"Let it be thy will" has been an ongoing theme at Chasing Grace. It has popped up not only in creative sessions for art, but also as a motto when things seem to be out of our control, (which seems to be more often than we would like). When we decided to move forward with the design and wanted it to be hand lettered, there was one name at the top of our list, Joanne Green. Joanne is a faith-filled, loving, generous and ridiculously talented woman. She owns and operates her own hand lettering company called Greenvine Lettering which provides everything from custom addressed envelopes to large-scale custom signs. We were thrilled to have her design the artwork for our Let it be Thy Will tee. And today, we are honored and humbled to be introducing her as our newest artist in the CG family. Hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we did.
From what major influence do you attribute your faith/christian life (person, experience, etc.)?
Our father has always taught us the importance of the 4 F’s: faith, family/friends, fitness and finance. God always comes first and we do all things through Christ. I was raised going to church on Sundays with my family and truly looked forward to Easter Sunday every year at my grandparent’s Lutheran Church. The stain-glass windows were magnificent and I just loved that they made a cross out of fresh flowers that the members had brought from their own gardens. I truly still feel that’s what makes church special- everyone coming and working together to celebrate a common belief. Still to this day, my sisters and I will text and call each other on Easter Sunday to say “He Has Risen!” Only to have the reply of “He has risen indeed, hallelujah!” It has been amazing to watch my parent’s faith get deeper through the years and I’m sure they’d say the same for their children. Now that we’ve made our home in Sonoma, we’ve found our home church and are doing our best to work through faith in the community and beyond.
Do you have any rituals or practices that you do regularly to stay closer to God or practice and honor your faith?
Beyond Sunday church, we’ve made it a priority to eat as a family together. This is how I was raised and we put into practice our nightly dinner prayer along with praying at bedtime with our boys. Something that I’m trying to get more comfortable with (and introduce my boys to) is praying aloud to God beyond our routine prayers. I think it helps your thought process and I love the action of putting your thoughts/concerns into the universe. I want my boys to know that it's okay to feel vulnerable.
What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced in your professional career?
Growing up, I knew I was called to be a teacher. I wanted to serve others by educating our youth. I started volunteering (in my off months of year-round school) in a kindergarten classroom beginning in 4th grade and after graduating Cal Poly with a child development major, going on to get my teaching credential at a private Christian university, I began teaching and had the glory of teaching 1st grade and kindergarten for 5 years. Unfortunately I entered education during the California budget crisis and got a pink slip every year since I was the youngest employee and not tenured. It was a serious gut check. I knew I was doing what I was called to do and was really good at it, it just wasn’t the right time. In 2011, 8 months pregnant, getting yet another pink slip and having moved to Sonoma from Santa Rosa,I decided that my teaching days were over. Having grown up in a business oriented family, I couldn’t be in a profession that didn’t acknowledge my talent as a teacher and all the extra work that I was putting in. That is when I started my lettering business. I had to take my future into my own hands and let me faith lead the way. Now, 7 years later, I still have my lettering business and am able to be VERY involved in my boys elementary school-the best of both worlds.
What do you find is the most joyful part of being a Christian? What component of the Christian religion do you have the hardest time relating to?
I find the most joyful part of being a Christian is serving others through His name. This doesn’t have to be through church activities, but serving our community through LOVE. In my mind, that is what Christianity is about.
I have a hard time when Christians take the Word so literal. That is something I really love about our home church. You can read a story in the Bible, take its lesson and apply it to a problem or life situation. Not word for word, but idea or idea. I’d hope we’re all trying to love others as we’d like to be loved.
Let it be Thy Will tee hand lettered by Joanne Green, Greenvine Lettering.
What is something you look forward to in your future?
I’m looking forward to watching my family’s faith grow. Watching my boys become more confident in who they are and the power they have to do good.
What is your artistic process when approach a project?
With hand lettering, I’m working on so many different materials. Teaching myself to be proficient in calligraphy, using nib and ink has been a process that I’ve really enjoyed. BUT, I also have a tinge of perfectionism in me so I utilize various measuring tools, levels, painters tape, etc. Marrying into a very handy family, I’d never have guessed that I’d be using drills, saws and other tools to create lettering projects over the years.
My favorite projects over the years are the events and weddings that I do where there is a true theme or I really get to know the couple getting married. Its so fun to inject some of their personality into their special event through my talent.
Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m an identical twin!
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