This journal is a little delayed, but Erin Droese Designs is celebrating 3 years! Three years of existing on Instagram, sharing my paintings with all of you, and intentionally growing and building a community that fosters compassion and gratitude for creation. I think it's important to reflect - on the good times, accomplishments, small moments, and even the challenges. So, I pulled together this 3 year recap to honor how far we've come and get excited about where we are going.
For starters - how did Erin Droese Designs get started?
As a kid I loved drawing. Drawing clothes, specifically. I wanted to be a fashion designer. Flash forward to January 2018 where I was NOT a fashion designer. I was a CPA and working for a Big 4 Public Accounting firm. I was well into my 4th year working for this firm. I had made great relationships, learned a ton, but the hours and time not doing things I loved was really getting to me. In January 2018, I started picking up my paper and pencil again. I got a watercolor set. I painted with leftover house paint. I just needed SOMETHING to do with my hands, where I wasn't staring at a computer, phone, or TV screen. The act of physically making something helped me out tremendously. Over the next 6 months I dove deeper into the world of creating, taking online classes, reading everything I could, and painting as much as I could. In August 2018 I started my instagram page @ErinDroeseDesigns and started sharing my paintings. The feedback, encouragement, and support was incredible. Through all of this, I've become very passionate about work/life balance (for lack of a better term), listening to your body, your family, your passions - and figuring out how to do what's right for you.
The first paintings I ever sold were really to raise funds for those in Eastern, NC who were impacted by Hurricane Florence. We raised about $400 from the sale of these art prints. It may sound like a little, but it was definitely more than I could have donated by myself at the time.
This crab painting and oyster shell painting are still some of my favorite paintings to date.
The first year of Erin Droese Designs was all about oyster shell paintings. I loved the idea of finding beauty in this hard-working organism that has such special ties to the NC coast.
Year 2 brought a lot of experimenting, more acrylic paints, and commissions!
In the summer of 2019, I participated in my first pop-up in New Bern, NC!
In 2019/2020 I also donated a few paintings to silent auctions that benefited Wee Care Raleigh and the NC Museum of History. I love that art can be a way to support the community and spread joy!
Then - 2020 brought COVID-19. I definitely turned to painting and creating as a way to process and occupy my mind. Just at the beginning of "lockdown" I was collaborating with friends at my home church, Edenton Street UMC, to create a piece reflective of the journey from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday (Easter!). While we didn't get to share the final piece in person, the fantastic team, who has been painstakingly creating virtual Sunday Services during the pandemic, created a video to share the art piece(s). Head to this post to read about the making of those art pieces!
In the summer of 2020, I released the first abstract seascapes collection. These were the opposite of COVID-19 - this collection was FUN and colorful and bright! I loved creating them and getting loose with my brush strokes.
At the end of the summer in 2020 - I came out with my End of Summer collection. This collection was a compilation of paitings I had played around with throughout the summer. You can read more about the inspiration behind the End of Summer collection here!
The Fall/Winter season of 2020 was all about OYSTER ORNAMENTS and getting ready for the holidays! This community loved the oyster ornaments. They were the perfect gift or coastal addition to your holiday decor.
After the holidays and inspired by a recent trip to the West Coast, I got back into watercolors and the washy, breezy feeling they give in each painting. We created the West Coast print and that led to more coastal paintings. After the West Coast painting, I came out with the East Coast and Coastal Scenes collections in 2021 - celebrating the promise of summer, that slow-pace of life found at the coast, the salty air, the ocean breeze - all of it!
On top of all of these fun collections and opportunities, YOU have made these three years so special. By inviting me to be a part of your special moments - birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, commemorating your homes - to just giving me that encouragement and being excited for Erin Droese Designs. I can't wait to see what the next three years has in store for US! THANK YOU + MUCH LOVE!