the grass was soft and warm.  There were daisies all around and I worn a crown of daisies (not sure where that came from as I never have worn any flower crown), but I did used to pick daisies in the field by our house, they grew wild there and there are lots of them.  

Swan came up behind me and wrapped her wings around me as if in a hug from behind.  It was then with my eyes closed in meditation that the tears started to flow.  As I laid down on the grass Swan sat beside me and spoke to me. She said “I’ve always been here you just didn’t know it. I have been here protecting you since you were young. You have a special journey in this life to help others and I am here to be with you to protect you and so you are never alone”.  At this point tears were just pouring down my face. – now at this point even though all this is happening I’m still thinking “Bunny what is the message you have for me”

Swan continued to comfort me and even though I didn’t want to leave that spot we got up and went into the woods I sat on a log of a tree. Bunny showed up, he let me pet him.  I continued to ask the bunny what his message was for me. I did not get an answer, he just sat there looking at me.

The swan gave me a hug and then offered me a small branch,  she said you are someone who needs something physical to remind you I’m here when you need me. Take this, put it in your medicine pouch so you remember to call on me when you are in need. She hugged me good by and I begged her not to go.  

I allowed myself to cry healing tears when the journey was finished.  As I went about my day I hadn’t really thought much more about my experience as it’s been a hectic day.  As I was outside taking Luna to the bathroom I looked down and, right in my front yard was the branch that the Swan had given to me.  It doesn’t look like much but in my vision it was just like this with that little knot and most of the bark taken off it.

I never got the message I was looking for from Bunny but I suspect that Swan believed I’d had enough for one journey. 

I know to some this story may seem a bit far fetched but I kid you not this is just how it happened.  I took a few minutes to write it down after it happened so that I would remember the details.  I truly believe that if you open yourself up to the healing your heart and soul needs that it will come to you, even if it’s not exactly how you expect it.  I feel strongly on documenting my journey here and I cherish each and everyone of you who has decided to come along for the ride.  Having so many of you in my corner really feels amazing and I appreciate each and everyone of you!!!

Now for some creative fun

This video comes from a place in my heart that I feel strongly about.  So very many people do not want to write or draw in their art journals – lest they “ruin” them.  I’m here to tell you that you most certainly should be writing and drawing in your art journals.  Art journals are personal they are a piece of our own journey sometimes the journey is just in art and that’s ok but you should put your signature on it.  Write a quote, add some marks, create some doodles, you get the idea.  I am here to share with you a couple very simple line drawings that you can add to your art journals to give them that personal touch.

I hope you enjoy todays tutorial and if you did be sure to leave me a comment, subscribe to my channel and if you give this a try tag me on social media so I can see your beautiful artwork. 🙂

Look for another fun video next week on how to enhance your art journals.

Thanks for sharing your time with me today my friends!  Have an amazing evening!

xxoo – Sherry

It’s Time for another Artist Feature

Hi Friends today I would like to Introduce you all to a wonderful Artist I admire Meg Smiley.  I met Meg Smiley on Instagram when I saw her beautiful and adorable animal paintings and was drawn in by her infectious positive attitude and smiling personality.

Please share little about yourself:

Hello! My name is Meg Smiley yes, “Smiley” is my real name, courtesy of my husband!  I lived in southern California until I was 18 ,but have since lived in three different states: Iowa, Pennsylvania, currently New York). I got started in art at a very young age– I honestly can’t remember when because I haven’t stopped drawing since I could hold a pencil. I never really considered that art could lead to a job growing up, so my first actual “art class” was a beginner’s course in high school. Thanks to my teacher’s encouragement, I decided to major in Graphic Design in college. I worked as a full-time Graphic Designer up until a year ago, when I had to quit my job due to an increasingly painful chronic health condition (called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or EDS). A few months after that is when I finally self-published my first children’s book. It’s been a wild ride but a very rewarding one as well.

