Tuesday, January 10, marked the second annual African American Storytelling Festival at the La-Grange Memorial Library.
But, it also marked a time for Blessing Harison to showcase her artwork.
Harison is a recent graduate of LaGrange College, Class of 2016. She received her Bachelor of Arts in both Art, with a concentration in Drawing and Painting, and Spanish. She also received a Minor in Servant Leadership.
Like many recent college graduates, Harison had to ask herself the “Now what?” question. She had to find a job that would allow her to explore her love for art and foreign language, all while earning enough money to afford an apartment and other life essentials.
“So you just want to teach for the rest of your life?” this is the question that most people would ask Harison after she explained her college degree. While she enjoys her part-time job teaching art and Spanish to kindergarten students at the Presbyterian Church for now, she feels called to use her gifts in a different way.
Her idea to begin an art business with the potential to reach an international level started during her junior year of college in 2015, when Harison went on her first mission trip to El Salvador through LaGrange College’s Jan Term program.
“I loved it there; the people were so nice,” explained Harison.
Along with her love for the people, Harison found herself head over heels for their art too. “They had murals everywhere with really bright colors.” (One of Harison’s favorite aspects of painting is the opportunity to use bright, vibrant colors.) By her senior year of college, Harison decided to challenge herself to create an 11×14 painting each day. She began fine-tuning her marketing skills as well.
After bringing in a strong revenue at the Hillside Craft Festival, Harison built the confidence needed to launch her own business, including an online (bilingual) website to showcase her art pieces that are for sale.
By the start of 2017, @BlessingVH went abuzz throughout all social media realms: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
However, despite the busyness that comes with a one-woman show launching a small business, Harison is as content as ever.
While in El Salvador, Harison learned the lesson of abstaining from the stress of a hectic, schedule-packed day. The culture of those living in El Salvador takes a much slower pace. “They’re not high maintenance like us. Whatever happens, happens,” described Harison.
Harison learned that once she slowed down and took the time to find God’s will for her life, everything fell into place.
Even when money seemed to be an issue, or when outside pressure made her feel like she had to teach, Harison knew that was not where God had placed her passion.
“I chose my art because I just felt now is the best time to do it… Working on my business is the best part of my day,” explained Harison.
She went on to say, “I ultimately see myself doing God’s work.”
With the goal of an international art business that reaches the world in the name of a passion for Jesus, foreign language, and art, Harison looks forward to each step of her new journey.
Peyton Hanners Staff Writer