As a little girl, my mom bought me coloring books that I hated coloring so instead I would take paper and trace the images. I would practice drawing them after. Something about shaping and following the lines soothed me even as a little kid. I remember begging and begging for an etch a sketch as a kid and my mom never wanted to spend the extra money on one because she didn’t have much. My dad would tell me yes but would always forget to get one or just that he was too busy. Eventually one Christmas my dad followed through, and I absolutely loved to draw on that thing.
My parents separated when I was 3 so art was my in-home therapy growing up and I never realized it till I got older. I was placed in talented art during my elementary years and middle school. It challenged me but with the talented art program, it never taught me technique or how to do certain things. I didn’t understand what would come from it all and just figured I had a neat hobby that kept me occupied at times. High School went a little differently I wanted to be in talented Art then, but I had no clue how to apply or join the program, I had asked my parents to help but they both kind of blew me off. Believe it or not, I was too shy to just walk up to the teacher and ask what I needed to do to even be considered for the program.
So, there I was hiding my talent and missing out on so many opportunities. Parents, if you see any sign of creativity or artistic ability, please be sure to ask and try to help your child get involved with extra circular art activities in and outside of school. When I was in school my projects would always place or win when it came to fairs just because of my presentations. I got asked to design many things. My good friends knew what I could do here and there but, no one would have pictured me being an artist because a lot of people honestly had no clue.
In college, I took a visual rapid drawing class and when I was presenting, I noticed my work was better than some of my classmates. Hanging next to others, my work did stand out, but I still never thought in a million years that art was my calling. Let’s fast forward 9 years.
I met my husband who at the time was just a guy I was newly dating, and he was looking for some artwork for his home. Everything he showed me I knew I could easily do for him, and it wouldn’t be a hobby lobby print. I surprised him and painted him a painting. He was so shocked and the amount of love he had for it sparked something in my soul and my heart. I had never seen anyone love something I created so much. He later convinced me to put myself out there, do an art stroll, create a site and just see how I did. He somehow saw the potential and possibilities that were in store.
That same week I was in church, and our Pastor’s wife was up on the stage preaching how God has a plan and we all have a calling. What stood out to me is what is something that tugs at your heart, what has been a gift that God has given you, and how can you use what you do to do good. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. My whole life I was prepared to do this. I never realized that’s why Art always captivated my heart, that’s why I was given my gift to be able to use it to raise money for things, to give back, and to show people how to use it to cope. I was able to teach kids how to use their skills and take the time to help and believe in them because as I know from experience it’s so hard to pursue this dream without the support of others.
It took me until I was 34 to honestly know this is who I am and what I want to do. It of course was all a dream come true, but also my reality. I understood what needed to be done to make being an artist and running a gallery a successful business. I understood the mindset and dedication that was required to take on this as well. Whenever I paint, I still grow as an artist. I don’t paint to impress the world but mainly to impress myself because it’s always a reminder that anything is possible.
I still feel God tugging on my heart and reminding me that I’m where I need to be. I feel a sense of security and peace. I feel fire in my soul and heart because I just know I’m doing exactly what I set out to do. So, whenever I get asked How did I know I was going to be an artist, my honest answer is for the longest time I didn’t. I had no clue. Then one day it fell into place and hit me like a ton of bricks with constant signs and reminders all around. Sometimes our dreams or dream job hasn’t even come to us yet.
If I can give any advice on this matter, it would be to never quit and give up, don’t throw in the towel easily because good things will always take hard work, and in the end, you are in charge of your success and reaching your goals. It is up to you to start, to work hard, and to climb each step of the ladder.