Go to Your Studio and Make Stuff…

I have been creative my entire life. I’m pretty sure I was born with paint brushes in hand! When I was a kid I always had crayons, markers and paper on hand (thanks Mom!). I would go to work with my Mom sometimes and she would sit me down at a desk with pens, highlighters, paper clips, hole punches, colored paper and a type writer and let me pass the time creating… Bing (that was the type writer returning)! My Grandmother was a seamstress and taught me how to sew and work with my hands (my love of repeat patterns was birthed back then). My Dad introduced me to modern art and classical music. In fact, when I was in 5th grade I did a book report on Abstract Expressionism (I still have it after all these years)! How many 5th graders (or adults for that matter) even know what that is?

Needless to say, art has always been a part of my life. Creating things has always been a part. And I was born to be an artist.

How many of you can say the same? I know you’re out there with dreams and goals and so many ideas you don’t know where to begin sometimes. I get it. I’m right there with you. No matter what your medium, be it paint, paper, fiber, words, musical notes or dialogue, you were born to create.

And it ain’t always easy. But the show must go on.

Back in 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit my city and everything changed. I had a wonderful art career filled with clients, shows, galleries, club memberships, art groups, students and classes and all of that came to a complete halt! Overnight… all just stopped. It was hard, sad and I mourned. So much was lost and my heart ached in so many ways and my creativity was broken.

Rachel Fontenot ~ Kat 5 Series

Rachel Fontenot ~ Kat 5 Series


A year later my hubby and I moved to TN. Our first time ever living away from New Orleans (cause New Orleans folk don’t leave!). And that was hard. A new town where I was not known. No art group, no classes, no students, no shows, no one stopping me in the grocery and saying, “I know you, you’re Rachel. I have one of your paintings!” I went from an art somebody to an art nobody overnight. And I was sad and I mourned.

I tried to get teaching jobs. Applied to shows. Searched for art groups to join. But to no avail. I struggled. I was a square peg in a round hole. And creating became hard because there were no dates on the calendar to create for. No clients calling for journals or art. No festivals, shows or galleries. No art groups to attend to share my latest painting with. No audience. No one to create for.

Now into the painting enters God. Yes, I believe in God, Creator of the universe, the ultimate Artist in whose image we are all created. Which means we are all creative beings with creation inside of us just waiting to be birthed through our minds and hands! And I talk with Him and listen too.

Well, one day He said to me, “Can you create art for Me? I delight in you and your work and I love to see what you create everyday.”

My answer, “YES!” And then, “But why isn’t anything happening for me?”

His answer, “Because you are not prepared. How can I do anything with your art if you have no art for me to do anything with?”.

Now, the ah-ha wow moment and I got busy creating!

Rachel Fontenot ~ Mending Series

Rachel Fontenot ~ Mending Series


So, for 5 years I woke up and went to my studio and made art because there was One who delighted in it. I took my hurt and ache and turned it into colorful, beautiful art. Over time my heart and creativity was healed by God and the act of creating art. I tried new things. Moved into new directions. Started my doodle a day sketchbooks (I’m in my 4th year now with thousands of sketches to work with). Learned to crochet. It was a wonderful time.

And the art piled up! And now I have work that can go places!

Are you ready? Do you have work piled up ready to go? If not and your struggling, know this, your Creator delights in you and what you do and He smiles on you everyday!

Fred Babb ~ The StudioI have this pinned to the wall in my bedroom so that it's the first thing I see when I wake!

Fred Babb ~ The Studio
I have this pinned to the wall in my bedroom so that it’s the first thing I see when I wake!


So, as Fred Babb says, “Go to your studio and make stuff!”. Don’t wait for inspiration. Just show up and start making things. Jump into the river of creativity and see where it takes you.

I’m right there with you. Big Hug!

Rachel xoxo

About Rachel Fontenot Crawford

Hi y'all! I'm Rachel Fontenot Crawford, an artist, poet and surface designer who is passionate about color and pattern, poetry, the great outdoors and art history. I also love to crochet and knit, scrapbook and make handmade cards. All of which you will find on this blog! My artwork and patterns are happy, peaceful and full of color as are all the things my happy hands find to create. I'm a native of the colorful and eclectic city of New Orleans where I currently live with my wonderful hubby of 20+ years marriage. Welcome!
This entry was posted in Creative Encouragement, My Artwork, Studio Bliss and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Go to Your Studio and Make Stuff…

  1. Rachel,

    Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Even though I am not an “artist” in the traditional sense, I do feel that I use my creativity every day in the form of problem solving.

    I recently went through a time where I was not allowed to express myself as I needed to, and it was really hard. I even contemplated leaving the work I love because it got so hard. I too just kept hearing God say – “stay on this path.” I did not know where it was leading, but now I am getting a glimpse of what He was preparing me for – and it is better than I could have conceived!

    Love the thoughts in this post – next time I want to throw in the towel, I will come back and read these inspirational words.

  2. Oh my Rachel that is such an inspirational post. It makes so much sense to create for God everyday. I love the Kat 5 and Mending art pieces you inserted with this post so very much.

  3. jshewett says:

    WOW! Perfect timing. I woke up this morning and trudged into my studio and glared at an artist’s book that I’m having construction issues with and was just ready to QUIT! The quote that you used, “Go to your studio and make stuff!” screamed at me. I’m not an overly religious person, but I can appreciate the motivation no matter what form it takes. Being a new artist is HARD WORK. It’s nice to know that I’m not sitting alone in my little boat in unchartered waters. It really helped me to put things into perspective and to remember that a million zillion artists have been RIGHT WHERE I AM right now. The key is to not stop rowing my little boat. Thank you so much. I needed this post today.

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  5. Unbelievable! Rachel, if you only knew how much you just inspired me. Thank you so much for your post. And, I love both the Kat 5 and Mending series! – Trisha

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