Right around this time of year, I get one part sentimental, and another part thoughtful. 6 years ago next month, I launched my little ETSY shop in hopes of “finding” my career in design. It’s a journey I talk about here. Like in this post, this post or this post. But before you go post surfing (sounds like a sport?) stick with me. I am often asked in interviews about what led to what, and how I began designing fabric, or how I broke into book illustration without an agent, etc. etc. etc. And there is, yes, a journey.
But I saw this quote yesterday on the www and it sums up pretty much what I believe in in terms of going where you need to go, and landing what it is you are meant to land. I really can’t say it any better, unless God and divinity was mentioned somewhere in there.
I look back to the timid, shy but naively excited Sarah Jane 6 years ago, who needed to find a way to pay the bills, and I look today at her and see that she still sometimes wonders how it’s all going to work out. With 4 kids now, and with even more of a desire to keep the train going, I often sit there and think “Should I be working harder in this area? Or this area?” or thoughts like “Maybe I should be trying harder to reach out to this contact person, or that contact person.” And often, like anyone who runs a business, it can be at the expense of just making beautiful art!
But I am reminded, like I was at the very beginning, that when you have a calling to make beautiful things, keep making them. Don’t stop so that you can chase up the wrong ladder. Instead, build the ladder, and those opportunities will climb up to you.
Doors will open naturally when you are truly doing your thing.
And that’s what’s happened to me. I’ve had my fair share of blood sweat and tears (literally) and I truly believe that when you keep moving in the direction that you were born to move in, those things in your life that you need to support you, will come.
Have you experienced that?
It’s pretty awesome.
And right now in my life, with that sweet baby taking up most of everything I’ve got, I sometimes feel like time is standing still….or rushing past me fast…I can’t tell. I’ve said no to opportunities that have come that just didn’t work out because I wasn’t ready, and I’ve felt ready for opportunities that just don’t seem to be coming. The answer really lies in naming your priorities and staying true to them. And the right things just work out.
It’s all rather wonderful. Everyone has their own unique story of becoming. I’m glad I get to share mine with you in a little small way.
I’ll be sharing more posts about my journey, and my business this week and next, as I enter into 6 years of being Sarah Jane Studios! Wow. What a trip.
If you have any questions, or topics you’ve always wanted to talk about or find out, comment below and I’ll do my best to integrate it into the conversation. With so many people, especially women, crafting out a career from their art and their motherhood, it’s such an important conversation to be a part of.
Today is the final day of giveaways!
Thanks for your support of my sponsors here. It really is a great community to be a part of …. this creative neighborhood of sorts. I love it. All of us here who just love making and creating. Sometimes I just feel so blessed to surrounded by so many beautiful people, and the things they create.
So, for today’s giveaway, I’m offering a grand prize!
In exchange for your comments below, I’m going to be giving away 4 yards of fabric, in 1/4 to 1/2 cut pieces from my OUT TO SEA and LET’S PRETEND line. I’m also going to be adding to that a $50 gift card to the shop!
And as an added bonus, you can get 15% OFF ON ANYTHING THIN IN THE SHOP through the weekend for a mini-pop-up-sale. Enter the code SEPTEMBER15 at the time of your purchase to get the discount
HOW TO ENTER:
1) Leave a comment below, with a suggestion of what you’d like to see here at SARAH JANE this next year. What would you like to see more of? Less of? Do you have any suggestions you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your responses!
1) Follow my Facebook page, and leave a comment below that you did
2) Follow my Instagram page, and leave a comment below that you did
3) Subscribe for my newsletter and leave a comment below that you did.
And remember, so go and look back at this weeks’ giveaways! You can enter by Sunday September 15th 2013. All winners will be announced Monday!
The lucky winner is FERN N #213
Today’s giveaway is an exciting announcement.
The Girl who wouldn’t brush her hair is seriously a charmer. A must have if you have any girls in the house.
Besides the fact that the illustrations are amazing, and the story is so darling, this book will make a hair brusher out of anyone.
Take Ella. My 4 year old has the longest, most gorgeous hair, but she has refused to let me brush is for seriously the past year. It’s no joke a project to get her to sit still every night and comb through it, which always resulted in the rats-nest-super-tangled-BUN-hair-do.
You know what I mean?
Enter Jake’s book.
The story is about a girl who refuses to brush her hair, and mice start to make a home in her locks (rats nests), which at first is rather entertaining, but by the end she isn’t a big fan, resulting in The Girl being a devout hair brusher. It’s hilarious.
And works like a charm:)
Ella has brushed her hair every day for 2 weeks now after getting the book, and wears her hair in braids every night. No joke. She’s a new woman, and I have this book to thank for it!
For today’s giveaway, Jake is giving away 1 signed copy of the book!
HOW TO ENTER:
1) Leave a comment below. Maybe a funny brushing hair story? I’m sure you’ve got one.
2) Entries open until Sunday September 15th, 2013
3) One winner will be chosen and announced September 16th
And be sure to spread the word….good books deserve a proper shout out!
Make sure to check out the other giveaways going on right now, with one last final one coming tomorrow!
Enjoy!! I can’t wait to hear how you like the book!
Today I bring you a rainbow of color…all for you!
I love Felt on the Fly! 100% Merino wool felt in over 100 colors to choose from. Mouth watering eye candy for sure. Yum!
