Meet Christine of Art That Moves

Jane: Tell us a little about yourself!

My name is Christine Pensa and I'm a visual artist whose practice evolved after my kids were born. I had a successful career doing something very far removed from art. After I had my first child I decided it was time for change. I took an art course and remembered my true passion was creating. I hadn't realized I was creatively starving. Now creating is so fundamental to my well being - I can't imagine a day without it.

I knew my creative starvation was something that many other people shared. That's why I began to teach adults and kids to open up to their own creative magic. I offer weekly and weekend classes for adults. I think of my courses as a tool - like handing participants a divining rod - which allows them to find (remember) their own artist within.

Mural making and special projects with kids in elementary schools is something I get to do part time too! I use much of our time together to introduce kids to exercises and ideas to open up their creative brains and keep them open - and in between - we also create a gorgeous wall mural for their school.

J: What is your craft/brand story?

C: My Etsy shop Art That Moves and my OM for your home line has become the outlet for my own creative work. My OM for your home line includes hand printed textiles and prints of original illustrations. The work I do there explores the energy that happens when poetry connects with images. I usually start my creative process with an uplifting idea or poem and allow an image to unfold - that's where the name - Art That Moves - came from.

J: What is your design/craft process?
J: What is special about your work?

C: As many people are already aware - positive words in your environment have a positive affect on your mood and on the energy of your home. My work is meant to amplify that OM. I create all my screen print designs and illustrations from a place of quiet mindfulness. I create outside in nature as often as I can because I believe the energy and peace found in nature is translated into my work.

Once I have designed my screen print image I then hand print every image one by one onto a plain piece of fabric. I believe that action transforms the fabric into a piece of art - and still - each time I pull the screen from the fabric I continue to be amazed. Even though the screen image is the same - each print, each day, each colour is unique. I think of them as my lovely snowflakes. Working in my home studio or in the glorious outdoors I might print twenty yards or 100 tea towels in an afternoon. Printing allows me to shut off my mind and flow. The rhythm of pouring the ink - running the squegee over the fabric again and again is meditative and satisfying.

I am honoured when someone is moved by my work. My wish is the calm and joyful energy I feel when I am creating a new print or an illustration is felt by those that bring my work into their homes and make it their own. I love meeting customers who are kindred spirits and enjoy the poetry of Rumi, Hafiz, or the Buddha. I also enjoy meeting customers who are seeing the words of these poets for the first time. I am happy that I may have set them off on a new path of discovery.

This past year I felt a strong pull to design a new series of "love the bees" tea towels, calendars and prints to help publicize the plight of this lovely insect alchemist. I will donate 10% of my proceeds to save the bees causes. What I didn't realize was how many wonderful bee-loving people I would meet in the process. My aim with these products is to let you know that one person can make a difference. For instance, my Love the Bees calendar includes monthly simple suggestions on what you can do to help the bees.

Not just inspiring - all my designs are meant to be beautiful compliments to any home decor - and - often they are useful too. Who doesn't love a great hard working tea towel?

J: Where would you love to see your work in about 5 years time?

C: In five years time I would love to have expanded both my OM for your home line and my online classes. I really believe that creativity is a powerful force for joy and I would love to be reaching a larger audience. I would love to be part of a larger, perhaps, cooperative studio - and if I'm spitballin' and blue skying here - that larger studio would be right on the water so I could smell the ocean while I work. In five years, I would also like to have had the time and technical prowess to produce a series of how to videos which could accompany my online classes and again - blue skying - that they would reach thousands of people who would in turn be opened up creatively and joyfully sharing it and so on.

J: What has being a business owner taught you?
J: Any advice(s) for those who wish to start a business of their own?

C: Wow! Being a business owner has taught me so many things. First of all - just BE yourself. Not everyone will like you and that's okay. Follow your passion and even if you have lean months you are still loving every moment of what you do. Be generous because why wouldn't you be? Be honest - if you can't deliver something - don't try (see also number one - be yourself.) Be organized - and if you can't be then hire someone or trade some of your work or services to organize for you. Be grateful - follow up with customers and treat them with respect.

Love what Christine is about? Then please check out her website and follow her on the social media platforms below:

Website || Etsy shop || Facebook || Twitter || Pinterest || Instagram

Have a blast!


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