How I Decided I Was An "Artist"
I used to agonize over the question, "What do I want to do with my life?" Early on, I thought I might become a missionary or teach English in a foreign country. At college, I studied Sociology and Spanish, and it seemed like the logical next step was to become a social worker or a therapist. Many people don’t know this, but after college, I applied and was accepted to a masters program in Marriage and Family Therapy. I turned it down. I guess I just wasn't certain this was the right path for my life, at least not certain enough to incur tens of thousands of dollars of debt from another degree.
So, in the midst of all this uncertainty and indecision, I moved home and joined the corporate workforce. For the next few years, I spent each weekday sitting at a desk, waiting for "my calling" to make itself known.
I was trying to force myself to fit into the role like a mismatched puzzle piece.
In 2016, I found myself working as an executive assistant to the CEO of a successful internet technology company. It was a fast-paced, high stakes role where I developed the hotly debated skill of multitasking. While I gained a lot of valuable business knowledge, I didn’t feel like I was advancing myself in the direction I wanted to go. There wasn’t much about that job that was creative, and though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was trying to force myself to fit into the role like a mismatched puzzle piece. I found myself doodling illustrations at my desk, hand lettering quotes to keep me inspired and motivated, and scrolling through the Instagram feeds of artists I admired - wishing I had the guts or the talent to be like them.
Around this time, I began forming friendships with like-minded women who were incredibly supportive of both my creativity and personal growth. I recall one new friend telling me that she thought I was an artist when she first met me. I was surprised and flattered. That stuck with me, and I began to ask myself, "Am I an artist?" If I wasn't one now, could I become one? How?
I recall one new friend telling me that she thought I was an artist when she first met me. I was surprised and flattered.
After several months of struggling to fit into that corporate administrative role, I knew something had to change. So I quit my executive assistant job, and I went to intern for a local design studio. And I loved it. I finally felt free! I couldn’t believe that creative jobs and work environments like that actually existed. It fueled my creativity, and I started learning how to paint with watercolor outside of work.
By early 2017, I was on a creating rampage. And somewhere along the way, I decided to start calling myself an artist. I realized that I will probably never feel that I have arrived, whatever that means, and that if I wanted to be an artist, I should just start owning the title.
This year, I’ve honed my watercolor and illustration skills and branched out into acrylic abstract painting and other mediums. I even designed and illustrated the cover for a friend's book of poetry. Today I create watercolor illustrations, custom family & wedding portraits, large-scale abstract paintings, hand-painted signs, and more.
I am available for commissions and collaborations. In fact, collaborating with others on a creative project is one of my greatest joys. If you have an idea you’d like to talk about, leave a comment below or send me a message. Let’s create something together!