Rigby woman empowering children through wall art
RIGBY – Aubrey Blackham of Rigby is passionate about art and from the time she first picked up a paintbrush, she knew art would be her life’s work.
She started painting wall murals when she was a kid and was getting paid to do it as a high school student.
Today, she’s married with four boys, and owns a business called Dearest Little Decals that designs and prints wall decals for nurseries and bedrooms.
“They are designed to inspire younger children,” Blackham tells EastIdahoNews.com. “Everything I create, I create with an emotion. I pick a theme and I pick a meaning with that theme and then I go through all the colors I could potentially use and assign an emotion to go with it.”
One decal set, for example, is called Grit and it features an image of green pine trees and white aspen trees. Another set called Flourish has images of pink coral reefs and mermaids.
“On this wall, we’ve got some little dinosaurs,” Blackham says, pointing to a wall inside a room in her house. “The idea is that everybody, even the dinosaurs, have left their mark on the earth — something that time really can’t erase. (It conveys a message about your mark on the world) and what you want your legacy to be.”
The business currently offers 14 different decal sets and since she launched it in Aug. 2019, she’s sold to customers as far away as Texas, New York, Canada and even Germany.
The concept of designing and printing decals, rather than spending many hours meticulously painting, appeared on Blackham’s radar years ago when a client asked her if she could paint a giant mural on a wall at Brigham Young University-Idaho.
“I didn’t have the knowledge at the time to know how to print wall murals but we decided to put it on canvas,” Blackham recalls. “After doing some more research, (I learned there was a way) to print (a design) on sticky material and put it on the wall (and) decrease the cost and hours it took to directly paint on the wall.”
She started doing little projects here and there, which she found really enjoyable.
As she started having kids, Blackham says she always hoped for a girl so she could design a nursery for her.
“I saved all my ideas for a little girl who never came,” Blackham says, emphasizing that she adores her four boys. “When the fourth boy came, I said, ‘I’m doing a nursery.’ I really enjoyed it. It made me reflect on all the nurseries I missed out on.”
These experiences became the inspiration for her business and she says Dearest Little Decals helps “fill a hole in her heart” to create something for little girls.
She now has her own printer, which allows her to do the entire process out of her home. See how it works in the video player above.
Aside from doing work for clients around the globe, Dearest Little Decals has also garnered attention from a Hollywood actress.
Blackham recently illustrated a children’s book for a nonprofit created by actress Amber Smith and her country music singer-songwriter husband, Granger, whose 3-year-old son died in a drowning accident two years ago.
“They created a nonprofit fund in their son’s honor and they reached out to me to illustrate a book about their son in Heaven … which has been really rewarding. It’s called ‘Where the Dinosaurs Roar,'” Blackham says. “I’ve had several people reach out to me with so much gratitude for a book that actually explains to kids where their loved ones are after they pass away.”
Blackham remembers spending four months in China when she was 19 and getting a first-hand look at what it’s like to live in less fortunate circumstances. That experience, combined with the book project, has given her a greater desire to get more involved in philanthropic efforts. She’s hoping more of those opportunities will come along.
“My heart is always touched by children, especially children who are suffering,” she says.
Everything Blackham creates represents hundreds of hours of work and she says it’s rewarding to hear positive reviews from customers. She’s thrilled to be doing what she loves and hopes it will continue to make a difference for years to come.