Fight for What You Love

In January of this year I published my first art book.  This book is a collection of my doodle art and watercolor paintings.  With each painting I have told a story from my life and/or personal experience from my journey on being an artist.  I’m excited to share with you one chapter from my book.  This week is Chapter Number 4: Fight For What You Love.

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There was a time in the beginning of my art career when I was working hard on my art but I still wasn’t making any money.  Tim was working but we still didn’t have much money and we were barely getting by.

I can’t tell you how many people would tell me “just go get a job”.  Every time I heard those words it was like fingernails on a chalkboard.  I hated hearing those words because that meant giving up my art.

I was determined not to give up my art and every time I heard those words it was like ammunition in my cannon.  Therefore, I didn’t quit my art and I didn’t get a job.  Instead I kept fighting my way through the obstacles, one by one.

Finally, one day those words went away.  Today, nobody tells me to “just go get a job”.

I fought for my art.  I fought really hard every day.  I won!


To read about the project, click here.

To read the introduction to the book, click here.

To purchase the book “Don’t Give Up!” through Amazon, click on the “Buy Now” button below:

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To purchase products or prints with this image, click on the Zazzle or Fine Art America buttons below:

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Look For Hidden Blessings

At the beginning of 2016 I published my first art book.  This book is a collection of my watercolor paintings accompanied by a story from my life and personal experience from my journey on being an artist.  I’m excited to share this with you over the next year.

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I realize that not every day is a good day, but that doesn’t mean that good things don’t happen every day!

During the ‘great recession’ Tim and I were both out of work.  We were living off our savings and that was dwindling away very quickly.

One day we went the grocery store.  As we were walking through the parking lot to go into the store, we walked by a planter with bushes.  Tim suddenly stopped and said “what is that?”  He walked over to the bush and picked up a dollar bill and said, “look, I found a dollar” as he was showing it to me.

Then he looked on the other side of the bush and he found another dollar bill, and then another, and another.  By the time he was finished looking through the bushes he had found four dollars!

Tim is always looking in the parking lot for change and he always happens to find a penny.  But on this day he found four dollars!  You would have thought he had just won the lottery.

This is our reminder that blessings are everywhere.  Sometimes you just have to look under the right bush to find them.


To read about this project, click here.

To read the introduction for the book, click here.

To purchase the book “Don’t Give Up!” through Amazon, click on the button below:

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To purchase products with this image from Zazzle, click on the Zazzle button below:

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Life is Full of Possibilities

At the beginning of this year I published my first art book. This book is a collection of my watercolor paintings accompanied by a story from my life and personal experience from my journey on being an artist. I’m excited to share this with you over the next year.

This is the second chapter in my book “Don’t Give Up!” – An Artist’s Journey.

Life is full of possibilities painting

Possibilities, Choices, Options… they are all the same thing and life is really full of them.

When we were hit with the ‘great recession’ and I suddenly found myself without a job, it took me maybe all of five minutes to get over my grief of losing a job that I so dearly loved. This was because all I could see were possibilities.

I knew this was an opportunity to take my art to the next level. However, there were so many possibilities to make that happen and it was time to look at all of them and decide on which path I wanted to take.

Questions such as: Did I want to go with the gallery route or did I want to go the licensing route were options I had to consider. Both had their advantages as well as their disadvantages.  I had already started in the gallery route and in the economic climate at the time galleries were really struggling.

Since I hadn’t pursued the art licensing route, I thought that might be a fun avenue to explore.  Therefore, I began my adventure in art licensing.  I also know there are still so many more pathways for my art to travel that I am looking forward to and can’t wait to see what route I take next.

To read about the project, click here.

To read the introduction, click here.

To purchase the book “Don’t Give Up!” through Amazon click on the “Buy Now” button below:

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Life’s A Journey, Enjoy It!

At the beginning of this year I published my first art book. This book is a collection of my watercolor paintings accompanied by a story from my life and personal experience from my journey on being an artist. I’m excited to share this with you over the next year.

This is chapter 1 of “Don’t Give Up!” An Artist’s Journey.

Painting: "Life's A Journey, Enjoy It!"

Life is a journey and art is the vehicle in which I have chosen to travel. My art surrounds everything that I do and my art is the reason why I do most of the things that I do.

I think that having a successful life journey is finding a comfortable vehicle to travel in.  I am so grateful and blessed to have art as my vehicle.

