The Art of Notes By Hand…
When words are written on paper and cards, they remain
over and again.
Especially at Christmas.
So, um, I have a confession to make.
Something in me cringes every time I consider marketing my own art.
(I know exactly what Kristen from Chasing Blue Skies means in her post here: http://chasingblueskies.net/in-which-i-find-some-courage-and-talk-to-you-about-my-book/ – because when it comes to this, I too have marbles in my mouth.)
I’m just not sure how to go about it in a way that invites you in to what I’m offering.
How to tell you all that is in my heart for those who might give or receive them. How I’ve prayed over each piece… and felt Him teaching me how to work with pen and ink with more warmth than I knew previously.
Yet, here in what seems to be my second chapter of life, He has me out on a bridge. I mean… there’s a reason there are so many starving artists and writers, right?
His encouragement flashes light above the thunder of fear, doubt, worry… assuring me He has ways of provision for us, dreams He puts in us that also speak light, story, beauty, hope into others… just when we feel snowed under by economic turnarounds and can’t seem to see the way through…
“Is this just a hobby?” a store manager innocently asked the other day as she agreed to display my Christmas cards on consignment.
No, no… I wanted to shout. But I smiled sweetly, calmly explained how I am having fun putting these ideas into illustration, but overall it’s an important way I feel the Lord leading in employment needs…
…And once again, I felt that creeping, crawling cringe about how to put my own work across, heard these taunting whispers…
- People will only be turned off, thinking you are boasting.
Or on this blog in particular…
- The minute they see you pitching, they’ll click away, maybe never come back…misconstrue and believe you are just using your platform to lure them in for sales…
That’s why I have been putting a toe in the water here… one inch at a time.
• Dropping in one or two of newest drawings among my posts. (And worrying every single time that you might think…who does she think she is?)
• Offering a giveaway of a drawing of your choice, and then of my note cards… (and praying, let someone want them! 🙂 )
You’d think it would be more natural for me since I wrote marketing communications for years and love putting just the right words to express and invite others to how much they might enjoy or use a product. Or to write a review that makes someone want to run right out and buy, borrow or discover a new book.
But when it comes to myself… mm, not so natural.
So… I’m thinking… there’s just one way.
To put my cards here on the table, just in time for your Christmas shopping. 🙂 And maybe inspire you with thoughts of friends and family you know who might need
a word of encouragement,
a warm hello,
a prayer they can tuck into heart and hand and pull out again and again,
a story moment they may even want to frame as a keepsake from you…
For less than a brand name card… a uniquely hand drawn design that maybe reminds them of Christmas dreams and prayers and candlelight memories of their own…
For that is what they mean to me. And what I pray He makes of them for you.
Here are the ten candlelight designs now ready for mix and match of your choice (due to mailing/currency constraints, only available in U.S. for now; see pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS for ordering details.) – $1.75 for individual cards, with discounted prices for orders of ten and over:
Note: Though scanning makes these look like pencil, these cards are all in crisp black ink on white paper… (click thumbnails to see larger)
I grew up where white Christmas was just a song and a beautiful dream among palm trees and 80 degree days, so I was always trying to add a bit of silver white to our season. Now I often feel like I’m in a living Christmas card when it snows. I wanted to capture that feeling with this card…
As I drew this Victorian home — with candles in the windows, snow flurry falling off stately evergreens, the snowman telling of the children who lovingly built it, the box on the snow revealing someone behind the scenes stringing lights — a feeling of light sparkled over me at the thought of our Father, sending Jesus to us. How wondrous is His invitation to cradle the Light of the World in our hearts forever!
