As a perpetually engaged and endlessly enamored mother of three boys, aged 7, 4, and 2, Elle Messina is an artist inspired by the everyday lives and people that she encounters through her family.
“When you have three children, especially when they are school-aged, there are just so many important people that come into their lives, and you want to make them aware of the impact they’ve had and that you appreciate it,” said Messina.
A trained artist going back to high school, where Messina took a variety of classes from the former Gail Harper studio, learning about varied media such as pottery, fashion design, and jewelry making, Messina’s approach to crafting is with artistic integrity and vision.
This past holiday season, Messina’s father gifted her a Cricut (the must-have tool of all crafters), along with vinyl, mats, cardstock, pen adapters, transfer tape, and all the necessary components of a master crafter.
“I have always loved art, and I wanted to make art that was accessible and usable in the everyday so people could have that feeling and connection to creativity,” said Messina.
Asked on how she found the time to craft artwork with her full-plate schedule as a mom and wife, Messina said, “It’s fun to me. It’s not really work.”
A lot of inspiration comes directly from her three boys, who have varied but intense interests.
In a piece of marketing wizardry, Messina was able to make durable Baby Yoda masks for one of her sons, who is about all things “Star Wars.”
“It’s ‘mom’-ing at its finest,” said Messina, who is overjoyed to be able to help her children fully sink into their favorite movies and characters with customized merch to actualize the nerd in all.
For Christmas, she crafted gifts for the whole family, taking time to incorporate what new milestones they had accomplished in the year to commemorate in craft.
“For my brother-in-law, they had just adopted a pitbull, so I made him a tumbler with the tag ‘Dog Dad’ and a silhouette of a pitty,” said Messina.
Her children’s teachers and support staff were given customized presents, like a young preschool teacher with a fondness for glitter getting a ‘Teacher Fuel’ tumbler blinged-out in glitter vinyl.
Messina is careful not to go over-the-top, as she intends her creations for everyday use.
Her company, Baldwin Creations, is now open to take personalized orders.
Messina’s approach to her clients is a truly collaborative process, where the client’s vision is brought out through drafts of designs and an open dialogue where expectations are clearly stated.
“I want people to have something that represents what they feel and looks like what they envisioned,” said Messina.
To celebrate a friend’s special-needs child, Messina designed a custom inspiration plaque about accepting those with autism and painstakingly pored over a vinyl cut-out, but then opted for a cardstock print.
“What’s most important to me is that the end product looks like and conveys the message that was originally intended, so if it has to go through a complete overhaul in medium, that’s what I’ll do,” said Messina.
With color palettes and proportionality in her designs and crafts a strong point, Messina relied on tried-and-true abilities she has found in her artistic capabilities.
Products are given with care instructions for durability.
Most recently, Messina had put out a line of customized Valentine’s Day cards for school children, complete with crayons and a coloring activity, curated by color palette and subject matter.
“It’s important for children to see a piece of themselves in their gifts because that’s when they really make a connection to something special,” said Messina.
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