Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Artist PlayDate: Two Talented Artists + Six Beautiful Children = An Insane Amount of Inspiration and Serious Fun

The Fabulous Kids


Blockhead Rod, the magic behind Blockhead Radio and Huck, the mastermind behind
Huckleberry Arts are two, incredibly talented artists pursuing their creative dreams. Rod has a successful radio station that is growing every day while Huck is a brilliant crafter who creates one-of-a-kind original creations and custom graphics. And on top of it all, they are raising six children. Superman and Superwoman? You could say that but they are also the most down-to-Earth, fun-loving couple and they not only work to build their dreams, they work day in and day out to promote and support other artists as well. Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with them about how they manage raising their children while they both pursue creative dreams and what I found made me want to ask if they’d adopt me.

Rod and Huck met in the middle of a blizzard which should have been the first indication that this couple could weather (pun completely intended) anything together.

“I was an otr driver at the time,” Rod begins. “I drove from MI to the East Coast every week. My normal run was from Saturday to Tuesday. I got back in and my boss asked me to do an extra turn that week. So, I left and hit a blizzard in NY. We had a set fuel stop where we bought fuel. As I was approaching the exit, a NY State Trooper informed me that the Thruway was shutdown and not to get back on. The fuel stop was full service so as the guys were fueling up the truck I went inside to call my boss and pay. Now, we had a fuel card that had an advance on it. I threw my card up on the counter, said what truck it was for and that I wanted an advance off it. The girl behind the counter said, "Can I have it?" I replied, "I'm not married to you." Some day's I wonder if I should have just given her the money.......just kidding,” Rod laughs. “If it wasn't for taking that extra turn that week and the blizzard we would have never met. I was usually only at that fuel stop on Sundays which was Huck's set day off.”

These two have come a long way from when they first met. Today, both Rod and Huck are working hard to build their artistic dreams while raising a family together.

One of Huck's Incredible Works

“I have been crafting as far back as my brain can remember,” says Huck. “I grew up with it from my mom, sisters, and brothers to my aunts and grandma. We did a craft show almost every weekend. My sister grew up to have her own craft store for a bit and my brother married and opened a Craft Store. It’s still going strong after 17 years, and my mother help runs it. I guess it’s in the blood. I have my items in several consignment shops now too.”

Huck doesn’t simply focus on the craft end of things she also helps her husband Rod in building his radio station. Rod, a self-proclaimed “b.u.g.g. or big ugly goofy guy”, a description that makes him laugh out loud, owns, manages, and hosts an Internet radio station that features live music 24/7 from independent musicans and some great shows for Artisans.


Rod's Radio Station Workspace

I've always been a tech geek. My first personal computer was a Timex,” Rod laughs. “I like making people laugh and helping them succeed.” As Rod works to take the station to a place where he can produce 35 shows a week on topics such as being an artisan, family, music, and life, he promotes his Huck’s business as well as the businesses of many artisans both on the air and off with continual plugs for their shops and/or blogs and an awesome Artisan Challenge, a weekly challenge for artists.

Although they work on different crafts, there is no end to the way Rod and Huck support one another; it is a team effort that extends beyond the professional and well into the personal. With six beautiful children, both parents have created a life with flexible schedules that allows them to always have time for their first priority, their children.

“I literally look at each day as it comes,” says Huck. “It’s hard to schedule and each time I try it just doesn't work out. So, I just go with the flow. If I am creating that day, great, if I want to go out be outside with the kids I go, and if I need to help I help. It just makes life easier that way :).”
Huck and Rod not only make time for their children, they make sure their lives are enriched with art.

“As soon as they can hold a crayon I have it in their hand,” says Huck. “There is no better release then to create something even a simple stick figure. It builds confidence and creates wonderful imagination. I couldn't imagine raising children without some part of art, and letting them discover what they love. You can never give a child a better gift than the gift of confidence, imagination, creativity and love.”

Rod has the same mindset. “Art is very important to kids,” he says. “It helps them build their imagination. Who else is going to invent the future?”

Rod and Huck are true believers in the idea that your dreams are possible if you are willing to work for them and they try to instill that in the children as well.


“If you work hard you can achieve anything, even with its ups and downs, you are given something to learn from and move forward with,” says Huck. “And of course there is no better thing to give than help - help for yourself as well as help for others.

With the heart, passion and dedication these two have for their family and their professions there is no doubt that they will succeed in making their dreams come true.
When asked what those dreams are, Rod laughs.

“I hope to retire rich and good looking,” he says and then on a more serious note, “I hope to build up a station that helps people as much as it entertains them.”

While Huck’s dream is simply to continue to do what she is doing. “I hope the inspiration is always there,” she says.

When asked to pass along a little advice to younger artists, these two, incredible individuals share similar philosophies.

“Don't give up,” says Rod. “Listen to your heart and not what the critics have to say.”

“And never let anyone tell you that something you created isn't great,” says Huck. “If you took the time to create something and it is something you love and you enjoy, then keep moving forward. Never try to do something you don't enjoy, even if it is expected of you.”

Now tell me, don’t you want to be a part of that family? Well, you can! Become a member of the Blockhead Radio family. Warning: the talk, laughter and music are completely addictive. Once you start listening you may not be able to stop. AND become a loving stalker of Huckleberry Arts original creations and custom graphics. She has an Etsy shop but will be making the big jump to her own website, http://huckleberryarts.com/, in April so stay tuned into both these incredible artists.

Finally, Blockhead Rod and Huckleberry Arts would like to invite you to join the Artisan Challenge.

Make a note of this date:March 23rd

Formerly known as the Etsy Challenge (the name was change to protect the innocent...) and then renamed as the Artisan's Challenge because there are soooo many great venues out there for selling handmade.... and then the whole shebang came crumbling down. It was feared that the challenge would never be heard from again.

