When I got the phone call to do this project with LUNA and Unique Markets, I thought for sure they had the wrong person. They were looking for an entrepreneur to profile, an artist to collaborate with. I felt like neither of those things, but instead, an imposter.
I'm just a girl who doodles. On the wall as a kid, didn’t care that I’d get in trouble. Tracing Sailor Moon. Drawing little cartoons in class, even had a stint (of one issue) as a cartoonist at my college paper. My claim to fame is that my high school still uses my doodle for their annual quiz bowl competition tee-shirt. But in the end, I was just a girl who was turning 30 and maybe had a bit of a crisis about it and decided to pay money to get her doodles printed onto paper in hopes of selling it to other people.
I didn’t study art, I don’t have a BFA, I took one watercolor class and a few calligraphy classes. I had always loved art and design, it had always made me happy, and of course I’ve dreamed about making a career out of it. But I never thought I was any good—no matter how many times my friends and family told me with every party decoration I’d help with or wedding invitation I’d make or a logo I’d design, and even during my time as a graphic designer. To me, I was just oh-kay. Dime-a-dozen. I just loved the shit out of art, but I thought it didn’t necessarily love me back.
I'm just a doodler. Just a girl who was kind of good at drawing, and wanted to do it a bit more as a way to balance myself from a demanding career. So I really had to hold myself back from crying out "I'm so sorry I totally lied, you're looking for someone else, you've made a mistake!" and "Ohmigod this is so amazing, I need to just keep tricking them into thinking I'm the real deal!" all at the same time during this whole process. It was like a dream I didn’t want to wake from.
They wanted to see a studio space, but I paint on my dining table, usually in my PJs with my hair in a gross bun, sometimes in the dark because it's so late after I get home from work.
They wanted to talk about my process, but I just write notes everywhere, in my phone/planner/random scrap papers, until I could carve out enough time to crank out paintings and calligraphy then scan them like a madwoman in one sitting.
See, a hot mess, right? Not very glamourous.
But the thing is, that's the truth. And this is true too.
I started Fiber & Dye because I wanted to make honest cards. Cards that felt like you could hear it out loud in someone's voice. You could see yourself and your loved ones in. And in rejecting my own story or trying to embellish it, I would essentially be turning my back on anyone out there that's hearing that same insecure voice, saying that they're not good enough, not this or that enough, just...not enough.
So I knew that I had to be honest about myself too, if I wanted to keep doing honest work, as an artist (AH!) for my company (AHH!)—and it was the best decision of my life. I am so proud of my story, for being honest with it, and I hope that a little bit of it resonates with some one out there.
I can't thank LUNA and Unique Markets enough for allowing me to tell my story honestly, for laughing at my cards (nothing beats that, really), and for finding the entrepreneur and artist in me (AHHHHH!). Okay, it still tickles to say it. But it feels good.