Felt on the Fly is going to be giving away a $50 gift card towards any of their felt sheet color stories! And for all of you, you can get 10% off your order from now until Sept. 18th with the code: SARAHJANE
HOW TO ENTER:
1) Visit Felt on the Fly and leave a comment below
2)Entries open until SUNDAY SEPT 15th
3) One Winner will be announced Sept 16th
And don’t forget about the discount! Happy Felt Making!
PS: Don’t forget about the other giveaways open all week! More still to come!!
congrats to Tammy #153
Isn’t this fun? I love giveaways!
They are going to be giving away two bundles of my LET’s PRETEND fabric!
And the best part? TWO winners!
HOW TO ENTER:
2)Entries open until SUNDAY SEPT 15th
3) TWO Winner will be announced Sept 16th
Have fun!! Remember, entries are open all week! Come tomorrow for yet another. xoxo
congrats to Lacey winner #210
Hey, Hey, Hey!
This week I’m hosting some amazing giveaways from some of my amazing sponsors. I’m so excited to share them with you!
Each day this week, you will have the chance to enter a new giveaway! So come back every day for a new gift! Details are at the end of this post.
Today’s giveaway is also a big shout out for a new sewing book!
Do you know Kerry at Kidgiddy? She is a super star crafter, and has JUST come out with a sewing book you are going to love. With a forward by Heather Bailey, this book is full of adorable creative soft toys and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
The book releases October 18th, and so this is an early, signed by the author early copy! You can also pre-order the book here.
I am always on the look out for new soft toy and doll patterns. This is sure to hit the spot!
So fun, right?
KID GIDDY is giving away one copy of the book, and entries will be from the comments below.
1) Leave a comment below
OPTIONAL EXTRA ENTRIES:
2) Like KIDGIDDY’s Facebook page and leave a comment below telling us that you did
3) Follow KIDGIDDY on Instagram with a comment below that you did
4) Entries close Sunday Sept. 15th
5) USA and International entries accepted
Launching a new book is such a big deal. It’s a labor of love, and I’m so thrilled that I can be part of getting the word out. Kerry is such a talented crafter. I’m so excited to get my hands on these patterns!
And remember to come back daily for a new deal! I’ll go through all the giveaways at the end of the week, and announce the winners Monday Sept. 16th.
Remember the Printable Lunch notes from last year? My kids loved them, and I’m finally making more!
I’m a diligent lunch note maker. Are you? I grew up with my mom always sneaking in little reminders, happy quotes, funny one-liners and just plain “I love you’s.”
It always set my day right.
And now with my own kids, I’m always drawing on my kids napkins, making sweet little hello’s, and I thought I’d make them available to you too!
This is a FREE download. I’ve included the printable from last year as well in case ya missed it.
Happy Lunch making!
When I knew I was going to be an artist, around age 6-7, I wasn’t on a quest to find my STYLE. It sounds silly. What child it on a quest to find their style? They are just interested in finding anything.
To an extent.
From an early age, I knew that if I wanted to learn how to draw a tree, first I had to sit and look at a tree. And draw it while I was looking at it.
But then I realized, that there were many ways to draw that same tree. With a painbrush. With a pen.
With short stubby lines. With long fluid ones.
Each attempt made me feel something different about that tree.
Being exposed to a lot of art as a child, I soon realized that every artist had his own voice, and I became thrilled with so many forms of art.
I get asked a lot how I found my STYLE, and while I won’t mention it all here (way too long!) I will say that I did have a very strong sense of what I liked in art and why.
I started out painting because that’s the education I had at a young age.
The above painting is a painting I did when I was 15, and I spent the summer copying lots of different artists. This is a painting of a painting, and in my early years, that’s how I taught myself.
Here’s a portrait I did of my husband when we were early married. But I realized pretty fast that I didn’t want to go into painting because it was just too time consuming and frankly, wasn’t what I wanted to SAY to the world. But because I had dabbled in lots of areas, I knew that about myself.
But while I had a traditional education in highschool, I knew that wasn’t my style. I liked it, but it wasn’t my voice. And with the hours and hours I’d spent pouring over picture book illustration, and drawing with line and wash, I really found myself drawn to a more simplistic illustration style. I marveled at how much feeling could be felt in just a few lines and a bit of color. While an oil painting could say so much, I wanted to say just as much if not more, with as little as possible. Which is so challenging. But that’s what excited me!
When I started to build my artwork professionally, I spent a lot of time surrounded by my favorite illustrators. I discovered what I loved about their work, and what I had to add to that style.
One hero of mine, Marc Simont, just died last month at the age of 97. Did you hear about that?
He taught me that so much information could be said by just ONE line. Less is more. His artwork challenged me to really be deliberate about my line work and how much art I put on a page. I adore his work!
I have so many hero’s, and I might take some time later on to go through more. And identifying the pieces that have made your voice what it is, is really lovely to identify and see. Like pieces of a puzzle. Because often, you don’t know what’s influenced your style until after the fact.
Finding your own personal style, in what ever it is you do, is a multi-layered journey. And I believe it should always be stretching and reaching for new places. My own style has changed over the years, and I love discovering where it’s leading me.
And as a side note, my friend Monica Lee, who has the super awesome site called SMART CREATIVE WOMEN with a site full of interviews from the design world’s super creative people, has just launched an online class called SMART CREATIVE STYLE. It’s an interactive online course all on developing your own personal style. I have a video interview up on her site today talking about creative process and style! The course includes my input and is full of amazing council from some real style pro’s. See her page here!
I’d love to know your thoughts on style, and what you’ve learned in your own journey. In this day and age when SO many voices are heard and seen online, knowing your own individuality is so important.