This old church reminds me of those I’ve seen in my favorite classic Christmas films, the kind where candles are glowing shadows on old brick walls, while boy choirs rehearse carols on a wintry afternoon… In my mind, a story formed of one little boy’s best companion waiting patiently in the snow near the sled of his owner… listening to the songs floating with snowflakes on the air… and sensing God’s presence in the swirling round…
Forming a Christmas prayer to send a loved one … This Christmas may you hear His Name in snowfall whispers, feel His arms slip close round you, breathe in, the Prince of Peace
Recalling such childhood downtown excursions when it was a treat just to walk in and among such festive decorations (how they still ripple Christmas joy over me) , not really thinking about buying anything so much as enjoying the sense of God’s majesty and celebration, joining carol singing right out in the world, taking hands with friends and family and holding the sweet Noel of His birth close… Such is the heart I wanted to evoke in this card…
I love the beauty in exquisite architectural details… be it in a cottage lead glass window or a gorgeous mansion portico entry like this one! And there’s something about a door opening that captures imagination isn’t there? Like welcoming us to come inside. Reminds me of the many mansions in our Father’s house… and of Christmas. How our Father is like the one of the wandering son… who is running to us even now, bidding us to His Royal housewarming in our hearts, with candlelight and starlight carols, to have and behold Him…
When I was drawing the little English Church card above, a lovely old Christmas hymn was circling in my heart – a beauty I know only from the 1940’s movie of The Bishop’s Wife. In this, there is a scene where a boys choir gathers on an afternoon to rehearse their candlelight song… It’s a quiet, holy moment that fills the few visitors there with awe and a sense of wonder, setting the scene for more to come… Another idea I wanted to capture here in card.
And the refrain of the hymn that rises in hearts was the message it rang in me for us to share with others this Christmas — O sing your hymns of gladness, Your Lord is born this happy day!
Recently, I wrote about these next two versions of a card and my dilemma over black and white vs pops of red. How something in them each sings a different mood. For this one with the red bows… Maybe you know someone who needs this joyful note! Message – May our Lord lift and ribbon-twirl His song of Advent Hope round your hearth…
When I look upon this black and white version, it reminds me of taking a Christmas walk in neighborhoods, peeking inside candle-lit windows, imagining the stories inside, feeling like I’m inside a living Christmas card… And so, I wrote this one as a glimpse into a story… one where the everyperson character (you and I) finds herself out in the hush of snowfall, knowing His presence, feeling a prayer… and wanting to share it with the world of loved ones..
“She stood, mesmerized by the glistening, angel-feather snowfall and felt held, safe and treasured within a living snowglobe of His Hands.”
Candlelight and cozy warm shadows cast on welcoming stairways and across wooden floors, sparkling lights in boughs lining bannisters… they speak to me of prayers I have tucked in my heart for each of us who may hold sorrows in this season… How God keeps our prayers in bowls in heaven (Revelations) and mixes them with everlasting holy fire. I tuck this one in for you to send to just the one you may know who can use a touch of hope. (Message: I’m tucking words of Christmas hope in my heart for you… Candlelight He never lets go out)
Christina Rossetti said, “Love came down at Christmas.” Similarly, this cozy scene by a Christmas hearth warms the fragrance of Christmas over me – pine mixed with cinnamon hot chocolate and crackling fire – with wonder and peace of His LOVE Come Down. This is the kind of New England cottage-y hearth I’ve always dreamed of… and the dog a little reminiscent of one I loved in childhood… May it warm you too, like a coverlet of His love. (In the fireplace, I’m seeing something I didn’t plan – where the three flames are – and wonder if you spy it too? Like an impression of Nativity to me – an angel in the middle, holy family on either side… Maybe just my imagination, but it makes me see more than simple fire warmth… 🙂 )
A few years ago, praying long and deeply for someone in the midst of a hard time, I wrote these words of prayer in a letter… telling them how I’d been thinking of that opening scene in Wonderful Life, where so many prayers are going up like sparks in a fire. And how I wanted to encourage them that so many prayers for light and life and healing were going up for them in the same way… I’ve shared that prayer here before – in my post, Blessings — and wanted to put it in card form.
Maybe you know someone going through something tough today… a sad loss… fears that they are not making a difference. This is one to send a blessing and a prayer of His heart of healing…
© Pam Depoyan
Lord, may these cards shine of You, wherever You may take them.
(See pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS for ordering details. Look there for the dangling ornament image, then scroll down till you see it again with the card info… )
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