Valentine’s Day cards are here!

I’m so proud of these sweet cards dedicated to love. 

5 different designs, and a choose-your-own-pack of any 4 cards you want!

Click each photo to be taken to each individual listing in my Etsy shop!

 

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Inside: “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

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Inside: “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

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Inside: “I love you for that.”

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Inside: “…and I love you sooo much!”

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Inside: “…and I love you sooo much!”

View my shop or buy them here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaryAndLuna

xo, Michelle

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Comfort zones & creating.

This isn’t directly related to art, but it spills over into “one of those life things” that is applicable to creating. And I think that’s important.

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This weekend I took on a challenge: dog-sitting. Here’s what you should know: I’m not a dog person, despite the fact that I have a little dog (he’s not just mine- he’s a family dog, and I do love him). I’ve actually been terrified of dogs my entire life. I have a childhood history of climbing on high surfaces to get away from them. I was chased through a park by one when I was little. I hid in trees one time when a dog was loose and I refused to come out because I was so scared. I am easily reduced to tears when I’m around big ones, even now. So over the years, I have had to get more used to dogs. But I’ve never felt comfortable. A friend (whom I know) of one of my babysitting moms is pregnant and we talked about me being her nanny. She wanted to know if I’d be interested in dog sitting this weekend. A big black lab. My instinct said no, but then I thought about how much I would love to be the nanny to her on-the-way baby boy, and I knew the dog would be around while I was watching the baby. So I met the dog, and I said yes to this challenge. I’m a very nurturing person, so I had no doubt I could meet his needs for a weekend.

The dog is very sweet and still playful like a puppy, but very well-trained, so I felt okay with the idea of watching him. I was really nervous though. But I know it’s important to face fears and take on new challenges and step outside your comfort zone. It took about 2 full days with him to develop a nice rhythm and not feel a little on edge when he came running up to me. I like him. He’s more familiar to me now, and familiarity always makes things less scary. I can relax now when I’m with him. I feel so much more comfortable. I’m sitting here writing this now with him laying next to me.

So here’s the lesson: Leaving your comfort zone is so hard. But I force myself to do it all the time because I know that I always grow from it. I pushed myself. I worked through the discomfort. And that awkward adjustment is so hard, but it leads to create a new comfort zone. And you feel yourself amazed at your capability to adapt to something you would have thought impossible.

As I grow my art and my business, I have to remember this. It’s all so new and scary, especially in the first year of business. But the more I meet a challenge head-on (like a true Aries), the more capable I feel. I’m starting to love that word- capable. It goes right along with confidence. When you know you’re capable of accepting challenges and overcoming them, the fear and the nervousness goes away. And then you meet a new challenge. This is a pattern, and I know that I grow the most when I tackle something I’m (usually irrationally) scared of. I’m usually scared because it’s unfamiliar territory. But you brave it anyway (I don’t know how I summon that courage- I just take a deep breath and it comes from somewhere deep inside me). And the uncharted territory becomes familiar and comfortable and you can breathe without reminding yourself to breathe. (as I write this, I’m thinking “wow, I really am SUCH an Aries. All about pioneering and diving headfirst”).

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about the past few days and I thought it verbalized a lot of what you deal with as an artist: doing something differently than anyone else, even other artists.

So much upcoming art to share with you!

-In a few days you’ll see my Valentine’s Day cards! I really love how they turned out. They’re simple and sweet, and I think there’s something for everyone.

-As soon as I release those, I’m starting work on a design for a longtime friend of mine who is releasing an EP of her music! She wants a design that can go on a t-shirt for her release party, and I’m so excited to design it! Not only is it flattering to be asked, I actually love music-inspired design. Before I imagined up Mary & Luna, I wanted to do album artwork for musicians. So this will be fun!

-In early February I’ll have a new print for sale too! I’ve had the outline of the design for a while, but I’m going to turn it into something else than I originally intended :)

xo, Michelle

Unintentionally introverted artist.

