Like most people, I began creating and destroying as I couldn’t use my words. Visual art was my saving grace and I used it as a young teen to cope with things I did not understand.
I sold my first painting to a stranger, as in not someone I knew, at my first art exhibit on my 18th birthday, on April 24th 2009, organized by my school. My painting was the only one to sell. I was ecstatic. 100$ in my pocket!
The feeling immediately disappeared as its new owner walked away with his new painting in hand.
And that 100$ well it lasted about 20 minutes at the bar.
This began a 12 year journey to produce, sell. Take orders, paint, restart, do it all over again.
& I am beyond blessed I found a way to live off my art.
But something inside began to die.
People didn’t care about my art, they just wanted a pretty image. And that’s the reality of the industry, a pretty image or a story to brag to their friends.
The thing is, with every brush stroke and painting completed a part of my soul gets released to the universe. This is something professional artists either need to get over or completely disconnect. Thing is I cannot disconnect myself from my creative process. It is the driving force to my survival in my 20s.
I painted because I was sad. So what now, as a thriving adult who’s finally come to terms with happiness?
I knew my hands were going to give up about 6 to 7 years into doing art full time. Not only due to the arthritis that runs in my family but also the fact that my fingers would start to go numb the moment I was cold or even a little stressed.
Losing the feeling and dexterity in my hands, my tools, was a hard pill to swallow. Years later I finally found out what was going on and I have the same condition as my father: Raynaud’s. A phenomenon that really there’s is no cure for besides running your fingers under hot water. And it hurts, more than you would think.
Add that with my love of facilitation I surprisingly found my calling. For the time anyways. And that was to paint for myself and get paid to help others find their creativity.
It’s exactly what I needed. I stopped thinking about how I can thrive and began helping others to see the beauty in themselves and their capabilities. And I have never been happier.
I still paint. All the time. But not to sell. To educate and help others.
And that is exactly where I want to be.