Hi everyone and welcome back to another week on the Chrissie Murphy Designs blog. Today is a big day for Chrissie Murphy Designs. Why you ask? Well, today Chrissie Murphy Designs turns 4!! Woohooooo!! To celebrate, I’m having a Big Birthday Giveaway!!
So…. today’s blog post is gonna be a bit warm, fuzzy and nostalgic as we have a look back over the last 4 years. And if you stick around to the end, you’ll hear about how you can enter my big birthday giveaway to win yourself a creative prize pack that includes your choice of any art print from my Etsy Shop, ChrissieMurphyArt. See? I told ya… this post is gonna have all the feels!
So you say you’re 4, but the blog’s only been around for a year!
Yep, you’re right. I started drawing in 2013, the “why?” is covered in my “All About Chrissie” page, so if you don’t know how I stumbled into drawing, you might want to have a read. Needless to say, in 2014, I decided my friends were getting sick of me clogging their newsfeeds with my drawings, so I decided to create Facebook and Instagram Accounts purely for my art. On 31 August 2014, ChrissieMurphyDesigns was born.
What was that first year like?
The first year was really loose, I know that’s a strange word to describe it, but that’s what it was. I didn’t have any sorts of plans about how and why I was creating, I just went with what my heart wanted. I cringe now when I look back on my older work, because artistically speaking it’s terrible, but today I’m going to share some of it. More than anything I hope you’re encouraged by it, because it witnesses to the results of practice, discipline and persistence.
In that first year I would do a lot of designs around song lyrics I loved. Here’s one from that first year and I’d like to make mention of something really important. At the time, I thought these drawings were good, I was proud of what I’d created, but let’s be real here, they weren’t!
Over time I came to recognise that…. as my taste refined. It speaks to that quote from Ira Glass that I shared earlier in the year. It’s my taste that kept me in the game. As my taste refined, my work began to disappoint me more and more. I could always envisage doing better, because I had been admiring better.
As I admired the work of other artists, the vision of bettering myself became stronger and clearer. I started to see how I could draw better and I started to understand artistic principles better. That vision is what drove me then and it continues to drive me today.
How did you spend those next few years?
In short, I became heavily involved in challenges and Facebook groups. Because I was zentangling, there were a multitude of different weekly challenges I could participate in. This was such a great thing to do as an artist, because it birthed a really good network of creative friends. So many of the artists I’ve interviewed for this blog were met through Facebook groups and through doing weekly challenges.
Here’s a few pics of some of my zentangle tiles from all those years ago. I created hundreds of them.
And then I started to get restless…
I created so many black and white zentangle tiles that I began to yearn for colour. I was craving it. I started to bring colour into my zentangling, first with Copics, then with Prismacolor, and I was enjoying things, but this nagging restlessness remained.
I know now that the restlessness comes when I’m feeling comfortable. I’ve learned that I don’t grow in comfort and because of that I become restless. I had been admiring great examples of lettering and calligraphy, particularly the illuminated letters in old manuscripts and bibles. I fell in love with the cursive handwriting of the 1800’s and package design of the early 1900’s.
The beauty of these old crafts intrigued me, and I wanted to learn more. I felt like I was being lured into a craft. I believed that this was a craft that the Lord ordained, His hand was all over illuminated lettering, also known as the “exalting of text” through illumination. The old bibles and manuscripts used gold leaf to illuminate and light up text, as the scribes and illuminators believed they were exalting the Word of God.
The beauty in these ancient art forms had a hold on me, and I commenced a 100 Day Lettering Project in 2016 to develop my skills. Because I had become such a firm believer in the fruit of practice, I decided a 100 day project is exactly what I needed to improve at lettering. It worked, but….
After a 100 days I was done….
When the project was over I did nothing for a while…. for a long while. It was a huge undertaking and creatively, it took a lot out of me. For about 6 months afterwards, I produced very little art. I did a few larger sized pieces and it was in this time I completed my King of Kings drawing.
