Posts in animations
When You Want to Say Yes to Everything
artist studio of Michelle Schneider, The Art of Michelle

artist studio of Michelle Schneider, The Art of Michelle

I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize that full-time stay-at-home mom is not the life for me.

In order to keep my sanity and still grow as a person, I need a lot of alone time to think, read, journal, pray, paint, and work on my business. You just don't get that kind of time when you have a toddler running around the house in her diaper screaming! :)

I'm willing to give up nearly everything for my kids, but, I've come to realize that there are some things I'm actually NOT willing to give up. My career has just meant too much to me- it's a part of who I am, really. It's one of those things that brings me joy and restores my sanity. I'm just not willing to give it up right now.

an animation I've been working on

an animation I've been working on

Having kids has been a great filtering system for me to see quickly and clearly what I need to start saying "no" to and let drop out of my life and what I want/need to say "yes" to. It's actually helped me simplify my life to where I now feel the freedom to be much more selective with my decisions in order to allow me enough time to be with my family and do the things that are really important with my career.

Nowhere does this filtering system serve a better purpose than in my business. I used to feel like I wanted to do everything, literally everything, with my art from licensing to wholesale to illustration. I was always adding to the list of aspirations.

out for a walk with Josie and Sarge

out for a walk with Josie and Sarge

But now it seems to be crystal clear that my focus needs to be in just two areas every single day: serving my customers and working toward a career in children's illustration. The rest, for now, I'll have to say no to, even though saying no literally gives me pain in my gut almost every time. I still want to do everything, but I now know that I just can't do it all right now.

This newfound clarity has really been inspiring and motivating for me lately, and, for the first time in a very long time, the lack of clutter in my brain has caused a flood of new ideas for my portfolio and for children's books and illustrations. I've been working on my portfolio nearly every day when I finish my commissions, which is huge for me!

So, I'm thanking God today for all the help I've had lately with Josie and for the clarity that I've been so desperately praying for! I'm hoping to start sharing more of my personal illustrative work here on the blog and will in some small ways over the next year, start to turn my career in that direction. 

The Andersons Buy a House

I'm happy to announce the newly wedded Andersons finally found their dream home! After months of searching, one delay after another, and with building anticipation, Bella and Brice bought their first house.

She wanted a garden. He wanted a roof that didn't leak and Buddy (their beloved Golden Retriever) just wanted a front step to stand guard over the house, nap, or watch for squirrels depending on his mood.

They settled on a painted brick ranch style house with clean lines, an arch top door, and some curb appeal.

There's some work to be done, no doubt, but they were in love with each other and the house and couldn't wait to turn this house into a home.

custom home portrait, cute animation by michelle schneider, watercolor house painting

Visit back periodically for more animations and watch as Bella and Brice add charm to their lovely new home and maybe even grow their little family! Making this little animation was so much fun! I'm still figuring it out, but planning to do more very soon. :)

Thanksgiving Feast Giveaway

This year, like every year, I'm counting my blessings one by one.

If there's anything I've learned about managing the stress of running a business, having a baby, juggling personal life and family with everything else, it's that gratitude and an attitude of joyful thanksgiving can save a person's sanity.

Through all of my struggles this year, God has, very gently, pointed out small miracles and big blessings. He's shown me what a beautiful life looks like, helped me to manage stress and slow down, blessed me with rest and recovery and smart, caring doctors. He's blessed me with a very comfortable home and a family I adore. He's given me a thriving business and talent I enjoy immensely. So very much to be thankful for this year!

One of those blessings is definitely you, my sweet and caring customer and loyal follower.

So, this year I wanted to make you something special: a cute holiday e-card you can share with your family and friends. It's my way of saying thank you for another beautiful year!

As a bonus, one lucky person who shares this post will receive the original 5x7" painting of this festive Thanksgiving Feast for free! 

TO ENTER: simply share this post using the green share buttons below the animation or black buttons on the left side of this page.

This giveaway ends Wednesday at midnight central standard time. Contest is open to everyone.