1. How did you get started in art and photography? I am definitely self-taught, although I would love to give myself the gift of taking some classes as my kids get older.
2. How did art and photography go from a hobby to a business for you? As a child I planned on having my own greeting card business and also becoming a photographer. As I grew older I outgrew my confidence and what was before an affirmative statement of doing those things, became a far off dream that I longed for but wasn’t sure how to get it going, and was paralyzed with fear of judgment and critique from others. In 2006 I had a devastating miscarriage and I was stopped in my tracks. I wanted so badly to make a baby, but I needed some time to heal. I looked at my life and how delicate and short it is. I sort of stopped everything I was doing and looked within and asked myself what I wanted out of life. I re-realized my dreams that I had been putting on the back burner for so long. I decided I would do all I could before I got pregnant again. I turned off the critical voices in my head, put some blinders on and went for it.
3. What do you do when you’re not painting/photographing? Playing with my kids, hanging out with my hubby, connecting with friends and family, managing the business side of Wildflower Studio: restocking stores, putting orders together, updating my blog and website, returning e-mails, oh and trying to clean my house, lol!
4. Do you have other hobbies? Yes, I just wish I had more time to do them! Creating in general, Sewing, surfing, hiking, travel (that one is on the backburner for awhile, but before kids was a big one for me), writing. I love to try new things. Life is so short, so whatever sounds fun,I write it down to try it at some point.
5. What is your favorite way to unwind? I love going to the beach in late afternoon/evening with my little family. It really benefits all of us.
6. Favorite vacation location? Before kids I loved to travel the world, backpacking to remote locations, trying to go to a new place each time. Now, with children I try and choose places that are in the states and have natural resources and space to run and explore.
7. What would you like to be doing in 10 years? Ohh, what a good question! In 10 years my kids will be 11 and 15! That seems like a lifetime away from a 1 and 5 year old. By then I hope to be traveling and camping with my family more often. That is really important to me, to take special time away with my family and create more memories. I know they benefit from the local day trips I take them on now, to the beach and hiking, etc. But you can do so much more with an 11 and 15 year old! (My dream would be to travel the world with them, showing them amazing works of art, architecture, and different cultures, but that may have to happen a little later than 10 years.)
In 10 years I would like to be more knowledgeable in the business world (I know I will be because in just 3 years I have learned so much just by getting out there!) I hope to have a solid foundation for my company, and more freedom to let it work by itself.
I really look forward to having more opportunities to create! Also, I plan to continue learning new ways of self expression and creativity my whole life, so learning new processes is something I definitely would like to be doing as well.
One thing high on my priority list is to continue learning more and more about photography. I want to be able to continue to improve my skills not just for myself, but so I can provide others with amazing memories. OK, I know I am going off on a tangent here, but I also plan to write a book at some point. Nothing crazy and long, just something simple and sweet to inspire and lift people's spirits. Along that note, I am actually in the process of illustrating a children's book for my husband. It keeps getting put off, and he gets really frustrated with me. So by then my illustrations better be done, Lol! Lastly, in 10 years, and beyond I want to continue to meet more interesting and authentic people. I am so inspired by genuine, authentic people.
8. What is your favorite handmade/small business/local purchase? I have this beautiful Kimono style robe made by Sophie Golightly from a local boutique called “Rituals”. Unfortunately the store is now closed! It was owned by a wonderful woman, Beth, who carried my cards and “Wearable Art”.
9. What inspires you? My Inspirations include nature, the ocean, simple details and overlooked beauty, my children, my husband, and my dearest friends and family (especially those few who are supportive of my work and give me wonderful feedback and support, it means the world to me!). All the amazing creative souls out there, as well as all of the wonderful supportive comments I receive on my blog, on my face book page, through e-mail, letters, over the phone, or in person from these lovely people from all over the world. The positive feedback really keeps me inspired and keeps me going, and I treasure them all.
And now for the giveaway! To enter to win two individual card prints from Wildflower Studio, visit Michelle's website and come back here and leave a comment about your favorite item. To earn extra entries you can also do the following, just let us know in your comment (if you tweet the giveaway, leave a link to your tweet):