Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Artist Profile: Darlene Lowe of Amazing Grace Designs

Meet Darlene Lowe of Amazing Grace Designs. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and one of the ways we are supporting the cause is by supporting creatives like Darlene who care enough to make a difference. Darlene makes and sells her orriginal "Grace Relief Pillow", which designed to help women who suffer from breast cancer. I hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I enjoyed coming across her.

1. Where is your business based out of?

I live in a small town called Mount Gilead in North Carolina. I do all of my work from my home.

2. Where are you from originally?

I was born in Deleware, but my father was in the Army and we traveled all over the world. I spent most of my time in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

3. How long have you been an artist and/or business owner?

I have been doing interior decorating for quite some time now, but I only progressed into being a business owner in the past couple of months.

4. What inspired this product that is geared toward helping breast cancer patients/ survivors?

It actually started when a friend from church was diagnosed with breast cancer. I really felt that the Lord was leading me to this idea of a pillow to assist with the pain and discomfort that comes from the many procedures such as lymph node removal and masectomies.
My mother and my aunt also had a long battle with breast cancer, and I witnessed in both accounts the pain that they both had to endure. I watched both of them use small pillows constantly to help relieve some of that discomfort, and now I just want to bring some of that relief to other women as well.

5. Where do you get your creative inspiration?

I spend a lot of time praying, and seeking after the Lord to give me ideas. I also think about my mother and the times we had together and how special they were. My three girls and my grandchildren also give me inspiration, as well as the love of my husband.

6. What does your creative process entail?

First, I go through all of my fabrics and pick and choose colors and patterns that I feel coordinate the best. Second, I usually cut out and pin about a dozen or so pillows together at a time. Then its down to sewing and stuffing all of them. That takes the most time so I finish about three pillows each day.

7. Would you say your environment (where you live, work, play) influences your creative process? If so, how?

I really believe that where I live has a very large influence on my art. I live out in the country, surrounded by trees, flowers and even a stream. As you can imagine, this gives me a very peaceful working enviroment!

8. Who are your creative mentors?

My mother and my grandmother were really the ones to pass on the creative gene. They both did plenty of quilting sessons and canning all sorts of different foods. I was exposed to this for so long, I think it rubbed off on me, just in a different form.
My mother-in-law was also very creative. She really dabbled in all sorts of artistic mediums and was very encouraging for me to do the same.

9. Tell us about the one project you would say you are most proud of.

The creation of the Grace Relief Pillow is the one that has definitely given me the most joy. Its my first project that has such profound meaning behind it. It's a way to give back.

10. What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?

My days are filled with wonderful things starting off with reading my Bible. I try to see my three grandbabies as much as possible. I really enjoy the time that I get to spend wih them! I also really like helping out at church. I try to make meals for people within our congregation that may be sick, have had a baby or ones that are just having a hard time. In a nut shell, I just really like to help people.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In ten years, I hope to have an entire household of grandchildren! I also want to be able, in ten years, to go with my husband on many more mission trips-Sudan, India and Jerusalem. And in ten years, I hope that The Grace Relief Pillow has helped many, many women who are suffering. But maybe by then a cure will be found and my pillow won't be needed anymore.

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