Artist Interview: Renee DeLeon

Name of Company: Inspire U Art
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My earliest creative memory is shopping with my parents at a Sherwin Williams store.  I remember the smell of the paints and the incredibly beautiful walls of color chips. This particular store had some art supplies and I was allowed to purchase the largest sketch pad I'd ever had along with one Pantone marker.  I picked this gorgeous pale pink marker and never had a single regret over my choice. I loved that big sketchbook as well as the feeling I had when I chose the right color.  I could hardly wait to get my treasures home.  

It wasn't difficult to find my literal creative voice because I sing.  I was raised in church and spent much of my time rehearsing for productions or helping out with younger kids' music and art activities. I've always been the artsy one.

In my adult life I tried hard to find a 'practical' package for my music and art and landed on teaching as a way to make the most of both interests.  To be honest, being practical wasn't the best idea when it came to figuring out what to study in college since I had not taught in the public classroom in many years.  I am an artist. I should have gone with my gut regarding what to study.  You can only imagine how vocal I am to my own kids about following their inner voice and how important it is that they believe in their talents and abilities. 

Choosing to stay home with my kids after they were born brought me back to my artsy and way less practical, but oh so happy, self. To make ends meet, I began assisting my husband with freelance graphic design projects however I could.  This decision makes it possible to use my passion for the visual arts and be home with my children, all at the same time.  I feel very blessed that I listened to my heart regarding these choices.

My creative process involves one constant thought, will this image evoke a feeling of wellness? I've gone through some serious tragedy so I know the need for encouragement all too well.  When we lost our youngest son to cancer at only 16 months old, I was convinced I would die at that same moment he passed.  Since that's not the way things went, I took comfort, such comfort, in the truth that God is in control of everything.  He allowed me the gift of being Ryan's Mom for exactly as many days as had been determined before the beginning of time.  I can't explain it fully, but sometimes you have to believe that there is something bigger than just the small bits of day to day that we get to experience.  So, the art that I create must encourage, provoke a smile, sometimes challenge and hopefully, inspire.

Now that my kids are older, within the last four years or so, I paint.  My first big painting that returned me to my crazy deep love for color is called, "Tree Party".  The next big painting was, "Triesta!". Currently, I'm working on a painting on wood. I'm trying to loosen up - try new things.  Ha, it never ends!

My favorite verse is Philippians 4:8

New International Version (©1984)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

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