As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a penchant for paper, using my hands to create, and studying artists who came before me. I collected piles of stationery in my bedroom as a girl, sent snail mail covered in illustrations to my friends, and hung my favorite works of art on my wall.
While my parents were supportive of my artistic endeavors, they also wanted me to hold a realistic dream that could pay the bills after I graduated college. Studying architecture seemed like the perfect fit. I was able to take the design and art courses I wanted to, but truthfully I didn’t feel I was fulfilled in my initial program. I took an art history course, fell in love with the material, and the rest is history, as they say. I’d go on to study art history and design for the next three years.
Shortly after, I began taking trips to Europe (especially France) multiple times a year for weeks on end and my travels confirmed that art was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I just didn’t know exactly what that would look like.
Then an idea struck me: starting my own art business. I began exploring options, but kept making excuses as to why I couldn’t start. I was too busy. I didn’t have enough time. I was too occupied with my current job. The idea seemed like an unattainable dream. I was afraid of starting from scratch again. The feeling of being a beginner humbles you. It exposes your vulnerabilities and gaps in knowledge. It requires so much courage.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2020, the news of the pandemic plastered all over the web created a sense of deep-seated uncertainty for us all. I suddenly found myself working from home with more time on my hands, experimenting with painting and illustration once more. I don’t remember the exact moment I decided to pursue wedding stationery, but I know it was a series of affirmations. The time to do it was now. I needed to push past my self-doubt and confront the crippling beliefs that were holding me back.
I started practicing calligraphy and making sketches in my notebooks nearly every day in the summer of 2020. I stayed up at night practicing and preparing files for print on Adobe Illustrator. I outsourced some of my portfolio work and saw my final projects in a tangible form. I fell in love with assembling suites— the handmade paper, the wax seals, the silk and velvet ribbons. They looked beautiful together and I loved the idea of creating a family heirloom that could be passed down for years to come. Finally, my website was created. Though it felt like an eternity starting a business over the past six months, it finally came to fruition. What was once scratched ideas in a spiral bound notebook became a new horizon, embedded with all its challenges and quirks.