This past year has involved a whole lot of reflecting. Reflecting on what it means to be a work-from-home-mom. Reflecting on how I can best take care of my children and my business simultaneously (I think I’ll forever be working on this one). Reflecting on my voice as an artist as I’ve slowly but surely transitioned from being mostly a watercolorist to mostly a printmaker. And reflecting on why we’re here and what the point of all of this is.
I love making art. I shared with someone recently that I feel extremely confident that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and they commented on how big of a deal that is. I guess it is! There are plenty of hard days. Days where I question if doing something else would be easier or more consistent financially. Days where I am ever so aware of how exposed I am when I put my art out there for the world to see. And even on those hard days, I always come back to that feeling of confidence. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is where I’m supposed to be.
So Luis and I were talking about all of this over the Summer, but in the discussion, we still kept coming back to why. Why am I doing this? I don’t want it to be just because it feels right. I don’t want it to be all about me. I want to take that sense of assuredness and do something with it. Do good. Do good for others.
We ended up coming up with a list of core values that helps to motivate us and to keep us in check when life starts to overwhelm:
We value finding joy in our work and in providing joy to others.
We value handmade items and original art making with an emphasis on being high quality and well designed. We also value offering all of these things at an attainable price.
We value working hard to stay true to our voice and aesthetic.
We value supporting small businesses and humans that are working hard to serve others.
We value being generous and doing justice for those less fortunate than ourselves.
Honestly, the first four come naturally. They don’t take much effort at all. Those values have been engrained in me from the beginning even if I didn’t have words for them at the time. But the last one… that takes work. That takes planning and effort outside of simply making art. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that it isn’t uncommon for me to do a fundraiser when natural disasters occur or when social injustices take place. Those are things that we have felt grateful to be able to help with, even if it’s only in a small way. But I am hoping to also develop an ongoing voice of generosity. One that is taking place every single day and not just for big events. As we work through (and fumble through) what it looks like for us to be generous and do justice in our daily lives, our prayer is that we would be regularly and consistently looking outside of ourselves for inspiration, guidance, and motivation.
As we continued to pray and reflect on what this ongoing generosity would look like, we felt that a good place to start would be donating a portion of all of our retail sales to a specific person or charity. At first I thought that it may switch quarterly, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt like it would be good to allow the timeline to be fluid. I especially like the idea of this because it means that with every purchase, you are being generous. You are helping and loving on someone who is in great need, and that’s a very cool thing.
So who/what is up first?
We are so happy to formally let you know that for the foreseeable future, we will supporting our friends, The Fergusons, as they walk through the long and difficult process of adopting their son from Ghana. They have been in a season of waiting for a long, long time. They have come across countless obstacles and faced many trials in their efforts to bring home Emmanuel, but they have stayed true to their belief that he is theirs and they are his. The timing isn’t in our hands, and most of the obstacles are out of our control, but we can certainly help to keep money from being one of those obstacles. If you’d like, you can donate directly to their adoption fund, or you can simply rest assured that a portion of your purchase will go to helping them bring Emmanuel home.