Creative Inspiration

Hello! As promised, I am back with some updates on our upcoming Creative Inspiration Week! I have just received an email from a really inspiring creative woman (she has been featured in magazines, including Country Living, Martha Stewart and ME Home Companion, & Oprah, and now she will be featured on The Inspired Room! Eeek, I might be getting a little nervous!). She owns a shop (French, no less!), has her own product lines, and is an author. She has so kindly offered to send me a copy of her latest book (yes, as in ‘she has written more than one’) as a giveaway to one of my lucky readers next week! So, in addition to the inspiration she & other amazing women will share with us, we have not one, but TWO fantabulous giveaways in store for next week. I think we are going to feel supercharged with creativity and energy.

Now, so you don’t go away wondering if I am ever going to post anything other than teasers (oh, but how fun it is to dream about next week!), check this out. I am so excited to feature a really great artist today, Anne Harwell. In addition to being a creative artist, she is just a neat person. I encourage you to take a look at her artwork, read about what inspires her, and visit her blog & etsy shop where I just read she is offering a 20% discount on purchases through the 30th of November!

Anne, I am so glad that you agreed to share a little bit about your background and what inspires you!

I don’t have any formal art training, but my parents have always encouraged me to pursue my artistic interests since I was a little kid. They took me and my siblings to art museums, cultural sites and new places. I used to pore over my mom’s design magazines for hours. My mom dabbled in oil painting and my dad with pastels. I had tear sheets from about the age of ten and was obsessed with stationery, art supplies and office supplies at even an earlier age than that. When I was a preschooler, I used to create things out of office supplies when my mom would put me down for a nap. My idea of fun was construction paper, scissors and a bottle of mucilage.

One of my most prized possessions was a miniature red Swingline stapler I got when I was six – better than any toy. Yes, I was weird – an art nerd all the way! When I graduated from high school, my parents owned a home furnishings/decor business and so I went to work for them and also began to sell some of my work there.

Eventually, I got more work in the form of commissions (watercolors, painted furniture, etc.) and my business has developed slowly over the years. I have had my ups and downs, feast and famine, but have learned so much along the way. I have learned not to take myself too seriously and that when people who promise “huge breaks” and then don’t deliver, not to give up or get bitter! It’s important to take everything with a grain of salt – positive or negative. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Don’t get too confident when things are going well and don’t despair when things are tough. You press on in the difficulty, work hard and keep hoping for good! Treat everyone with respect and kindness – how you treat others comes back to haunt you – good or bad. Perseverance in integrity pays off.

My relationship with and dependence on God keep me inspired, along with the loving support of my family. I have also found some great and supportive friends and a real sense of “community” among many of the bloggers and my readers. I had no idea this would develop, so that’s been a real added bonus to blogging. Blogging has also motivated me to keep on more of a “creative schedule”, than fits and starts creatively. It’s so encouraging to receive feedback from my readers and to share with a wider audience my latest projects – keeps me energized.

I have found that it’s important to work hard, but to also allow yourself to do the things that feed your soul, what you were created to do. Sometimes there are sacrifices financially and otherwise, but you know you’re doing the right thing when you’re true to who you are and have that sense of satisfaction in your work.

I love living in Florida – when I am not working there is so much to do! Living on the coast is inspiring in itself with all of the natural beauty, the ocean and endless sunshine. I am really a beach bum at heart – it’s therapy for me. I also love travel, cooking, eating, reading, biking, decorating and spending time with great people who are positive, supportive and challenge me to be my best.

All photos and artwork on this post are copyright Anne Harwell, used by permission

THANKS ANNE!

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful artist with us! I love meeting someone new who has so much talent and so many great ideas:>)

  2. Very interesting times ahead! I will bop right over now and check out Anne’s blog and etsy shop :-)

  3. Oh what fun to read about Anne and what inspires her. I laughed about her winning the red stapler. I was always inspired by things like that too when I was little. I’m excited for next week too!!

