Topher and I just got back from our annual road-trip around the midwest where we hiked our first four 14ers, explored new places and made new friends! Our first and the most exciting announcement, is that we are engaged! Topher got down on one knee at 14,295ft on the summit of Mt. Lincoln, in the beautiful state of Colorado and asked me to marry him. Although we've been telling a select few that we were already engaged/married even before then, it is now official! It was a trip full of humbling moments, bursts of laughter and plenty of celebrations that we will never forget.
"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us." -Unknown
Five states, 3,000 miles and two weeks later, we have a ton of content to go through and edit, multiple commissioned paintings to create and many other projects going on! We have taken over Backwoods' Instagram (@backwoodsretail), posting photographs from our trip and we're working on some gear reviews and destination guides for them to post very soon on their blog (www.backwoodsadventures.com/muddy-hands-blog)! The past couple weeks have been a blur of happiness and bliss, but we are glad to be home and ready to create some art and share our adventures with all of you! We'll be posting more on our blog in the near future so stay posted to see and read about this year's road trip and June's Feature of the Month. We're also posting photos to our Facebook page and Instagrams (@artistcouple_photo and @artistcouple_art.design)
A couple weeks ago we got the pleasure of going to Rebecca Borrelli's home studio to talk about her work, process, and life as an artist in the wonderful city of Austin! Her and her lovely pup, Layla, welcomed us into their home with smiles, coffee and good vibes. To say the least, it was an exceptionally delightful experience.
A little background about Becca:
With a masters in Art Education, from the University of Texas, Becca now teaches classes at The Contemporary Art School in Austin, but, like us, will always continue learning through experimentation and going to local classes to continuously expand her knowledge and talent. Becca's love for art education burns brightly, she has been expanding her classes beyond The Contemprorary Art School and leads lettering classes and coloring sessions around town. Most known for her hand lettered signs and the oh so popular, Austin Coloring Book, you can see her and her work at local art events and shows. The intense passion she has for art and her environment is easily seen through her personality and artwork. Mainly working in pen, ink and marker, her illustrations bring a positive message and energetic vibe to anyone who views them.
This month we decided to wing it at our first ever Feature of the Month video interview and after a few tries at getting the audio and video to sync, it's finally ready to share with the world!
Be sure to check out Becca's website and Instagram to keep up with all of her wonderful projects and work (also some adorable puppy photos)!
She also has a great blog on her website where you can read and listen to topics ranging from artist advice to thoughts about life in general. Just go to her website and click on the blog tab at the top, you wont be sorry you did!
If you are interested in purchasing work by Becca, she has a shop tab on her website as well as an Etsy Shop. There, you can find her coloring books, coloring pages, prints and original work to purchase. You can also purchase her book and coloring pages at local shops! A list of these shops are located on her website, just go to the info tab, then click retailers to see the list!
May went by crazy fast and we are super pumped about June! Stay tuned for more posts and June's Feature of the Month, Wiley Ross!
Thanks for reading (and watching!)
As you know, Topher and I own a small business in Austin, Artist Couple. (We are turning 1 and a half this June, hooray!) While I feel that starting a business with someone else is overall easier than going at it alone, I also think learning how to run a business alongside your best friend can be much more difficult.
You have two individuals (both of which think they are the boss), two different brains, two different ways of thinking and working, two preferred schedules, two opinions, and many times just one office...What could go wrong?
In the beginning, we were just happy to not have a boss we didn't like or a fixed schedule with a dress code; but after you get past what I like to call the "small business honeymoon stage", which is pretty short I might add, you get to make some pretty big decisions about the future of your careers.
Being both best friends and significant others has made things slightly more challenging. It took me about 8 months to realize that business cannot be personal and you should never, EVER, mix the two. (Which is really hard when you are dating your business partner.) It has also taken me about 16 months to realize that my way of doing something is not always the best for someone who is not me and does not work or learn like me (pretty basic life knowledge, but I still have to constantly remind myself of that).
