It's time for another Heart to Heart! This week we are learning all about Christy from Hibiscus Art & Lettering. Christy is a calligrapher and water color artist from sunny Florida. Let's learn some fun things about her first!
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
Definitely something that flies! I’m thinking a sea bird that lives on the coast of Hawaii. They get views of the mountains and volcanoes, and personally I feel at peace watching the waves. After some quick research, I choose the Laysan Albatross because it is “best known for its gliding flight, awkward landings and elaborate dancing courtship rituals.” A perfect description of me as a bird!
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Always Chocolate with Peanut Butter ribbons through it. Growing up I got it at Guernsey Dairy in Northville, MI. Now Häagen Dazs is the winner.
What is your favorite movie?
I’m tough for favorites. There are too many options to choose from and picking ONE requires leaving out so many good ones! I love historical fiction, a good war movie, a hollywood-ized true story.
If you had a boat, what would you call it?
The Dawdler. We’re always told not to dawdle, hurry up, etc. But if I’m on the water, I want to relax (speed boat slamming down on each wave is not my kind of fun). So I’d be floating around gently in my Dawdler.
If you were a super hero, what would your powers be?
Definitely flight and super human strength. I love a good kick-butt heroine!
Now onto the Heart to Heart….
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Christy Perez. I live in Central Florida, Mickey’s backyard. I had a few year fling with coffee, but as tempting as all of the online photos are, I had to break it off and go back to my first love...a hot cup of tea! I prefer herbal with fruity, floral flavors or a homemade creamy chai, as well as kombucha (fermented tea, It’s like healthy soda!). I married the love of my life and we have 3 children whom we homeschool. (Yes, he supports and helps when needed! Past Algebra 1 and I’m up a creek…). I also teach 8th grade at our school co-op: Logic, Latin, Algebra, Debate, Bible, Science and Writing (and I actually enjoy all of it!). I play piano and lead worship at my church. I LOVE to travel, and have visited many countries and more than 30 states. I’m also a homebody. With homeschooling my kids, life can get very busy and full of activities running around town, so my favorite rest days are ones where I can stay in my jammies all day and not leave the house...and paint of course! Or cuddle up with the family on the couch and watch a good story.
How did you get into art/lettering?
I remember LOVING my handwriting homework in elementary school. My sweet mom took me to my first calligraphy class at a local art store when I was around 12 or so. I fell in love! I practiced much and took on some big projects in High School, including lettering the diplomas of my graduating class! Over the last 5 years or so, seeing the revival of calligraphy and modern lettering, I fell in love all over again!
What made you choose Hibiscus Art & Lettering as your business name?
I have always loved flowers. As I child growing up in the mid-west and being used to the flora and fauna there, I fell in love with hibiscus when my parents returned from a trip to Hawaii and showed me photos of the tropical gardens there. I spent years drawing hibiscus and plumeria in my doodles. I even painted them on my daughter's crib when she was born. Now, living in Florida, I have them growing in my yard. So that’s the Hibiscus story. I chose Art & Lettering because I love variety. I have days when I want to paint all day, and others when I want to write, so I do both!
What art/lettering mediums do you focus on the most?
I love watercolors. Watercolor lettering is currently my favorite. As far as art, I’ve worked with Acrylic most of my life, but there is something magical about the way watercolor has a mind of its own (kind of like my hair!), and thus the mystery that you never know exactly what you’ll see on the page when you start painting. I would love to do more watercolor illustration. I’m currently working on a family crest. I can’t wait to share it when it’s completed! But I can see myself growing in floral and landscape art. I love the serenity of a pretty landscape and the variety of color, hue and texture in flowers. And I find it peaceful and relaxing to paint both of those.
What are your favorite tools?
I have both Grumbacher and Winsor & Newton brushes. Size 0 and Size 4 are great for lettering.
I love the blues and shimmery paints in the Prima Watercolors Decadent Pie Palette, and the soft tones of my Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolor Paints, all the blues, mauve, pink and yellow. Dr. PH Martins Bombay India Inks have a bright quality that I love with all of their colors.
I’ll use Strathmore Watercolor Paper for lettering and when I want cleaner lines, and Arches Aquarelle Paper for flowers and landscapes that require more water on the page.
Is there an accomplishment you have been most proud of?
Honestly, doing some large mural paintings on the walls of the kids building at my church was a super fun job and seeing them through the years has made me feel honored to participate. My favorite part of that project was painting a life-size iconic surf car: a woodie, complete with surf boards on top.
What is/do you have a dream job?
Presently, I’m living my dream of home schooling my three kids and enjoying my time with them (most days ;) while doing art on the side. Once they graduate, I’ll have honed my skills in my part-time work and hope to launch a full career in art. By then my style may have morphed into something completely different, but I simply enjoy the ride of learning new skillz as I go!
What goals do you have for this year?
I’m seriously hoping to complete a trip to another country this year (to be announced in the next month or so) to paint a building sized mural. That dream has me very excited! I am attending the Watercolor Summit online in August (7 Instagram famous artists teaching their watercolor skillz!). And honestly, trying not to take on too much. I make signs for weddings (chalk and mirror), write sermon notes and large chalkboards for my church, and take on commission projects from time to time. All of that can overwhelm my time if i’m not careful, and I don’t want to miss out on my kids growing. I recognize that I only have so many years to spend with them before they’re out of the house, so I constantly remind myself to keep my focus on my family for now.
What encouragement could you offer someone who feels like they are struggling in their art?
NEVER GIVE UP! Every artist started at the beginning. Sure some have natural talent, BUT hard work and constantly learning will take you FAR if you don’t give up. I know I’m not the top artist out there and might never be. But I do what I LOVE. If you love what you are doing, then keep going! I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’ll keep growing and get there one day. I have watched so many artists online start from the very beginning and surpass my skills simply by putting in their time practicing and learning. You can do it!
If you'd like to follow along with Christy and her journey with art, you can find her here:
FACEBOOK: Hibiscus Art & Lettering
Here's a slideshow of some of Christy's amazing work!