Roughly 2-years ago, around the time I made this wooden love sign, I finally decided to become an independent artist.
I never had the faith to actually pursue my dream. Instead my fear of the future kept me striving for what was safe, realistic, and more socially acceptable.
Yes, faith. It takes so much faith to be an artist. It takes faith to keep painting when everyone around you has an 8-5, steady income, full benefits job. It takes faith to keep painting after months of hard work and no compensation nor acknowledgment. It takes faith to keep painting even when people call you foolish and naive; that hurts the most.
Foolish or not, I just have to keep painting. I was given this "relentless tug" for a reason, and not by choice. It's like "the force" from Star Wars. You cannot see it, you cannot touch it, but it's more real than anything you can see or touch. And only a select few were born with it. I have to trust "the force", expecting it to do great things OR just let it sit there within, serving no one, but myself.
My internal "tug" to paint grew as my love and compassion for people grew. I so badly wanted to encourage those with depression, those with addictions, and anxiety - all things I've experienced in different severaties throughout my life. I wanted to use my gift to bring hope to these people and to show them the immense beauty in this world.
So with a little encouragement and A LOT of support from my husband Adam and father-in-law, I stepped out in faith.
I wasn't expecting to become a Picasso, but I was EXPECTING great things to happen. I was expecting a miracle.
After the first year my husband started questioning my decision. We saw little to no money coming in from the late nights, early mornings, and endless commissions. It seemed pointless.
But I JUST KNEW, with total confidence, that God was working in me. I KNEW I was training "the force" and it was growing stronger. As I continued to expect the best, the best followed me.
More doors opened. More customers came. More opportunities fell into my lap. I was asked to do murals, something I certainly never planned on doing, but accepted the challenge thankfully. And the greatest miracles weren't monetary ones, but the people God put in my life to serve. I've met so many hurting people along the way that I've had the honor of painting for, praying for, encouraging, and supporting. People I met on Facebook, Instagram, at the gym, and at the Studio Art School.
Like my heart, my art has become brighter, simpler, and more open. I'm finally fine tuning my art style, which involves flowers, animals, and people. I can only imagine what God has in store for the next 2 years, 5 years, 10 years.
I'll just keep painting and expecting the best.