All in all, a good way to describe the journey is comparing it to driving north on I35 trying to get onto the exit for 183 North. (Sorry for you out of towners who probably don't get the reference). What I mean is, sometimes you will hit the traffic just right and it will be smooth sailing, while other times you will have to hit your gas and brakes about a million times just to get onto the freaking exit ramp. And, of course, there will always be that one (or two, or three) time where you are in the worst place at the worst time and you're stuck for an hour in a line of cars because two people can't figure out how to properly merge. Regardless, there will always be bumps, slow downs, wrecks and accidents, but at the end of the day, you always make it home.
There are soooo many things I have learned the past year and a half, but here are some of the main things:
After you've read this, taken notes, started a business and perfected your work life, I only have one more piece of advice:
Manage your time to make yourself happy.
Work to live, don't live to work. If making money makes you happy, maybe you will want to work all the time. If going camping and hiking makes you happy, schedule those trips and activities before you schedule your work. Sure, you may miss out on one or two opportunities to make money, but if that's what you love to do, do it. After all, isn't that why you start your own business? To be your own boss? To make your own schedule? To do what you love?
Get your priorities straight and don't take life so seriously. Do what you love, work in a field you love, and schedule all the other things around what is most important to you.
This road is a rocky one, but the view is worth it.
This month we decided to feature some creative minds in music instead of visual arts! We welcome, Llamas on the Loose, a five man band from right here in Austin, Texas.
They have been keeping jazzy folkrock alive with their relaxing tunes since we met in August, 2016 when they generously said yes to playing at one of our art shows downtown. We have been jammin' to their feel-good tunes and vibin' to their positive company ever since. Our favorite part of this group is their casual seriousness. Their love for improve and relaxed personality combines nicely with their drive and passion to connect with other creative minds!
Like us, many of you may ask, what's with the name Llamas on the Loose? (Because every band name has to have a backstory right?) Remember that news story where two llamas escaped and were being chased by cops?
Those crazy llamas sparked some funky inspiration goodness, and so, they became Llamas on the Loose! Staying true to the original Llamas on the Loose youtube sensation, this band is both entertaining and will brighten even the cloudiest of days.
Claiming the genre "breezy island prog funk" Llamas on the Loose has a sound that truly does take you to a place of palm trees and ocean waves. tropical, relaxing and fun are just a few words I would use to describe their easy-listening music. When asked to choose one word that described the band they all agreed on 'loose', which is fitting since it does make you relax and dance the night away.
Meet the band:
Lead vocals & guitar
Sean St. Germain-
Their favorite part of being in a band is the friendships and connections they make with other individuals. It sounds corny, yes, but seeing someone having a good time because of something YOU create (whether that may be visual art or music or anything else) will always give you an enormous amount of pride and happiness. Success is very much about the cherishing the experiences and people you meet along the way. Llamas really care about getting to know their fans and that is one thing we both love about them.
This year, Llamas on the Loose plan to complete their first album and connect with more people locally and nationally through their music and live performances. Whether it's improve, jam sessions or big venue shows, these Llamas are motivated to bring people together through creative experiences and open connections between musicians and fans.
You can keep up with upcoming shows on their Facebook!
Listen to their music on Soundcloud!
Enjoy the awesome Llama music and be sure to see them live, you wont regret it!
We've been teaching more painting and drawing lessons lately and we have been loving it! So, we figured it was time to share our knowledge and experience about the basics of art here on our blog, and what better way to start than a lengthy explanation about the different types of paint brushes and how to care for them!
Like many things in life, paintbrushes come in all different shapes and sizes! Distinguishing the different types of brushes and understanding their strengths will help you better understand how to choose a brush and paint with it affectively.
The round brush comes either pointy, round, or somewhere in-between. You can use the whole brush for thick lines or the tip for thin lines. It's a very versatile brush and one of my favorites. The pointy version of this brush is great for details, while the more round version is great for filling in small to medium areas.
