If you know me, then you know that I am the girl that flies by the seat of her pants through life. I am not afraid to look new challenges or opportunities in the eye….in fact, I welcome them. Some would call me a procrastinator, I like to call it, spontaneity! See, there is only so much you can really plan in life whether you like it or not.
Like photography for me, it wasn’t my plan. I lost my job, people liked random pictures I took, I enjoyed taking pictures, I started learning more and BAM before you know it I have a successful photography business. (I made it sound very easy but there was a lot of work that went into that BAM part) 7 years later my husband and I are still shooting away as the ultimate tag team, Smitten and Hooked. We shoot about 20 weddings a year and believe it or not, that is what we have slowed down to. Several years ago, we were booking anywhere between 30-35 weddings a year. I love so many aspects about our job. I mean, we are with people on the best day of their entire lives! We form a bond that is pretty unbreakable and we go to the best parties around! It’s stellar!
But there is a thing called “burn out.” And it isn’t like when you are in a car and you are pedal to the medal doing a 360 and you smell the rubber from your tires…but i guess you could use that metaphor. Shooting 30-35 weddings a year is mentally exhausting. I am sure every job can be mentally exhausting but for creatives, our brain is “on” and our personality and everything else has to be “on” during the wedding or the shoot. We are constantly thinking about not missing the important stuff, the perfect light, the time line, getting a better shot, etc. The list goes on.
Since moving, back in January, I was feeling a very heavy burn out. My mind was exhausted and I needed something else creative to fuel my fire. I wanted a hobby I could do that didn’t involve just exercising. I wanted something creative that I could do with my kids or when they were in bed asleep and it was just “my time.” That is when I started working on my hand lettering.
I have always been a doodler, I love to write. Have I always had the best at writing? Well, no, just ask my third grade teacher who had a special meeting with my parents to tell them how terrible my penmanship was 😂 but I enjoyed playing. So during our “off” season (January-March) as we were getting settled into our new home, I started practicing my hand lettering. Every day, I set time aside to just doodle, practice letters or do Instagram lettering challenges I found on different pages. I wanted some large canvases for my home so being the DIY’er that I am, I knew in order for them to look good, I better start practicing!
So, lets fast forward a bit. I started getting better at my hand lettering. People started asking me to letter things for them and that’s how it started. I started teaching hand lettering classes monthly at a local art studio (you might have seen that on the blog for registration). I mean this whole thing has been quite a whirlwind to say the least but a bigger blessing than I could ever tell you! I prayed and prayed for so long for God to show me something I could do on the side so I didn’t have to take as much of a workload with weddings and leave my kids every weekend. I wanted to do what God wanted me for me and I never ever thought it would be this. God opened up these doors and I have been blown away at how incredible this journey has been. I think this is pure proof of what it means to “let go and LET GOD.” I have been painting canvases for peoples homes, Bibles for peoples walk with God, place cards and signs for weddings, invitations for special events, custom art work for NASCAR corporate, submitted work for a book publisher in London, tshirt designs for Lululemon, and so on….
Am I having the time of my life with this creative venture? Absolutely! Do I plan on leaving photography anytime soon? Absolutely NOT ;). Do I plan on not booking 30 weddings a year, you betcha!
I have sold so many of my hand painted Bibles and paintings just through social media that I was hesitant to do anything else with it but I can’t stop there. I feel like God has big plans for my life and when He says jump, I say HOW HIGH? So, I started an etsy page with my art. You will find a lot of fun stuff! My hand painted Bibles, custom art prints, canvases, etc. If you are wanting a custom piece you can always request that on there as well!
I will be showing more and more of my art on the blog, in fact, I will be blogging again. Remember that whole burn out thing….yea…well I am back now and I have so much to share and so much on my heart. I have missed you friends.
If you want a quick way to get to the etsy page from now on, you can find a link at the top of my blog that says art…
Thank ya’ll so much for the love and support you have shown already, I couldn’t be more thankful for the encouragement! I would love for you to check it out, decorate your homes with it and spread the word 😉
Click on the picture below to take you right to my etsy Homefront.