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    Hi there! So here’s the thing. I want to resurrect this blog and bring it back to a regular routine on the internets – to share bits of my process, to explain my journey as an artist but also for those just starting out to gain some perspective on how I have come to be where I am today. We were all new at something once and in 2012, this was the case for me too. I just woke up to the realization not long ago that I’m no longer on Chapter 1 here with Design by Streetlight. I think it is time to grow things up a bit and share a bit of the back story in the process.

    So to begin – I have been called to create my entire life. To clarify, this does not mean I HAVE been creating my entire life. Unfortunately, I had a 10 year period between high school and my late twenties where I simply accumulated art supplies but was too intimidated to use them. I had no idea where to start, I had never heard of Urban Sketching, and I didn’t have a regular discipline, medium or subject matter. I do remember meeting someone once who was an oil painter and the words “I’m a painter too!” actually popped out of my mouth before I could stop myself. And he of course asked “Well, what do you paint?” I wracked my brain, came up with a vague “Oh, everything…” response and turned back to my computer to act immersed in my work. WOW.

    But in 2012, in the early days of blogs, one of my wonderful friends shared on her blog this fashion illustrator named Inslee Haynes. I scrolled over to her website, saw her whimsical watercolor paintings of street style fashion, and the biggest girl crush of my life was born. My husband, who has always had an eye for my creative muscles, saw what I was looking at and said to me “I bet you could do that!” He then bet me that if I could produce 10 fashion illustrations, he would start me a blog. Low and behold, Design by Streetlight was born. My first fashion illustration was created in February of 2012. The blog – this blog – went live at the end of May. I had enough work at that point that I could post three times a week with a backlog to keep me going.

    It began to catch up with me though. I was following all of these fashion bloggers on Instagram for inspiration and some of them…I didn’t really care for the lifestyle they were promoting. In my own personal fashion, I dress pretty simply. I wear a lot of black. My personal style mantra is ‘clean, classic, basic’ and could almost use the word ‘boring’ at the end. I’m fine with it. Fashion bloggers do not live a minimalist lifestyle to say it simply. Without understanding this part of myself at the time, in hindsight this is ultimately what drove me away from it.
    By 2014, Design by Streetlight was in a low patch. I was rarely painting, or posting to Instagram or the blog any longer. I had discovered Pinterest though, and at some point an Urban Sketch entered my feed. Urban sketching – the practice of sketching on site, capturing what we see and sharing it with the world. What? All this time on the internet and I had never heard of this?

    It was at the end of 2014 that my mom began the decline in her battle with cancer. My life priorities slowly ground to a halt as I split time between work and the hospital she was increasingly in and out of. One night I was home with no agenda, saw something on Pinterest and FINALLY felt the push. ENOUGH staring at everyone else’s work. Time to create something of my own. They weren’t great at first. In fact they were awful. I had to reaquaint myself with the rules of perspective, and then break them so that I could keep going without the need to be perfect. Of course, there were still logistics to be figured out. I’d dropped my watercolours and at this point had a beautiful set of 120 Prismamarkers as well as this book on architectural renderings that had become something of a bible in it’s rendered perfection. Intimidation and paralysis all over again.
    After my mom passed I was off work for a month. It was needed as a stress leave. I wasn’t sleeping, I had no short term memory…it was the biggest trauma I have endured in my life to date. But one day I wandered into an art supply shop and saw a Windsor and Newton travel watercolor palette. I purchased that and two sketchbooks on a whim. That’s where my journey started. At first the thirst was just to fill a sketchbook. The pages were replaceable. They didn’t need to feel perfect. If I didn’t love the subject, I could simply turn the page. There were a few other elements to learn my way through of course. Finding my preferred paper type, burning through Micron pens on cold press paper, playing with my washes. But by the end of 2015, probably as a solution to my grief, I was finally beginning to find my footing.

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