How I became a Designer, Artist and Blogger!
I’m always exploring new ways of being creative. I am continuously learning and evolving as an artist and look for inspiration where ever the road leads me. In 2016, as many people in my company experienced, I was laid off from my corporate position at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. I had worked as a Process Engineer or Product Manager for twenty-four years. While my day job was incredibly geeky, it also was very creative and it always involved working with some incredibly intelligent people. The creative part of my job was mostly related to thinking about problems differently. I had to put myself in various roles, and try to experience work as others might as they move through the processes that enabled the company to perform, service customers, grow or manage their businesses. I was often given highly complex areas to “sort out” as my old manager used to say to me. It was always different, changing and I learned so much throughout the years. After this layoff, I looked for a new position in the same field, interviewed at various companies but hadn’t found the best fit for me at this stage in my career. I had always had many creative outlets that I explored outside of work and thought – could I do something different? I had been doing the same thing for so long, did it make sense to try a new path? I knew I loved design, I always wanted to improve as an artist and had a real passion for fabrics and pattern. So I started researching how to become a surface pattern designer.
My husband heard me talking about my idea of becoming a fabric designer and treated me to a weekend course at Spoonflower headquarters. I had been trying to learn Adobe Illustrator on my own through online courses at Lynda.com. I was starting to feel like I knew the tools but hadn’t really gotten the full gist of how one thing became something that could easily be put on many things. I had a lot to learn. The Spoonflower course set me on a path to exploring design. Becka Rahn, our instructor took us through making a repeatable fabric design and we were able to not only create the design but see it print and follow it through the factory floor where I was made available to us at the end of the class. The ladies that were in that class were all as eager and excited to start designing as I was and I had the best time getting to know them and their art. While I feel I’ve learned so much about design since then I feel that weekend really ignited a spark that has set me firmly on this path since then. I’ve continued learning new techniques, took art and drawing courses from other artists and have been evolving my style and art ever since. I’m not sure if that will ever stop as I feel this journey is just that an ever evolving creative quest to continue to learn, experience and create.
My mission as an artist is to seek out inspiration and continuously learn, create art and design that inspires others to get creative in their projects. As a blogger I hope to create a community of makers that support and inspire each other, sharing and getting feedback to improve and celebrate their works!
A personal Shout out! – My husband, two sons and pups are my world. They often inspire me in ways I never expected, support me always, and are great to give candid feedback as I am constantly asking for their opinions. They have become reluctant design consultants, models, photographers and editors to help me when need be and I couldn’t be more grateful for them and their contributions to my work.
The puppies are always willing for a game of tug or fetch when I need a brain break or have been staring on a design too long. I love having them with me as I work all day. They sleep a lot which adds quite a calm feeling no matter the work I have in front of me. Maggie my chiweenie is my shadow, always by my side and even has a seat right by my drawing table so she can keep an eye on my work. Johnny on the other hand is happy to sit in the sun in the morning and in the afternoon will pass back and forth between my studio and my husband Kam’s office.
Something you may not know about me is I love to run Disney races! In 2018 I ran the Dopey Challenge in WDW which consisted of a 5k Thursday, a 10K Friday a Half Marathon Saturday and a Full Marathon Sunday totalling 48.6 Miles! I’m slow but I have so much fun it doesn’t really matter! I write about my fitness journey at fit4abetterlife.com.
Taylor is my go to race companion. Together we have run the WDW Wine and Dine, Dopey Challenge and VA Beach Rock n Roll. Kam will do a 10K from time to time and has run the Captain America 10K with me at Disneyland.
Disney holds a special place in my heart. To say I’m a Disney fan is a slight understatement. I grew up going there, I got married there, I took my kids there while they grew up and now I love to visit and race there. A dream of mine is to one day partner with Disney on a design line! One day! Disney if you read this – I’m Available!
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