Unbeknown to me, my journey in starting Our Spirit and Soul, began many years ago, when I learned to use writing and the visual arts as vehicles for exploring, healing and understanding life's experiences. Writing journals, poetry and letters, some mailed and some not, became therapy for me. Other times, I simply loved writing a note inside of a birthday card, or a note to say hello, thank you or writing an essay of creative, self-expression. Words of encouragement, and inspiration through greeting cards were a part of my growing up, as my mother was a giver of beautiful and personable greeting cards. The pretty imagery and endearing messages became keepsakes and a means to lift my spirits, to help me through the tough times, and inspire me to dream.
As a result, I discovered the impact that writing and the visual arts had on my spirit and soul, thus the name. I believed God pulled together my gifts of writing and visual arts in a most unexpected way. It was, literally one day in the Spring of 2007, that I began this journey serendipitously by picking up my “point and shoot” digital camera (of course, I use a professional camera now) and began taking pictures of various objects in my home after posing them in symbolic arrangements and colors. At the beginning of this journey, I cried at what God was doing through me. It was as if I was being guided by a power higher than myself as I had no formal training in photography or the greeting card design business. During this process, I intuitively knew my cards with its eye-catching images and uplifting words were more than merely greeting cards. It was from this leg of the journey after suggestions from friends that I began selling my cards. I have been fortunate to sell my cards at numerous events throughout the Greater Cincinnati region, at small boutiques, and to give presentations, and workshops for children and adults of all ages. I look forward to this next leg of my journey in expanding my passion of visual arts and writing to a wider audience. I hope you will join me!
Karen is the owner and founder of Our Spirit and Soul, has a Bachelor's Degree in History from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and a Master's of Art's in Humanities from Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio). She is on the faculty of Northern Kentucky University where she teaches Developmental writing and serves as an administrator for an academic support program. Karen is a former arts editor and writer for the Cincinnati Herald newspaper and served as a museum volunteer under Paul Stewart of the Black American West museum in Denver, Colorado. She also served as an intern under Dr. Spencer Crew in Washington, DC at the Smithsonian Institute. Karen is currently on the Arts committee of the Cincinnati Art's Association, and teaches an after school photography and creative writing workshop at The School of Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati.