I figured before I really get into using this blog regularly, I should introduce myself and let everyone know what I'm really all about. Let's start with the name. "WyldAngelz." Where in the heck did it come from? Well, I am a HUGE Martina McBride fan and have been forever. Wild Angels is one of my favorite songs of hers. WyldAngelz actually started out as an AOL handle (which I don't have anymore). Does anybody actually still use AOL? Haha! I liked the song and decided to use it as my AOL name. Of course, the proper spelling was already taken, so this was what I ended up with. One of my friends suggested it when I was trying to come up with a username for my Etsy. Since all of my friends are already familiar with it, I decided to use it and that's how WyldAngelz happened on Etsy. Although I run a shop on Etsy, I also have a day job that I love very much. It was never my goal in creating my Etsy shop to one day quit my day job and become a famous artist. I love what I do. However at the time I started my shop, I was only working part time and needed some money coming in to fill in the gaps when I was working very little hours. That's where the shop came in.
I've been interested in art my entire life. I have been drawing and creating for as long as I can remember. I remember one day when I was about 3 or 4 years old, my grandmother called me up and told me she felt sad that she had no pictures on her walls. That was when I began the tradition of drawing a picture for her once a week. On the day my mother and I would take her grocery shopping, I would bring her the picture I drew and she would hang it on the wall. We did this for years. When she would babysit me in the daytime during the summer or on a weekend, I was able to easily sit ALL DAY and draw picture after picture. Looking back, I think my A.D.D. with hyperfocus may have helped in that area. Every single picture I drew would end up somewhere on her walls. By the time I was in 6th grade, her entire dining room and living room walls were covered with my drawings, paintings, and collages. The pictures were beginning to trickle into her bedroom. We took them down that year to paint, but she saved them all in a dresser drawer. Her house was my very first art gallery. She loved watching me work and sometimes she would even get down on the floor with me and help me with my "projects." With her support, I was able to sit and practice for as long as I wanted. Once, I started high school and began taking art classes, I ended up having more pieces to hang on her walls. Only this time they were in frames and hung on nails instead of thumb tacks. She has been gone for almost 3 years now and there isn't a single piece of art that I do where she isn't on my mind at some point in the process. A part of her is in every piece of work I do.
I had taught myself how to draw cartoon characters as a child and taught myself how to draw what I could see in detail. I could do landscapes and animals very easily. I was introduced to a variety of mediums in high school. This was where I learned to paint. I had attempted painting several times as a child, but could never seem to get it right, so I just figured I didn't have the ability. Then, I was introduced to acrylics and learned the proper painting techniques. How to effectively use light and shadow. How to make water look like water. What sized brushes to use. I eventually learned the proper way to paint in oils as well. I was overjoyed when I discovered that I really did have it in me. I just needed someone to teach me how to do it correctly. To my surprise, my very first painting took first place in our school's art show. After the initial shock wore off, I was overcome with delight. I fell in love with painting after that. I suppose you could say the rest is history.
I continued my exploration of different techniques and mediums throughout high school and college. Handmade paper, decoupage, paper mache, charcoal, clay, and oil pastels. I wanted to do it all. I even once did a painting with nail polish. Probably not the smartest idea on my part, because I'm pretty sure the fumes killed a few brain cells that night. lol In college I was blown away by a technique called "coffee staining." I still use it in my work from time to time, because I just love the look. So yes, after all these years, I still have a .99 cent jar of nasty instant coffee in my pantry just for this reason. Hmm...maybe I should move it to the craft room.
I had decided not to pursue a career in art knowing that it is nearly impossible to make a living that way and with it being so difficult I didn't want to end up growing to hate something I loved so much. So, I changed my major to psychology and decided to keep my art as a side hobby. Over the years, I had created several pieces on the side of my work and school. I never actually sold any of my work though. I would usually have someone in mind that I wanted to give a piece to and gave my work away or it just ended up sitting in the closet. As a matter of fact, I still have several of my pieces just sitting in the dark somewhere. I can recall the first year I decided to enter my work in the Regional exhibit in the art museum in my home town. Artists from all over the state would enter, but not everyone was selected. With it being my first year and I was still quite young at the time, I didn't know what to expect. I nearly had a heart attack when I got the call from the museum telling me that BOTH my paintings had been selected! One was a Mother's Day gift for my mother and the other had been a Father's Day gift for my father. After that year, I was addicted to the Regional art exhibit and entered every single year. Eight years passed before one of my pieces was selected again. That came as a surprise. It was a piece I didn't really like that I entered during a year that I wasn't planning on entering. I suppose that just goes to show us all that we should never give up trying. You just never know what pieces of your artwork will catch someone's eye or when it will happen.
During that 8 years, I had done several pieces in which I had donated to a few charitable organizations for silent auctions and even sold a couple of paintings. I had never really seriously considered selling my artwork until times got tough a couple years ago. After becoming unemployed and acquiring a completely new skill and getting a new part-time job in the medical field, I needed an emergency appendectomy. I had no insurance. To this day, I am STILL paying for that surgery. It didn't help matters much that I was only working 8-15 hours a week and you can't get any kind of assistance in my state unless you have a ton of children. I was stuck. I was also working on re-doing my grandmother's house which I had inherited. I had been buying all sorts of decorative light switch and outlet covers for it and one day, I decided to look up how to do it myself. I decided to give it a try and showed a photo to my first light switch cover to a co-worker who said "Hey! You could sell those!" Really? So, I gave it a shot and listed a couple on ebay. I soon got discouraged when the listings expired and I had no buyers. Then one day, a group of us at work were admiring a patient's necklace and we asked where she got it. She said she found it on Etsy. Hard to believe that none of us had heard of Etsy at the time. She explained to us what Etsy was all about and I created my account that very day during my lunch hour! Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be known for light switch and outlet covers, but here I am. Sure, I do paintings, candle holders, and all sorts of other things, but these days, I am known best for light switch and outlet covers. Hence the name of the blog "The Outlet Outlet." My "outlet" for thoughts and feelings while blogging about my outlets. lol Funny how life works out sometimes.
Well, that's my history and how I got here and became the light switch and outlet cover queen among my circle of friends. But...who am I? Here's an easy answer. I am an artist with a fiery passion for life. I LOVE bold, rich colors, great food and loud music. I feel that we have no idea how many days we will get here on earth, therefore we should make every single one count. Stop to smell the flowers and watch the sun set. Eat that piece of chocolate cake. Do whatever that thing is that scares you. I feel we should all live our lives and not be afraid of whether or not we are going to fail, screw up, or look stupid. Who cares? Just live! Also, I am sarcastic and I am a joker. We all have struggles in our lives. I feel that if we don't look at these with a sense of humor, then we would need to be heavily medicated. I'd rather just find the humor in life, because it is always in there somewhere. Last, but most definitely NOT least, I am a Christian. I realize that expressing my beliefs could potentially make me lose business, but I figure if I'm going to let people in on who I am, this is something I need to mention. I don't judge people, because it is not my place, therefore I would appreciate people treat me with the same respect and not judge me based on my beliefs as well.
Well, if anyone is still reading this, thanks for reading. Now that I've offered up who I am and what I'm all about, I'm hoping this will help me connect with my readers and potential buyers. I feel it helps when you know WHO you are buying an item from. With that said, enough about me. Let's move on to new subjects like artwork and features from some REALLY cool shops! Happy Etsy-ing everyone!