Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Downloadable Art!

Today we give a special welcome to a girl who visits this space often!   She's one of my loyal readers from central Oklahoma, and she's a loving wife, new mother, and creative business woman!  She found my blog somewhat randomly a few years ago.  Allow me to introduce you to Mary.  :)

Mary's a photographer with a generous heart and a passion for finding creative solutions.  Recently, she started her own business (called Downloadable Art) and she gifted Michael and I with this adorable creation to hang in Liam's bedroom.  Knowing that Michael had just wrapped up a challenging semester of Chemistry II (with an A, I might add!), she figured it was the perfect personalized piece to add to our home.  And we were so delighted!  Thank you, Mary!

I love how she used elements of the Periodic Table to create this! 

Mary creates bunting overlays for treasured photographs, adorable birth announcements and shower invitations, and eye-catching stationary sets.  She also transforms inspiring verses from Scripture into beautiful works of art.  Here's one of my favorites!

Let's get started with her interview.  :)

1. First, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your family!  

My name is Mary Thomas, and my husband is Justin. We have a sweet baby girl named Lydia who is 4 months old, and we currently live in Central Oklahoma.

2. Next, tell us how your business came to be! Who inspired you? How did your talents develop?

Two things really inspired me to start Downloadable Art. One was the desire to save money by making my own promotional materials and templates for my photography business, and the other was a desire for unique nursery art for my daughter that didn't cost me a fortune! I Googled Proverbs 31 since I knew I wanted a verse from that chapter of the Bible on Lydia's wall and browsed the image results. I found what I wanted but the colors did not match her nursery theme, so I set out to make my own version loosely based on that image that I loved so much. A couple of hours later, my first Downloadable Art product was born! My husband is a huge inspiration to me. He is never afraid to learn something new and always encourages me to keep trying when I don't succeed the first time around. He even helped me with my designs when I was first starting by telling me about kerning and text layout, which he learned about in high school yearbook class many moons ago :)

3. What difficulties did you have to overcome in order to be at the point where you are today? In other words, what or who helped you to “keep on keeping on”?

I hate to sound like a broken record, but my husband keeps me going! The biggest challenge was, and still is, saying "no" when someone requests a totally customized design and is asking for it to be done for a couple of dollars. At first, I'll jump at the opportunity to challenge myself and learn something new. Then Justin will be the voice of reason and say something like, "You really want to spend a whole evening locked away in the office to earn a couple bucks? Wouldn't you rather spend that time with me and Lydia?" He will often flash his puppy dog eyes when he says this, too :)

4. Lastly, what is most rewarding about your business?

I love it when people tell me I made the perfect piece for their child! Whether it is a mom printing baby shower invitations for her daughter, or a mom who tells me I've created the perfect set of artwork for her child's nursery, I eat it up! It is especially rewarding when I get a kind word about a religious piece because I know that short verse of Scripture hanging on a child's wall can be such a positive influence in his or her life.

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Amen, sista!  Thank you for making this world a more beautiful place!  And guess what, dear readers?  Mary's offering a 20% discount to readers of this blog!  Just use the code "FAMILYLIFE" at checkout. 

Be sure to check out Mary's online shop over at Etsy.com by clicking here.  And don't be afraid to request custom orders, as she says it helps her build her ever-expanding shop inventory.  :)

God bless your work, Mary!  :)