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  • Marissa Hitt

The Hearts Behind the Art: Cady Driver, Gabriela Dachin, & Norma Herring


Marissa Hitt Co-Founder of Melane & Co.  with Golden Retriever painting paintbrush and reference photo

Hi, it’s Marissa…


along with other creative individuals!


I want to turn the spotlight to some other amazing artists.


It is a pleasure to read their stories and learn more about the hearts behind their art.

 

Cady Driver with watercolor floral art painting

How would you describe your work in three words?

I would describe my work as a reflective of God’s creation, light filled, and vibrant.


Mushroom art piece by Cady Driver

When did you feel as though you became an artist?

I feel that I have always been an artist. Even as a child, I was fascinated with coloring, drawing, and painting, but I didn’t start my art journey until I was an older teenager.


Floral paintings by Cady Driver

What do you wish others knew about your work?


I wish other believers knew that God gifts us with talents that we love to use for His glory! For example, my brain is wired for creativity…..how can I use this for others? I can create and sell beautiful pieces of art to be sold to help children get home to their forever families. Fly Home Fundraising was born through my art and has already raised over $100,000 for adopting families.


If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself when you first began creating?


I wish I could tell myself to not be so timid. I used to be so afraid to call myself an artist because I had had no formal training or schooling. But ultimately, God gave us this amazing ability to teach ourselves through practice and repetition, and I came to understand that I didn’t need an art degree to create beautiful art that people love to hang on their walls. I just needed practice and perseverance.



"...I didn’t need an art degree to create

beautiful art that people love to hang on their walls.

I just needed practice and perseverance."



Floral artwork by Cady Driver

Is there a challenge you face as an artist that you would like to share?

One of my greatest heartbreaks as an artist when I was a part of the arts community was that I’d be "wasting my life and talents if I adopted" my first child, Lian….because he has Down syndrome and when would I paint? People would actually say things like, “Why would you take care of a child like THAT?” And there was a breaking away from the arts community because of the judgement that I couldn’t adopt and mother a child like Lian AND be a successful artist. I lost all of my artist friends. Honestly, as much as I loved art, I knew that God was calling us to adopt and even if that meant I had to give it all up, I’d do that for the sake of this child. Of course, God is in the business of multiplying what we think we’ve lost. Through adoption and through having to sell art to raise the funds for adoption, not only did my art help our children come home, my art has also helped dozens of other families bring THEIR children home or help them pay for medical costs. It’s such an honor to be a part of this amazing community and I don’t regret adopting Lian or Ella in the least. I still have time to create and paint with Ella, our youngest child that we adopted with Down syndrome, just happens to also love art, and I can see that she will be an artist one day.


What is one of the most rewarding parts about being an artist?

I could say that it’s rewarding to see people enjoying my art in their homes, but the ultimate reward is seeing how God has used my art for His glory.


Bee paintings on wood by artist Cady Driver

What would you say to someone who doubts their creativity?


I would say to keep trying! You cannot fail art….it’s just a piece of paper or a canvas. And with every “failure”, you’ve really learned a lot. I think I learned my greatest lessons through my biggest failed pieces. Yes, they sit in the trashcan, but the ability to KNOW what to do next is the treasure you take away from a “failed” piece of art. Those lessons are of the utmost importance in the artistic journey.


 

Gabriela Dachin portrait

How would you describe your work in three words?


Floral, clean, and joyful.


flower paintings by Gabriela Dachin

What do you wish others knew about your work?


That my passion is also my full-time job.


Green and pink surface pattern design by Gabriela Dachin

What is one of the most rewarding parts of being an artist? Seeing my designs out in the world. At the moment, I have licensed some of my designs for wallpaper, and I love how people transform their space using my designs.


Floral wallpaper and wall print bedroom inspiration from Gabriela Dachin

What would you say to someone who doubts their creativity?


It is normal to have doubts, because doubt, in general, is part of being human, but what you do with that is important. Don't let doubts hold you back. Create even when you don’t feel like it. Make marks, make your marks. One day they will help you grow.



"It is normal to have doubts, because doubt, in general, is part of being human, but what you do with that is important."



Flower surface pattern design by Gabriela Dachin

 

Norma Herring next to floral painting

How would you describe your work in three words?


Finely-detailed mixed watermedia paintings.


Painting of vibrant woodland scene by Norma Herring

When did you feel as if you became an artist?


At around age 10 in 4th grade my Dad encouraged me to draw something for an art contest and I did well. That small success sparked my interest in art, and I explored a lot of different mediums over the years, but was always drawn to watercolors. My Dad, as well as my maternal Grandmother who lived with us, were artists at heart...my Dad worked at General Motors making cars but did gorgeous glass etchings, made beautiful knives (both the blades and handles), made stainless steel jewelry for me and my Mom, and loved to draw. I have pencil drawings my grandmother did when she was 17 in 1898 that are absolutely excellent. I am sure she never realized the great drawing talent she had. She married at 19 in 1900 and then quickly had 5 children, and I doubt she drew after that but she was an excellent seamstress and did lovely embroidery. It has occurred to me that the reason I enjoy adding great detail in my paintings is because it reminds me of doing embroidery with her for hours.


What do you wish others knew about your work?


Each of my paintings has a story behind it, a list of all the mistakes that I made, and notes about how I solved my mistakes and persevered until I was happy with the painting. And something to note...I never consider the painting “finished” if over the years I decide it needs to be changed. If I feel like it I take them apart and change them even if I’ve had giclee prints made of them. I completely redid one painting 4 times over 10 years and may do more!



"Each of my paintings has a story behind it."



Colorful plant painting by Norma Herring

What do you wish you could go back and tell yourself when you first began creating?


I honestly don’t think I have a need to do this or regrets about my “art journey.” I find it fun to look back and realize how amazing some of the good and bad/sad events in my life actually helped my art to unfold as it did and how it provided a path to develop my art in ways I had never anticipated. Specifically, my breast cancer in 2001 helped make me the artist that I am today. And I already know my art will be a source of comfort and healing after my husband is gone after he loses his battle with incurable lung disease.


pink and purple woodland painting by Norma Herring

What would you say to someone who doubts their creativity?


I would tell them to “simply never give up” and find a way to believe in themselves. I strongly believe that my artistic talent is a “gift” from God along with the genetic traits that were passed on to me from my Dad and Grandmother. I believe I have an obligation to honor that gift by developing it to the best of my ability to thank them and show my deep appreciation. I also truly believe each one of us has artistic capabilities within us that we can choose to bring out and show the world if we “want it bad enough” to keep working at it. Art is not easy...it is hard work!


Dog smelling plants painting by Norma Herring

 

Black and white artist picture of co-founder of Melane & Co. Marissa Hitt



"I hope these stories inspire you to find creativity

& joy in the endeavors you are led to."



Although I have known these amazing creatives for quite some time, I had the honor of learning more about their journeys through their wonderful words & artwork. I hope these stories inspire you to find creativity & joy in the endeavors you are led to.



Marissa

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