Valrico Resident Turns Hobby in to Art, Love and Joy Venture

By Kelly Legg

Brooke Elkins didn’t choose to become an artist. The way the story goes, it chose her.

Art, Love and Joy “accidently” began a year ago when Elkins created a custom-made piece of art with ten rules that were important to her family.

“I posted it on Facebook and it took off from there,” said Elkins. “I got several orders in a few short days from my friends. At the urging and encouragement of friends and family, I started selling many other creations.”

Elkins receives special requests for custom art on canvas and wood, mural work and even canvas shoes. People often custom-order pieces of art which may include their favorite quotes or a Bible verse on canvas to match their child’s decor, or maybe even a pretty saying they saw on Pinterest.

“That’s the best feeling, knowing something I worked on is now part of something so personal for them,” said Elkins.

She always loved to draw and she took art lessons at Center Place at the Brandon Library when she was a child. After graduating from Bloomingdale High School, Elkins went on to graduate from USF in 2004 with a degree in education. She married her high school sweetheart, Sean, soon after graduating from college and she began her teaching career.

“When I had my son in 2007, my plan was to take a year off and then go back to teaching,” said Elkins. “After looking at him for a minute or so, my plans changed that quickly and I decided I would be a full-time stay-at- home mom.”

Her daughter was born two and half years later and now the growing family is very active in their community and at their church, First Baptist Church of Brandon.

Elkins loves her new venture and feels blessed that so many doors of opportunity have opened for her.

For more information about Art, Love and Joy, pricing or to place an order, visit www.facebook.com/loveartandjoy. Some of Elkins’ art can also be purchased at Kindred Spirit Vintage located at 4815 U.S. Hwy. 92 W. in Plant City. Elkins will be at St. Andrews Craft fair on Saturday, October 26, with many Christmas items and taking custom orders.