For my first blog post, please let me start off by giving you all out there a huge, heaping, glittery pile of thanks! I wouldn't be writing this right now if it wasn't for all of you out there that expressed joy and wonder at my cosmic mural.
Please hang on to your keyboards and smart phones, because this first blog post is a TL;DR, but there is so much I want to talk about. A lot has happened this week, and all of it good. So here I go...
I initially posted those photos up on twitter, fully expecting 5 or 10 shares. I had no idea that it would be seen so far and wide by so many (literally, millions of people around the globe have now seen my painting after Buzzfeed showcased it). KATU news called me and wrote up a great article, and my mural has been featured in the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Bored Panda, Good Housekeeping, and probably many more I am unaware of. Some of my favorite artists have liked and shared my work. It is so surreal!
People have even messaged me that they found my book and read it because they saw my mural (writing SFF is my first passion). After the profound shock of going viral wore off, I have been absolutely floored and humbled by the response, and I have definitely happy cried a few times this week at how kind everyone has been. You all make me realize that this could be something I could do for a living full time, which is a dream come true. *tosses more sparkly gratitude on all of you*
The month of November has been really rough for me. I've had some sick pets to deal with, a political climate that has absolutely drained my creativity, and I felt like I wasn't getting enough self-care. Painting Ben's room, and seeing his absolute joy and wonder, healed me. When Ben's father sent me the video of his reaction, I completely broke down in laughter tears. It was such a wonderful feeling to see that little boy so happy, and to know that I helped a family.
Sunday through Wednesday the tweet went so viral I could not even catch all of the replies and quoted tweets. My phone literally would not open twitter at times, and notifications even crashed my laptop. Somehow through that tsunami of chatter, I saw a few tweets that struck me. People began suggesting that a star mural would be the perfect thing for a child that is ill and cannot go outside.
That hit me so hard in the feels that I can't let it go. I want to help people, but I'm not sure how to get the ball rolling. I posted a lengthy plea up on social media asking how I could get involved with a charity or organization that would perhaps sponsor me to paint for a sick child. I'm hoping someone out there with experience can toss me some advice to guide my way.
At the same time all of this was happening, I reached out to the people that I felt were responsible for that painting. The first was my surgeon (I had a very frightening ulnar transposition surgery on my dominant arm back in March). Believe it or not, I hadn't enjoyed painting for a few years because of severe pain... Without that talented surgeon, I wouldn't be painting at all! He is one of the true heroes in all of this.
Then I contacted the company Glomania and sent them the copy of the Buzzfeed article. (Glomania was one of several companies I purchased paint from, and their pigment was used for roughly 60% of Ben's room). I let the company know that I appreciated their product, that it made a little boy incredibly happy, and if they offered bulk discounts to artists, could they please contact me?
Their response was another massive blessing.
The company reached out to me on Thanksgiving morning, and I spoke to them for an hour. It turns out, Glomania is also known as Starmakerfx, and they will travel to do murals and work with charities! They were primarily based in the UK, but have now set up shop in Utah. They are an incredibly talented husband/wife team, with enormous hearts, and were very encouraging.
If you purchase paints from Glomania because of this blog or my tweets, please let them know I sent you!
There are opportunities in the future to travel out to meet them, and learn from them (they are true masters in this line of work). They were so incredibly thoughtful and kind, and completely on my level with what I hope to do with my murals (charities).
So that is where things stand as of this morning. I have been like this all week:
Now, I need to find out where to go from here... I want to work with some charities and keep paying things forward. I have a few more exciting gigs in the next few months: more Mt. Hood silhouettes, and even an enchanted fairy forest.
I'm also going to work with a local photographer and get better images of the bedrooms that I have already painted, and post them up on the gallery.
The FAQ section is now up, so if you have questions, please give it a read. If I neglected to answer a question, feel free to leave a comment on this blog post. If I get enough of the same type of question, I will toss it up on the FAQs for everyone's benefit.
Again, thank you all so much for your kind words and encouragement. I had no idea this was going to happen, and I feel so grateful. I appreciate all of the positivity. I hope to pay it forward somehow.
Have a lovely Friday, and a great weekend <3