I opened an Etsy shop eight years ago in May of 2009 as a hobby and creative outlet. I left the workplace to stay at home with my first child. I loved to create, and I started painting for friends and family. After two years of painting custom canvases and nursery art I chose to step back. I then had two small children and was no longer feasible to produce hand-painted originals. Then one day in and in 2012 I found a sketch pad and a set of drawing pens in a closet. To my surprise they worked, and I decided to draw something.
The first sketch I drew was “Encourage each other daily while it is still today”. It was a verse we had on our fridge. From that point I knew I wanted to create art with words to encourage others. Each day I would draw new things and share them on Instagram with my friends. It was clear the words combined with artwork resonated with others, and I wanted to do something with my work.
I reopened my Etsy shop and Pen & Paint was born. I had no idea what I was doing. I simply knew I wanted to make art and share my it with others, and drawing gave me this chance. Thankfully I had wonderful friends to help me along the way, a supportive family, and a fire to learn and create as much as possible. As the shop grew, my husband and I realized in 2014 it was time to take Pen & Paint full time. This meant my shop would become our main source of income, and my husband resigned from teaching to help take care of our children and assist with the business. This was the biggest, scariest thing we’ve ever done. What if the shop didn’t bring in enough income? What if I failed? I had dreams and plans, but the fear of the unknown was really hard for me. I had to constantly remind myself giving up wasn’t an option.
One of my goals in taking Pen & Paint full time was to begin licensing my work. I had so many ideas and things I wanted to do with my artwork, but I was limited because I could not produce them on my own. I wanted the chance to create artwork for home décor, textiles, and so much more. I spent several months looking for an art agent to represent Pen & Paint. I knew I needed someone to handle the business side of licensing so I could focus on what I love – creating. I found Jewel Branding and knew it was the right fit. I was thrilled when they accepted me as one of their designers. Since 2015 I have been working to create patterns, greeting cards, wall art and other designs. These designs and pieces of artwork can now be licensed with companies for products (meaning can find Pen & Paint on a variety of items sold in stores)! I still love running my Etsy shop and the opportunity to share my artwork on a handmade and personal level with my customers. These past five years have been filled with amazing opportunities and some very big growing pains. I truly cannot believe I have the chance to create artwork and share it with the world. Thank you for your support in this journey. I’m still dreaming big. The best is yet to come!
Today through 5/25 you can save 25% off your Pen & Paint order with the code YAY25.