These past few weeks have been a busy, yet fun, whirlwind for me. I have travelled to Italy and Nashville, and came home to prep all of the products for my Simply Jessica Marie Etsy shop photo shoot yesterday with Sara Logan Photography. Amidst all of the apartment hunting, new furniture decision making, hours of painting, and feeling worried that I have not posted on my blog enough recently, I have to admit that I got a bit burnt out. Mostly when it came time to prep for my shop photo shoot. I had originally decided that I was going to sell a few variations of two products in my Etsy shop: my leterpress prints and monogrammed canvases. However, while I was having a conversation with my mom on a train ride in Italy, I decided that I wanted to include two more types of products: three color variations of canvas paintings with hand lettering, one that says the best things in life aren't things and another that says home is where you are. I have had paintings of these sayings in my apartment for the past two years, and have always been inspired by the meaning behind their words. To focus on the people in your life, not the things. I wanted to create these canvases to spread this message to others, so they can look at the words every day and be called back to what is important in life.
Ironically though, once I started painting and hand lettering, I felt the need to make these canvases perfect. To make sure that the curve of the "s" was perfectly pretty. That everything was centered to the exact centimeter. Then, before bed one night, I found myself scrolling through Instagram and saw a few posts related to Emily Ley's saying, I will hold myself to a standard of grace not perfection.
This print had been in my room for the past few months while at school, but has yet to be unpacked since I am still in the transition stage from summer to moving to Nashville in less than a month. But, I am going to go grab it out of the box after writing this post and place it in my room to serve as my daily reminder to hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection since I have been focusing on the latter for the past couple of weeks.
I had said that my focus on being perfect in painting and hand lettering was ironic because, for one, I have definitely been a perfectionist for the majority of my life, and secondly because if I took time to absorb the meaning of what I was lettering, I would feel silly that I was trying to make everything so precise. I was focusing on the things in life, not the meaning behind the things I was creating. No worries, I am not going to make the canvases look like chicken scratch and the "s's" will still have pretty curves, but I will paint and letter without stressing myself out. Creating these canvases and sharing their words is what I love; it is what inspires me. It fills me with joy that whoever receives my canvases will hopefully be inspired each time they look at the canvas and read the words. That is why I am starting my shop. To inspire others to focus on love, family, and friends. Not to sell perfectly pretty objects.
Here are a few pictures of the behind the scenes action from yesterday's shoot. Please excuse the gritty quality of some of these Instagram pictures (but hey, not focusing on perfection, right?). I cannot wait to share the images that Sara captured on my site when the shop launches next month! But for now, here's a sneak peek.