Friday, April 29, 2011

Why I do what I do

Have you ever looked at your child and thought "Wow, that expression is the same one so-and-so use to get all the time"? Or wondered what life was like for your grandparents, great grandparents or even more distant relations? I have, of course we have a general idea what life was like for the general populous during certain time periods, but what I am talking about is what it was like personally. Unfortunately my family for whatever reason did not take or preserve photographs to pass from one generation to the next, nor did they make any written record of their lives. For me this is the type of thing that adds to ones sense of belonging which I feel is one of the most important things in life.

My father passed away when my oldest son was only four years old so by the time my youngest son was born my older children were confused when their little brother turned out to be blonde with blue eyes. "Where did that come from Mom?" they would ask me, you see my husband is a red head and I am a brunette and no one else in the family had blue eyes that our children knew of. Now had I still had the photo I once saw of my father as a toddler with his blonde curly hair and bright blue eyes, my children would have known right away that is where it came from. But no all I have are a few pictures of him after his hair had darkened to a light brown and in none of those can you actually see the color of his eyes. We have one or two pictures of my husband and I's grand parents and each of us remembers a story or two told to us by our grandparents but that is where the connections to our ancestors ends. So I decided I want more for my future great grandchildren and maybe even for their great grandchildren.

Of course to accomplish this my first idea was to help my kids put together scrapbooks as they were growing up. I am ashamed to say it but that plan did not turn out well. Sure they put a few things in their books but soon lost interest in them. So my second attempt was to make a scrapbook myself for my granddaughter that covered the first five years of her life. WOW, was I ever shocked at how expensive it was to create that book. Not only was it expensive but I was a bit discouraged because I had so many photographs that captured special memories and of course I could only fit a few on each page without it being too cluttered and no room for descriptions. I looked around at the collages available at the quick labs and by collage artists on line and decided they were so limited and all pretty much looked the same. By this time I had been digitally creating photo collages and doing photographic enhancements and manipulations for a few years so I decided to turn my artistic eye and skills to create photo art collages that would capture not just the photos but the emotions. Soon friends and family were asking me to create collages for them.

By this time my husband had become disabled and I was looking for a way to help support my family and take care of them at the same time. I left the doldrums of the 9-5 office world to work on my new dream of using my talents to help other families capture and preserve their cherished memories, and Artistix Network was born. I love creating memory art prints that I know will be cherished for many generations and helping families learn how to preserve both print and digital photographs so that none of their precious photos are lost because of environmental damage, crashed computers or inkjet printing which fades in just a few years. Doing what I do now ensures me that 200 years from now maybe even longer my descendants and those of the families I create memory photos for will have a much better chance of  knowing precious details of their ancestors.


Marlee said...

Beauuuuutiful pictures! I've never tried scrapbooking, but I think the end result would be invaluable. Everyone's memories, perfectly preserved. Great post!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea you did that. I find family history, mine and other peoples fascinating. That's a beautiful thing to be doing.

Nita Davis said...

Thanks Marlee and Sarah. One of my favorite parts of my work is hearing the stories behind the photos that I am asked to work with. On the left of my blog are links to our Facebook page and our website stop on by anytime. Our website will be getting a face lift soon to make it much easier to get around.