What got you started in children’s books

About three years ago now, while I was still working full-time, I decided to participate in a side project to take my mind off work. This project was an Instagram challenge called the “The 100 Days Project,” and is still hosted yearly (I believe) by “The Great Discontent.” It encourages creatives of all kinds to make something (anything) for 100 days, and post their daily progress using #The100DaysProject. I wanted to teach myself how to use acrylic paint, so I decided to go for it, and almost immediately fell in love with the medium. My favorite subjects to paint, I discovered, were whimsical, colorful animals! I painted a peacock first, then a friendly but magnificent lion with a fiery, curly mane, and I just didn’t want to stop. I didn’t have an “art” or “business” account in Instagram, but I gained followers who were also participating in the project, and they started cheering me on every day!

After I had painted 10 animals, I knew I wanted to make a book. I had dreamt of writing and illustrating my own children’s book since I was a child because I love to write silly stories as well! A couple of years passed before I could finish the book because of stressful life circumstances. My husband and I moved to New York for his doctorate program, and I was just trying to keep up with work while my EDS symptoms grew worse. After I quit my job a year ago, however, I finally finished and self-published “Animals Under the Bed!” It has easily been the most rewarding personal project I’ve ever done and inspired me to start a business as well called:  Phigment Design Studio.

Please share 2 of your favorite pieces of art and tell us a little about them:

This is the mom and baby elephant painting from my children’s book, “Animals Under the Bed!” This is one of my favorite paintings, partially because it took me the longest to paint! However, I also love the sentiment behind this piece. Growing up, I was blessed with parents who encouraged my love for art and my free-spirited nature. They celebrated the fact that I colored my trees purple, drew my flowers taller than my people, and gave my people heart-shaped heads! The elephants spread in “Animals Under the Bed!” is all about the joy, silliness, and fun that parents share with their kids, which is something from my childhood that I will always be thankful for.

This painting also from my book, was originally painted for my husband in 2017 as a Valentine’s Day gift. This piece is significant to me for a few reasons. Only a few months after we got married, my husband was in a job interview and they asked him what animal he would be and why. He thought it was a strange question, but he immediately said: “Definitely a penguin. -Because i just got married and they mate for life.” I thought it was so funny that he came up with that on the fly! And then I thought it was adorable, of course, so we’ve been “penguins” ever since.  This might sound silly, but I also love this painting because penguins endure a lot of hardship to take care of their mates. Since my husband and I have been married, almost 6 years, we have moved across the country twice and been through some hugely stressful circumstances including grad school programs, chronic illness, job loss, and more). However, we have still managed to take care of each other through it all and I have never been more thankful.

I would love for you to share your website with all of us:

At my website, www.animalsunderthebed.com, you can learn more about the making of my children’s book, “Animals Under the Bed!” and purchase signed copies of the book, painting prints, mugs, and greeting cards. I also JUST started a blog all about my self-publishing process there! Several of my followers have asked me for self-publishing tips, so I am gladly sharing what I have learned.

Where can we find and connect with you on social media:

I’d love to connect with you on Instagram (www.instagram.com/phigment_design_studio/) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/PhigmentDesignStudio/)! Here’s what you can expect from my posts:

Honest, heartfelt sharing: there is too much “fake” on social media, so one of my goals is to be real, vulnerable, and “human” so that I can genuinely connect with and encourage others. – Art inspiration and new paintings: Most of my inspiration comes from my faith, my marriage, or my honest life struggles!

Share something that many may not know about you:

I live in a 250 sq. ft. apartment with my husband and dog, which is certainly an adventure lol!

Any last words or advice for my readers:

Here is my “in-a-nutshell” advice to you, inspired by my life experience so far:

Never underestimate what you can learn, accomplish, and get through in life with God’s help, motivation, and willingness to learn! You are never “stuck” where you are in life. There are always new opportunities for change around the corner, even when you can’t see them yet. – Meg Smiley

Thank you so very much Meg for sharing your art and your heart with myself and my readers today!

Thank you friends for joining me for another Artist Who Inspires me feature!

xxoo – Sherry