Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Green Living: Maggie Hand Painted

We often think about the effects of waste and pollution on the planet. No one likes to visit a park and find trash on the ground, or see empty water bottles floating by in the pond. We think about the animals and plants that we want to protect. This is obviously a very important cause. But sometimes we forget that people are affected too, that there is a very human side to environmental problems. We are strongly connected to the earth. We are only as healthy as the air we breath and the water we drink.

No one knows this human side better than Maggie Miller, owner of Maggie Hand Painted. I asked Maggie to tell me why her life and her art has to be green.

'I'm a supporter of [the green] movement not just because it is important to our planet but because of the health implications...I have no choice but to create and live in [a green way] for health and personal reasons...I acquired an immune disorder which has debilitated me. It almost took my life [and] that was no [laughing] matter. For the past couple years it has affected my breathing, [given me] serious skin reactions [and] chronic fatigue. I could no longer paint or work with the materials I used to work with.'

'I had to change my home environment to 100% green in order to stay in my own home, change all my cloths to avoid skin reactions, and change how I created my art. I could no longer paint in oils and use all the products I was used to. [I] had to research green alternatives. I educated myself on green living; [particularly] green living for people with immune disorders- what they could and could not have in their homes.'

'Art was a big factor. People don't realize the gases [that] oil paints and varnishes release [in the air and] on your walls. So I decided to turn all of [my] art into a green process, making it accessible to all of my clients, especially those with immune disorders [like me].'

'Every material I use, [including] paints, varnishes, [and] fabrics have to be organic, recycled, [and] nontoxic because I cannot touch or breath anything that will affect my health.'

'My company is undergoing a complete green certification process, [all the way down to] my energy source. Once complete, I will receive my certification seal to be posted on my main website. [My materials are] all non-toxic, organic, or recycled. [Even] the paper I use is made [from] sugar cane.'

'My mission [is] to educate my clients about the green process[es] [I use in my art, and] the importance [of] supporting artists/crafters who create in [an environmentally friendly] manner. [It not only it helps] our planet, it helps [artists] make a living and supports our economy.'

'My plan for the future is to expand my product line and introduce a new eco-green linen line, and a soap line from my family's soap recipes. Maggie also plans on opening a store front...'It is getting crowded in my home studio and I need a place for designers to see my line of furniture, which I'm most know for. I have yet to list those on my Esty shop but you can see my furniture on my main website.'

Check out Maggie's website and her Etsy shop.


  1. It's interesting to hear that side, because most of the time when you hear about eco-friendly it's all about the environment, the earth, our ecosystem. But it's true, making earth-friendly choices are usually better for your own health, too!

    Great feature!

  2. Great interview, we need more and more info like this out there. Thanks so much for introducing Maggie to us. :)