If I didn’t have art as my vehicle then I guess I would just be walking through life, because I can’t imagine having another vehicle.  Although I am very grateful for my legs and the ability to walk, life is long and that sure would be lot of walking.

With art as my vehicle I am able to ride through life in comfort and with ease.  Granted, there have been times when the road has gotten pretty bumpy and rather uncomfortable, yet my vehicle always got me through.

To read the about the project, click here.

To read the introduction, click here.

To purchase the book on Amazon, click on the button below.

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Introduction to my Artist Book “Don’t Give Up!”

"Don't Give Up" Doodle Flowers

When I made the decision to move away from creating original gallery art and start creating print art, it quickly proved to be a struggle for me.  I knew that I wanted to create my art in watercolor, but I didn’t really know what subject matter to paint.  My husband, and best friend, Tim, and I had many lengthy discussions about what I should paint.  I knew that I loved the whimsical doodle style of art and that is what I really wanted to do.

Tim would often talk about how every piece of art should say something to the viewer and every piece of art should have a story to tell.

Through our numerous discussions, Tim kept telling me that my art needed to say something.  He kept asking me, “what are you trying to say with this piece of art?”  I understood what he was telling me, but it still confused me.  I knew I liked the art and it made me feel good, but I really didn’t know what it was trying to say.

One day I finished a new painting.  As I showed it to Tim, once again, he asked, “what is this piece of art saying?”  Out of my total frustration with the question, I turned around, picked up a pen, and directly wrote on the painting the words, “Don’t give up!”  I then showed the painting to Tim and said, “There!  This painting is saying Don’t give up!”

That was the birth of all my art that was to follow.  I had found a way to create the art that I loved, and now my art had something to say.

I started putting the paintings on my blog and on Facebook.  I could tell that my art was resonating with viewers.  In the beginning it felt strange when someone would write a comment and say, “thank you for posting this today, I really needed it.”  Every single one of these comments touched my soul and let me know that my art was coming from a source greater than myself.

As I continued to create my art and post it online, I also started receiving emails from people I didn’t know.  People were sending me emails and telling me their personal stories of how seeing a piece of my art had given them comfort or caused them to stop and think.  Some of these stories were so touching they literally brought me to tears.  I am always so touched to receive these emails.

When I first started thinking about writing this book, I knew that I wanted to create a collection of my art along with the story of inspiration behind each of the paintings and what each meant to me.  I also wanted to include “pearls of wisdom” and words of encouragement to aspiring artists without telling anybody how to live their life or tell them what they should do.  Therefore, I decided to write a story about my life that could best exemplify the saying in each of the paintings.

Knowing that I was going to have 50 paintings in the book, my first thought was that I could never come up with 50 stories from my life.  As I began writing the stories of my life, I found myself enjoying them more and more as I would reminisce about the good (and  sometimes not so good) times of my life.

Whereas in the beginning, 50 stories seemed impossible, yet in the end I see that 50 stories barely scratches the surface of my life.

I hope that everyone reading my stories will find a little inspiration and/or motivation from at least one story.

Not every story in this book is a “life-changing” story. However, the combination of each story has created a great life.


To read the story behind “Don’t Give Up!” – click here.

To purchase the book through Amazon, click the “Buy Now” button below.

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A Year Long Journey: Stories from My Art Book

Image of book front cover of "Don't Give Up!"

At the beginning of this year I published my first art book. This book is a collection of my watercolor paintings accompanied by a story from my life and personal experience from my journey on being an artist. I’m excited to share this with you over the next year.

So, over the next 52 weeks I am going to be sharing a story from each chapter of the book. I hope that you will join me each week as I share a different painting and story.

I hope that these stories will serve as inspiration and motivation for those on their own personal journey as artist or whatever avenue you have chosen or are currently own.

If you would like to purchase the book click the button below:

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Artist, Dreamer, Eternal Optimist: Business Card Designs

Most people who have a job or business have a business card. That card usually has such information as the company name and contact information. It also has the person’s name and their position or title. To me the most interesting part of a business card is the position or title. Some of these positions and titles are typical like, President, Account Manager, Administrative Assistant, etc.

Several years ago I started seeing “Mommy Cards”. These were very interesting and creative, (not to mention handy). The title on most of these cards were along the lines of “Heather and Johnny’s Mom”.

