I have been truly blessed to have had the support of my parents. They led by quiet example to help others and encouraged me to do the same. I believe that an artist shouldn’t be restricted to coloring “inside the lines”. That mindset has allowed me to create art and to help inspire others in nonconventional ways. Not only does helping others fuel my spirit, but what you stand to learn from the people you help is especially amazing. And I’ve been lucky enough to be able to use my passion for art to both ‘give back’ and ‘pay forward’. During my years as an art teacher, I was able to see firsthand the ways in which viewing and creating art inspired and motivated my students. It was an easy leap, then, to use art to bring about change (and raise funds) for people in need.
As an artist who loves ethnic art and working with bright, happy colors, I am thrilled to be collaborating with CMe Stories. My desire is to form a partnership with the artists and collaborate with them to create original pieces of art. My ultimate goal is to provide the individual artist with a design template to use as a guide for their individual creativity rather than duplicating my designs. I am not interested exact renditions of my ideas, but rather the ways in which they might be interpreted. It will be exciting to see how the unique perspectives and skills of people thousands of miles away enhance the beauty of the finished product.
There are scores of opportunities, like CMe Stories, that offer the ability to give back while doing what you love, and the best way to spread that joy is to involve the next generation. For me, the humanitarian experience has been made much richer by having my 3 children involved in my projects. Of course, you don’t have to be a parent to have a great impact on the kids in your life. Grandparents, teachers, volunteers, etc., are often the ones to have the honor of hearing young people’s fresh ideas, giving them guidance, and helping their plans come to fruition. I can’t think of a better gift to give children, or a more lasting way to effect change.
Amy owns Nebraska-based Shaggy Dog Studio and co-owns SweetSeedlings on Etsy, which offers both handmade Gratitude Journals and unique custom journals.