Hello, friends of Draw Near Designs! Marian Adams here today, and I am going to share a little more about why we created the Marketplace, the artists featured, and our vision for the future.
As Draw Near Designs has grown, we have gotten to know so many incredibly talented Orthodox Christians, and there were many artists and makers that I hadn't known about until starting this business. I realized that there wasn't a hub anywhere connecting the Orthodox artists, makers, and smaller business owners. As our outreach and website traffic grew, I began to think, why not create what I wish we had? So I proposed my idea to Abigail and Caroline, to devote a section of our business to supporting other artists, help them gain exposure, and create a one-stop-shop for products from these Orthodox artists. Understandably, there was some skepticism and questions, but they both agreed to give it a try. We began contacting some artists, and the Draw Near Designs Marketplace was launched on March 8, 2018.
Now for a quick introduction to the artists featured:
Dacha Designs is a small business owned by Matushka Anastasia in Seattle, WA (yes, the same incredibly talented woman behind the Study Journal for the Theotokos' Entrance into the Temple that Draw Near Designs illustrated). She is passionate about reusable, practical home goods, and her classic designs, high quality materials, and attention to detail make her products perfect to buy for your own home or as gifts.
She screen prints each item by hand, and her designs often reference her Russian heritage. Purchasing her products not only supplies you with practical, reusable towels and bags, but supports a priest's family!
Next up, we have Emilia's Post!
Hailing from California, Kelsey Lawson, an Orthodox Christian mother of 2 young boys is the artist behind Emilia's Post. She describes her shop as "Art prints inspired by faith, beauty, and home." Her beautiful calligraphy, incredible illustrations, and thoughtful choice of subject matter immediately caught my attention, and I have several of her prints framed in my own home!
Many of her prints feature prayers and quotes from saints, but there is even a quote from The Chronicles of Narnia and Charlotte Mason in there!
Another Kelsey is at the helm of another small business featured in the Marketplace: St. Tabitha's Workshop!
Kelsey Moore is an Orthodox mother, and after noticing a lack of Orthodox-themed fabrics available, started designing her own on the website Spoonflower. Her products, all made with cloth that she designed, are both beautiful and carefully crafted.
Her attention to every last detail make the swaddle blankets and Happy Name Day bunting banners (and more!) items that your family will treasure and use for years, if not generations, to come. (Her Happy Name Day banners sold out within a day, but they will be restocked soon!)
The next artist featured is Michael Elgamal, an Orthodox Christian in Canada, who goes by the handle Creative Orthodox wrote and illustrated Anastasis: The Harrowing of Hades.
Anastasis is a full color graphic novel, that explores what happened to the Old Testament souls in Hades, and the consequences of Christ's decent into Hell. The book is full of Biblical references, writings from the Church Fathers, and gripping storytelling. At only $14, this is definitely worth adding to your collection!
Abigail Holt, one of the artists behind Draw Near Designs, also runs her own Etsy shop, Abigail Art Company. Abigail's a mother of 2 young girls, artist, and loves high-quality paper! She and her husband keep a large flock of chickens, and have several sheep in their urban farm.
Abigail Art Company features a variety of Orthodox-themed cards, everything from Pascha cards, to "Memory Eternal", all illustrated with her nature and folk-inspired style. She also has gorgeous, high quality letterpress 5x7 prints available that feature a saint with a meaningful quote.
And of course there's me, Marian Adams. I am the artist behind The Green Paintbrush. I am a mother to 2 girls, and my favorite color is (you guessed it!) green. I love products that have more than one purpose, so my prints are just the right size to also be used as cards, or they can be displayed.
I also have art available on shirt, tote bags, notebooks and more over at the website Threadless. My illustrations often combine a quote that inspires me, paired with my love of nature. I also offer a coloring book in the Marketplace-- a silly, rhyming alphabet book that I originally wrote and illustrated for my daughter.
Our motto for the Draw Near Designs Marketplace is "Collaboration not competition". We hope to continue to fill the Marketplace with high quality goods from Orthodox artists and small businesses, and provide a resource for unique, meaningful gifts. By Christmastime, we plan to have an even larger variety of products available to truly be a one-stop-shop for Christmas shopping while also supporting Orthodox artists around the country!
With love in Christ,