I want to talk about how unintentionally introverted I am with my art. I have no idea why, but for me, creating is so completely in my head and my heart and it’s all consuming, and I do not normally run around saying “look what I made!” Sometimes I can do it more easily, but for the most part, I make things and I forget to reveal it. I think it’s because art is so meditative for me, and I do it for myself. It just slips my mind that I have decided to become an art business owner and I am supposed to share these things with the public! So forgive me, this is such a steep learning curve. The business details + creating leave me forgetful of new habits I’m supposed to be forming!

My hope is that art-blogging will become more natural to me. Right now it still feels so awkward because it’s like being social about art. I’m so used to creating and not really having people understand or really even ask about it, that I’m not always sure what to tell you guys! I also don’t always know who is reading these posts (please feel free to comment and introduce yourselves?). I have a very clear internet-writing voice about my life and my personal thoughts/feelings, but I have not yet developed my art writing voice. I suppose I don’t talk much about art: it goes directly inside and blossoms. So bear with me as I fall into a more natural rhythm!

I thought I’d share what I wrote recently for my “About” page for my Etsy shop. I suppose that might help you get to know my art perspective a little better :)

Mary and Luna: the nostalgic meets the whimsical.

This is little shop is just beginning of my wild imagination.

I’ve wanted to be an artist since I was a kid, but I never knew exactly what that would mean for me. I have found a love of doing digital art, often with a touch of fine art involved, but I still have so many dreams of including many other mediums and products in my shop. It’s all a matter of the number of hours in a day.

Despite the two names, I’m just one person. “Mary” represents the traditional, simple, nostalgic, vintage side of my aesthetic. “Luna” is the whimsical, daydreaming, eccentric, night owl part of me. Mary is down to earth and Luna is in the clouds. Mary is day and the sun, Luna is night and the moon. Mary is the little girl that I still am in my heart, and Luna is the big world I’m exploring with a sense of wonder. It’s all me. One big dichotomy that somehow blends together beautifully.

I hope you’ll follow whatever continues to pour out of my heart and my hands.

Hope you’re all having a good week. Maybe you have winter weather wherever you are? Here in southern CA it’s about 75-80 degrees lately. I’m so not a fan of no winter. (But I do love this summer-y photo below of me frolicking in the Huntington Gardens).

xo, Michelle

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2014 is here?!

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged for a month… I honestly have no idea where the last month went! I was swept up in the holidays, I guess. But I’m back and focused on creating more and running the art business stuff!

Here’s what you can look forward to from Mary & Luna in 2014:

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I’ve also made a simplified list of my personal resolutions. I do it every year, and it really helps me focus on self-improvement and continuing to build a life I love. I always write a massive private journal entry about the specifics of these goals, but that’s not necessary to bombard you all with. So here’s what I’m working on in 2014:

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2013 was so great in a lot of ways. It was the hardest I’ve ever worked, the most beautiful traveling I’ve ever done, and the hardest I’ve ever played. At the end of the year when it was feeling like a blur, I looked back and the theme came to me: I really lived in 2013.

Last year was all about getting my art business out there, and just getting started. It’s only been 7 months since I launched. This year will be about channeling my creativity even more and growing my audience.  I feel much more confident now that this is going to work. I’m realizing just how hard it will be, but I think the reward of creating this little artsy world for myself will be so worth the challenge. I’m constantly learning so much.

So here’s to another year of hard work & pouring out my ideas on paper & adventuring through the 365 days. I hope it’s beautiful.

I’ll end this blog post with some of my favorite photos from my first-ever trip to New York. It was a winter wonderland and so ridiculously classically beautiful. The architecture and the weather and the Christmas spirit. The city itself was chaotic but the places we went were absolutely magical.

 

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xo, Michelle

PS. keep up with me on Instagram if you don’t already! @michelleelaluna @maryandluna