Much to my dismay, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Magazine is no longer in publication. What a sad, sad day to hear this awful news! That magazine has honestly been one of the hugest inspirations in my life. Mary herself is a charming artist who creates cute and whimsical pictures, calendars, posters, etc. Her magazine always showcased many artists and their creations along with studio shots.
Today, in honor of Mary and her past magazine issues (that I will keep forever), I am going to use her interview questions that she has in each magazine- except in this case- these questions will not be answered by some famous artist, but by me...just for fun........
Q~ When the well runs dry, how do you recharge your creative spark?
A* There are times when I don't realize that the well has gone dry until I walk into a store and see so many colors and patterns and I run home and start painting or creating- then I realize that I needed that spark to recharge me.
Q~ What is your motto?
A* Apparently my motto is life is too short to.... My friend, Denise says that I say it all the time. A few recent examples.....
Life is too short to dust every week
Life is too short to waste time changing the sheets every week (especially when you have small children who tend to wait until you change the sheets to then wet the sheets)
Life is too short to not get a puppy :) We are getting a puppy, but don't tell the kids. It is still a surprise.
Life is too short to sleep it all away!
Life is too short to not tell every one you know about Jesus (I need to practice this more.....)
Life is too short to leave your walls bare or colorless (unless you like bare and colorless--then it is fine)
Life is too short to rush around and be too busy for your kids
Q~ The biggest enemy of creativity is....
A* Not having the time- some days I finally get to the point in the day (or evening) when I can paint- and find that I am too tired!
Q~ Who influences you?
A* My kids, their happiness, colorfulness, and vitality. My husband- he comes up with some great quotes and ideas. God- He is the Ultimate artist- and what I see around me- flowers, leaves, trees, birds, fruit, vegetables. And as I said- Mary Engelbreit has been a huge influence on my work. Martha Stewart's art is an inspiration- I love her line of paper & supplies at Michaels.
Q~ The world would be a vastly better place if of only...
A* People saw their need for God and accepted Him as Savior and Lord. And then lived by His rule of Love being the most important thing. Can you imagine the world if everyone was motivated by love for others?
Q~ My best ideas come to me at unexpected moments, like when I'm...
A* Reading children's books to my kids- the pictures inspire me. Shopping, driving somewhere, seeing different things.
Q~ What 3 accomplishments are you most proud of?
A* I have been trying to get the hang of not being proud- but instead turning that into thankfulness. Really whatever we have to be proud about, it is something given to us by the Lord. I am extremely thankful for my family. I am very thankful for what God is allowing Dave & I to do artistically. Dave left his job a couple weeks ago to work solely on his music. What a dream come true for us! That we get the opportunity every single day to use our talents for His glory- that is where it is at for us. Anything good that we do is because of God. Whenever we get our eyes off of Him we crash and burn.
Q~ I still can't quite get the hang of...
A* Keeping the kids toys organized.
Keeping my kitchen cupboards organized.
Keeping the drawers organized. It is fine to get them all organized- but virtually impossible to keep them that way....
Q~ The only thing I know for sure about the creative process is....
A* It always comes back- Magically. When there are no creative juices and nothing is coming to me- if I wait- it comes! This has happened so many times with certain rooms in our house- I will draw a blank and have no clue what to do; colors, placement of things, etc- and then one day- click! The whole picture comes in clear.
Q~ What was your first job?
A* Stock girl at K-Mart
Q~ Earlier in Your career, how did you deal with people who tried to discourage you from pursuing your dream.
This is exactly what Dave and I are going through now; there are some people who want us to stay where it is safe and draw a paycheck every week instead of what we are doing (which is creating and sharing our art with others). The truth is that there are people in this world- Dave and I being two - who would die a slow painful death if stuck in an office and made to do the kind of work that we are not made to do.
The way we deal with discouraging people is ignore them. When you go through a process of #1 praying daily and staying in God's word #2 obey Him in the small decisions every day #3 ask advice from a number of spiritual counselors.....then you can step out peacefully knowing that pleasing God is all that matters. America was built on this attitude. Life is too short to be safe and sit still and do nothing (unless of course that is what God has for you to do in a particular place in your life).
Q~ What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you were younger?
A* Artistically? I wish we would have known how to market when we opened up my little Watermelon Patch Shop. We did virtually no marketing- we just thought that people would walk in off the the street and buy everything!
As a parent? (my oldest is still only 7....) I wish I would have kept the big picture in my mind at all times- what it most important? That my kids seek to please God and learn about their Creator. That is more important - and when they would get in trouble for things I used to focus more on how that disobedience gets on my nerves rather than- 'that displeases God' and try to get the child to see himself as a loved child of God with a great purpose that God has made him for (there is still time- they are still very young!)
Q~ When you're carrying a creative project to term, is there any snack food you crave?
A* Oh my word! Yes, anything chocolate, anything sweet and fattening. Cake, hot chocolate, Lemonade (now I make sure the beverages are kept away from the laptop- I get reminded of this as I am typing away on my crunchy & sticky keyboard)
Q~ Is there any current or upcoming project that you'd like readers to know about?
A* I think all of my readers know about my projects- basically there are 2 ways to get some sara art in your house- buy some prints or cards from my etsy store or e-mail me to order a custom piece (the basic range of prices is about $25 - $55). You can find my e-mail address on my profile page.
Here are some of my artist friends and family with photos and interviews.
I would LOVE to know what your answers would be to some or all of these questions- if you blog any of it- let me know, or pick a question and answer it in the comments.