Do you ever pick up the phone and spend an hour talking, dreaming and losing track of time? Well that is what happened when I interviewed a new friend of mine, Haidee, from www.holyhope.co.uk. So grab your own cuppa and sit down to find out more about how it all started and Haidee’s latest exciting project….
1. Introduce yourself to us in one sentence ….
I’m a Northerner living in the South with my husband and family, running creative business Holy Hope.
2. What is it that you make/do?
I run a website which aims to gather Christian creatives and encourage people in their creativity. I am also an artist, so sell some of my one of a kind pieces on the website too. At the moment we are developing Bible Journaling Kits and products to accompany them to help people explore bible journaling and their own identity in Christ.
3. Tell us the story of how it all started.
I had been creative for a long time, enjoying doing prayer collages long before bible journaling became popular. Twelve years ago, just after giving birth to my daughter Isobel, I suffered with post-natal depression, and to help deal with this I started painting. I heard God say that I should go and do an art GCSE, but when I signed up they didn’t have enough students to run the GCSE course so I ended up doing an A Level in art instead.
A little after this we moved down South, and I was thinking about doing a degree in Art. I went along to a meeting and they said that next year university fees were going to be going up considerably. It was now or never, so I ended up doing my second degree in Art. Half way through my 3rd year of the course, the college came into some troubles. I ended up getting some compensation money because of this, and I used it to set up my own art studio and website. God gave me the name “Holy Hope” for it, and it all started to fall into place! A friend offered me her stall at New Wine festival as she couldn’t go last minute and so Holy Hope was launched as a community of Christian artists.
Since then I have been gathering other Christian creatives with different skills to be part of the Holy Hope team.
4. How do you include your faith into your work and what you make?
When I am painting, I like to focus on a particular bible verse which I will try to illustrate. I find it is a form of prayer and meditation for me. With the Holy Hope website I am excited to use Christian art to reach out to others. I love running craft evenings myself too, and find that creativity really builds relationships. People let their barriers down when they are creating and start to connect with each other. One example is that I have been teaching my cleaner, who isn’t a Christian, to do embroidery using bible verses, and she is taking those words into her heart.
5. What is your latest project about?
Our latest project is some great quality Bible Journaling Kits which have been written and made in the UK specifically to encourage our nation. Each kit will contain a set of specially designed stamps on the theme, an ink pad, cut out tabs on the stamp packaging and a bible journaling companion book containing four guided studies on the theme. These are available now to pre-order for a reduced price of £22, ready for launch on April 3rd 2018.
Complementary products will also be available on the website soon, produced by other Christian artists in the UK, including stickers, mugs, badges and bookmarks.
The first kits will follow our Identity collection and will explore our own identity in God, so a fantastic way to start your bible journaling journey.
6. Do you have any inspiration or encouragement for us?
Just have a go! Even if all you can do is just colouring, you can make your bible change and speak to you in different ways by being creative in it. Make sure you spend lots of time in the word.
7. Please share a photo of your favourite mug!
This mug is “I am enough” and is one of my Identity collection mugs. I love this one as it seems to be something I write in my diary a lot and is something that as women we need to take hold of and believe.
Huge thanks to Haidee for taking the time to talk to me during the busyness of launching Holy Hope’s first ever Bible Journaling Kits. I do hope you will head over and check out all the other lovely items on her website too, and I will be praying that the launch goes well in April!