Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Life, New Art

I've been a little quiet lately on my blog and social media lately. These venues are really difficult for me to share on. I'm not only a modest person, but I have also been really struggling with sharing my latest art and products with you. I know deep down there are many of you who really do want to hear updates about what I've been up, so I keep sharing, little by little. But there has been this overwhelming confusion (is it conviction or false-guilt?) in my life for the past year: Am I selfishly self-promoting? Is my art for others or for me? Is this satisfaction or is it pride over an art piece I've completed?

You see, in my 20s, I was the self-seeking gal who constantly searched for fulfillment through my work. I had this constant ache in my heart – the feeling I was missing something in my life (do you know that feeling?) I set work goals and expectations for myself and as a mother and when I filled these and received acknowledgement for my accomplishments, I felt good . . . for awhile. Then that feeling kept coming back. I was chasing everything that the world was telling me to chase and taking control of my life (I thought) and still not finding rest or significance in my achievements.

Then in 2013, some things happened that flipped me on my face. My false grasp of control, comfort and security were knocked out from under me. I doubted God's goodness and from my anger and desperation I started searching for my God I thought I had known. I called myself a Christian for my whole life but it was not until this crisis did I truly discover to know what it meant to live with Christ in me. I chased the light for so many years, thinking I could find God by feeling spiritual and with my bible buried deep in my closet. There were times I searched in the wrong places (I'm so thankful for the conviction of the Holy Spirit!), but He kept drawing me in to Him. The night I was worn out from defending myself and my own stubborn and failing ways, the night I repented and my prayers were so desperate to know true faith, He flooded my heart. By His grace, I decided to follow Christ and God's word instead of the world. I was lost but now am found (tears fill my eyes as I type this – oh thank you, Lord!)

I have such a fire for Jesus in my heart now, such gratitude for His grace. He is my Savior, my everything. He took all my scarlet stains and made them white. I'm not saying life is easier now, I still struggle with the world just as much, but in different ways. But one of the big changes is that I am completely fulfilled now. I no longer have that feeling of missing a part of myself. Nor, do I have any need to prove myself anymore.

I am complete in Christ.

We were made for our eternal home. But in this world, I'm still myself. I'm a mother. And I'm an artist who has this urge to create, but also an artist who creates art to pay her bills. There's a big part of me now that would be fine if I never created another art piece again – if my name was taken off of every last piece I made, I would still be complete. Would I be glorifying God if I did that? (I still don't know.) So why am I still creating my art? Are my old dreams and goals still relevant? I guess, I'm still gaining my confidence in my new walk, but for now I'm treading lightly as I share my art with you. I never want to go back to the person I was when I chased the world. Social media feeds our pride and shines a light on accomplishments, popularity and platforms instead of what really matters. How do I expose me and my name but keep myself from trying to make a name for myself? Can you understand my struggle?

I've wanted to be an artist since I first picked up my crayons and colored my first figure-eight shaped fish on my shaggy living-room stairs. There is a craving for me to create, to dig in deep with my hands, and also a satisfaction when something is done well. We are all made as tiny little image-bearers of God, the greatest Creator of all – who also had great satisfaction in all He created. Just like an innocent child who joyfully runs to those she loves with a hand-made gift, I hope I can keep that joy forever in my heart.

I hope you will keep traveling with me as we all figure out how to walk in this world. I so hope He is working in your life right now as well. Will you be sure to help me stay on the right path as I figure out this art business stuff? Thanks for walking with me. ~



"Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4:13–14 (NIV)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Time Out Devotions and a Free Printable

I'm so happy to team up with Time Out with Becky Kopitzke. Becky offers beautiful and relevant devotions for mothers. When you subscribe to her devotional emails you will also receive a free 8"x10" downloadable printable of God's encouraging word from Isaiah 40:11 for your home. Subscribe here!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pray About Everything

I have had a lot of people connect so closely with this saying that I had on my Peace of Heart art print. I can understand why. We all worry too much don't we?