The flat brush is pretty much the opposite of the round brush. It is great for bold, solid strokes and filling in larger areas. When used perpendicular to a surface, you can use the tip for a straight, more slender line and when held at more of an angle, you can use it's sharp 90 degree edge for getting corners.
Like the flat brush, the bright brush is great for bold strokes and filling in larger areas. However, it does not have the sharp 90 degree corner like the flat brush has. Instead, the corners are slightly rounded while the top remains flat. Use the tip for thinner softer lines or the whole brush for thicker strokes.
The fan is one of the funkiest brushes out there! Its curved top is great for smoothing and blending. If used with watercolors, be sure the hairs are soft and absorbent. If used with acrylics/oils make sure the hairs are sturdy and more stiff. By adding a small amount of paint to a dry fan brush you can create nice organic textures. However, it is easy to add too much paint or water, which causes the paint to kind of clump together, creating a not so great texture. This is a brush that demands experimentation and practice before it can be used to its full potential.
Quite possibly to coolest named brush, the filbert brush is like a round and bright brush hybrid. It curves to a subtle rounded top and is great for soft edges and organic curves. Many confuse this brush with the bright brush because of the similar shape, but there is one big different. The bright brush has a flat tip and the filbert brush has a rounded tip. Because of this, the filbert brush creates softer edges than the bright brush. You can use the tip of the brush for thin strokes or the flat side for soft thick strokes.
The angle brush is great for straight, sharp lines and filling in corner areas and angular shapes. The tip is good for thin lines, small short strokes and curved strokes. It's a very versatile brush and the angle makes it easy to get a variety of marks. When using the angled tip for lines, you can easily change the thickness of your line by changing the angle you're holding the brush. It is also good for filling in medium to large areas.
The Mop brush does exactly what it sounds like, acts like a mop. It's great for soaking up large amounts of water and/or paint when working with a wet technique. It is perfect for wet watercolor paintings or watery acrylic glazes. Personally, I don't really use this brush for paints like acrylic or oils because I feel as though they soak up more paint than I realize and end up wasting paint easier. However, if you're working large or with a lot of water, this brush may be the one for the job.
Another great named brush, the rigger, is the slimmest of the bunch. Skinny with a pointed tip, this brush is the ultimate detail brush! It's great for small, crisp details like highlights. When held at different angles and/or pressures, this brush is great for writing text and script. Because of it's slender, long hairs, this brush is especially easy to damage. It can easily get warped if left in your water cup too long or stored improperly.
Here are some helpful tips on how to choose the right brush for you and how to properly clean and store your brushes:
Since this blogpost is long enough, I'll save my other tips and tricks for another post :)
I hope this has helped you understand the different types of brushes and how to properly clean and store them.
Meet March's Feature of the Month, local Austin artist, Travis Timm! Self-taught artist of 5 years, he not only paints nature's beauty, but also adventures through it. We met Travis last year during a showcase here in Austin featuring his lovely landscape paintings and he has been inspiring us ever since! As an avid climber and outdoor adventurer trying to capture nature's spirit, we found a lot in common with Travis and his work.
Being nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, we know how hard it is to re-create the powerful beauty and emotions that come with physically being in and seeing an awe-inspiring landscape, and how incredibly hard it is to re-create or capture through art. We've all been there, trying to take a photograph of the view on an epic hike or an elegant sunset on the beach. The photo never really turns out quite like reality. While I do believe that some things are meant to be experienced up close and personal, Travis Timm gives experiencing "the real thing" a run for its money!
As a landscape enthusiast myself, I am always curious as to what draws artists to this subject matter. So naturally, I had to ask, why landscapes? And why these specific landscapes?
"For one, landscapes are what I learned how to paint. My father, grandmother, and great grandmother were all self-taught landscape oil painters and in a sense I am trying to carry on the family tradition. I didn’t begin painting until 2012 after suffering a climbing injury. I was immobilized at my father’s house for nearly a year and decided to capitalize on the opportunity to learn a new skill from the artist I admired most, my dad.
