We wanted to introduce ourselves, and give little more background to the people behind the logo! My name is Marian Bradshaw Adams, and I was born in Huntsville, AL, and raised Orthodox Christian from birth by my loving parents, Mary and David Bradshaw. Growing up, we moved to Austin, TX, Hobart, IN, and finally settled in Lexington, KY, where my dad still teaches Philosophy at the University of KY. I have loved art since I was a little girl, and as a child I created "M & E Card Company" with my cousin, where we made cards and had them for sale to relatives. On a good year, we would make $30 apiece, so I don't want to brag, but it was quite a successful business venture. In many ways, Draw Near Designs feels like coming full circle with my entrepreneurial dreams!
I went to college in Birmingham, AL, at Birmingham-Southern College, and graduated with a Bachelors degree in French, with minors in Psychology and Art History. For most of my time at college, I dated James Adams, who lived in Louisville, KY. We had met at church in Nicholasville, KY, at St. Athanasius Orthodox Church before I left for college. We stayed in touch, eventually recognized a kindred spirit, and fell in love. When I graduated college in 2011, I moved to Louisville, KY, and became wife to James and step-mother to his sweet daughter, Kyleigh. 6 years later, we live in a cozy house with a big backyard, a vegetable garden, a creek, 3 cats, and a turtle. Kyleigh is 14 (we met when she was 4!), and our toddler Emily is 2. Yes, we have a teenager and toddler in the same house! It's crazy sometimes, but it's wonderful all the time!
Since moving to Louisville, I have worked in a bakery as an assistant pastry chef (cooking and baking has been my job and hobby since high school!), and managing shipping and receiving and Anthropologie. When Emily was born, I made the decision to devote my time to raising her and caring for our family, and it is a beautiful season of life that I am savoring. In my "free time" I love to cook, read (especially mysteries!), travel, market Rodan+Fields skincare, and try my hand at every new craft I can get my hands on (weaving, embroidery, Cheerio necklaces with the toddler)...and of course, I'm drawing and painting all day every day. My favorite subject matter is nature-- leaves, pinecones, flowers, herbs, trees-- and I thrive on bright colors and hard work.
One of my favorite churches that we attended had an icon corner in the back of the church, with icons placed at child eye-level. Making Orthodoxy an accessible part of a child's life is deeply important to me, as I raise my girls to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God. Draw Near Designs is the best way for me to use my love of art for good, and I am so proud of the calendar we have created this year. My dream is to continue creating Orthodox Christian educational products for children (the calendar and more!) for years to come, and working as a freelance illustrator while raising my girls and loving my husband. Glory to God!