Today I thought I would tell some of my newer readers a little about who I am and what brought me here!
The Drawing Board:
Ever since I was little I always loved pretty things and I liked to look at interesting people and clothing. But I mostly liked things that had a classic silhouette and intricate details. My family didn’t have a lot of money though so most of my clothes were made by my mom, hand-me-downs from my cousins or from a store you might recognize if you’re from the midwest called Shopko.
When I was 10 or 11 I got my first job cleaning our family business. This meant that I had a little money to get cute clothes, though I mostly saved it (always a good idea). At this point in my life, I still liked fashion/looking cute, but I was more into comfort and gym shorts and t-shirts dominated my wardrobe. Looking back, I think this was mainly because I was homeschooled and rarely left the house except for church functions. Also, I was EXTREMELY shy and was kinda scared that if I dressed girly people would say something. The other thing is that I had to wear ladies’ size clothing when I was about 10 and wasn’t thrilled about my options at Shopko. They often had shoulder pads or darts in the chest area, but I didn’t have boobs yet so everything looked odd. lol
Expressing fashion at that point of my life usually consisted of me drawing girls in pretty dresses and secretly (or maybe not so secretly) wanting to be a fashion designer. I usually ripped them up afterward because I didn’t like something about the girl’s face or the dress, but I did a lot of drawing & dreaming.
My interest in fashion peaked again when I was probably 14 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We went there on a youth group trip and had a day of shopping. I was so excited to see all of these stores I hadn’t heard of before like Banana Republic and J.Crew. (HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!) While there, I bought a mango colored shirt at Banana Republic and felt so confident when I wore it later that week! It also made me feel more confident when one of the most popular guys in our youth group looked at me for the first time (ever.) and told me how cute I looked. Haha! I was so shy I don’t think I even said thank you! [insert crying/laughing emoji here].
A few years passed. I got my driver’s license, became less shy, and got other jobs like waitressing, lifeguarding at two different pools, and babysitting. This opened up more doors for me to pursue my interest in fashion. My friends or sister, Katie, and I would make semi-frequent trips up to the little mall an hour away to get things at Hollister, American Eagle, or Express. I wish blogs like mine had been around when I was in high school! I wouldn’t have had to waste so much time and gas money by driving an hour (sometimes two if I wanted to go to Sioux Falls) in order to find cute clothes.
Then came the days of fashion experimentation. I was at the University of Minnesota and “hipster” was the new emo (at least in these parts) and though I was never interested in being a hipster, I was interested in an inexpensive and slightly alternative way of dressing. However, it didn’t look good on me and I didn’t like looking like I belonged in the art building. I realized that I like a lot of bling in my outfits (or at least some unexpected detail) and a blend of hipster/art/normal person wasn’t my style either. So I experimented with a more feminine look, but it still didn’t flatter me and I wasn’t totally sold on simply wearing rosettes and frills and ruffles all day long. Though I do love me a good ruffle every now and then!
Art was my major and I started out wanting to be an artist, but as college wore on I wished I had changed my major that first year right when I started rethinking my career choice and wishing i had gone into business or some sort of design industry. In order to keep myself from graduating, my last semester I took swimming classes, taekwondo and an art history class. I went from needing to get my advisor’s approval to take 22 credits a semester to taking 15! I felt so lazy so I got a job at American Eagle to help me make money and pass the time.
Over the summer between college and grad school I think I found my own style. I went through my clothes and got rid of anything I didn’t like, didn’t fit me, or I didn’t wear. It was MOST of my closet. I was so excited to start over. I realized I liked some of the trendiness of American Eagle, but that I liked to mix it with interesting details or statement pieces. At that time I also concluded that (contrary to how I was raised) it’s not wrong to want to buy something from a fashion label, but it shouldn’t become an idol.
When I graduated from “the U,”
as we cool kids called it, I immediately went to grad school to get a MAT in Education. Art school felt like the biggest mistake of my life. I couldn’t see any gainful employment opportunities coming out of that. Except teaching.
Teaching art helped evolve my personal style. If nothing else I realized I didn’t want to dress like the typical art teacher. Then teaching opened up doors for me to move to Sweden, which gave me a (small) taste of the European fashion scene and I loved it! I also loved teaching there so it was win, win!
When I came back to the USA after Sweden and got married I really wanted to start a public, fashion focused Instagram account, but didn’t until almost a year later. After I started I got about 100 followers of people I didn’t know. I know some of them are still following and though I don’t know them IRL, I feel like they are old friends. [If you’re reading this, thankyou!] I remember hitting the big 100 and being so excited because I did it without people I knew following me out of pity or obligation. I don’t even think Beckett knew I had a fashion Instagram account for a few months. But it had been my dream to have a blog since I was in college and I realized most of the girls who blogged also had Instagram accounts so I jumped in, realizing it is a totally oversaturated market and that I’d be just doing this for fun.
A few months into posting selfies and pictures on my @artwithclass account, I decided to tell my husband, Beckett, and hope he didn’t judge me for it, but he was really supportive and sweet about it, even when other people I told were skeptical. Beckett even encouraged me to start the blog aspect of it, which was when I realized the website for @ArtWithClass was taken and I would have to change the name of my Instagram and pending blog. I wanted it to reflect my style, that I was a teacher, and that I love art. So @The_Classy_Artist and TheClassyArtist.com were born.
This blog, for me, is a fun outlet for me to express my interest in fashion, art, and beauty. I also like seeing my stats and knowing I’m helping make mornings and shopping easier for you women by giving you outfit inspiration. Lately I’m also trying to branch out by giving you fun project ideas and home decor inspiration. I hope you enjoy these new additions to my blog as much as I enjoy creating posts for you!