I also did a piece for New Years as well. But that feeling was coming back… the feeling of restlessness.
Then the sidetracking happened.
In 2017, I allowed myself to be sidetracked. I didn’t realise it was happening until it did… all I knew was that I was restless and I needed to do something again! I became quite fascinated with paper craft, junk journaling and pen palling.
So I threw myself into it full on for a significant portion of 2017. I learned more new skills, but after another six months I started to feel something new and it wasn’t nice…. I was grieving the loss of drawing, and I saw how I had allowed myself to become sidetracked.
When I was paper crafting, I used a lot of stamps and inks to decorate my work. What I wasn’t doing was drawing and it was like the creative soul inside of me was grieving. The feeling became so strong, that I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I knew I had to finish penpalling so I could get back to drawing, and I had to sort out, once and for all, my purpose as an Artist.
But I had no clue, no idea and no plan, I just knew that I needed to draw
I ended 2017 with a lot of tears and prayerful soul-searching. This was such a hard time. I knew the Lord had given me a gift for drawing, but I was struggling to find His purpose for it. I was seeking him every day over His purpose, crying out to Him to help me find where He wanted me.
I didn’t want to keep feeling this restless feeling that had me flitting from one thing to another, I wanted to settle, and I wanted to honor God with the gifts he’d given me. In November I decided to start this blog, I blogged twice in the latter part of 2017, but even then I wasn’t fully committed. Having said that, I was starting to sense that this is where the Lord wanted me to be, but I still didn’t have a clear picture of how it would work.
And then, just like that, it started to come together
Toward the end of the year, I also purchased a workbook from Aileen Xu (Lavendaire) called the “Artist of Life Workbook“. It’s a workbook about goal setting. Aileen says that to set yourself up well for the year ahead, you review the year you’ve just finished.
I take my annual leave from work from Christmas Eve through till the start of February each year, and this time I decided to treat it like a sabbatical. I was seeking the Lord, and planning, seeking the Lord and planning, rinse and repeat. And then things just started to happen. The rest really is HIStory.
It all just came together and from 1 January 2018, I’ve blogged every week, releasing a post every Thursday until today! I feel fulfilled by what I’m doing and truly believe I have been put on earth to Connect Creative’s to the Creator through the Beauty of Art and Craft.
So that’s my story… but what about the Big Birthday Giveaway!
Yes! To my Big Birthday Giveaway. I love you guys so much, you inspire me to improve at everything I do and I really want to say thank you. So to celebrate Chrissie Murphy Designs turning 4, I have the following creative prize pack to give away to one lucky winner.
The Big Birthday Creative Prize Pack includes the following;
- 1 x A4 Lined Writing Pad
- 1 x A5 Reeves Water Colour Pad
- 1 x A5 Derwent Academy Visual Art Diary
- 1 x A6 Lined Writing Pad
- 1 x 10pk Staedtler Triplus FineLiners
- 1 x Tin of 6 Derwent Academy Sketching Pencils
- 1 x Little Book of Sticky Notes
- 1 x 3 pack Blending Stumps
- 1 x 0.1 Unipin Fineliner (my favourite pens for drawing)
- 1 x 0.8 Unipin Fineliner
- 1 x Biro
- 1 x Pilot Retractable Ball Point Pen in Black
- 1 x Uniball Signo White Gel Pen (the best white pen in the world!)
- 1 x Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen
- 1 x Staedler Kneadable Eraser
- Plus your choice of one Giclee Art Print from my Etsy Shop, ChrissieMurphyArt
So, the big question… how do you enter? All you need to do is follow the big bold link below to the Chrissie Murphy Designs Big Birthday Giveaway and follow the prompts. Make sure you read the terms and conditions, and I wish you the best of luck! I will announce the winner next week in my usual Thursday night blog post.
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Until next time, listen to your heart and sharpen your coloured pencils. A masterpiece awaits!
Bless you my friend