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Meet Lindsay Blevins of Lindsay Blevins Illustration in Allston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsay Blevins.

Lindsay, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always known that I wanted to be an artist. When I was 5, I wrote and illustrated a book for my dad called “The Fruit that Almost Got Eaten”, and ever since, I’ve been writing and drawing stories. My lifelong dream has been to write and illustrate my own picture books for children, and to make art for a living. After high school, I decided to go to art school at Lesley Art & Design (formerly known as the Art Institute of Boston) and I had a wonderful experience growing as an illustrator. During my time there, I continued to focus on children’s book illustration, while also learning about all of the other fun things I could do as an illustrator.

Once I graduated, I decided to get a part time day job and pursue freelance illustration. I started selling illustrated prints, greeting cards, and other handmade items at art markets around the city, which became one of my favorite ways to learn about the people who are interested in my work. I love getting to see the broad range of people who want to buy illustrations of cute woodland animals. When selling my greeting cards, my favorite thing is hearing who the recipient will be – it really warms my heart to hear that someone is going to send my card to their grandma, or their friend, or their dad. I decided to take my greeting cards a step further and dive into wholesale. I started selling my cards at Brookline Booksmith, where I worked at the time, and they sold very well. I approached other stores to see if they would sell my cards, and eventually got a couple wholesale reps who sell my work to stores in New England. I now sell my cards in over 35 shops across the east coast!

When I’m not fulfilling card orders, I work on painting commissions, creating personal work, and chipping away at my picture book. I’m currently trying to focus more on my book; children’s books are incredibly important to me, and I am ready to make one of my own. I have so many stories in my head, and it’s time to start putting them out into the world!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think the path of a creative person is naturally a bumpy one. When your job is creative, you use so much mental energy to fuel that inspiration, and some days you just don’t have enough fuel. Self-doubt is also a really difficult beast – I know I’m not the only one who has days when they wonder if they’re truly capable of staying on this path. Sometimes it is challenging to stay motivated. Sometimes you’re stuck working on a project you really don’t enjoy. Sometimes you just wake up in the wrong state of mind, and can’t force yourself to work no matter how hard you try. I think for me, it’s important to recognize that this road is not smooth, but it’s the path I’ve chosen, and I plan to stay on it. This is what I’ve always wanted. I know that being an artist is my purpose in life, and focusing on the struggles of this career won’t make me any better at my job.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Lindsay Blevins Illustration – what should we know?
I am known for painting sweet pictures of animals in cozy environments, and for my greeting card line. I paint gardening chickens, knitting pigs, and fiddling foxes. People tell me that my paintings make them feel nostalgic, warm, and safe, and that makes me so happy. I put my illustrations on prints and cards so that people can take that feeling home with them. The most gratifying experience for me is knowing that my paintings have given someone comfort.

A while back, I received an Etsy order from a man I’d never met. He told me that he was an electrician working on renovations at Lesley right after I graduated, and that he was under a lot of personal stress at the time. In the school lobby, there was a large monitor that would cycle through pictures of student artwork, and every day he would sit and wait for my Fiddle Fox painting to come up on the screen. He told me that he had been going through a very difficult time in his life, and that seeing my painting instantly calmed him down and gave him peace. I can truly say that this is my proudest moment as an artist so far. To know that my work could affect a stranger so deeply, that it could have such an impact on someone, fills me with such immense gratitude. This story gives me a lot of strength, and ultimately represents my mission as an artist. I want to put peace into this world through my work.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
When I think about it, I am overwhelmed by the support I have received for my work. My parents are my greatest cheerleaders, and I could not be more thankful. They are the type of parents that make me feel like everything I make is magic. I had so many kind and supportive teachers in college, teachers who I can call friends, who have made me feel capable and strong. My partner, Bruce, has been next to me through the best and worst times. He helps to keep me motivated on the days when the road feels bumpy. I have so many friends who push me to keep putting my work into the world. And I’ve met so many strangers who have validated my creations. This all feels really sappy, but I couldn’t begin to express how grateful I am for the encouragement I have received in my life, from both friends and strangers.

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