LIFE’s Canvas: Notecards Next Door
Neighbors credits her time spent volunteering at a Connecticut hospice facility doing art therapy many years ago with showing her how truly powerful art can be. “It was so magical. At first I was nervous to approach people, but then I started to see how people came alive with it. They’d really open up, and it was so healing.” Neighbors has carried that passion for nurturing creativity with her, and today one of the things she loves best about her art is being able to share it with children. Who better to understand her carefree, imaginative nature than a child? “I really have fun doing art with kids and getting them comfortable with it. The best part is that it’s not structured. Children have so much structure in their lives already,” she says with a laugh. “Art lets them be free to explore.”
Neighbors is sometimes hesitant to jump into the commercial world. For her, art has always been about passion, not about business, but still, she’s found some special places to help her share her work. Velvet Barn on Martha’s Vineyard is a pop-up shop that prides itself on being unique and colorful, meaning that Neighbors’ artwork is a perfect fit. She’s also currently creating a series of holiday notecards for Lambert’s Rainbow Fruit in Centerville, and in addition to keeping up with her Doodle-a-Day, she frequently does custom orders. “I always feel so honored when someone wants a special order,” says Neighbors. Often customers want a picture of their home or their family, and for Neighbors, it’s special to be a part of those personal moments. “I had one friend who wanted me to do her family home, and when I delivered it she wanted five more for her brothers and sisters. I was so blown away, and I offered to make it into a print for her, but she said ‘No, I want to give them originals,’” explains Neighbors in amazement. “I was so happy to do just one house,” she says.
If you ask what keeps her motivated, Neighbors will tell you “It’s just what I love to do anyway.” It’s what she was doing all those years ago when she first started coming to the Cape, what she was doing in her teens, the night before her SATs, what she was doing with her children when they were young, and it’s still what she enjoys doing to this day. “Making people happy just makes me crazy happy as well,” she says. Most would probably agree that’s a pretty good neighbor to have.
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