Let Your Dreams Be Your Wings

Let Your Dreams Be Your Wings – Author Unknown

Just over a year ago, I left my job to open up my own business, Illustrious Interiors. I always had a passion for Interior Design, DIYs, painting, and creativity. My “down-time” was mostly spent in my craft room and still is to this day!

After I had children, my values took a different direction. My focus was on my family, not on my career. Days would go by where I dreaded waking up to my alarm, knowing I had to go to work. I knew there was something out there that was better suited for me…. made for me.  I took a huge leap of faith leaving a pretty stable job to pursue my dream. I have always believed you can accomplish anything in life if you put your mind and energy into it.

“Let your dreams be your wings” was a quote that really resonated with me during this whole transition. I knew what I needed to do in my life that sparked joy, that made me into a better mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I knew that Interior Design as a career would fulfill that need.

I am incredibly proud to see where this business has taken me in the first year. I worked hard, designed and staged many rooms and painted more murals than I ever could have imagined! At the tail end of my first year, I was tagged multiple times in an Instagram post from The Creative Hive asking for local artists to paint an outdoor mural. They asked artists from all across Edmonton to submit their ideas and the public would vote which artist they wanted to paint the wall.

When I saw the post, I literally had butterflies in my stomach. I couldn’t even contain my excitement. It would be the cherry on top to what was already an incredible year. There is so much local talent in the Edmonton area and honestly, I would not have even been upset losing to any of them. Art takes so much talent, not only with a paintbrush, but with your mind and I respect that!

That being said, I put A LOT of thought and brainstorming into the mural I wanted to submit. I would be trying to fall asleep, and *BAM* enter in another awesome idea. It took nearly a week of continuous innovation before I put the paintbrush to canvas.

I wanted to have a design that would feel interactive which is where the butterflies came in. Each butterfly was uniquely made up of different parts relating to Alberta, Edmonton, children, pets, The Creative Hive, and Cloverdale who graciously sponsored the paint.

I also wanted the mural to really represent The Creative Hive and what screams out a hive like honeycombs and bumble bees! Painted flowers have been my top request in murals, so I felt it was a bit fitting to add in some large beautiful flowers.

Okay, so enough about the design! After it was submitted, I patiently waited and found out I was selected as one of the TOP THREE artists! *Enter in more butterflies into stomach here*

The voting began and I couldn’t believe the out pour of support I received! People from all across the world were routing for the butterfly mural.

Here is the original art submission for the competition.

I was deep into a design with a client when I received a phone call from Dez and the Creative Hive. It is a moment that I will always remember. Dez called to congratulate me on winning contest and my heart skipped a beat. I ACTUALLY WON THE COMPETITION! A dream. My very own art submission. This mural would be on a massive wall in Edmonton for thousands of people to see. I was beyond thrilled and so appreciative for everyone that took time out of their busy lives just to vote.

The day finally arrived to paint the mural. Dez and Mike greeted me with open arms and immediately made me feel like part of the Creative Hive family. I laugh because they asked if I could predict how long the wall would take and I said two, maybe two and a half days TOPS.

Day 1: The entire chalk outline was completed and most of the base color was added. Everything you see on the wall required two coats of paint, minus the white paint. This day was beautiful. I debated long and hard whether I should add the quote, “Let Your Dreams be Your Wings” to the wall, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt it was appropriate. Not only does it resonate with me and the path I chose, but everyone who comes to The Creative Hive. Edmontonians gather here to co-work and build their dreams in this incredible community.

Day 2: Word had been buzzing around that this wall was coming to life. I couldn’t believe the amount of people, friends, family, and complete strangers, that came just to stop by and check out the progress. Although there were so many late nights painting this wall, I finished each day with a smile of gratitude on my face.

Day 3: At this point, most of the mural looked complete. I had finished painting nearly all of the flowers and butterflies. I was so in love with the work that was already on the wall that I began contemplating whether I wanted to actually add in the honeycombs. Even though I felt it was almost perfect at this point, I slept on it and decided to trust my initial design and add the honeycombs.

Day 4:  This day I did not have my scaffolding and I was a bit nervous I wouldn’t be able to put in a full day. Jokes on me, I worked on the entire bottom half painting honeycombs and left as the sunset reflected off the wall. I had more visitors that day than I ever could imagine. Professional Artist in fine arts, Gene Prokop stopped by just to tell me I was doing a great job and that he loved the wall. Talk about a compliment!

Day 5: I almost baked to death on this day. It was the final day to paint and well over 30 degrees. Let me tell you it felt even hotter standing on the scaffolding with the sun beating off of the black wall. The paint on my brushes were drying faster than I could get it to the walls which was a whole other challenge in itself! My dearest sister-in-law saved the day by dropping off a bottle of sunscreen for me. I was very determined to finish the painting this day and on May 29, 2019 at 9:59 PM I finished the last brush stroke.

I sat back just to stop and reflect while I stared at the wall. I wasn’t thinking about my aching feet and my sore shoulders and hands. I wasn’t even feeling relieved that it was finished. I felt humbled that I was here sitting across this wall. I felt accomplished that I was able to create something this large of a scale. I felt proud that I had the ability to create this. Most of all, I felt appreciative for having this grand of an opportunity. Never in a million years, would I have imagined that I would have had this opportunity within my first year of opening Illustrious Interiors. This is a moment that I will always be grateful for, for the rest of my life.

You can find the mural at The Creative Hive at 16819 111 Avenue Edmonton, AB. I always say that nothing gives a bigger compliment than someone stopping by to take their picture in front of your art! Please feel free to tag Illustrious Interiors on Instagram or Facebook so I can see your beautiful faces!

A huge thanks to Dez and Mike for welcoming me into their space to paint this mural. You truly made me feel at home! A huge thanks to Storyteller Productions for capturing the creations along the way, to A. Keen Photography for our family photos in front of the mural, and to my family and friends for stepping up and supporting me to follow my dreams. Let your dreams be your wings!