Yes, the Artisan's Challenge is being dug up from the depths of the internet graveyard!

For those who may have never heard of the Artisan's Challenge, let me tell you what it's all about. There are 12 different categories with 60 different artisans every week (5 submissions in each category). The winner's of the categories from the previous week then face off in a weekly challenge!

So head on over, read the rules and enter your submissions now! You'll be notified when it's your week in the challenge. Then its up to you to tell your friends... your family... your neighbors... the people in the checkout line at the grocery store... to go vote for you in theArtisan's Challenge!
What's in it for you? Besides lots of people seeing your item when they vote?? Besides FREE publicity for your shop??? Besides all the fun????It just so happens that the winner of the weekly challenge will now win a audio commercial with a banner to play the entire following week on Blockhead Radio! That's even MORE FREE publicity for your shop!

Remember, it's ANY selling venue! Entries are being accepted now so hurry and get your submission in. Another incentive... blog about it. Last date to enter will be March 22nd. Winner will be selected by a random number generator. One entry per blog.

Get your entries in now:http://blockheadradiolive.com/artisanschallenge






23 comments:

~~Sew Happy Designs~~ said...

Awesome write up on our blockheadrod family!! You captured it all!! Great Job Natasha!!
Blessings~
Cindy

Huckleberry Arts said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful post :) and the chance to let everyone know us a little more!

:X

Natasha said...

~~Sew Happy Designs~~ - thank YOU from the bottom of my heart...this was such fun to do....thanks for reading and sharing...I'm so thrilled you liked it!!

Huckleberry Arts - thank YOU for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful group ..it was an honor to write this and share it with all here.. you guys are so fabulous! Keep creating!!

agoodwitchtoo said...

What an awesome feature! Gotta love this family :)

Tulip's Talking said...

A truly deserving couple/family, of such a beautiful and informative interview/feature. You are a terrific writer, with a refreshing heart and soul.

~Lily

Natasha said...

agoodwitchtoo - thank you so much...right? You totally have to love them...I think they're going to adopt us all

Tulip's Talking - wow...I don't even know what to say except thank you from the bottom of my heart...it was such fun to feature them...I hope everyone pops over to play...thank YOU for your kind words!!

capitolagirl said...

What a great write up. You did a really good job with that post.

mkcphotography said...

what a great story and a fantatic family...and i'm SO entering that contest, lol!

Natasha said...

capitolagirl - thank you..it was easy given I had such awesome people to work with!!

Natasha said...

mkcphotography - WOOOHOOOO I'm SO psyched you are entering...so am I...it's going to be a blast no doubt!!

blockhead radio said...

ty Natasha......what a wonderful write up.

say hi to the doodlebug for me

Rose Works Jewelry said...

This is a wonderful post on a wonderful couple!

Natasha said...

blockhead radio - Thank YOU!! It was such fun to do...and Doodlebug says hello!!

Rose Works Jewelry - thanks so much...I agree they are a wonderful couple!!

Chauncey said...

What a fabulous post. You did a wonderful job!

Natasha said...

Chauncey - thank you so very much...it's been an honor and pleasure having this post up..thanks for reading!

lisianblue said...

How awesome!
I love the idea of putting a crayon in the kids hands as soon as possible!
I had an old beat up mobile home when my kids were young - I had one wall that they were allowed to draw on - wish I could have brought that wall with me when I moved!
It's so neat to know that there are couples out there that are so supportive of each other and instilling an appreciation of "handmade" and the arts in their children. And, supporting other artists!
Well written article, Natasha!
:)Kris

Walk in the Woods said...

This is such a great feature - an excellent way to get to know Huck & Rod! Awesome people, awesome post!

Tammie Lee said...

Wonderful post. I have not heard the radio shows yet, so I will hop on over now. Thank you for the great intro!

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...

Greetings!

How veriest awesome! :-) Love the blend of Family & Art & Dreams and that none gets shortchanged for the others. :-)

The adoption thing works for me! :-D

Will try to make it home in time for your show tonight, Natasha. What an immense kyoolness! :-) Are there any archives of old shows any where in case I get home too late tonight?

Bright Blessings & Good Fortune! :-)
-Bird

twinklescrapbooks said...

Thank you for sharing with us. I love their work!!! :)
tina

Bone*Head*Studios said...

Natasha,
Annette has been a great friend and angel to me and to everyone who knows her, she will always have a place in my heart.
Thank you for showcasing this wonderful person and her delightful family!!!
Blessings,Flora

Alice said...

I have to say I have loved Annete's, Huck, art since I first saw it. I had no idea they had all those children. Keeps you young, and it's a wonderful story!

Natasha said...

lisianblue - that idea of putting a crayon in a kids hand right away resonated with me as well...I love the way this family supports handmade and the arts and is giving the next generation the gift of art...they are inspiring as are you. I love that you gave your little ones a place to be creative as well

Walk in the Woods - so great to see you here ..I agree they are awesome!! Please come play again..

Tammie Lee - I'm so glad I was able to share something new with you...so great that you came to visit....I'd love to know what you thought of the station...hope you come back to let me know

Phoenyx Ravenswing - adoption is a great option no? Hahaha...I'm so glad you got to check out this post and that you tuned in to the show...that meant the world...that was Huck and Rod on the air with me weren't they fantastic? Huck's questions rocked didn't they?


twinklescrapbooks - thank YOU for coming by...I'm in complete agreement with you!! Hope you will come by again and join in on the fun

Bone*Head*Studios - thank you for coming and sharing!! It was SUCH an honor for me to do this, to get to know them...they are special. I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity


Alice - Huck's art is out of this world, those children are gorgeous and the entire family is magic. It was so great to do this piece....thank YOU for coming by and sharing :)