vrijdag 4 september 2015

Interview: Sandy Allnock (English Version)

For those who don't know this kind hearted and soft spoken woman, you are in for a treat.

Sandy Allnock.... is not your average crafter and blogger. With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Frostburg State University and a resume that is quite impressive, she flies above the rest. 

Sandy Allnock

From Graphic Design, Wearable Art Design, Illustrator, Certified Copic Instructor to  Founder of Operation Write Home. Not only does she tend to the needs of soldiers abroadshe serves in ministries where those skills are needed, leading teams and teaching them how to create projects. She is also part of Toastmasters International

Some illustrations by Sandy Allnock

Colored pencil illustration on black board.©1999 Sandy Allnoc
"Owl"in colored pencil by Sandy Allnock
Acrylic painting.©1998 Sandy Allnock
"Wolf"in acrylic paint by Sandy Allnock

For more of her illustrations visit her website

The most impressive for me, being a Christian, is that she openly thank God for her success. With Toastmasters International she has one video that stuck in my mind and I can not let it go.

Since she started her Youtube channel in 2007 she now stands at a staggering 22,400 subscribers and 1,190,195 views.

Reading the above, it was quite unimaginable and alarming, when I watched her video Faithbook 2: Bullying, to know that there are people in this world that is so full of hatred that they will bully someone online. (See video below) Criticism is needed in life as long as it is valid and not a jealous or malicious act. We learn from criticism, but we are crushed by people who can do nothing but bring someone down.

Now without further a do... here is the interview with Sandy.

HA: Considering that you have become well known internationally, how do you stay so humble?

SA: By waking up with *me* every day! I know the prideful condition of my own heart, and am well acquainted with my faults and failures - so I know that I am honestly not humble. Like everyone else, I struggle day by day, hour by hour, not to think better of myself than I ought. I do my best to be real in what I share, hopefully helping others to see that I put my pants on one leg at a time like they do….and showing them that I’m not superhuman in any way - they, too, can create beautiful things. There’s nothing special about me that makes it impossible for them to make art, too!

HA: You are openly Christian, were you born into religion or did it come from your own choice?

SA: I was raised in a Christian home, but being born in a religious family doesn’t make you religious any more than being born in McDonalds would make you a hamburger. Faith is a conscious decision you make to put your trust in God for all eternity, and lean on Him for everything in your life. I made that choice for myself in my 20’s, and have never regretted putting my life in God’s hands…He’s taken care of me every day!

HA: With all your endeavors how do you juggle between family life and your business?

SA: I’m single and have no children - so I’m blessed with extra time to put into everything else I do. My artistic lifestyle is simply my way of life; even in my downtime, art would be my hobby filling my free time. I can’t believe that I am lucky enough to create for a living!

HA: You have a masters degree in Arts, what genre of Art is your preference and why?

SA: To look at and study, the Renaissance masters, for sure! I could spend hours in galleries studying light, shadow, paint strokes, composition. And to create? I bounce around all the time! I love anything that creates color….whether coloring stamped images, making backgrounds, fine art with any medium. I’m happiest when I can do what I feel inspired to do at that moment.

Watercolor by Sandy Allnock

HA: Did you ever have your art pieces on exhibit?

SA: No, unless you count this past February. I was visiting the Louvre in Paris, and was making watercolor sketches in the sculpture gallery. For just a moment I leaned my notebook against a corner wall, and took a photograph of my “limited engagement show at the Louvre!"

HA: Operation Write Home has become an enormous success, with so many other companies and crafters partaking in your endeavor. How did this come about and why was it so important to you? 

SA: It never began to be a large organization; originally I wanted to gather cards from my small group of online friends so we could empty our “stash” and bless someone else with cards. I had heard of a woman who had sent a box to her son’s unit in Iraq, and figured we could do the same. I sent our first box to a soldier (a deployed cardmaker!) who was thrilled with them, and sent her a 2nd box, then a 3rd, when she told me they couldn’t use them that fast. I found another hero to send them to, and had to involve more people so we could keep up with two units. Then we had too many cards and I sought more contacts. This back-and-forth continued until, at our height, we sent 250 boxes a month! Eventually as deployments slowed and service members have come home, it no longer made sense to continue a large organization for a very small need, so the charity is currently winding down operations. The final cards have been received, and by the end of 2015 will be closing it’s doors. Mission accomplished!

HA: Aside from Operation Write Home, are you involved with other charities and why is that charity so important to you?

