Children of the Inner Light®
What started out as doodles and sentiments that Marci designed for her
family, soon caught the eyes and the hearts of everyone who saw them.
She named her unique black and white designs, and concept Children of the Inner Light® and began selling them from a cart in a local mall. It was the
beginning of a phenomenal success story.
I recently had a chance to ask Marci some questions:
1)How did you get started?
Children of the Inner Light came to me "all at once" in a single inspiration! I created all of the characters and wrote the first 26 greeting cards all in one day! I was just as suprised as anyone to see these delightful characters flow from my pen! I took one look at their wild hair and crooked sweet smiles, and knew that I had a job to do.
I used all of my savings to take my work straight to the public and sell it in White Marsh Mall in Maryland. I worked 80 hours a week listening to what people had to say.
2) How did people respond?
The response from the start was overwhelming! You see, I had been handpainting floral designs on clothing for 12 years, and I also took those designs to the mall on T-shirts. I was really hoping that those would be the big hit. But inside I knew that
Children of the Inner Light would take center stage. And so it was..... People chuckled when they saw my delightful characters, and cried when they read the cards. People hugged me right in the mall, and thanked me for giving them the words to tell their loved ones that they are truely loved. They also thanked me for this work that reminded them that their relationships would bring them their greatest joys. My work is all about our relationships with family, friends, and God.
3) Did you always want to be an artist?
Funny, I have never really thought about it, but I think I have always been an artist, even though I have a very diverse background and done many things. I grew up in a family grocery store, and I worked there growing up. After high school I worked full time with my father in the store, and ran the carry out shop. After giving birth to my son, I stayed home, but needed extra income, so I developed a baking business. I baked and delivered to my fathers store, homemade bread, brownies and cakes. After about 10 years I moved away from the neighborhood, and could no longer bake everyday as the distance to deliver was too far.
That is when I discovered that I was an artist. I began painting with a paint set that had been given to my son as a gift. I had no training, and had never painted before, but everyone wanted the original designs that I created on t-shirts. Designs just flowed from me, and no one was more suprised than me! One thing led to another and soon I was handpainting 1,000 pieces of clothing a year to sell to my customers!
I also applied my skills to paint on walls and furniture, and I was having so much fun.
Then, out of nowhere, I had the inspiration for "Children of the Inner light"
4) Where do your ideas come from?
My work is the result of prayer. I was at a point in my life where I really wanted to give something back....to share with others....and it was during this time of reflection, that I was given this gift. The characters came to me, and I wrote the greeting cards to be very personal. I think that is why people love my writing. The writing is real, meaning that I really wrote the cards to the people in my life, the people that are so important to me. Each card was first given to the person that I wrote it to, before it was ever sold. I called my 3 sisters on the phone and read them the sisters card and we cried together....
What I found when I took my work out to the public, is that we all really want the same thing...and that is to be able to have the words to tell our loved ones how we feel. My words are simple and authentic, and say 'I love you"....what else is there really?! It was through this experience that I was shown that I was also an author.
5) Who do you attribute your success to?
I would have to say that I attribute my success to God. I have overcome many obsticals to get to this point, and prayer is as important to me as breathing. I believe that my work fulfills my calling. It moves people 'in spirit", and reminds us that we have a soul, "created in the image and likeness of God". I believe that if we remember that we are much more that just the physical, we will have a greater chance of moving toward peace...in our homes, schools, and the world. Children of the Inner Light is black and white...all color, no color....for an important reason. The color we are on the outside, and our physical appearance are not really important, because true beauty and goodness comes from with in.
"Let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God's sight"--1 Peter 3:4
Many manufacturers asked me to put color in my work.....I promptly said" NO,,,,,what color is the soul anyway?"
6) Do you have a big family?
I am the oldest of 6 children. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers. I am married to a wonderful supportive man, and have a son that is a great blessing in my life.
7) What product do you really want to do next?
I have just completed the designs for a fabulous collection of dinnerware, and can't wait to have it available so inspiration can be shared everyday between families and friends, reminding us of what is really important.
8) Do you have an artistic philosophy?
-My artistic philosophy is simple,,,,,it is a philosophy of sharing. I believe that great art comes into the world,,,, art that has impact,,,, when the artist shares "who they are". If you have read the inspirations on my giftware, the words in my greeting cards, and the dailiy inspirations in my book, then you know me. All of my writing is personal, and real, meaning that I really wrote the words to my friends and family, and then shared them with you. The wonderful thing I have discovered ,is that people everywhere want the same thing....to tell the people most important in their lives how they feel. My words do that simply, and authentically.
9) What is your greatest accomplishment?
I have only one great accomplishment---to understand what it means to love, and be loved....
to hug someone who is hurting,
to encourage someone who is afraid,
to care for someone when you are tired,
to stay up all night with a sick child,
to say "I will",
to say "no" to fear ,
to listen when there is a need,
to make a committment,
to stay the course,
to say "I do, and then do"
to hold hands, and just 'Be",
to nurture the spititual growth of another,
to really appreciate my parents, accepting the love they have given me,
to take love as it is given with gratitude,
and finally..... to 'let go"...
to let those you love,
make their own mistakes,
live their own lives,
"do it their way",
show you "who they are",
remembering that unconditional love has lowered expectations, a compassion for the human condition, and an understanding that life is short, and the most important words you will ever say are "I love You".
What is your favorite pastime?
Spending time holding hands with my husband, watching a good movie on a Sunday afternoon, while spagetti sauce simmers on the stove.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to touch the hearts and lives of people everywhere with an important message, expressed through a concept that reminds us that real happiness will be found in our relationships ....with our friends, our family, and God.