CONQUER YOUR OWN STYLE.
ART? If you would have told me as a kid that I would grow up to be an artist of any kind, I would have thought you were nuts! My dream to become an attorney, and then thought I would go into Financial Management at Clemson, changed to Secondary Education - Mathematics. Getting married and having kids by 20, veered my path into a completely different direction.
My artistic journey began way back almost 30 years ago when I was introduced to rubber stamping when someone demonstrated heat embossing. I was like, 'WHAT IS THIS SORCERY!??' But that was all it took to realize I was hooked! It ultimately became my creative outlet from being a stay-home-mom of 4 children. Shortly after came scrapbooks, paper crafts, polymer clay, watercoloring, and so on and so on. My artwork was published in several books, magazines, and catalogs. I started teaching in stores in the upstate of South Carolina and in the mountains of North Carolina. I had a passion for all things art but mostly for wanting to share what I have learned.
I eventually went back to college at age 36 to obtain not one but TWO visual art and design degrees and graduated 9 days before my 40th birthday. Soon thereafter I became a Portrait Studio Manager for several years before that company suddenly shut its' doors without warning. A few months later, my life veered off in an entirely different direction when I lost my oldest son, Logan, in a tragic accident that changed my life forever. I shared that story on my YouTube channel as a PSA video in the hopes that I can prevent others from suffering the same fate. Along with that loss came Acute PTSD that I still suffer with to this day. From that point on, I used what I call "zen therapy" to relieve stress, anxiety and cope with daily aggravations that would normally have not caused me any level of frustration before that event. I learned an art form called "Zentangles" to take my mind off the constant visions, flashbacks and reminders of my pain and grief. It didn't not remove the loss, but it helped me find a sense of tranquility and a state of "zen".
Since the time of Logan's death, I have worked in jobs that I have loved, and that is what led me to my job at Michael's Arts & Craft in the Custom Framing Department as the Manager and Personal Designer. That job lasted almost two years until fate intervened in the worst possible way. My body started to shut down on me physically, and I was in constant pain! My hemiplegic migraines were a daily norm, which caused stroke symptoms...like vision loss, speech loss, partial paralysis, etc. Eventually, I had to make the decision to step down from the full-time management position and to a part-time framing position. It was then I started having a little time to rediscover hobbies I had put away for the past two years. I started recording videos with tips and techniques for those hobbies,, hoping one day I would have time to edit and share them on my old YouTube channel. Within six months, I was suffering from extreme pain in every joint throughout the entire right side of my body, and I had been diagnosed with psoriasis. I had developed an autoimmune disease from what seemed like "out-of-the-blue". I was no longer able to lift, stand, walk, bend, build frames, or perform the daily duties I had loved and looked so forward to only a short year before.
In February 2020, I ultimately had to make the decision to leave an amazing job that I loved. Two weeks later, we all learned about a devastating virus that was sweeping the world...COVID-19...a full-blown global pandemic. I was now stuck at home...literally. I could not leave...along with the rest of the world. I was confined to my house by law, but my body and mind didn't want to go anywhere regardless. I decided to start editing the videos I had recorded during my time as a part-timer at Michael's, thinking that maybe by sharing the information I had learned with others, I would feel a sense of purpose again. When I had the physical capability or the mental ability, I would record a video on a new painting or a new tool I had discovered. There were no demands on my time...no deadlines...no stress...no physical lifting...and no one to manage. Although I offer free content, so unfortunately there is no income either, I am able to rest often and do what my body allows me to do and give it what it needs when it needs it. That is the main priority. Most importantly I am able to give my mind the peace it needs when the depression might would have otherwise taken over.
My hobbies have evolved to include the recording of videos and sharing information I've learned on YouTube now. The pandemic forced all into our homes, and we all needed an outlet! Along came MELANIE B'S CREATIVE STUDIO...with paint-by-numbers, diamond paintings, stamped cross stitch, scratch art kits for adults, and more informative videos on hobbies and crafts being added all of the time.
The opportunity to be able to share my passion for all areas of arts and crafts again has me excited! I can't wait to meet you and hopefully begin a new creative and artistic journey for you. So, let's get started!