  4. What a wonderful artist…thanks for introducting her to us Melissa.

  5. Thanks Melissa. She certainly is a talented woman. Looking forward to next week’s gala.

    Janet

  6. You sure have learned a very good thing in life. Not to take yourself so seriously. That’s something that many people should learn, I think.
    Can’t wait til Monday morning LOL.
    Love Elzie

  7. Such creative talent…a true inspiration. Both you Melissa and Anne. Thank you. Susan

  8. Thank you Melissa!

    Anne is a wonderful artist. I’m going to sit back and relax this afternoon and spend some quality time at her blog and her etsy shop!

    I can’t wait for more inspiration!!

    Great post!
    Pat

  9. Thank you so much for this inspiring post! She has the most beautiful artwork!

  10. She is an amazing talent and I love her work! YOU are too, how do you DO it all!!??

  11. What an interesting article. Thank you for sharing it. You know when I was little pens and paper were my favorite toys. Can’t wait until next week.

    Love,
    Julie

  12. Awesome artist! Is this something new you are doing…featuring guests? I havn’t been able to get here in awhile…always tells me “cant find the site”. Feel a little behind here. Anywhooo sounds like fun…partyyyyy. Where are your decorations at? Get the Christmas stuff down from the attic lady. Just kidding…I am taking my time. Enjoy! Cherry

  13. She is delightful! That was so fun to see her work and learn all about Anne! Thank you for sharing her talents with us! Can’t wait for next week!!! You tease you! ;-)

    xo,
    Kim

  14. Esther Sunday says:

    Wow. What an artist! Thanks for sharing this exciting person with us! Can’t wait to read/see more.
    Being that you are so incredibly talented yourself, it is no surprise you have attracted these people! Love ya, Esther

  15. Hello Melissa!

    I see things are busier than ever at The Inspired Room and next week sounds wonderful! Great profile on Anne—I’ve always loved her work. I’ll be sure to stop by next week to join in all the festivities!

  16. Wonderful artwork and philosophy. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Nan

  17. I enjoyed visiting your blog. Can’t wait to see more!

    Julie

  18. Lots of fun stuff! I am heading over to Anne’s blog to look around.

    Have a great day.
    Thanks,
    Debbie

  19. this is going to be a fun week!!
    bj

  20. I have seen her work and i really love her sense of proportions and her pallette. But I am glad you published this interview. I would like to point out that part about being shown to different places and being allowed to play around with art materials. It just shows how childhood stimuli build on a person’s talents and culture. Thank you very much.

  21. you have scored b ig time my dear…great contact…wise words for us all to learn from…not to take myself so seriously is my new year’s resolution for sure…hugs…blessings, rebecca

  22. Anne’s work is a delight to look at. Thank you for sharing with us! I too, have fond childhood memories of office supplies! My grandmother gave them to my sisters and I every year for Christmas. My next stop tonight? To have a closer look at Anne’s artwork on Etsy! Christmas is coming!

  23. Hi Melissa, thank you for sharing with us, absolutely beautiful, we will definitely be going to check this all out!! Jenn and Jacqui

  24. Hi Melissa, us again! We we are sort of fairly organised, the removalists are at work and we just get in the way! So we are popped on the kitchn bench with the laptop computer and checking in on all our Blogging friends activities, there is so much going on and we don’t want to miss a thing :) J & J xo

  25. It’s always fun to see what’s going on in the art community. This art feels light and sophisticated. Very nice!

  26. Penny, Mosaic Artist says:

    Thanks Melissa, for sharing Anne with us. It is fun to meet other artists in different mediums….
    Penny

  27. It’s kind of refreshing to hear that God inspires someone, as it seems like God and art are becoming very separated as time passes.

    Which reminds me a should probably go to church on of these months, hehe.

  28. What an inspiring interview!

Trackbacks

  1. […] in my last post i said that if you wanted to exchange links let me know. first i met Anne at annechovie who rekindled an almost lost art. she paints marvelous watercolors and interiors. i got lost in her world! there were even more at the inspired room: […]

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