As a lot of artists will tell you, I can not remember a time in my life where I did not love making things with my hands. Rifling through the drawers of my mom’s sewing cabinet to find supplies gave me the same thrill I feel now as an adult when I’m picking out paint and paper. By the time I was a teenager, I knew that my calling was to be an artist. Shortly following this revelation, I started to have some pain and inflammation in my hands. This quickly spread throughout my body and became severe enough that I was confined to bed for a time. We were able to determine that I had an autoimmune type of arthritis, and I was put on several medicines to control the symptoms and stop the progression of the disease.
Needless to say, I couldn’t paint or draw or go to art school. The next few years were very hard for me. I had to figure out who I was apart from what I could do. I had to find my personal worth even though I could not live out one of my primary identities. I had to come to peace with the fact that I was an artist even though I could not make art.
Now in my mid-twenties, I was beginning to see signs of remission. I started taking classes at the local community college and signed up to take a drawing class. Being hands-down the worst at drawing in a drawing class is a very humbling experience. I had lost all of my muscle memory and the hand-eye coordination that is required in creating realistic drawings. But, I got better. And better. Both in my health and my art-making abilities.
Five years ago, my oldest child was born. As I left my day job to stay at home with her full time, I realized that this was the perfect time for me to really focus on developing my personal style and point of view. I made a commitment to myself to draw/paint for 20 hours a week and see what developed. As two more children came into our family over the next few years, I was not always able to put in this kind of time, but I always tried to have my work fit in with my family life.
This year marks the launch of my art business and the start of a new and very exciting chapter!