I had a pretty amazing thing happen to me last night, tinged a bit with sadness. I'm posting a card up here, but I will warn you ahead of time...it's a super pretty card, but for a 35 year old girl who passed away suddenly. So, enjoy the pictures and avoid my post...if you're just slogging around looking for cool ideas.
My new plan with this blog is to keep it real. I love challenges but think sometimes the struggle to always make things and say things that I think people will "like" might detract from my overall goal. So, new focus here is to scrap for me but share my work with others for their enjoyment, entertainment, and sharing ideas. I am going with the theory I am a one girl band (if you will) who is doing what she can writing from her own little corner of the world with a blog...so my own little publishing company. Please please please ask me questions about how I do stuff. That makes me happy too!
So, here is my story that I wasn't planning on sharing, but I think now it's important. Last summer we moved up North in NY to an area which is very rural. I love it here. Huge fields, amazing farmers, beautiful landscapes...however no shopping AND no friends. While out on Facebook, I ran across a post from an old school buddy who alerted me to the fact that she lived close by. Now, you know how life goes....she tried to get me out to dinner with her and her sister, I invited her over, etc. But for a variety of different things, we didn't hook up until recently. They brought over Mary's wedding album which Kathy was struggling with. She was cutting photos out with decorative scissors and using big stickers, not matting any photos or layering them at all. They brought some photos and I showed her how to do a really simple layout. Nothing crazy, nothing too amazing. I just sat and gave Kathy ideas. It really was all her own work.
So, this past Wed. I got a request on Facebook to go to the Cantina on Sunday with them for Kathy's Birthday. I love the Cantina. Big Margaritas, super awesome food, hanging with girls, I was totally there. Thursday I was on skype (I work at home) when my home phone rang and I heard my BFF from highschool talking. When I got off skype and I listened to the message I realized she was asking if I had been out on Facebook today but sounded like she had been crying and didn't say why. I must admit, I sat in front of my pc and avoided it for a long while. I was pretty sure it was something quite horrible. My BFF does not USE Facebook and must have heard through the grapevine of something terrible.
Jumped on and realized that Mary's sister Kathy who was a year behind me in school had passed away in the night through some fluke thing that I still don't quite get. So, basically Mary posted the question about her sister's birthday, the girls went to bed, and her sister didn't make it through the night. So, keep in mind I haven't seen these girls for years. So I am more mourning the lost opportunities here.
When I went through the line to give Mary a hug, she said, you have no idea how much that time you spent with Kathy meant to her and how many times she showed off that page you made with her. It made me feel really good but yet sad because there will be no more opportunites to show Kathy how to put a page together and no birthdays at the Cantina.
Which brings me around to my point of writing this. I have had the blessing to read some really great blogs lately. Real posts of real people writing about real things. Helen (read my previous post from last night) is struggling with her evolution as an artist. I admire that ability to put those words on a page and hit POST. That is super cool because she made me feel better last night about my abilities. And then there is Nadia, someone whose work I admire and yet is pulling back from design teams due to focusing on her own challenge blog and personal struggles. I admire these woman for taking a step back from the pretty posts that are always happy and really saying what they mean.
I certainly hope they achieve their goals with their work, but regardless, I enjoy their work very much. I enjoy all the people I follow. It takes a lot of time and effort to create a post, link things back up, get JUST the right photo, or even on a larger scale run a design team and your own challenge blog. All time that doesn't go into creating. Since it's an totally unpaid position and operates like a JOB, take a minute to thank the people who provide you sketches and cool content. There are people behind the posts. People across the world who are struggling with the very same thing you are struggling with!
If you are still reading, thanks! Sorry for the RANT, but I feel like I had a moment of clarity in my life last night and this is important to me!
Last night and today was my step back from the day to day to remember why I am an artist and why I create. I create for people like Kathy who need help, I create to make those memories stick, and I create to share.