You can thank Inslee for my introduction into the world wide web of blogging. Four years ago, while serving in a foster care home in Montana, Twitter was my only real outlet to life happenings outside of the reservation. Cell phone service quit working about an hour before you reached our house and we didn't have cable. Twitter was my sanity.
One lovely day, Emily Giffin, who I adored, tweeted a painting Inslee had watercolored for her called Emily's Girls. From that day on, I followed Inslee from my wifi connected Blackberry and the rest is social media friendship history. When I came home from Montana, my mom had ordered me the Emily Girls print and one other (sadly, I don't remember this one's name.)
(one of my first prints)
The following summer, I joined the iPhone world and could finally have Instagram which meant that our social media friendship only strengthened. I continued to follow her journey as she moved to New York, taught me how to properly do a sock bun, got engaged, drank a lot of wine, and to my utmost surprise, sketched me as a surprise from my Mom for my 25th Birthday.
It felt slightly creepy at times as I knew so much about her life through her Instagram and blog. Like me, Inslee is an only child and I felt a bond with her that only social media can create. I continued purchasing her prints, calendars, stationary, and pretty much anything else she created while continuing along with the social media journey commenting and liking with the diligence of a true Instagram fan.
After years of following along, you can imagine my excitement when she posted that she would be coming to Charlotte for an art show. I instantly texted my Mom and my BFF, Emily, sharing the good news. Sozo Gallery had invited Inslee down for a showcase of her beautifully artistic nude collection. (Sidenote: I never thought I'd be interested in nudes. Not really a "paint me like one of your French girls type." Thank goodness my pockets aren't that deep or I would have swooped up the entire gallery.) Her work is stunning and meeting was her was even better than I imagined.
Previously, I had only ever met one social media acquaintance and it was a bit ... awkward. Granted, I didn't know that particular blogger well and didn't have the years of social media investment that I do with Inslee, but I was still nervous. What if, we didn't clique and my very best social media friendship was over? Thankfully, Inslee did not disappoint. She even recognized me (so did her Mom, Nancy) and I was over the moon thrilled. I don't really have any celebrities that I am fan of, so aside from the Duchess showing up, this is my version of Kim Kardashian. The conversation between the four of us (Inslee, Nancy, Emily, & Me) flowed no naturally as we discussed dogs, PVB, TV shows, and life all the while surrounded by Inslee's art pieces and sipping wine.
If you don't read her blog, The Sketch Book, you need to start reading now. Her writing is so incredibly hilarious and whimsical that any question of why I adore her so much will instantly be answered. If for some catastrophic reason painting does not work out for her, I am praying for her first novel. Also, I recommend following her adorable pup, Ophelia, on social media, and her alter-ego who we all aspire to be, Daphne.
Until we meet again!