Living Intentionally - A New Series of Letters to Inspire and Encourage
It’s been 11 years since I graduated from college. It was May of 2008. I had a fresh diploma, ambition for days, and a dream of being a painter. I studied drawing and painting in college, and I came out of school all “career as an oil painter or bust!” I was ready to make my dreams reality, and then reality set in. Hard.
Remember I mentioned that is was May of 2008? You may also recall a little thing called the “Great Recession” that happened to occur in 2008 as well. My dreams came crashing down pretty much instantly. Art galleries were closing right and left, and most people had no desire to pay an artist for a commissioned painting at that time, and rightfully so!
So what did I do? I floundered. For a long time. I genuinely had no idea what to do. I had no back up plan. Everything I had built my future around immediately flushed down the toilet upon graduation.
It took many years and a considerable amount of trial and error to get to a new starting place. I knew I wanted to keep making art. I knew that I wanted it to be sustainable. I knew that I wanted it to be more accessible in terms of price. And I spent years figuring out how to make all of that happen. Finding your voice as an artist takes a lot of work and a lot of time. I felt really great about the direction I had been heading in as a painter, but starting all over with a new vision and a new goal was really scary.
I’ve spent the last 11 years since I graduated finding myself as an artist again (or maybe for the first time?). I’ve had so many missteps and stumbles along the way, and I have learned SO much about myself as a person, an artist, and a business woman. I’ve stepped out in bravery, fallen flat on my face multiple times, figured out what works for me and what doesn’t, read a lot of books, surrounded myself with a caring and supportive community, and have grown immensely along the way.
In light of all of that knowledge and experience that I have acquired and will continue to acquire, I’ve increasingly had a conviction to share what I’ve learned with others. If I can help you avoid the pitfalls that I fell into, or encourage you to persist, persist, persist, then I want to do that. I hope to help those who may just be starting out or are simply not sure how or if they should move forward. I hope to encourage growth and confidence. I hope to encourage vulnerability and bravery. I hope to encourage actively making purposeful and meaningful choices that are oriented toward a well thought out goal.
This is something that I am still growing in and, I’m sure, will continue to grow in as long as I’m breathing. I’m constantly learning and adjusting and readjusting. Growth is generally not a comfortable thing. It doesn’t stay still. It is awkward and difficult. The challenges that we face in growing are not only normal, they are to be expected. Embraced. We make a choice to grow or not to grow. We make a choice to be comfortable or to take risks. We make a choice to be intentional or accidental with our lives. And all of these choices take a lot of bravery and daily effort.
Let’s grow together. Let’s learn to be intentional with our lives together.
Every two weeks, I’ll share more challenges and encouragements. If you want to come along for the ride, you can sign up for my newsletters here so that you are sure not to miss a post. If you have any questions or suggested topics, feel free to leave them below!