Welcome to the Funamals Blog

Welcome to the Funamals Blog
Funamals is a company that represents the whimsical artwork of Amy DeCaussin.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Well, maybe the best thing to do, (since this blog is supposed to be about my personal journey as a professional artist), is to be honest here and tell it like it is.  I'm a hot mess.  I even made myself a nice celebratory card for the occasion.  

I'm upset and frustrated.  I'm angry and fed up.  Most of all I am really failing here.  I'm failing at life.  Although that little morsel is personal, life does flow right into my work.  I'm really failing at everything all the way around.  I am just fortunate to not have any children yet, because perhaps screaming that you are a failure is not the most ideal setting for one's children.  I don't have to pretend like everything is fine so that the little one's don't freak out.

I will just say that in some cases, I really feel that people have failed me quite considerably.  That is life.  Moving on, what is more important, is that I have failed probably even more people than the other way around.  I have not been pleasant.  I have not been kind.  No, I haven't prayed for those that I know are praying for me.  Worst of all, I am not thankful.  I am blinded by my anger, unable to really feel all of the love that I am receiving from others.

So where am I going with this "hot mess" thing?  I'm not sure.  I don't know where I am going at all.  I do  know that I really know what it is like to feel like there is nothing left in life.  Out of this nothingness is the ability to really understand other people and their difficult journeys.  There is a compassion that can blanket some pretty dark feelings.  There is an endless amount of sympathy towards others.  Well, that is something.  Perhaps when God takes something away, he gives you something in its place.

I'm sorry.  All I can say for myself is I will continue to try to do better.  I cannot promise that I won't fail more in the future.  I am trying and will continue to try and do better.  I cannot promise that my anger is going to go away.  I am a continual work in progress.  I figure people probably think I'm crazy, dramatic, or a "negative Nancy."  For the few that might understand my feeling of failure, perhaps you will continue to keep giving me chances.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Let Go

Well, I have been fighting with a lot of anger these days.  Among other things, rude customers have really taken a toll on me.  It doesn't help that I have had art shows and markets every single weekend all summer.

There is a bottle neck sensation when trying to create work.  Inside I have all this creativity swirling around, but it doesn't come out because when I am not relaxed my creative spout constricts like a bottle.  My work tends to reflect happiness, so if I am not happy, it is hard to make work.  Part of it this problem comes from doing pet stuff over and over again.  I didn't go into the field of art thinking, "Oh I want to do work just for pets!"  Don't get me wrong, it is fun, but as an artist I need more variety than that.

So I sat down and really tried to paint something just for me.  Let go.  What was it that I was so passionate about that lead me to animals in the first place?  The first thing I did was turn on some good music and what I painted was a church.

The quote on the top is from one of my favorite go to songs, "Oh the Glory of it All" by David Crowder.  I must admit that a huge weakness of mine is Christian music.  It is one of the few things that can really calm me down.

In painting this, I began to feel better.  All the anxiety and anger began to wash away.  Then I realized, I don't see God in my work.  Paintings from before now have a starkly different feeling to them for me compared to this church.

I recall a time about a year ago when I was stewing on how I was going to get my professional career as an artist going.  Being a fairly religious person, I feel that I had a unique experience.  A voice that was not my own struck through me like lightening.  I was sitting quietly in the living room when the words "STOP DOING IT FOR YOURSELF!" bolted through me.  I didn't know where those words came from.  They were not my own.  In fact, I really didn't like it.  After that, it was in the back of my head but I kept brushing it away.  If God tells me to do something, I should listen right?  I should listen because he knows what is best for me.  His instructions make the best outcome.  That didn't matter.  I couldn't listen.  It was too hard.  I am always afraid to include my need for God in my work because I am really afraid I am going to offend someone.  So writing this blog is a bold step.

I'm not so much passionate about animals as I am nature.  Animals fit into the category of nature, so that's where that comes from.  For me, the best place to experience good is nature.  I have taken several trips out west and felt that a great place to experience God is in the desert.  There were many encounters with God in the bible that took place in the desert.

The desert helps me clear my mind, reminds me how small I am, and how big God's creations really are.  In the quiet, I am able to hear my own thoughts, and what I want to say to God.

These photos were taken in Mescalero, New Mexico.  I went down there in college on a mission trip.  Speaking of college, it was emphasized there that we keep our artwork secular.  But my art is my life and I really need God in my life.  I don't think I can keep them divided.  

Does this mean I am only going to paint churches from now on?  No, I don't think so.  It means that I am going to include God into my thought process.  After all, I believe he created everything in nature and I love nature.   

I'm no where close to perfect, but I am really going to try to let go and allow God to fill me up with His glory.  I am hoping that this will help me deal with my anger and anxiety while helping me to create more fulfilling work.

Phoenix, Arizona