God and Art Series: Artist seeks to glorify God with talent

If you're looking for clothing, Etsy is a good place to look for the unique, either vintage or handmade. However, if you want to support designers who love Jesus and wants to glorify him through their work, then BglorifiedBoutique is the place for you.

Owned by Cindy, Deb and Dana, Bglorified Boutique has been open since November, 2011. They sell unique heart cut out sweaters, headbands, jewelry, hats and other crocheted items. Since the clothing is designed by Dana, Cindy let her respond to the interview questions. Dana is also the shop's photographer.

YBAL: Tell us a little about yourself and your artwork. When did you start developing your artistic-self?

Dana: I have been in the arts since I was a little girl when I started acting in our amazing church plays. Because of my exposure, at the age of six, I was asked to sing in at Christian Recording Artist, Steve Green’s, concert held at our church. From there, I was in tons of musicals and even figure skated competitively for nine years. At the age of 15, my parents bought me a great digital camera and sowed the seed for my future. I have been a professional photographer specializing in weddings and portraits since 2010.

YBAL: Have you received any awards or other achievements? Where can people find your work? 

Dana: I recently was named “Most-Loved Photographers in 2011” from BridesView magazine. You can find it here.

My wedding and engagement photography has been published in several other prestigious online magazines such as Style Me Pretty and Borrowed and Bleu

YBAL: What attracts you to textiles and clothing? How do you gain inspiration for your work?

Dana: So, I said all that to bring you to how I began creating fashions! I encouraged my Mom and her friend Deb to sell their handiwork on Etsy and I would be their photographer. So they did and opened their Etsy shop in November 2011.

My friend and I started doing a craft session for our own fun each week so for Valentine’s week, we decided to make heart cut-out shirts. Like every proud college girl, I posed in my shirt on Facebook and the rest is history. Within the first two weeks, I sold 47 shirts and my desire to design skyrocketed! I am obsessed with choosing fabrics and I do not make anything I wouldn’t wear myself.

YBAL: How have the events of your life affected your art? How has art affected your life?

My brother almost died when I was nine years old and when he found out my Mom was putting me into school after being home schooled all my life, my brother begged her to let me stay home and school with him.I realized how important home and family are at a young age. Owning my own business and working from home have been a blessing to stay close to family.

Art in many forms has been my life from such an early age that I truly do not know life without it! I know singing and acting out those plays about Jesus and especially beside Jesus, at an early age, has affected my spiritual life. I knew who he was in a most personal way and everything I am able to create or accomplish is to glorify him. That is why we named the shop BglorifiedBoutique. That, and we want every woman to look glorious in our fashions.

YBAL: When did you begin your relationship with God and how? How has your relationship with God affected your art? How has art affected your relationship to God?

Dana: My parents took me to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. I do not remember ever not knowing Jesus. As I mentioned earlier, I acted out Jesus’ life as a child who was his friend every year for seven years in a magnificent Easter play called 'Behold the Lamb." In my teenage years I was on the worship team. Praising God became so personal through music. Each year I participated in a Fine Arts Festival competing in vocal, human video acting, and photography. The focus on Jesus and how he used thousands of people to communicate his message in dozens of art forms blessed me at a young age to realize every one of us is made different for a glorious reason: to reach the lost where they are in the art forms that speak best to them.I would say the art of creating beautiful things for people whether it be photographic memories of huge milestones in life such as wedding and engagement or fashions to feel pretty allows my God-given talents to shine.

YBAL: Any future goals you'd like to share? Any encouragement for other artists?

Dana: My future goals include finishing my degree and continuing to grow my businesses.I would encourage other artists to do what you love when it is an option and do all to the glory of God!