When I muster up enough strength to surrender control of circumstances in my life, and truly trust in God, there is always a sense of peace that follows. I know this peace doesn't come from me, I've tried to do it on my own too many times to know that doesn't work. But the peace that floods my hearts, and allows me to finally rest my mind and fall asleep at night, can only be explained by His supernatural gift to us. Thank you Lord! - that we don't have to handle all of this on our own.

Since this art touched many of your hearts, I wanted to offer a free download version for you to print, frame, and gift. It is 8"x10" in size and will fit a standard 8"x10" frame. 

The text is taken from Philippians 4: 6–7:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Enjoy and peace be with you! :)


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Free Printable for Autumn

Happy Autumn! Here is a fun, and free printable for you to frame for you home. Enjoy!
{download here}

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Illustration Round-up

Happy Mother's Week! - We do get a whole week don't we? :) I've been so fortunate to meet some really talented illustrators this past year. What makes our relationship even more unique is that we can all relate to the challenges of being a creative entrepreneur and mothers all at the same time. That is really hard to find in traditional social circles (I'm not sure I would ever accidentally bump into another illustrator in my neck of the woods!) I say all that time, we are so blessed to be in a time where we can work at home if we wish, with our kids, maintain all our clients, and also be able to participate in a social community with others, who share similar career choices, through online networks.

Keep up the beautiful work ladies. For all the mamas out there, please be so very proud of your family you are raising, and the exhausting work it takes to keep it all together. <3

"Elephant Train" by 3 Bears Studio (Rachel Davidson)
Rachel's happy artwork always gets a smile out of me. She also has an Etsy shop {here}

by Jill Howarth Illustration
Jill is a master of sweet artwork and whimsical hand lettering.


by Beth Anne Maresca
Beth's illustrations are soft and sweet. Her adorable artwork for children is also for sale on Etsy {here}

"Little Ducklings Swim Class" by Yellow Doodle (Noopur Thakur)
Noopur is an experienced pattern designer who recently found her exceptional talent in children's illustration.

{How SWEET!}

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

nurturing creativity

Do you think creativity is more Nature or Nurture? I am careful with my daughter not to push any interests on her, but naturally she is exposed to a lot of creativity at home because I enjoy creating art and crafts. I was no Picasso when I was a kid but I do remember always tagging along with my mom as she prepared for craft shows. I was so fascinated with all of the different things you can create from nothing. I kept at it but still can't say my art stood out until well after I started my first job out of college. 

Maybe we have a little bit of it in our DNA but do you think it's mostly our environment growing up? If we don't continually pursue our creative curiosity, do we lose it?

Monday, March 25, 2013

inspiring sweetness

Mother_CopyrightMeganHagel by Megan Hagel Creative

I got to cuddle with two newborns this weekend. There is nothing more inspiring than sweet little ones. They shine the light again on what is important in the world, all the good, love and what we are all working so hard for :)

Congratulations to my old friend – there is something enchanting about seeing a long-time friend become a mommy. And congratulations to our family friend, on welcoming another little princess. I am so proud of the women in my life!

I am working on big ideas right now, many I can't share, but this is a little peek. Back to work for me, hopefully next time I check in it'll feel a little more like Spring around here!


Monday, March 4, 2013

musical talent

© Megan Hagel Creative by designsandworks
For this week's Illustration Friday's theme "Talent," I'm pulling up my energetic music class illustration. Do you remember how much playing music was when you didn't care who else was listening? :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

knit purl

I'm pulling up an oldie for this week's Illustration Friday piece for this week's topic "wool." I did this piece back in the day for a dear knitty friend of mine. I should really get my needles out again and start another unfinished project :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

happy new year

Happy New Year everyone! I heard a great quote recently,

"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is, today." –Anonymous

What a great quote to start off the new year! We all have dreams and goals that continue to pile up throughout the years, and we continue to sit and wish we would have accomplished them already. There's no better day to start accomplishing them then today! I have a lot of creative goals for the year, and I'm starting by revamping my portfolio. This is the first piece of the year, which is inspired by this lovely quote~

Happy New Year everyone! Hoping you enjoy your journey to accomplishing your goals this year, and have a few creative sparks along the way! Whatever you have been dreaming about . . . just do it!