Funny thing, I'm always so proud to say I had a successful fifteen year career in advertising—building brands, developing ad campaigns, traveling abroad and wooing clients. But when people ask me what I'm doing now, I have a really hard time saying, "I'm an artist". I feel like people don't take me seriously, like art is my play time while my kids are at school—not "a real job". I feel like the precious little time I have to create, and the creations themselves are undervalued. Is it just me, or are artists as a whole undervalued?
The good news is that after all these years I've come full circle and I finally have the courage to dive in and do what I love. Well, that and a husband who is incredibly supportive of everything I do and want to be. I can get lost in my own creative world. It makes my heart sing. And I'm committed to becoming a thriving artist. And what I'm realizing is that my commitment to thrive is no less important than other people and their passions. We can no longer separate one career from another. As long as we have passion, the right attitude and a complete dedication and commitment to our work we can thrive at what we do.
My name is Melanie Crownover and I'm an artist. There! I said it!
Tuesday— Back from a fun weekend in Asheville with my running girls! I recommend the Asheville Half to anyone thinking about running a full marathon, but doesn't have the time (or inclination) to train for one. The route was hilly, but beautiful and we were so surprised to see all the people who came out of their homes to cheer us on. The weather was perfect, 60º and sunny.
I love Asheville! It's full of inspiration at every turn. Here are some highlights from our trip.
From the top left: a view looking up the four story, winding staircase at the Bilmore; Flowering Maple in the Biltmore gardens; pottery I love; the Balsam Mountain Inn; and a scarecrow on the farm at the Biltmore.
Thought I'd give "ewe" a peek into where I spend most of my time when my kids are either at school or sleeping. Wanted to do this while the room is actually straightened up because it's a lot like my kitchen— it's only clean until the next meal, or in this case, my next project. I need to give a special shout out to my parents, Chandler and Jessica for finally hanging my cork board that was propped up on crates for months and also the picture shelves that were a garage sale find from my own Mother's garage! Priceless.
A couple of years ago, I decided it would be best to move my make-shift art studio (that some might refer to as a cluttered mess) from the dining room table to our detached garage out back. Once a dilapidated storage room, this previously unused space is now my studio/laundry room. You'll notice the windows on the left give me a bird's-eye view of our tiny backyard and the ever-popular trampoline. This afternoon while I was taking these pictures, Jackson (my 5 year old) was jumping on the trampoline while constantly talking to me on our walkie-talkies. It's amazing that I got any pictures taken between transmissions of, "What are you doing Mommy?, "Come jump with me Mommy!" and "Mommy watch this!".
About the laundry thing, I like having clean clothes, but I can't stand doing laundry. So I figured if we put the washer and dryer in the same room where I create, it might be less painful for me to do the dreaded laundry. Conclusion? Still a painstaking task.
What's with all the corks? Well, I didn't drink all that wine, just some of it. The rest of the corks were given to me by friends and family. I was collecting them pretty heavily for years with the anticipation of making a huge cork board, but I got bored with that idea. I'll find something to do with them one of these days. Same goes for my button collection... and my bucket of sticks. Don't ask.
I've been reading the book, "Drawing Lab" by Carla Sonheim. The first assignment was to draw cats. Well, I hate cats (sorry all you cat lovers out there) so I decided to draw my little buddies instead.
The directions were to curl up in bed with a piece of paper and a pencil and spend ten minutes drawing as many cats as possible with the paper resting on a pillow. Ok, so I wasn't in bed when I did this assignment, I was at Wesley's football practice. I have to say, I've got quite the set up on the sidelines. I bring a camp chair for myself and sometimes a kid-size one for Jackson. I roll out a cooler complete with fruit, ice water an other yummy snacks and I always carry my bag of art books and magazines to peruse. Sometimes I even bring Max and Birdie to practice too!
I quickly sketched a bunch of Birdies (she's the one on the right). She was pretty easy and fun to draw. She's so teeny-tiny compared to big ole Max. Max, on the other hand, was a little more difficult to capture. His look evolved quite a bit as I drew him over and over.
I've always wanted to write and illustrate a children's story about my dogs. "The Adventures of Max and Birdie." Maybe one day!