Welcome back to our Creator of the Month series, where we celebrate the talents of resin artists. This month, we are thrilled to introduce you to Gary French, also known as Shop with The Lad, a talented artist with an affinity for plaid who seamlessly combines creativity and craftsmanship in his many varied resin creations. Prepare to be inspired as we delve into his journey and discover the beauty that his artistry brings to the world!
Crafting has been a lifelong passion for Gary, but his dedication to the craft intensified approximately five years ago. Seeking solace from financial hardship and mental health struggles, Gary found comfort and empowerment through crafting. For decades, crafting has served as a therapeutic outlet by providing a focused and absorbing experience that can divert attention away from negative thoughts and worries, promoting relaxation and a sense of calm. Gary has experienced this personally, and it is the focus of Shop with the Lad’s Mission Statement that can be found on his website: “If asked what got him into crafting - he would openly say “My struggles with mental Illness. This journey is about healing & therapy, providing items to everyone that truly make their life better in some way, shape, or form. My goal is to bring out that smile that some may be struggling to find as I have”.
While crafting has always held a special place in his heart, Gary’s journey has taken a unique path. Despite pursuing different college degrees, he realized that his true calling lay in the world of crafting. Being a skilled crafter, Gary easily utilizes faux leather to craft a variety of cool items, including key fobs and key chains. His creativity extends to waterproof multi-use pouches as well! In addition to these practical creations, Gary also offers a diverse range of handcrafted items, such as crochet pieces, silicone bracelet keychains, and even the Tumbler Tackle—a neoprene pouch that your tumbler can wear! Now THAT is clever!
Finding inspiration is an essential aspect of any artist's journey, and Gary draws his from diverse sources. He is 'wildly' inspired by the animal kingdom and this can be seen on the Shop With The Lad website, with such items as animal print wood earrings, hats, backpacks and MORE. Gary’s fantastic sense of humor can also be found in the products he offers, and you can see firsthand by checking out his ‘Sass and Snark’ category. Be ready to chuckle!
When it comes to resin art, the choice of materials is so important as we ALL know. Gary has discovered a favorite in Resin Rockers' Uve Resin Original Formula Hard Type. He sought consistency and reliability in his crafting, and Resin Rockers delivered. The reliability that the UV Resin Original Formula provides ensures that each resin piece Gary creates meets the highest standards, providing both Gary and his customers with peace of mind!
Challenges are an inevitable part of the artistic process, and for Gary, the pandemic was one of the biggest challenges that brought significant changes to his craft. In the face of adversity, he bravely pivoted his approach. There are complexities of pouring and manipulating resin that require adapting to its unique behavior and finding ways to transform it into something beautiful. Similarly, individuals facing adversity must navigate through the complexities of their circumstances, adapt to unexpected situations, and find ways to transform their challenges into opportunities for growth and resilience. Throughout his journey, Gary’s unwavering commitment to his craft has yielded remarkable achievements. By persisting through mental health struggles and the fear of change, he has triumphed over adversity.
To fully immerse yourself in the tartan clad world of Shop with The Lad, visit his social media profiles and explore his online shop. You can find him on all major social media channels, including TikTok and Instagram, where he showcases creative and purposeful products under the handle @ShopWithTheLad. For additional inspiration and insights into Gary’s creative process, be sure to explore his plaid presence on Pinterest and Facebook and most importantly, his website!
As artists of any kind, prioritizing your mental health is crucial, and it's important to remember that we are never alone in our struggles. If you are currently facing challenges with your mental well-being, please know that help is available. Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or professionals in your community who can provide support and guidance. Additionally, here are some valuable resources that can offer further assistance:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Crisis Text Line: Text "HELLO" to 741741 (available 24/7)
Mental Health America: Offers a variety of resources and screening tools
Remember, it's courageous to seek help and take steps towards healing. Together, we can break the stigma surrounding mental health and build a supportive and understanding community. You matter, and your well-being is worth investing in.
Stay tuned for more inspiring creators and their remarkable journeys in the upcoming editions of our Creator of the Month series!
Want to check out Gary’s work? Find him at all the links below!
🤘Website 🤘TikTok 🤘Instagram 🤘Facebook
Gary's message to all the readers of this blog can be summed up with one statement..."it can get better and it can go on!". 🥰🤘