Meet Kristine Brookshire, a busy mom of 3 who was inspired to begin her art career from home. Just six months ago she opened her online shop Olive Twig Studio and began selling original watercolor paintings and prints. Read her story below:
Tell us about your background.
I came out of the womb with a passion for art. At age two I started compulsively drawing "babies" on any scrap of paper I could find. In preschool the doodles were mainly mermaids. I begged my mom to put me in art classes when I was 9 and from then on I've always been studying art. I earned my Bachelor's of Fine Art with a concentration in Studio Art from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2006. After college art became just a hobby while I got a "real job" to support my husband while he went to law school. I would just pick up portrait commissions here and there. Now I have the blessing of being a stay at home mom (which was also a dream of mine) and I have decided to start pursing an art career from home.
What made you take the leap and start your business?
My daughter is about to start preschool and my boy/girl twins are a year and a half old and sleep through the night regularly. (I think all those late nights up with the twins trained me to be really productive at night!) So I opened my Esty shop 6 months ago and decided to pursue my passion for drawing and painting again through the lens of motherhood. My 3 little kids keep me very busy and sometimes I'm exhausted, but staying up late painting/drawing is so much more fulfilling than watching tv. I feel like I'm doing what I was created to do and using my talents that I have been given. I named my shop "Olive Twig Studio" based on Psalm 128:3. "Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table." I hope my children are encouraged to see their mom work hard at something she loves to do.
Why is making and shopping handmade so important?
I loved supporting handmade, small businesses even before I had my own - but now I really, really appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into it. There are so many talented designers out there that I love discovering and I love the relational aspect of it. It's good for our economy and our culture.
Tell us about your creative process.
I'm a draw-er at heart that loves color and painting. I'm always looking for ways to combine the two. I love detail and realism, but I always try to push myself to loosen up a bit and enjoy playing with a bit of abstraction and texture in portions of my pieces.
Often my art is inspired by my role as a mother or my children's imaginations. I like to create pieces that I would love to hang in their rooms and offer those pieces in my shop. I am also inspired by nature. I live in one of the most gorgeous places on earth - near the beach in Southern California, there is so much inspiring beauty around me. I love fashion too - you can see that influence in some of my watercolors as well. I'm never short on inspiration! I just feel short on energy and time to create.
What is your studio space like?
My studio space in my home in a large laundry room. Not perfectly ideal to share it with the laundry, but it has a great built in workbench, natural light, and lots of storage for my papers and supplies.
Who are your favorite makers and artists?
I love Teil Duncan's colorful beachy paintings. She has that whole realist-abstraction balance going that I love, and her color pallets are amazing. I'm saving up for an original of her's one day! Roxymarj.com has super hip nursery decor and kid apparel that I'm inspired by too.
Thank you Kristine for sharing your story and your photos!