The reasons I choose to paint [a specific landscape] varies from painting to painting. I spend a lot of time camping and climbing, so most of the time I am inspired by the places I visit on my trips, such as Big Bend or Reimer’s Ranch. Other times, I simply see an image somewhere (on social media, in a magazine, random Google searches, etc.) and think it would be fun to paint."
With a backstory as touching and unique as Travis', I ask, what is your favorite piece you've ever created and why?
"My favorite piece has to be Purgatory, a painting based on Purgatory Park in San Marcos, Texas. While in school at Texas State University I would frequent the park weekly with my dog Roxy and became attached to it. After graduating - and still in the early days of my painting career - I saw a photo of the park on a crush’s Instagram and decided I would paint it, both because I thought it was an amazing image of a park I had loved and was missing, but also because I thought it might get her attention. I ended up spending a lot more time on it than I had on any other piece and it quickly became my first “break-through” painting (meaning it was substantially better than anything I had created thus far). While my old crush never seemed to notice it, Purgatory is still one of my favorite pieces and one of the few paintings I won’t sell."
Purgatory, 16x20", oil paint:
Who doesn't love a painting that comes with a story?! I think I can speak for all artistic souls when I say that we've all tried to create something incredible to get someone else's attention. My experiences doing this are much like Travis'. Even though he didn't get the girl, he got an amazing painting! Which, in my opinion, is better than a girl who doesn't notice a beautiful painting such as this one.
The artist process of recreating the world around us is so interesting and different for each artist. Do you paint from observation? Do you make up a scene from your imagination? Do you try to copy a photograph?
I love to take a photo or landscape from observation and try and make it exactly the way it is in reality. However, I find that sometimes the pressure of creating something exactly makes it look less like it does in reality. Many times when I refer to a photo but imagine the details and take the artistic freedom to make it slightly different makes it turn out much more realistic and unique. Every artist takes a different approach, creating their own process and style along the way. What I love most about the artistic process is that there are no limits, realistically or imaginatively!
"I paint a lot of images based off of photos, but I also paint a lot of images without using any references at all. It really depends on what I am painting and why. If I am working on a commission piece and the customer wants it to resemble their vacation photo then I will use the photo and make it look as similar to the original image as I can. Other times I know what kind of image I want to paint - such as a Hawaiian beach scene – and I allow the image to manifest itself on the canvas. What I like best though is using a picture as a reference for perspective and color pallets, but not sticking to the image exactly. Landscapes are amazingly fun to paint in that they are created in nature and nature is not perfect. It’s the irregularities in nature that allow me to expand on an image and make it my own by embellishing certain colors, adding contrast, and even by allowing me to add other natural - or unnatural - features that are not in the original picture."
As someone who has gone to school for this, I am always curious to talk with a self-taught artist with no formal training. It is hard to teach (and learn) art because of its ambiguity. There were days in school where I would sit and listen to a teacher explain how to paint, sculpt or draw, and I would ask myself "who's to say this is the way you should teach someone how to create?" There are definitely basics to learn as an artist, but in general, how do you go about teaching or learning art? It's a hard question to answer, so I asked Travis, what advice would you give someone who is just starting out painting?
"There are no rules. Art can be whatever you want it to be, don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Some may see my lack of formal training as a disadvantage, but I feel exactly the opposite. It is because no one ever told me how to create that I was able to find my own way and am not limited to someone else’s idea of what they think art should be."
Those are some real words of wisdom. Art is about what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. There is no right or wrong, there is just art.
Speaking of accomplishing things, I always like to ask our monthly features what are their artistic goals for this year?
