I moved to Oregon (the first time) back in 1994. I immediately fell in love with the Made in Oregon stores. So many fun and amazing products, all made in or by people who lived in Oregon. When I started my career as an artist, I dared to dream of one day having my work in the stores too…
And writing that sentence made me feel old… but I'm going to let that unproductive float on through and focus on the accomplishment!
All 10 stores now carry my Color Yourself Happy coloring book and journals so if you live in or find yourself in Oregon, pop on in and grab a few! The coloring book isn't just another coloring book, it is part of Pivot To Happy – another passion of mine. At PivotToHappy.com where we share skills and techniques to help people PIVOT (from fear, sadness, anxiety, anger, you name it) TO HAPPY. The more you consciously practice, the faster you will recover from life’s setbacks. Coloring is one way to change your perspective and focus!
Each page includes arrows to represent pivoting – one definition of “pivot” is “to whirl about on one foot”. Even if you can’t change your physical circumstances, you can always try to pivot your perspective. As a fun reminder, there are three arrows in each and every illustration – some are big and easy to spot and others are smaller and pretty well hidden!
In addition to the arrows, every picture has the word happy somewhere in it. Just like life, sometimes it is large and easy to spot and other times it is small and hidden. No matter the size, there is always a little happy to be found!
I hope this is the beginning of my relationship with Made in Oregon – I'm an Oregonian by choice and proud to be in their stores!
– Tara Reed
P.S. If you love to color, I have a monthly eMail where you can sign up and get a new design to print and color each month! Head to PivotToHappy.com/free-coloring/ to sign up!
I was interviewed by a friend, fellow artist and now blogger extraordinaire, Kimberly Montgomery.
While I wrote the answers to the interview questions, it was a little weird to go back and read it! I often fall into the trap of focusing more on the things I still want to do than stopping and acknowledging what I've accomplished. I'm working on that – and hope you will too if you are like me. I really appreciate the questions Kimberly asked because it did make me stop and reflect – something we all need to do more. 🙂
I created this blog for women who love fun, crave the unique and are totally behind choosing joy. If that sounds like you, you’re in the right place!
Life’s full of fun stuff, and that’s what I bring to you. Cool things, great places and clever ideas to help you add more delight to your day. After all, life is about choices — let’s make good ones.
Hope you jump over and read the interview and leave a comment – here, there or both!
– Tara Reed
Before the holidays you see a lot of very black and white posts on social media – “Boycott big box stores – shop local”. So where does that leave a little local girl who makes her living with things sold in the big box stores? In a pickle if everyone were to listen to these pleas!
I'm a small business (just me – that's as small as it gets!) and I have 3 gift bag designs in The Dollar Tree now. Many of my US artist friends are on these bags a lot too. Nothing is black and white…
So today I say, support small businesses / US artist and go buy some gift bags at the Dollar Tree! (The shark, cupcake and dog are all mine.)
Thank you in advance! 🙂
– Tara Reed
The day my son turned 22 is today! August, 31, 2015. It seems like just yesterday and a lifetime ago that he was born. I had an idea of what motherhood would be like and no idea at the the same time. We've been through some adventures that's for sure!
This year he will graduate from college. Some would say my job as a mother will be done but I think it will just change, he'll always be my baby no matter how big, tall or old he gets. I can't wait to see what comes next!
A very proud, sappy and sentimental mom –
– Tara Reed
A friend and fellow artist, Kathy Davis, has created an amazing non-profit art center that enhances the arts and culture for people within her extended community. Located in Horsham, PA (not too far from where I grew up!) it's an amazing place for connecting, taking classes and more.
I don't usually paint on canvas – it scares me a little to be honest! I paint on paper then scan it into my computer and put things together in Photoshop. I can move, change and manipulate things in ways that can't be done on a canvas. But getting out of your comfort zone is always (usually?) a good thing so I went for it.
Join in the fun and contribute some of your time and talents to this worthwhile fundraising effort. Also, please share this information with your friends and family and encourage them to get involved. If you live in the Horsham, PA area, go check it out! (Send me a photo of my canvas on the wall too if you think of it!)
Here's to art opportunities in our communities!
– Tara Reed
My Facebook feed is beginning to be flooded with photos of back to school – from back to elementary to heading off to college, kids are on the move! My son heads off to start his senior year at Boston University next week and I can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday he was heading off for the first time!
Next, I have some free back to school lunch box printables you can grab from my other project – Pivot to Happy. It's a new adventure I'm embarking on in addition to the art I do for products. If you haven't checked it out – I hope you do! Click here to go get your free printables – no sign up either, just free! If you like them and/or don't want to miss future freebies or fun, happy stuff, be sure to sign up for the email list over there.
