(To read my survivor story click here)
I didn't pick up a paintbrush until I was 40.
Before then I didn't have any positive experiences with art growing up, so for years I held the story that I just wasn't any good at art.
As a child I wasn't encouraged to express myself creatively in any way, but somewhere in the midst of surviving a traumatic childhood, I fell in love with writing and learned to paint pictures with words.
For years, I found comfort in writing.
If you had told me I would be painting, teaching art classes and selling my paintings later in life, I might have thought you were just a bit loony.
I never knew that within me was an artist waiting to be born, but it was the best unexpected surprise a girl could have.
It all started in 2010 when I took my first art related class. It was a healing art class. Here was this woman (Tamara Laporte) telling me that I too was an artist, that I could make pretty faces and she was going to show me how.
Instead of scoffing at the idea, I sat in awe and believed just enough to begin. I found a desire to create pretty things, to paint pretty pictures and to create beauty in some way.
I never looked back. I was hooked.
Hooked on color.
Hooked on paints and how they moved.
Hooked on all the supplies a girl could play with.
Hooked on drawing and painting faces with funky hair colors and soulful eyes.
Hooked on seeing pieces of me I never knew existed.
Hooked on the feeling of losing myself on the page or canvas in a way I had never lost myself before.
For the first couple of years, I watched many Youtube videos and for a period of time, took a couple of classes with some very talented teachers. I art journaled quite a bit in those early years and used art journaling as a healing tool.
At some point, I stopped taking online classes and started to focus on developing myself as an artist and finding my own style.
I have definitely been influenced by some amazing artists, but by the third year, my art started becoming more recognizable as mine.
I remember in those early years longing for that to happen, wanting to finally get good at combining colors, wanting my faces to look like mine or to just look like faces for that matter. But I had to learn to walk before I could run.
In time through painting and experimenting on a regular basis, I started to find myself as an artist.
I spent a lot of time finding my own voice and style. I think in many ways I am still finding myself in every piece I paint.
It's a beautiful thing.
Currently, I just love working with different mediums, experimenting and getting to know the charactistics of each medium. I still love my bold and funky colors but I am also falling in love with a variety of palettes depending on my mood at the time.
Faces are my first love in art, but I also love to create abstracts and have recently fallen in love with various forms of fluid art (such as alcohol inks, acrylic pouring).
I rarely have a plan.
My mantra is always, "let's see what happens".
I truly trust the intuitive process and know that when I am painting, something is moving through me and it always amazes me to see the final outcome.
I had no idea when I started that I would have this love affair and deep intimate journey with art, let alone facilitate the healing of others through art and bring others to art.
I believe strongly in the power of creativity to heal.
I also believe that we are all artists.
I am living proof.
No experience, couldn't draw to save my life, could only draw stick figures...and here I am painting pieces of art that I love and that have resonated with others as well. I am still in awe of this till this day, eight years later.
There is an artist within all of us, just waiting to be born.