Illuminating the Darkness

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hi Everyone,

Today Americans celebrated Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.  Dr. King has long been one of my personal heroes. One of his most meaningful quotes continually fuels my desire to be a ‘light’ into the world.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”— Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of Dr. King’s birthday, I wanted to share a piece I created late last year.


In case you have trouble seeing the pale words in the night sky, it says:

When the world becomes a dark scary place…                                                                                                                                  We must let our commitment to justice                                                                                                                                                   and the light of our souls                                                                                                                                                                         illuminate the darkness.

Often, when the world seems dark and scary, it also seems to be spinning out of control. Acknowledging that we are not in control of things which desperately matter to us is hard. But not being in control does not mean that we are powerless! We each have the power to make a difference; to choose compassion over criticism, forgiveness over anger, inclusiveness over discrimination, kindness over indifference, generosity over apathy and love over fear. The more often you use your creative talents to bring joy and promote understanding; to be thankful and stay grounded in gratitude; the brighter the light of your soul will shine. And, as Dr. King so eloquently said, only light can drive out darkness.

I got home late last night from the Atlanta Gift Show, where I was thrilled to catch up with lots of my art licensing friends. On Friday I’m heading to Phoenix for the Craft & Hobby Show. I’ll post my show schedule on the Zenspirations by Joanne Fink Facebook page. I’m trying to get to 10,000 ‘likes’ before the show, so if you like my work and haven’t had a chance to like my page yet, I’d be grateful if you would take a moment to do so. I’ll try to post photos from both shows next week. This week I’m REALLY excited to share photos of my new line, which just debuted at Michaels! There are eight products in the line, with six designs of each product (except the miniature easels which only has four sets). All of the products are only $1.50. Here are photos of what’s in the line:







The note cards are cool because they have a design printed on the back:


My favorite note card is the flower, because I love the way the design carries over onto the back of the note card.




The notebooks feature the same designs as the note cards, and also have designs on the back, as well as on the lined paper inside the pad.





They didn’t have the gift tags at my local Michaels, so I photographed my pre-production sample set when I got home.



The gift bags come packed in two, which I think is a great value for $1.50.



Although there are only four easels, each easel comes with three different designs.


Again, a great value for $1.50. All in all, I am really pleased with the quality of the products… I tested all the paper, and you can color them with markers, gel pens and colored pencils, but not watercolors.

Before we left the store, I asked my son, who graciously came to take pictures, to take a photo of me with one of each of the products they had at the Michaels near us. I was having trouble holding everything, and Jonathan thought it would be cute to put the cup on my head. Naturally it didn’t stay there long, but he somehow managed to take a picture of me just as it started to fall:


And here is a photo showing one of each of the products in the line:


As most of you know, I like people to use my designs as a springboard for their own creativity, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you all do with these new products. I’d also love to see pictures of how the products are displayed at your local Michaels… please post your photos in the Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern, Play Facebook group.

I know some of you don’t live near a Michaels, and am sad to tell you that the products are not being sold on-line. They are in the ‘value bins’, and will only be in the store for a short time (three months or whenever they sell out of the stock).  I only received one sample of each product, so while I was at Michaels I stocked up on my two favorite products, the miniature easels and the gift bags.


Hope you’ll be able to find your favorites, too!

Stay Zenspired,






27 thoughts on “Illuminating the Darkness”

  1. These are all wonderful!!! You are an inspiration to so many, Joanne, with your creativity, talent, and positivity, all born from your warm heart!

  2. I love all the products and plan to go to Michaels first thing this morning. Thank you so much for your talent.

  3. Joanne, these are all so much fun! If I get to Michael’s in Spokane with my mom next week, I’ll sneak some pictures for you… and grab some of those pen designs!

  4. Beautiful post this week.

    I am so upset that the 2 Michael’s by me had neither the picture frames nor the easelse! Those are what I like most.
    I am extremely happy with everything else I got though!

  5. Fantastic!!! Pictures are terrific. Good job Jonathan for thinking about using your noggin’. Finally. I love your outfit. Truest zenspured.