I'm excited to have partnered with Roaring Brook Art as my exclusive wall art publisher! One thing that is tricky with what I do is that I often can't tell people where to find products they love with my art on it. Many of my designs are in and out of places like Home Goods & Marshalls and it is truly hit or miss for consumers. I do my best to help you locate the things you love.
I am elated to report that my wall art prints are all available at FulcrumGallery.com and FramedArt.com – prints are at FulcrumGallery.com and if you prefer a fully framed and ready to hang piece of art, head to FramedArt.com
Right now there is a Q&A on the Fulcrum Gallery site – maybe you'll learn some things about me you never knew before…
I am beyond honored to be included in the December 2014 / January 2015 issue of Professional Artist Magazine. The magazine has a lot of great advice for artists of all kinds – from revamping your artist statement to acing your next art show… Writing a strategic plan, how to hire an art coach and more.
My article about art licensing includes contributions from Paul Brent, Jennifer Pugh, Jane Shasky, Stephanie Burgess and Alicia Dauber of Licensing Liaison. If people look at you and scratch their heads not understanding what it is you do or are trying to do – you can hand them the article and get them up to speed. If you are new to the concept, grab a copy for yourself!
I'm excited to read the rest of the magazine – I have yet to fully understand what an “Artist Statement” is quite frankly – my marketing degree is showing again!
I found a copy at my local Barnes & Noble. You can check other bookstores or find it online at ProfessionalArtistMag.com
Here's to your creative success!
– Tara Reed
It's the week of Thanksgiving here in the US and that means lots of food, family gatherings and shopping. Thanksgiving Thursday is followed by Black Friday – the day retailers hope to “be in the black” – as in, making money. It's to official kick-off of the holiday shopping season.
Then comes Small Business Saturday… Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. Small Business Saturday is a registered trademark of American Express corporation. There are lots of images floating around Facebook… like this one. (I couldn't find the original creator or source of the image – it isn't mine, no copyright violation is intended)
Specifically – “Let's make sure our money goes to individual people and not multinational companies.”
Well… multinational companies aren't just nameless, faceless money funnels. They need a lot of people, resources, etc to survive. And many, many small businesses are helped when you shop at places like WalMart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe's and more…
THIS small business owner, for example. And many of my friends and clients.
I am ONE PERSON, working out of a home office, making a living, paying my bills and taxes and contributing to my community. I do art that goes on products that are primarily sold in large chain stores… so if you boycott “multinational companies” – this artist is going to be in a world of hurt.
Many of my clients, who are vendors to the big stores, are US based small businesses. Their livelihoods are also tied to big stores.
I'm not saying don't go to that craft fair or locally owned hair salon – don't get me wrong. But I think the message is getting a little too cut and dry – David vs. Goliath if you will. Goliath supports a lot of David's in this new world economy.
While we are on the subject of WalMart, if you do find yourself in there, look for these cocktail napkins – designed by me. Manufactured by a company in Philadelphia. Moved around to all the locations by trucking companies who bought gas, food and probably coffee, all across country. If your WalMart has canvas wall art for Christmas, you might be supporting my friend Jennifer Pugh – another one-woman artist business out of Utah. Her family thanks you for your support as well.
I saw this quote on Twitter the other day and was struck and inspired by it. It is yet another reminder that while we can't control everything in our lives, we can always control our reaction and affect the outcome.
Everyone has gone through something – or many things – that could have turned them down a road of bitterness, defeat, depression and anger. Some go happily down that road and build a house and stay there.
Others take the road that is a little harder in the short term but makes for a happier life in the long term. Work through the pain and find the lesson. Become stronger and wiser and learn to forgive.
This Saturday marks 10 years since my ex-husband and I decided to divorce. 10 years ago I was a puddle of a person – I felt sick to my stomach for months and couldn't eat. I lost some weight and a neighbor told me “Divorce looks good on you!” That was even more depressing because I knew that at some point I'd eat again and what would that mean?? 🙂 I had a 10 year old son to stabilize and my own sense of being to recover.
I look back and still remember how hard it was but am also amazed and proud of where I am now. I'm proud of how my ex and I put our son first and never in the middle. I am stronger for the experience – but now look for more productive and gentler ways to build my strength. 🙂
Another huge life event that could have gone either way for me and my family emotionally is the more recent and still present experience with my dad and his “journey” with Alzheimer's. We went through all of the usual emotions – disbelief, questioning, despair, fear… and now I have come to a place of relative peace. Rallying against Alzheimer's doesn't help. Accepting it and showing up where my dad needs me to be – either talking or sitting quietly, playing dominoes or looking at flash cards and talking about trips – that is a more peaceful way to be.
Thank you Maya Angelou for these wise words.
– Tara Reed