"I am currently working on a series featuring images of Big Bend National Park. My goal is to get 10 – 12 Big Bend pieces completed in time to have a show at the Granada Theater in Dallas this summer. It will be the first cohesive series or work I have ever put together and I am extremely excited to be releasing it at the Granada! Other than that, I would like to be involved in more collaborations in 2017."
We have been following Travis' Big Bend series on his social media pages (links below) and we cannot wait to see them all together! Big Bend is on our list for 2017 as far as backpacking goes and these paintings are really getting us excited!
Follow Travis on Instagram:
Like his page on Facebook:
Follow Travis on Snapchat:
As always, thanks for reading and happy March!
Time. There is conceivably nothing more powerful than it. Time defines us, when we are born, when we die; time heals all wounds. Time allows nature to build soaring mountains and carve deep canyons. Time creates vast civilizations and razes them to the ground. Time allows us to function in complex societies and as individuals. But, the most important thing about time, for me, is spending it with those you love, because time is precious, time is relentless, time is indifferent.
Every once in a while Sara and I find ourselves being consumed by work and our business. With Time as our master, we find ourselves dragged out of bed every morning by the alarm-clock. Time has declared the start of a new day and who are we to try to refute its claim? Morning after morning the cycle repeats and as our minds soften from its hypnotic rhythm, we start to lose track. Day in and day out we travel through time, oblivious to its relentless indifference and influence on us.
Like a canyon is carved from erosion and time,
so has our routine eroded our minds.
It's not till we stop to look back at then,
till we finally realize what fools we've been.
Now we can realize what should always be clear,
it's important to make time for those we hold dear.
What better time than now, on this Valentine's Day.
To clear off the calendar, so I can whisk you away.
There's magic in nature, this much is true,
one need only go seek it, this is what we must do.
Come follow me, as I held out my hand,
and I'll whisk you away to this magical land.
I know of a place and it isn't that far, where we can be the masters,
of everything we are.
With rekindled spirits we set our sights West,
the mission was clear, there was no time to rest.
The landscape we were headed toward was weathered and old,
and therein lies the secret to what you're being told.
For you see it's natures magic to withstand the tests of time,
and when you're in its presence it will shield you from the grind.
It's nature that protects us, as Time's helpless prey,
and together we'll be victorious and keep Time at bay.
You're journey has just started, but ours must come to an end,
and with that we welcome you to,
The days seem to be going by faster and faster as 2017 flies by! This month our featured artist is, Joy Underdahl! Growing up in Green Bay, she found her love for painting, however received her BFA in illustration at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. While in school she opened her own line of clothing, NOMAD free the bohemian, where she combines multiple styles and methods to create a unique variety of work. In the fall of 2016 Joy moved to Austin and has been growing her portfolio ever since.
Joy's talents range from wood burning to printmaking, skateboard deck designing and more! To get to know her a little better we asked her a few questions about her past work and future plans:
You have so many outlets for art, drawing, painting, designing/clothing, how do you decide what to work on and what direction you want to go in with your new work?
"Honestly it's really hard to focus on one outlet, I find myself bouncing around a lot. Having my Etsy shop, I’m always creating new pieces and working on orders. I love painting, but I find I only do it when I have a custom order for an animal portrait. As much as I love painting it takes up space and time that I don’t always have. I don’t work on my illustrations as much as I'd like to, but when I get really inspired I create a bunch all at once.
As for my direction, I like to pull from the culture and environment I’m in or from an experience I’ve had. When I first moved to Austin I tried to do a new illustration every day inspired by the city because I was so stimulated by my new surroundings."
What's your favorite thing about Austin so far?
"Definitely Austin's weather. As much as a I loved Milwaukee, I just couldn’t do the winters anymore. For my first “winter” in Austin I only had to pull out my winter jacket one time."
What are your artistic goals for 2017?
"I have a few goals for 2017:
1. Create more of my own custom fabric for my brand, NOMAD and take some sewing classes to make functional clothing other than bandanas. Also I want to come up with new t-shirt graphics and actually get the shirts produced.
