How did this happen?  

(the real, possibly uncomfortably honest Answer)

Madcap Artist, Tracy Pennington

Madcap Mosaics officially started when I decided I wanted to make money.  Some days I was content with some money, and other days I wanted a lot more money.  There were even days when I would have to admit that I wanted a lot more money than I could possibly voice out loud in public.  I came up with this scheme that I would make some mosaics and then persuade people to give me money for them!  Fools!  Later I devised other ways to get people to give me their money, mainly through "teaching" classes as if they couldn't find all of the same information freely on the internet.  My motto is "get as much money for as little work as possible."  I carefully avoid the topic of "where I got my art degree."  I don't want to give people any reason to doubt that they should give me their money.  After all, it's all about the money.

Madcap Mosaics officially started on a dark and stormy night in 2011.  I could feel the sweat on my brow and the angst in my heart when I approached the Jefferson County Clerk to file the business name I had been dreaming of my whole life.  It felt as if the whole world hung in the balance while the woman, late 30's and shiny dark hair, with the confidence of an impending freight train, clicked bright red nails on an old keyboard.  Her eyes darted from her screen to me and back to the screen again.  This was her moment, the moment she chose for herself and herself alone, to be everything she knew she could be.  She didn't need him.  She didn't need anybody.  And she was certainly going to let the whole world know it, beginning with me.  Her power was felt in the quiet but fierce way she spoke, and her sparse use of words underscored the fact that she thought nothing of me at all.  "You can have a seat." That was all she said to me.  I diverted my eyes from her gaze, found my way to an empty seat (though I have no idea how I managed that after such an ordeal!) and pondered what it all might mean.  When I finally found the courage to look up, she was gone. I found myself wondering if anyone had already registered my business name or not.  The answer really didn't matter anymore, because the day's turn of events had shaken me to my core, and I was sure I would never be the same again.  

How did this happen?  (Melodramatic Answer)

How did this happen?  (Factual, matter-of-fact Answer)

There are so many ways to answer the question "how did this happen?"  How do I know what kind of answer you want??  So, in the spirit of making sure you like me enough to buy some art, I will give you some different answers to choose from.

Its really none of your business how Madcap Mosaics got started.  People feel like they have a right to know whatever they want to know.  Who gives you that right?  Did I ask you to click on that "About" tab?  I've had enough of people prying into my business life, acting like I have to treat them in a certain way to get their business.  What about equal rights??  Don't grumpy people have equal rights?  You should give me your business no matter what I tell you or don't tell you about my business.  What is the matter with you people????  

How did this happen?  (It's been a bad day Answer)

Madcap Mosaics officially started in 2011, when I filed the name with the Jefferson County Clerk and applied for a sales and use tax permit.  I rented a studio at the Mellwood Art Center, moved all of my art-making supplies in, and proceeded to make art.  I sold a piece of art here and there, was accepted to the St James Court Art Show, and got to know fellow artists.  In February of 2013, I moved to a new studio with another artist: That Art Place, the home of Madcap Mosaics.  I began teaching mosaic classes and spreading the love of mosaic art.

How did this happen?!?


Madcap Mosaics

Madcap Mosaics officially started because I didn't think I could live another day, not a single day, until I started a business.  I stood on my rooftop, and shouted so that all the world could hear me: "World!  Guess what?  I'm starting a business today!"  The birds sang a happy tune, squirrels shared their acorns, and flowers bloomed a little bit fuller in response.  I felt that the whole earth was echoing my proclamation!  I was then shocked, nay! devastated, utterly and completely devastated, to discover that the business name that had been engraved on my heart from the beginning of time had been taken!  The cruelty of the world sunk deep into my bones, and a fiery hatred filled my heart.  Who would dare take the name that I believed destiny had set aside for me???  After several days (that felt like years!) of deep agony, I arose from my suffering in search of another business name that would make my soul sing.  I flipped through the M section of the dictionary with the strongest sense of hope I had ever experienced!  I knew that that day would be the first day of a whole new life for me.  A life where all of my dreams would come true, and I would finally know the true purpose of why I am here on this earth.  It was then that all of the stars aligned, and the angels in heaven sang, and the purest beam of light that I had ever yet encountered on this earth shone down on the dictionary page, right at the entry "madcap."  There was never a truer, more pure joy, than the one that blossomed in my heart that day.  And so, Madcap Mosaics was born, and I will never, ever be the same.  

How did this happen?  (Literary Answer)

How did this happen?  (greedy Answer)

I am Tracy Pennington, a self-taught mosaic artist.  My journey into mosaic art started as a form of therapy in my struggles with depression.  My therapist urged me to create something, anything really.  I picked up a beginner’s mosaic kit from Hobby Lobby, but didn’t expect to experience anything significant.  Instead, to my surprise, I found the quiet, tactile, slow process of mosaic-making to be psychologically healing.  This medium was an accessible and rewarding outlet for the newly discovered creative energy emerging in my life.  I fell in love with making mosaics, and became a believer in the healing power of art.

I find that creating mosaics is an important form of self-discovery for me.  I often use my artistic expression to sort out my thoughts and feelings, many of which are dark and contemplative. But 
whimsical pieces are also a part of my mosaic-making, and bright colors and happy designs come out of a desire to balance out the more intense ideas that drive a lot of my art. 
My work is completely unique in that it is created out of my heart, mind and soul. Having my heart, mind and soul hanging on the wall is terrifying, but i believe it is part of what being an artist is all about.

So, how did this happen?  Madcap Mosaics happened because mosaic-making, in a very real way, transformed my life.  So I make mosaics, and I teach others how to make mosaics.  Maybe someone will have as transformative experience as I have had. Maybe that someone is you.