  6. I am not on Facebook. If I were, I would give you five likes for the following reasons: 1) You have a smile on your face every time I see you; 2) You make “beauty” out of your grief; 3) You share your beautiful creations with me and 4) you let me print some of them and make creations myself and lastly 5) You sent an example for me to be the best me even when I have grief in my world! Sincerely, Thank you!

  7. Way to go, Joanne! I love what you are doing! I need to get your new Bible journaling book for my granddaughter! I’ve missed seeing you at conferences and the one you did go to I wasn’t there!

    Continued success to you!
    Hugs, Sheryl

  8. Joanne, thank you for sharing!! I am soooo excited for you and so inspired by all that you create!
    I think I better make a trip to Michaels ASAP!

  9. Congratulations on your wonderful range, I am sure it will sell well. Are thes products available in the UK

    God bless you

  10. Joanne, you are MY LIGHT of my every day! And I KNOW you are a beacon of light to A LOT of others as well!
    I LOVE all the new products you created!!! I hope I can get to Erie (1 1/2 hrs. away from my home) to be able to get some of your pieces!! The price is unbelievably terrific! Hoping I can get 15 picture frames to give as a gift for my coloring class. I think they would love doing them as a project. And I love the cup on your head picture too. HAHA! Too cute!
    PS…. I LOVE your top too! I would wear it too!!
    LOVE and HUGS from PA XO

  11. Congratulations, on being in Michael’s and your new line of products. I am on a first name basis with most of the local Michael’s but have been staying away before having to open my own outlet but I’m heading that way later today to look for your products. I’m sure they will be flying off the shelves, or out of the bins. I’m so happy for you and look forward to seeing Michael’s carry your wonderful designs year round. Now off to shower and go see what I can find.

  12. Hi, Joanne,
    I was so excited to see your craft in the bins at Michaels on Sunday. I bought the gift bags with the pen design, which I thought would suit perfectly gifts of handmade card sets. I didn’t see the mini easels but will look for them next time. So many fun and useful items to choose from!
    Have a great time at the Craft & Hobby show. I would love to go sometime, so many I admire from afar will be there, like you! I know how uplifting it is to be in the presence of other ‘crafty’ people – those shows must feel like a creativity vortex!
    All good wishes,

  13. I went to Michael this weekend and found some of thee beautiful products. I really like the note cards and the gift tags. I had to practice self restraint but I may have to go back and stock up. 🙂 Congratulations to you Joanne for another successful market item. I am sure they will sell out very soon!!

  14. Hi Joanne!
    WOW, all of your new product line is fabulous! I am imagining all of the new people, who will be exposed to Zenspirations now!
    You are ALWAYS a light to so many, and I so appreciate having you as a friend!! I am really hoping to get to my Michael’s too, and that they hopefully have some items left! I can see why they are flying off the shelf, at that price…..I’m amazed they can sell them that way! Congratulations on all the doors that are opening for you… have certainly worked for and earned every opportunity!
    Sending much love,
    Mary Anne

  15. Am so anxious to check out my Michael’s and their supply of your “gift”…So happy that you share it with all of us…Thank you!!!!

  16. Joanne, I am so thrilled for you with this new launch of products! I have a collage group that I will let know about this excitement.
    I’ll hop over to Michael’s right away to see if I can pick some things up.
    I’m also getting ready pre-order your new bible journaling book. That, I’m really excited to see, because I am unsure as to which bible to buy for this project.
    The article you wrote above about Dr. King and the words,are just what I’m looking for today, in light of our shifting times. Thank you for your words and advice, as I was troubled today. I appreciate you and your kindness.
    Sandy in California

  17. Oh my gosh!!! I looove the paper cups. Is there anyway to order these?? I know you said only in the store but they are adorable!! I would love to order a bunch for gifts to my college age daughter.

  18. Can’t wait to get to Michael’s and find your product!!!!!! Oh wonderful news!!!! Congrats!!!!! Your son did good!

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