A year ago, I changed my life
It was a year ago, only a year. July 25th 2019, was my first art show. I announced in May on Instagram, to my friends, to my family and to anyone that would listen that I was having an art show. What they didn’t know was that I did not have one single painting to show. I said it to challenge myself to create, and see what I could do. So, I put a non-refundable deposit down on the venue and I started creating.
I was claiming my power back. I was challenging myself to think bigger and to knock down self created barriers. I could do this. I decided even if it was just me standing there with my family the night of the art show, that it would be a success. My goal was to creating paintings and put on a show, the guest list was secondary.
This was part of my journey. In January 2018 I started this blog, and in March 2018 I started drawing my women again. I used to spend hours when I was a teenager listening to music and drawing my women. I would create a story in my head about where they were going and what they were doing. I would be in my own world, and it was a magical world.
When I went away to college, life got busy and I always imagined that when things settled down that I would start drawing again. It was always in the back of my mind. I had a few short spurts of creativity that always ended up with me getting sick because once I started painting I wouldn’t be able to stop. I wouldn’t eat, and barely sleep as the creative pull would take over my life. It scared me. So I would put all my paints and canvases away and get back to ‘reality’.
But reality always felt a little lacking for me. I always felt slightly disconnected and never fully satisfied. I did the things that society said should make me fulfilled. I got a college degree, a career, got married, had a baby, bought a house, got a dog, and I had a social circle of friends. I had a whole life, but there was always a part of me that was observing myself and not fully engaged. There was always a part of me that was restless and a little sad. For a long time I was confused by that. I didn’t know why I felt that way.
I poured my heart and soul into my family and marriage, and my happiest moments were when my husband, daughter and I were all together; relaxed and happy. In those moments I would feel peace. But as my daughter prepared to go away to college I started to panic. I started to feel lost. Without her and the family unit, there was nothing tethering me down. I started to feel as though I were floating above the earth observing my life and not really living it.
I searched for answers by reading, going to events, listening to podcasts, and talking to friends. And through this searching I found it again; my creativity. My drawing, my women! They entered my life as if they had just been waiting for me to invite them back. Once I started creating them I couldn’t stop. I would spend all day Saturday and Sunday drawing. I would say to myself, ‘Just one more hour,’ which would turn into 3 or 4 hours.
I felt connected to life for the first time in a long time. I didn’t feel like I was floating anymore. As I drew my women, my mind would relax almost into a meditation. The sadness in me started to dissipate. They were showing me the way, they were luring me into their world of magic and endless possibilities. The difference was, this time I let myself go there. I was scared, but I let myself be scared and move forward anyway.
They resonated deep within me, and as I posted them to my Instagram account other women started to connect with them too. There is no better feeling in the world than when I paint a woman and someone sees my intention and joy in my art and loves it as much as I do. It grounds me, it warms my soul, it brings me pure happiness. This was it! This was the answer to cure my sadness and dissatisfaction. All those years ago, I had abandoned my women, thinking that other things were more important. That I would draw them again when I had ‘time’. I have learned that life wasn’t going to give me time, that I had to take it. There will always be distractions, so I have learned to intentionally plan and protect my time so that I can create.
In order to do this, I had to start enforcing my boundaries and walking away from toxic situations that drained my energy and left me too depleted to create. I had to make my creativity and myself my priority in my life. And by doing that I healed and found myself again. Because my creativity connects, grounds me, and takes away my sadness and dissatisfaction, it is not an option in my life anymore it is a necessity.
So, that is why I decided to do an art show. It was the perfect way to ensure that I would protect my time so that I would create. I had never done an art show, I had no idea how to do one. But since I had a deadline of July 25th, I had to figure it out. And I did. I did figure it out, and I did have the art show, ‘The Queens’ in Portland Oregon. It was the most amazing feeling in the world to see all my friends come out and support me, and congratulate me on the show, and on my art.
This was one of the greatest challenges and accomplishments of my life, and it felt so good, it inspired me to not only keep creating, but to create more. Art has become my purpose and I now believe in its magical world of endless possibilities. I didn’t sit down and plan out my future in art, once I allowed myself to enter the magical world of creativity, it showed me the way. I was always too scared to let it take over my life, but I am not scared anymore. I know that my journey has just begun, and my creativity has so much more to teach me.
A year ago I never would have believed in a million years that I would be living in Southern California at the beach, and selling my original art. Never! I can’t wait to see where I will be next year.