In the be beginning of starting my business, my title on my card was just simply “Artist”. About three years ago, I changed my card and this is what my business card has been since then:

Debi Payne Business Card

The title under my name now is “Artist, Dreamer, Eternal Optimist”. This title line is very important to me, because in a nutshell, this says who I really am.

As things are changing in my art and in my business you are going to start seeing more of the “Eternal Optimist” part of my title. Some days my eternal optimism is through the roof and on other days it is on pretty shaky ground. But regardless if it is high or low, it is still always there!

So many people let their business card designs define who they are. Unfortunately, that definition has usually come from somebody else. I would love to see everybody carry and hand out a personal business card where they are the one that has defined themselves.

If you had a personal business card, what would it say? What title would you give yourself on your card?

If you would like to make you own card, here are several templates you can use. Just click on the card and it will take you to the template where you can create your own card.

Enjoy & have fun!

Cubism Heart Biz Card

Fancy Florest Biz CardHeart & Swirl Biz CardBirdie Village Biz Card

PS: This week I am going to be designing new biz cards for personal use. If you would like to see the new designs as soon as I am finished, be sure sign up for my newsletter so that you can see the new designs as soon as they come out… FYI… they are going to be so cute!!!




Saying Goodbye

Something that some people may not know about me is that I am married to a wonder man, (Tim) that just happens to work in construction. He is a superintendent and he builds apartments. That is a good thing and it is also a bad thing. The good part about that is (1) it allows me to work on my art full-time, and (2) that we have the opportunity to go to new places and see new things all the time. That is the part about his job that we love so much!

The bad part is that we are having to move all the time. Since May of 2011 (within almost five years) we have now moved 19 times. That means that 19 times in the past five years I have had to pack boxes, move them, and then unpack boxes. Needless to say, I am a master packer! With that much practice, anybody can be a master packer!

Move #19 took place this week and it has been a bitter sweet move. It is good in that Tim is starting a new project in a new town which will give us new things and places to explore. Yet on the other hand it is a sad move because I am giving up my fabulous view that I so loved.

Boat View

This was the view I got to enjoy every day from the patio of our third floor apartment. This is also the view that I had from the window of my studio. I could sit and work on my art and look up to see this out my window.

Every day I loved watching the boats come and go. I also loved watching the ducks and the sea gulls. My favorite thing to watch was the pelicans. I never realized how big and graceful pelicans really are. I loved the pelicans.

I will greatly miss this view. However, I will not miss having to carry groceries up two flights of stairs each week!

But now we are on to a new adventure. Again, we are in another apartment but the view this time is just more apartments. At least I want have so many distractions and I will be able to get a lot more work done.

Each move we make gets us a step closer to our “Forever House” on our “Forever Land”.

This is one of the changes I talked about in my previous post. Now that the change of our residence has changed, it is now time to change my art. All the boxes are unpacked and now I am working on getting my studio put together. We should be here for about a year (which is a really long time for us), so I am going to take this opportunity to bring in more things for my studio.

Also, since I am going to be starting with a new medium, I am going to get to go shopping for new supplies. I am super excited about that and I can’t wait to see where my art goes!!!






"Be Open To Whatever" by Debi Payne of Debi Payne Designs

“Be Open To Whatever” by Debi Payne of Debi Payne Designs

Change doesn’t always come with options. When a loved one dies, you usually don’t have an option. When you get older and your body goes through different changes, you don’t always have an option with that one either. However, I am talking about changing my art and with that I am finding an abundance of options.

As for the types of art I can make, I am finding the number of options to be mind-boggling. Over the past couple of days I have been looking at different types of art trying to decide what I want to do. There is so much beautiful art to look at and for me, I have been like a kid in a candy store with the instruction, “pick out anything that you want, and no, you can’t have it all.”

I am still in the process of deciding what I want. There are many things about my art that I do like. I think I am just a little board doing the same thing over and over again. I feel like it is time to try something new. However, in that process there are some things that I don’t want to change, and to me these are my “non-negotiables”. I love the colorfulness of my art, and I really don’t want to change that. So I am trying to pick a medium where I can still get the bold bright colors that I love.

Another thing that I want to keep are all the things that I use to “define” my style. That would be my whimsical doodle drawings with my sketchy lines. Although I use quite a bit of hand lettering in my previous art, that is something that I would like do more and have be more pronounced. The messages in my art are the most important thing to me and so I have to find a way to make that work.

