Divinemoira Studio: The Beginnings, Part One
Divinemoira Studio: The Beginnings
I imagine much to the chagrin of my now adult children, I share this old quirky photo of my family (kids being in their prime awkward adolescence) to begin the backstory of Divinemoira Studio, because my family, my kids in particular, are the heart and soul of where the Studio began, and they are the reason I continue to press onward today.
While I grew up studying art, music, and theater, I was encouraged to pursue “practical” avenues in my more formal education rather than art or theater as I had wanted. Becoming a lawyer, politician, or businessperson was seen as a stable path for my future while the arts were not considered to be “real jobs.” The irony was “stability” was not meant to be a defining adjective for my life.
My husband and I had our children when we were young. I was a stay-at-home mom that learned I had a pretty debilitating mood disorder by the time I was 22. Working to stay as healthy as possible for myself and my family prompted me to spend all of my time in remission (and often when I was not in remission) volunteering at the kids’ school. I used my background in the arts to help teachers who didn’t have the time or resources to give lessons in art or theater. I developed special community events, ran crazy fundraisers, threw elaborate parties and at home I created a gallery dedicated to the kids’ artwork. Who knew this would lay the foundation for what would eventually become Divinemoira Studio?
Way back then, I used art and writing in an extraordinarily private manner to work through tough moments of high and low emotional struggles. I used these forms of expression to help my family and friends to better understand my illness. 15-20 years ago people didn’t talk about depression the way they do now-much less the highly misunderstood mental illness called bipolar disorder that frequently disrupted my life.
I had always been a writer of sorts, and technology at the time was working in my favor, so for my own sanity and as a means of catharsis, I briefly started a blog called Broke Down Palace under the pseudonym Divine Moira. To this day, I still have no idea where the name came from.
This was also the time when Etsy was first launched. In an effort to fill an increasingly demanding void I felt inside, I placed a few paintings up for sale on the new site. Looking back, I was likely seeking some kind of outside validation for my creative existence since I was no longer working with kids. What I did not anticipate was the work selling. But it did. And then it really did!
But what really spoke to my soul was not the sales nor the money, although that was encouraging. But I was truly moved that some of these people chose not only to buy my paintings, but to take the time to express that they felt they understood what I was feeling when the pieces were created. That changed something inside of me.
I remember sharing with my kids at our kitchen table, underneath our own little gallery wall, how important it is to follow your dreams no matter what others think. I realized that my dream was to use creative expression to reach others and make a positive impact on the world. Overly vague? Ambitious? Ridiculous? Perhaps. I didn’t care anymore.
I knew that I needed to teach them not just with words but through action. And so, with all three kids by my side, I registered Divinemoira Studio as my LLC the next day.
Divinemoira Studio was born.