Friday, September 18, 2009

Just Because

09.17.09 - Day 29: Paint it Forward

When I was little, I used to make my family little cards to tell them that I loved them ...just because. I remember one time when I took all of the pennies from my piggy bank and glued them to a sheet of paper in the shape of a heart to give to my sister, Rachelle, when she was sad about something.  Much to my dismay, half of it fell off before I could hand deliver it, but I still remember how tightly she hugged me because she could tell it was from my heart. I always had this thing with labeling my cards on the back, as if I was my own Hallmark brand or something.  I had forgotten about that until this past year when my Grandma Liz brought me an envelope full of cards I had left for them over the course of several years. When I "did the flip," it said  "From the Heart Cards" on the back in pencil.  I must have been 7 or 8 years old when I started doing I guess I really was destined to be a marketing person.

Over the years, I have made and exchanged several cards with family and friends, but I had forgotten how much I truly love the simplicity of drawing with a pen.  I've been making whimsical flowers, trees and creatures like these since I was a kid--whether I was drawing them, cutting them out of paper or even making them from a paper napkin at dinner [clearly, I have an attention disorder].  I'm not sure what my fascination with flowers has always been, but in part, I think it is the realization that it's virtually impossible to be sad when someone gives you flowers.  They're like an instant gratification button--poof, you're happy.

The story behind these two cards in particular stems [pun intended] from my frustration with standing in the store for 30 minutes, unable to find a card that says what, or looks the way I want it I made my own.

There are two people I'm sending these to: one is a dear friend that's been on my mind a lot lately, and the other I have yet to meet but has recently touched our family in a very special way.  That's all I'm really going to say about these.  I'm not sure they count as part of the PIF project, but it was something I'm glad I picked up again, for no real reason other than...just because.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 28

09.16.09 - Day 28: Paint it Forward

I realize that I'm two weeks behind in updating my last two projects but I will catch up this week/weekend... I promise.  There has been exciting news for my family, which has had me working away in my studio trying to get some PIF projects done before tomorrow.   But more to come on that later, including pictures and background stories...

As I've said many times before, my mom always used to tell me that true happiness comes from doing something for someone else & expecting nothing in return.  This notion is where Paint it Forward came from, after all.  For several years I have been looking for a way to give back to the community by putting my creativity to use in some artistic way.  I've been working on a secret project for a month or so and it is finally official.  I was asked to be an art instructor for an at-risk teenage boys group with the freedom to do whatever I want with the entire program.  Our sessions will only be an hour long (due to attention span), every other week, but I am really looking forward to spending time there.  To my fellow artistic friends who are in the immediate area, I may be calling on you to help me tag team a session or two so send me your info if you're interested.

I'm absolutely thrilled about this opportunity to do what I love and to Paint it Forward in a different way.  I stopped by last week to introduce myself to the boys and visit with them about what they want the program to be like.  I was excited about all of the things that interest them--from photography to painting, drawing, music and more.  It's amazing how truly innocent they are, how much they want to learn from what you have experienced in your life, and how much they just want to be with people.  A good Rotarian friend of mine often says something to the effect of, "Taking one hour out of your life each week to do some good isn't really as difficult as we make it."  And he's totally right.  Planning the lessons I want to introduce to the boys has made me happier than I can remember being in a really long time.  I guess it's that feeling of being in the service of your fellow beings.  The funny things is, they think they have so much to learn from me...but I know that in the end, I will be the one learning from them.

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