Happy 2017 everyone! This year is really BIG for me...in mid September of last year, among a lot of change in my personal life, I realized something - that I wanted to take the plunge and move to working full-time for myself. I had no real plan (I'd figure that out), but what I did have was an overwhelming amount of encouragement from my fellow artists and a support system in my family ('framily', I'm looking at you too - you know friends who are family :) ) that never wavered. My logical brain was giving me reasons why I might fail, but my heart was screaming that NOW was the time.
After several months of planning, to-do list and after to-do list, an unbelievable number of emails, countless hours of research, constant number crunching, and daily emotional roller coasters - here I am, SO EXCITED to share my vision of this crazy business with you all. Some of it will sound very familiar if you've been following my work for a while, but I'm taking this time to explain why I do what I do and to reintroduce myself to YOU! I couldn't be here without loyal supporters like you.
This is Who I Am
I am Melissa - an adventurer, artist, daughter, sister, auntie, and lover of God.
I love food, especially ice cream, chocolate, and cheese burgers. My biggest obsession is with Harry Potter and I'm not ashamed. I'm a certified weirdo willing to try anything once and won't turn down an opportunity to go on an adventure. I'm an athlete, volleyball and softball player, but I run into a lot of things (doors, walls, corners, tables, stationary furniture, you name it). I project human emotion on animals and that's one thing that keeps me from getting a dog of my own. I love my adorable nephews with everything I have and believe love is what makes you family.
This is What I Do
I will be focusing the majority of my time moving forward on my Fine Art Scratchboard Wildlife work, attending more art festivals and fairs than ever before across the Midwest. This work is where my soul soars!! I will continue to feature endangered species because education is so important in raising awareness and saving these beautiful creatures. (More on the third pillar of my business - Conservation Initiatives - later this month)
New in 2017, I will be offering reproduction prints of some of my larger pieces. For the time being, the prints will be sold at the festivals.
Commission Requests - there are so many reasons why I LOVE pet portrait commissions. These pieces are uniquely special because of the love people have for their animals. Custom pet portraits make very personal gifts, they celebrate the life of a dear friends who passed, and honor the friendship of deeply loyal creatures.
I will, of course, continue to offer custom scratchboard work for new and current clients. More information about commissioning artwork can be found here.
Portrait photography will always have a special place in my heart! In 2017, I will continue to work with new couples for engagement and wedding photography, as well as family + child sessions.
My biggest photography GOAL in 2017 is to work with even more high school students for their senior portraits. I LOVE these sessions and feel I do some of my best work in these one-on-one settings.
I would love your help making those connections - if you or someone you know is looking to have senior portraits done, please send them my way. I would love to share what I have to offer!
YOU are Who I Serve
YOU are the reason that I am here. My passions have driven my dedication to this crazy business, but it is YOU who makes it possible for me to continue to do what I love every day. It is my job to speak to you with my art, to make my conservation initiatives relevant to your life, and to capture the happiest and most important days of YOUR life. My goal is to bring light and beauty into your life. I hope I've done that so far and would love to hear even more about how I can SERVE YOU in 2017.
I am so excited to invite you to join my monthly newsletter (brand new this year) and share with me what you would like to see. The artwork and photo sessions will continue to make their appearances, as well as announcements about shows and special offers, but what information are you interested in? What inspires you? What intrigues you? What do you want to know more about? (Examples: links to free online workshops, insight into scratchboard, offering of scratchboard tutorials, photography technique information, opportunities to help support wildlife and wild places, etc)
This is a rewarding and challenging journey...I am so glad you are here with me!