SA: Until the completion of the wrap-up of the organization at the end of 2015, I’m trying to keep myself from making commitments to new ventures. I’m an over-committer, and need to spend time finishing our work before moving on.

HA: Can you tell us a bit more about Toastmasters International?

SA: Toastmasters is an international organization that helps individuals build their communication and leadership skills. People join local clubs in their communities to learn and practice public speaking skills, as well as joining in the club’s leadership activities. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my participation for nearly two years now, and am mentoring others as I hone more skills of my own.

HA: You are a certified Copic Instructor. What is your best advise to the readers if they want to venture on such a journey?

SA: First, let’s break “certified” apart from “Copic instructor.” Being certified means that a person has taken Copic’s training session; there’s no “test” at the end of that class to assure that you have reached any particular proficiency level in order to teach. I’ve seen some come out of the class highly skilled, but they usually went into it that way; but many also leave the class with a certificate, but still aren’t able to teach. To become a successful instructor, a few things are particularly helpful:
1) Excellent coloring and crafting skills. You’ll be creating samples for a store to use to advertise your class; good samples will draw in students.

2) Ability to explain coloring. Many wonderful colorists don’t know how to tell anyone what they do, despite amazing skill. Practice teaching your friends or your children how you are coloring something, and see if they can follow and understand you.

3) Organizational skills. To teach, you’ll be coordinating supplies, making kits, and preparing lots of information - including handouts if possible. You’ll need to come up with catchy “themes” for your classes, whether it’s seasonal, or a line of stamps, or whatever. Think of the kinds of classes that intrigue you!  

4) A love for the local stamping stores. This is so vital to being asked to continue teaching! Know the store and use stamps and supplies they carry, to help the store to sell some of those items. If they don’t carry things you need as a teacher, work with them to provide supply lists. Teachers who can also help the store make an income will be asked back again and again.

HA: What would you say is your biggest achievement thus far?

SA: Definitely being able to develop Operation Write Home into a million-dollar-a-year charity! I never would have imagined it to be possible, but it was a real blessing to be a part of it. (I worry a little that I’ll never “top” that - and I hope that my future contains many other ways I can impact the world for good!)

HA: How do you deal with criticism?

SA: I’m learning to shrug off online criticism; I try to imagine the sadness that must be in their hearts, so much that it spills over onto so many others, and I pray for them. It’s much harder with “offline” criticism - those who address their grievances face-to-face. Those hurt so much more deeply, since it's often those we’re closest to. When it’s a critique spoken in love, I may cringe but try to learn from the experience. It’s the most challenging for me when my character is torn down by someone who I thought “knew” me better. I find myself questioning if I really am what they accuse, or have I miscommunicated with them in some way, what part is my fault…and I dwell and fret! But l have come to understand in my later years that sometimes, just because someone says it doesn’t make it true. Rather than stay stuck in dwelling on the incident, we must let go of those things, because they are only holding us back. The other person has moved on - and so must we!

HA: What is your dream vacation destination and why?

SA: I would love to spend a few months studying in art galleries across Europe - I could visit the Louvre every day for weeks without tiring of it. And Rome….so many paintings there that I’d love to become close personal friends with!

HA: Can you tell us one funny and one serious thing about yourself.

SA: Funny: I fell in love with the Copic color Y17 at a car dealership! I was shopping for a car, and was nearing my 40th birthday. I knew the model I wanted, and had decided on boring but “grownup" silver for the color. On the day I was going to buy the car, only a yellow one was on the lot for test drives, and the salesman noted the “oooh” that escaped me when we walked toward the car. We finished the test drive, and as we walked toward the office to write up the purchase, he said, “So you’re getting the yellow one, right?” I told him no, I needed an adult car, as I was about to be middle-aged. He laughed - and described the light in my eyes when I saw the yellow. Guess who came home with a yellow car? And now has yellow craft room walls….?
Serious: I’m serious about liking Y17!

"Fearfully, wonderfully made! Ps 139:14"

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Sandy Allnock. I did not pay her for this interview and I do not get anything in return. 


4 opmerkingen:

  1. I find this enamoring.You are a breath of fresh air Sandy.Wise well beyond your years,Stay true to your path girrrlll.You walk it well.Above all,have a truly blessed day.😊

  2. We are very blessed in the crafting community to have Sandy sharing her talent with us.

    1. Sharing and caring. Two words that describe her very well.


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