2. Market myself better.
3. Continue my animal portraits.
4. Make sure to make time to create my own art and illustrations."
What would your dream job be?
"To become an art director for a clothing brand I love. Ideally my own brand, NOMAD. Illustration is my first love but doing my thesis work and getting a taste of doing everything myself with the clothing line was unreal. Coming up with my brand identity, and lifestyle was really fun. Creating the patterns, graphics, and designs for the clothes and actually getting to see my designs turn into real products was incredible! I also fell in love with the product photography, setting up my backgrounds and working with my models. Even doing the editing and putting together my magazine was awesome. For right now I want to build up my brand, but ideally in 10 - 15 years from now, my dream would be to art direct for NOMAD and oversee everything."
Joy is currently taking commissions, you can request them through her Facebook:
You can find her work for sale at various pop-up shows and vending events here in Austin, TX, as well as on her Etsy site:
We met Joy at school in Milwaukee and it has been so great seeing her work grow and expand the past couple years. We can't wait to see where her work will take her!
We will be posting again soon to show and tell about last weekend's awesome camping trip to Colorado Bend State Park! It was a much needed weekend of adventurous hiking and re-energizing hammock sitting!
Thanks for reading!
We are excited to start this new monthly feature on our blog! For January we have picked Ilene Listrom, owner of Inlighten Designs, not only because of her amazing works of art but also her beautiful personality!
We met Ilene at a RAW art showcase where we were both showing work in May of 2016. From first impression, her huge heart and absence of ego was obvious, generously bumming us, two complete strangers, cigarettes (back when we still smoked). We hit it off instantly chatting about our art and passions. We have been friends ever since. Ilene mainly works in digital art/design and ceramics, while also incorporating elements of collage. Her work combines the beauty of earth and imagination with function and light. You can see her work in person at, Adam's Gallery of Austin and can purchase work on her website:
January is a great month to review the old year and set goals for the New Year. It's a good time to review yourself, your actions, and your values. A great way to understand how to reach your goals and how to improve yourself, artistically or not, is to ask yourself questions. So, we asked Ilene some questions that we think all artists and non-artists should ask themselves each year.
why do you do what you do?
This may be the most important question to ask yourself every year, if not more often. Being able to understand why you do the things you do can lead to an understanding of what makes you happy and what you might be doing in your life that may not make you so happy. If you can't think of a reason why you are doing something, you might want to pick something else to spend your time on.
"I believe that creativity helps you tap into a deeper wisdom or as some would call it, consciousness. For as long as I can remember I have always been trying to follow this rabbit down the hole. Whether it leads me to a better understanding of self or my purpose in the world, hopefully both, this process is my journey. Art and philosophy are the tools I use to help me from losing sight of my path. I bet this rings true for most creative people, but it’s hard to not get lost when in order to keep from becoming stagnant and complacent you have to be in a constant state of adaption. Allowing new ideas to enter and letting old ones die. I believe the creative mind is a reflection of nature’s cycle. I think I do what I do because it gives me a higher purpose, I don’t know how I could stand against life’s current without it….it’s my heroic I guess."
What inspires you?
As an artist, this is a question that you are asked all the time, however, it is important to ask yourself this every once in a while because, like everything in life, things change. What inspired you last year might not inspire you so much this year. Understanding your inspirations and why they are your inspirations may lead you to unexpected interests. There's no better time to look into new hobbies and interests than the beginning of a new year!
"As cliché as it sounds, my biggest inspiration is nature. As Albert Einstein said “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” I completely agree."
What is your plan for the new year?
Sadly, the question every new year is always "What is your New Year's resolution?" Or "What are your goals for this year?" Those questions are good, but the real question is, "How will you make your goals or resolution happen this year? What is your plan?" When you have a goal without a plan of action it is much easier to put it off in hopes that one day, before December 31st, a plan will just magically pop into your head and work out. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen. So, instead of knowing just your goals for this year, maybe think about how you can plan to make them happen, know your main focus and think about specifics.