And of course I can’t do without little random black and white checkerboard. I just don’t know how I could live without that.

One of the mediums that I came really close to choosing was Alcohol Inks. I love the boldness and saturation of color in the inks, yet, I was concerned if I would be able to have the control and versatility that I want to have when incorporating my “non-negotiables”.

I have also been looking at mixed media collage. I don’t know if this will work or not. Trying to incorporate my “non-negotiables” may be pretty interesting. I don’t know if it will work or not, but I do know that I am being really drawn to it, so I think I am going to give it a try.

Although working with different mediums and developing “style” are the really fun things that I get to do, I also have to keep remembering that this is a business too.

"Attitude Is The Difference" by Debi Payne of Debi Payne Designs

“Attitude Is The Difference” by Debi Payne of Debi Payne Designs

A really big part of this business (and probably one of the most important parts) is the marketing end. Unfortunately, that is my least favorite part. Perhaps that is where I need to make the biggest change. And the biggest change that I need to make there is probably simply in just my attitude.

Before I can get started on the experimentation and making changes to my art and my business, I have to first complete a move. We are moving in two days and I first have to finish packing. Once we have moved then I can get started on my new art in a new studio.

Moving Boxes #1 3-20-2016

There are just so many changes going on for me right now! Granted these changes are a little scary and filled with tons of uncertainty, I am really looking forward to them and seeing how things look on the other side of the change.





FB Change

Change is a funny little thing! Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not so good. There are subtle changes that come along with nature such as the changes our bodies go through. It seems like with every 10 years of age there comes some sort of physical change that my body has gone through, which usually hasn’t been something to brag about.

On the other hand, when I stopped working for somebody else and decided to make art full-time, that was a sudden change, and it was a fabulous change.

Changes come in all sizes. There a little bitty changes that are so subtle you hardly notice them. Then there are those gigantic changes that totally rock your world.

A lot of times you don’t see change coming until it is completely finished and you find yourself on the other side, wondering when and how the heck that changed happened. Then there are those times when you can actually see the change coming. You know it is coming and you either brace yourself to ride through the change or you start preparing to fight the impending battle that is about to pursue.

All this week I have been hearing this pesky little word ringing through my head. That word is “change”. At first I thought I kept hearing that little inner voice of mine telling me the word “change” because Tim and I are getting ready to move. I know we are getting ready to change not only the residence where we live, but the town we live in. To me that is change. It is a change that I am all too familiar with since we move at least once a year (if not more). So I thought that was the change that was coming and just dismissed the word.

However, the more I tried to dismiss the word, THINKING that I knew what it meant, the word only got stronger and louder. I found myself writing the word on a piece of paper trying to figure out what it was trying to tell me. Then I found myself drawing the word. This word was driving me crazy and I just could not figure it out.

Then I finally figured it out. This little voice was telling me to change my art. Change my art? Are you kidding me? What in the world am I supposed to change my art too? I had a million questions and once again, all I could hear is “change”.

So, here I am. I know that my art is getting ready to change, yet I don’t have a clue about “how” it is going to change or “what” it is going to change into, I just know it is going to change. On one hand it is scary… very scary. Yet on the other hand I am really very excited. I don’t know if exhilarated fear is an actual term or not, but that is probably the best way that I can describe this feeling.

I know that for a while I am going to get to be like a mad scientist, or in my case I will be a mad artist. I am going to get to play, explore and experiment with new mediums and methods. I don’t know exactly what those are going to be right now, but I am really excited to find out.

I don’t know if these changes are going to be really big, making my art totally different from what it is now, or if the changes are going to be so subtle that nobody notices but me. I guess we will find out. However, I do know that there will be some things about my art that will not change. Those things are why I make art. (I will be sharing those non-negotiable changes in future post.)

But for now, I am embracing this change with the total excitement and the same anticipation as that of a small child on Christmas morning, anxious to see what I am going to find when I unwrap that beautiful package.

Over the coming days, weeks and maybe even months as I go through this process I will be updating this blog on a frequent basis. I will be doing this mainly as a process of journaling for myself. However, I welcome you to join me on this journey.

I would love to hear your comments (either in the form of encouragement or advice), but due to an enormous number of spammers I have had to turn off the comments here. However, please feel free to comment over on my Facebook page.

I am excited to share this adventure with you and lets enjoy a great ride!