I feel giggly with delight introducing Michelle Joy Hampton of "Joyful Art Expressions". Michelle creates hand painted quote art both on canvas and on colorful agate slices. Her talent for lettering is quite stunning. Why not have her create a custom order for you, or a friend? Either way you must check out all of Michelle's stunning and colorful creations, and you can do so by clicking here.
1.) Tell us how Joyful Art Expressions became a reality for you?
Complete honesty here. I closed 3 stores in a row that I worked at as a retail salesperson. Borders, Blockbuster & a small store called Learning Palace. While it broke my heart it also frustrated me that I had no control over any of it. So I decided I wanted control. I started small just painting things at home with leftover materials from art classes at college. My first quote painting was Halloween themed and I absolutely loved making it. And so did my Facebook friends and family! I just decided to run with it and see what I could make happen. Could I be my own boss and have control? After Halloween came Christmas and gift ideas and it just grew and grew from there.
2.) What inspires you to come up with your quotes?
A lot of the time it's my fellow Handmade entrepreneurs! Their passion and hard work, as well as their struggles. I struggle myself of course and found that working with motivational and inspirational quotes to help others also helped me remember that I am not alone. That there is a huge group of us out there and we are all fighting and helping each other grow.
3.) What actions do you take when you have a creative rut?
I step back. I relax. I start (and usually finish) a book or two and re-watch favorite TV shows. Why do these help me get out of a creative rut? Inspiration is everywhere! And a lot of my favorite books and shows have kick-ass characters who are inspiring. World building that paints a picture in my mind and gives me ideas for themes and colors. Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is constantly in my re-watching rotation because those characters are just so dynamic and strong. Fighting for what they believe in and never giving up. (Plus, Buffy can kick ass while wearing heels. Girl power y'all!)
4.) How has Flourish helped or inspired you?
As I have said in a previous question; fellow handmade entrepreneurs inspire a lot of my work and Flourish is overflowing with amazing sellers! I also am always amazed at how helpful everyone is. One of the agate slices I recently lettered featured the quote "We rise by lifting others", and I think that Flourish embodies that to a "T". I also would not have started working on agate slices were it not for a fellow flourish member Jacqueline McLaughlin of "Blue Lotus Designs". She encouraged me so much and has continued to offer help and support that before Flourish I never would have expected from a fellow seller. As a complete throw-back to the start of Flourish. Sarah Sewell insisted I join the group after I went through a minor foot surgery (brought on by simply being a clumsy artist), and was feeling like I would never get my shop back up and running and felt so discouraged and going nowhere. Had she not stepped in and pushed me to join and helped me get going again, Joyful Art Expressions may never have moved forward.
*Want to learn MORE about Flourish? Click here*
5.) What does the future look like for Joyful Art Expressions?
I hope and believe that Joyful Art Expressions will continue to grow. I have already grown in leaps and bounds in just a few months after starting my new venture with agate slices, and I am so excited every day to work on more. While some of my older products may eventually leave the shop, it will always be filled with joy, motivation, inspiration and lots and lots of color.
*Michelle is hard at work, hand lettering her agate slices*