"One word…”authenticity”. I have had to grow quite a bit this past year. It’s been a delicate dance trying to stay true to myself and promote my artwork at the same time. I really wanted to focus on creating a local platform in 2016 and I am grateful that I had so much support from friends and knowledgeable mentors like Ryan Adams, of Adam’s Galleries of Austin, which helped me do so. I am definitely planning on shifting gears quite a bit in 2017 and while I will continue to work on Austin pieces, I think it is a crucial time for artists to start utilizing their voice to combat the growing threats this world is currently facing. I am privileged to have a medium in which to communicate with others on a deeper level and I am looking forward to utilizing that gift to bring awareness and inspiration when we need it the most."
Thanks for reading! Don't forget to check out Ilene's Facebook page and website!
Until next time,
Art is our passion, our outlet and our business.
AS A PASSION
Creating art makes us happy. We're interested in it, we're good at it, we have fun doing it and, most of the time, we like the end result of it. Being a story teller, creative worker and an inventive problem solver has always been our biggest strengths in life. Being an artist is not only our passion, it's our lifestyle and part of who we are.
AS AN OUTLET
Many times life is easier said or explained with visuals than with words. Expressing something, whether it's personal, emotional, scientific, simple, or complex is most exciting and impactive when you get to see or experience it yourself. This is why art is such an important outlet in life. It is an excelent way of communicating no matter what language you speak or what level of intellegence you have, anyone can take something away from a piece of visual art. Art is universal and our main outlet for expression.
AS A BUSINESS
Art pays for the bills and a roof over out head. If we could live a life without money in society, we would. The mindset of art being our business and what makes us money has unknowingly contaminated our creative process and thinking this past year. Figuring out how to run a business is hard enough, but having to balance values about what your work means to you while simultaniously making clients happy and staying passionate about what we do has been even harder than the logistics of starting and running a business.
Topher and I had this realization the other day while comparing our work and ourselves at the beginning of 2016 to our work and ourselves at the end of 2016. Once we did this, we realized that we had lost our artistic selves along the way while learning how to be business owners. It was easier than I had thought to treat art like work instead of treating it like our passion; especially when it is truly both. The scary thing is, it happened without us knowing it.
We realized that we weren’t letting ourselves have the creative freedom and exploration as we had when we made artwork without knowing it would be part of our business and paying the bills. This past year we didn't really take time to experiment with new ideas or collaborate, which is necessary in order to keep yourself interested in your field. I stopped sketching as much in my free time, Topher wasn't taking his camera to as many events and hikes like he used to. We forgot that what we do isn’t just a business; it’s our passion and outlet first and our business second. We love our business, making clients happy and having great customer service, but we were unknowingly creating a business based on values we have no interest in…. money. That is why we have decided to do a little re-branding and re-investing in our business this year!
This realization of our recent lifestyle and mindset has come at a perfect time! 2017 will be full of experimenting, collaborating and letting go of the stressed business mindset we’ve been stuck in. We have some awesome new ideas for the blog as well as new series’ of works that we cannot wait to get started on! We will be taking a little less time doing local vending events and a little more time creating new work to show off!
One new thing we are doing is a Feature of the Month! Every month we will choose a new person or business to be featured in our newsletter, blog and social media sites that has inspired us and/or motivated us in a new way!
We are excited to announce that our very first feature for January 2017 is Illene Listrom, owner of Inlighten Designs! We met Illene in May of 2016, only a few months after starting our business. Since then she has shown us nothing but love, kindness and talent! We will be posting more about her along with a little interview here on our blog very soon, so be sure to check back later this week!
Be sure to like Inlighten Designs page on Facebook:
As always, thank you for reading! We can't wait to see what 2017 will bring!
Sara & Topher
We are a working artist couple based out of Austin, TX. This blog chronicles our life and artistic ventures, as we work to make the world and environment a little better every day.