Mom was an artist and at some point in her life, she simply stopped painting. Whether it was a lack of interest, time constraints created by six kids, or that tiny, incessant voice in the back of your head telling you that you aren't any good, she stopped painting. As a young man, it infuriated me, because I knew she was talented and that she could touch someone with her art.
Flash forward about thirty years. I'd just been laid off. Monique, my incredilble life companion (wife doesn't do her justice), pushed and challenged me to do something with my art skills. It was then that I realized I was repeating my mom's pattern. Other than a random sketch, I hadn't really done any artwork in the last thirty years.
So we thought about what we wanted to do. We didn't want to phone it in with simple vector art that was ubiquitous and frequently didn't have a serious message. We wanted to be different but really put out a positive message, put a smile on peoples faces, and get them to stop and think. In short, we wanted to touch a few lives if we could.
My artwork is complicated and messy, just like life. What we try to stress with our images and messages is that all of us, are all the same. We're after the same things in life -- love, happiness, security, family. It is no coincidence that our original Family design remains our best selling one. It resonates because people recognize, and verbalize to us, that it reminds them of their own family. A bunch of ragged looking, not perfect creatures that are bonded and love each other, in spite of their differences.
Our messaging also touches upon how brief our lives are and to make the most of it. Whether by taking the time to enjoy your family, surroundings, nature, if only for a brief moment each day, or simply the practice of being kind, you can incrementally add to the positive side of the equation. We can all, in some small way, change the world in a small way. Yeah, I know how that sounds, but we believe it.
So, thank you Mom for the life lesson and keep creating, wherever you may be.