We went to the Instagram "way back" machine to find out exactly when SGD and Esther McCord became acquainted with one another. Turns out it was July 2018 when she started following us and Shauna fell in love with her art. So much in fact, she commissioned a large 36x36 canvas, which was bigger than anything Esther had done in the past. The piece was amazing, of course, and Esther wrote to us later to thank Shauna for pushing her to "go big". And while we did fall in love with Esther's art, we fell in love with Esther's heart as well. Shortly after Shauna commissioned the piece, her granddaughter passed away at the age of 12 days. She heard from many of her friends and followers on social media with words of sympathy and comfort, but Esther's messages stood out. Every other day or so, there was a prayer, a quote of scripture, a word of encouragement. We knew then that Esther was someone special and are forever grateful for her beautiful, giving heart.
SGD: Can you briefly walk us through your story? How did you get started and how did you get to where you are today?
EM: In 2013 I left my teaching career to join the full time, volunteer ministry. I then found myself with extra time on my hands and decided it was time to start sharing my art with the world. I was nervous and scared! I remember thinking, "What if no one likes my work?" (Some don't) "What if people are mean and jealous?" (Some are) BUT I did this for ME and to share my joy with YOU! I was no longer able to share my joy of art with teaching children, so now I had to share my joy by creating and sharing with YOU! Instagram was a great platform for this. I've met and connected with wonderful creative people on Instagram and have found several amazing collectors! And to this day, those of you that love my work and continue to support me, far outweigh my doubts and the meanies! THANK YOU! My paintings are living in JUST ABOUT all 50 states and even one in New Zealand! Moral of the story?
Continue reading to find out...
SGD: Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
EM: FEAR and DOUBT, were big obstacles that I had to overcome. Getting out of my own way was the biggest obstacle. Once I figured out WHY I was sharing my work with the world and was consistent, I learned that the little negative voice in your head can be overcome by the positive one! This world 🌎 needs color and positivity and I'm happy to share what I can contribute!
SGD: What are you most proud of and what sets you apart from other artist?
EM: I can honestly say that I am most proud of not giving up! Everyday, I find something positive to share with my friends and collectors. And as an artist I firmly believe in producing art that will remind you to stay positive and never give up! My work has been described as uplifting and inspiring.
My artworks are more than mere objects, an experience will be provided by establishing meaningful connections with collectors.
SGD: What advice would you give to someone at the start of his or her career?
• Get out of your own way.
• Learn from others.
• Then give them credit for helping you.
• Know your worth.
•MOST IMPORTANTLY commend and encourage everyone you meet! Always look for the good.
My favorite motto: Be Nice or Leave.
SGD: What artists do YOU admire and why?
EM: David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Maud Lewis, these artists all have something in common and that's their love for bold and beautiful color! Each of these artists took pride in their work and worked hard at succeeding in their art careers.
SGD: If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
EM: A psychologist.