In 2015 I was a single-mom “”stuck”” in a financially stable, yet soul-sucking job. To pick myself up after a long stressful day I leaned on what has always brought me joy – being creative. At night while my daughter slept I would “create” and eventually end up developing a new way to wear art – something I quickly discovered other people enjoyed wearing as well. As a result I took the signs the Universe kept sending me – some not as obvious as others and took a leap of faith. In January of 2016 I quit my day job to go after my dream and fulfill my purpose.
For some of us, we do not choose our careers, our career gets in our face, demands attention and will not back down until we concede. At least that is how it is that you are holding or looking at a piece of my art.
My story is simple. It is the act of expressing myself through imagery that brings me complete and utmost joy. It takes just a few minutes and then boom the flow begins and the world is shut out. Some days I know before I even start to make sure to set an alarm so as not to leave my child stranded alone at school due to becoming immersed in a project.
Of course just because one likes doing something doesn’t mean that they should do it as a living – or does it? You see, this is why I believe when your career comes a calling and is relentless – we should listen.
Growing up just south of Boston in the 80’s my parents, (I am sure with all the best intentions) taught me many life-limiting beliefs and lessons, but much like high school algebra none of them seemed to sink in. That is why, on January 18th 2016 I walked into my boss’s office and quit a job that enabled me to afford a comfortable life for myself and my then 6 year-old daughter.
For about a year before I quit my job, the Universe was like a recruiter, sending opportunities. It took a few months, but I got the hint. It had an artist position and it wanted me to fill it.
I know this because there was a gentle flow steering me in the right direction. Doors seemed to open effortlessly and unexpectedly. Everything felt right.
And when I tried to resist? The Universe double-downed – and my cuffs were selected to be included in the official swag bag for the GRAMMY awards. I made 170 cuffs for the presenters, performers, and nominees.
When my rational mind would try to talk myself into a staying at that well paying yet soul-sucking job, a door opened and Evening Magazine came to my tiny Ballard apartment to tape a story about my cuff bracelets going into the GRAMMY Awards Gifts Bags.
When fear crept in and whispered reason after reason why I would be foolish to give up that salary and benefits (ok -sometimes it was actual people saying those things) I got an amazing amount of orders and emails from people saying really nice things about my work.
You see – I am not an artist because I spent years at art school (I didn’t) and because of that it only makes sense to make use of the degree and the techniques I learned over the years or because someone told me when I was a kid I drew well (they might have – I don’t recall.)
I am an artist because that is what my purpose is – and I know this because every time I try to take the practical route – you know the one that we are told we should take or risk a life of failure and doom – I get sucked back in to creating art – and it feels good. It feels right.
Here is my “artist statement” – Fear isn’t here to prevent us from doing things – no it is here so that we can grow and stand witness to our own accomplishments knowing that with every “”fear”” hurdle we jump or break through it serves as a measuring tool – giving us the confidence to keep going further.