"What’s Your Story?" Featuring Artist Jill Brown and Things With Wings

When I first ran across the “Things with Wings” blog, it was hands down love at first sight.  This mixed media group – composed of a mother and her two daughters – create whimsical, inspiring pieces emphasizing faith and family, that are irresistable – BEAUTIFUL work amongst my very favorite.  Look at this, will you…

Lazy Susan by Connie Berends – for Things With Wings’ new linewith DEMDACO called “This Thing Called Family” 

Artist: Laura McCarragher
Artist: Jill Brown

Artist: Jill Brown

Artist: Jill Brown

Artist: Jill Brown

About Your Work:
We are Things With Wings: a family (me, my sister and our mother) of mixed media artists
Jill Brown – Paper Prayers
Laura McCarragher – Green Girl Designs
Connie Berends – Creative Works

(We bring our complimentary work together for art festivals and call ourselves “Things With Wings”).

Where are you located? 

Iowa City, Iowa

What do you create? 
Our mixed media work uses a combination of paint and patterned paper along with encouraging messages. Themes include faith, family and having fun! We also designed a line of wall art and home decor products for a nation-wide company called DEMDACO called “This Thing Called Family.” thingswithwingsartjournal.blogspot.com/p/our-demdaco-line.html It debuted in January and is selling really well! You can find it in gift and specialty shops nationwide!

When and why did you set up your online shop?
My sister and I both set up our etsy shops about 2 years ago. The three of us have been selling our work much longer – about 10 years together -at art festivals around the midwest, and would often sell items that we featured on our blog, so it was time to set up ‘shop’ online as well!

How do you promote your creations? 

Facebook: facebook.com/thingswithwings, and our blog:thingswithwingsartjournal.blogspot.com we also send out occasional emails and postcards. Word of mouth is actually very powerful as well – we get a lot of personalized custom orders because someone sees something hanging in a friend’s house and wants one for their own family! We also do a lot of festivals and shows, and that’s a natural place to promote yourself! 

What inspires your work? 
Lots of things! We consider our talents to be God-given, so inspiration is really a gift from Him. We get inspired by listening to music, good quotes, fun color combinations and mix matching patterned paper. We also get inspiration from each other, brainstorming and collaborating is a lot of fun!

What is your must have tool for creating?
mod-podge. I buy it online in GALLON jugs because I go through it so fast!

Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business?
Turning what I love to do in my spare time into a super successful business is not my motivation for doing this. I have three kids, my sister does as well. We try to maintain a balance as well as we can, and therefore just don’t have the time or desire to turn this into a full time job. We’ve always looked at creating as a passion and a privilege: to do and to share. Everything we create has a purpose: to encourage someone, to celebrate family, or for ourselves – to remind us of who we are and how much God loves us. So our main motivation is to be a blessing to others and to be an encouragement to ourselves. THAT’S what we consider success! All the extras are icing on the cake!


What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately? 

I’m terrible about remembering titles! I love a good mystery/suspenseful book, but find that movie genre too intense. For movies I love a good comedy or romance. 

Where was your last vacation? 

What’s that? 

What is your favorite pastime outside of creating? 

Reading and blogging

Who is your favorite designer/artist? 

my sister and mother
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