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.  

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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.

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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.

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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. πŸ₯‚

MY FIRST NEWS BULLETIN
1994
1994
A pic I drew for my granny
Just throwing this in for good measure! -1990
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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.

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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.

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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! 

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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.) πŸ‘

THE HISTORY BEHIND MY ART

MY FIRST CHARCOAL PORTRAIT
MY SECOND CHARCOAL PORTRAIT
MY THIRD CHARCOAL PORTRAIT (AGED)
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AWAKENED!

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.

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Whatever tomorrow brings, I will be ready to keep those stands FULL.

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"May you never waste a day nor a talent."

                                                                    -Val

CHARCOAL PORTRAIT
OIL PAINTING
CHARCOAL PORTRAIT
CHARCOAL PORTRAIT
CHARCOAL PORTRAIT
BOOK COVER
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©Coyright, 2019, by Valerie R. Clay