Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Story of how Pug Notes began...



1996 - Emmitt - 5 weeks old


I was thinking this morning about how truly lucky I am to able to create and share my art with others everyday as my full time job. I absolutely love what I do and it NEVER feels like work.


I have had other jobs and businesses over the years that eventually did not feel like they were what I was supposed to be doing, but since 1997, Pug Notes was what I did for joy, a hobby in the background.

It all began on a sunny morning on Oct. 8, 1996, when Fred and I were driving home from a little farm in Fort Lupton, CO with a tiny pug puppy that we named Emmitt.

Fred was driving and I was holding Emmitt in my hands. He had that funny bat dog pug expression that happens when their ears are tipped straight up, their eyes are all buggy and happy and they are smiling a wide grin with their pointy puppy teeth sticking out.

Emmitt is my first dog ever, and I was filled with joy, excitement and a bit of nervousness when I said to Fred, "Oh My! Emmitt is snorting! What kind of funny creature did we buy?" My heart just melted and that was it. I was totally in love with Pugs forever. I had no idea how my life would change.

I do not think Fred and I ever laughed so much before Emmitt. It seemed everything he did, even if he was getting into something he shouldn't, made me smile. Fred was definitely the disciplinarian. I just could not get mad at Emmitt to scold him. :)

Well, right around that time, I started sketching. I don't know why because I never could draw. I always loved making things, but never felt I could draw more than stick figures. Well, after meeting Emmitt and taking so many photos of him, I sat with my #2 pencil, a notebook and a photo every night and sketched a pug.

Here are a couple of my early drawings:



You can see my whole gallery of pug drawings I created over a two year period before I bought my first tubes of acrylic paints and 6x8 canvas panels. I love these drawings and still offer them as note cards and address labels. I call them my pencil pugs and have also made them into my Holiday Pugs card line.



In 2006, I honored these early drawings in a book, Pug Doodles, A Journal, for people to enjoy and follow their own hearts filling their books with my pugs as company.

In 1999, I created my first pug painting. I remember being afraid to add color to my pugs and feeling slightly guilty for spending $ on paints and canvases for myself. I am so glad I pushed through that fear and doubt and just kept painting until I had a break through on my 5th painting, that I named A5.



A1 & A2

A3

Painting 5 - A5
The pug filling the canvas, capturing the large eyes and the puggy expressions was my "ah ha" moment. My style had begun.

In 2005, I left my day job and just started painting everyday. Over the next year, I would come to paint over 50 paintings! If I painted 5 in a year before that time, I was very happy with my accomplishment. To my surprise, most of my paintings that year were not pugs at all, but other dog breeds, I call Pug Pals.

In 2006, I realized all of these faces were actually characters in another children's book I had yet to write that became the story, Why Am I Special?

Over the last 11 years, I have just kept painting and following my heart, writing books, creating new products and learning HTML to be able to create and manage my own website.

I love my job!

10 comments:

Diana Evans said...

Hi Melissa...

what a great post...oftentimes we never hear the whole story of how something great began...

It is a wonderful journey and you can really tell how passionate and happy you are with your work...

That photo of Emmitt as a baby...oh how sweet...no wonder your heart melted...

Your work is a gift to everyone and it shows...I always said that using our talents is the way to be truly happy....

Thanks for the great story of how everything started for you and your wonderful business...it is an inspiration to us all...

Hugs
Diana

Leah said...

The baby picture of Emmitt is SO CUTE!

Moira said...

I love hearing about your journey as an artist, a dog lover, and entrapreneur. So inspiring!

The Devil Dog said...

baby Emmitt is adorable. You are so talented. We love seeing your artwork and reading all about you, Fred & Emmitt. Follow your bliss and bliss will follow!

Roxy & Lucky

flyingstars said...

Nice reading this one!

Ruth Welter said...

Ow my gosh Melissa, Emmitt at 5 weeks of age, what a cutie pie. Love your early pug drawings as well. : )

Karine said...

This is such a wonderful story, Melissa!!! You are an example of someone who followed her bliss. Congratulations, and thank you, for that uplift of a story. And the puppy photo of Emmitt?? TO DIE FOR CUTE. WOW.

Rebecca said...

Great history ....thanks for sharing it. Hey, I listed you as a power blogger today. Your post with such sincerity and warmth, you post often, and your work rocks.

leigh said...

baby Emmitt is beyond adorable ! I wish I could have seen my dogs as babies.

Abby Creek Art said...

What a great post, Melissa! And we love your art!!