THE HISTORY OF MY LOVE FOR ART & MARKETING
I've been somewhat artistic all of my life, but it was a skill that developed over time. In the early '90s, I practiced my ever so humble copyediting and illustration skills, by producing a monthly news bulletin for a local church.
What started out as a church bulletin, eventually developed into a magazine-type layout. There was a lot of copying and stapling to be done every month because of how popular it had become. My aunt was always offering her help and I was thankful to have it. One of the church members made a homemade wooden magazine stand as a gift to support my efforts. I strategically placed it at the local Jack's, where the church had monthly gospel singings.
The magazine was so popular I couldn't keep the stand full.
Honestly, these things looked so much like a child produced them, I think people would take them mostly out of curiosity. My evil, or holy, whichever way you want to look at it, plan- worked. Not having a home computer, or even a typewriter back then really hindered my abilities. Since I wanted this to look homemade, I didn't mind. I even went as far as using uneven lettering and handwritten words to give it that homemade effect.
At that age, I had no idea how to market a church, but the paper advertised itself.
From a marketing standpoint, it was golden.
Who would've thought anyone would give these a second look, much less take one? I couldn't have been more pleased. I put this elementary-grade magazine out for several years and was excited to do so.
After the very first one, I stopped doing them in color because the church only had a black and white printer. My aunt would type them for me on her old-fashioned typewriter, so what you see here is typing paper, so thin that it was transparent ...and I had to draw on it. Ah, good times!
Here's to humble beginnings, Aunt Deb. 🥂
Once I finally got a home computer, I continued the magazine, and just simply called it by a different name. I also continued to make them homemade, only this time I used photo paper for the cover with a gloss finish, and designed the cover on my computer. I bound them with staples and used copy paper for the center. I made it a half-page size so it would fit into a large brochure stand. An additional benefit was that printing would be cheaper since I was the one paying for it. I placed my brochure holders at every grocery and convenience store that would allow me.
Once again, the magazine was so popular I couldn't keep the racks full.
A different city, a different look; same principle. I think the homemade technique worked once again to peak interest, only this time the content was much better and easier to produce. That is where my love for marketing began.
After having my first miracle baby, I felt very inspired to hone my artistic skills. I created my first charcoal portrait in 2000, the year my first son was born. It was a picture of my neighbor and her two brothers (the first pic below). I took on way more than I was skilled for, and their eyes and heads ended up so out of proportion, they looked like caricatures! I seriously wasn't trying to make it cartoon-like but my neighbor thought it was intentional and said, "You're pretty darn good at drawing cartoons!" Ha!
My next two charcoal portraits (below) turned out fairly well.; probably because of the great emotion that was instilled into them, seeing as how those are of my children. (I like what the sun did to my third bleow-it wasn't aged like that intentionally, but I can add crackle to any painting if you order it custom.) 👍
THE HISTORY BEHIND MY ART
Within a couple of years, my skills were developed enough that I felt confident in my work and began giving these away as Christmas gifts and selling them. I abandoned my passion for many years after becoming a single mother but a cancer scare in 2018 was a good reminder that life is a gift that shouldn't be wasted. It humbled me and awakened my desire to create once again. Only this time, I know what my gifts are for. I finally have a keen sense of direction and it only took forty plus years to get here. :) The best part is, I can look back and see that every business-related event brought me to this point in time, and prepared me for this exact moment. It was all part of the plan.
Whatever tomorrow brings, I will be ready to keep those stands FULL.
"May you never waste a day nor a talent."