Crafting on the coast

Fairhope artist encourages everyone to create


You can paint. You can sew. You can draw. Artist Dawn Wilson firmly believes that everyone has artistic talent. They just haven’t let it out yet.

“I love to bring it out of people and say, ‘Yes you can’. If you say you can’t, I love to prove you wrong,” she said.

As one of Fairhope’s newest artists she is taking the town by storm.

Wilson moved to the Eastern Shore from Delaware 18 months ago when doctors told her that severe health problems faced by both she and her teenage daughter would only worsen in continued winter weather.

The family Googled the phrase, “art communities in the south” discovered Fairhope and made the move in three months.

“We’ve never looked back,” Wilson said. “We love it.”

In Delaware, the crafty and creative Wilson taught art at the university level and worked in digital design. She began to rebuild her design business in Alabama and expand her hand-painted portfolio.

During Thanksgiving week the Black Friday must have item quickly became her simple, hand-painted signs, emblazoned with the names of Baldwin County towns with wreaths of holly and berries replacing the letter ‘o’.

Those who stopped by her pop-up store outside of Exit Reality in Fairhope were introduced to her other creations too: fluffy sheep and rustic churches painted on re-used wood, soft, animal-shaped pillows with pockets for teens to store their phones and devices overnight and canvases that featured baby animals holding a single balloon.

One family asked Wilson to create a touching scene of the balloon floating away to commemorate the recent loss of a child to miscarriage.

“This is why I do this,” Wilson said. “I feel God gave me this talent and if I can’t make someone be happy or at peace then I’m not doing him justice.”

Wilson also offers workshops and craft parties. Anything you see on internet crafting sites, she can help you re-create. She doesn’t believe artists should be pigeonholed into one style, but rather be free to simply do.

“If something inspires you, create it,” she said. “Why limit yourself?”