To say I am passionate about my art career is an understatement. I have every reason not to be though and here's why: I spent the first 20 or so years of my life, out of high school, as a dental assistant. It was a means to an end, however boring it may have been. I grew up in an artsy family and spent my entire childhood crafting, mostly because it was my mother's passion! At age 25 I married and shortly after, began having children. I was a Mom, wife and dental assistant. Everything in my life was great. I was and am very blessed. However, one day a friend talked me into taking a painting class. Although I felt I didnt have time for it, I joined the beginner class anyway. I carved out time for myself. And then it happened. As I spent time learning how to paint, the use of color and texture and design, something very serious happened. I fell in love. Not the love that you have for your children or husband, but a constant feeling of desire. Desire to seek more information, more knowledge. I would spend every free moment painting and learning and reading about painting. I took every class I could afford. I met every artist that was willing to share information with me. I joined art groups and associations. I began to design my own work. I spent months on perfecting my passion, painting collections. Collections of artwork that worked together. For every birthday, mothers day and Christmas I asked for anything related to painting. And I continued to study and practice. I turned my dining room into an eclectic art studio full of paint goodies! And then it dawned on me. I had to quit dental assisting and begin to use my skills somehow. At first I began faux finishing walls and painting murals. I became somewhat well known in my area and began working with homeowners, designers and contractors. I was successful! Making $500.00 a day. I did it for five years, often booked 6 months in advance. Then I burned out physically. I switched to painting on small canvases. I designed different pieces and painted them meticulously, all the while still studying and learning more! I designed one particular piece and sent it to a national how-to-paint magazine and on my first attempt was published. I was thrilled to say the least. That was the first time I truly felt like a real artist. And yet that was only the start. I began refining my art collections and sending them to manufacturers of paper products, tableware and christmas decorations. I was starting to get noticed. I found an art agent who secured a contract for me with a major manufacturer. I worked hard on my designs for a year to fulfil my art licensing contract. About one month before the home decor line was to debut in Atlanta, my agent told me that the manufacturer decided not to go forward with my work. I was devastated. Devastated. I closed the door to my studio and didnt paint for a year. It was a terrible blow. It was a crushing of my spirit and soul. Something died in me then. Gone for good. But as passions do, my desire to create bubbled up from my inner being. Slowly my passion caught fire again. I tried to deny it, but it was impossible to do. I started to paint again. I got really serious again. I couldnt squash it. It is my passion, my life, my sense of well being. It is me. My inner self. My confidence. And so once again I began to pursue my dream of becoming a licensed artist. I started to contact companies again in hopes of landing another art licensing deal. Lots of moments, days, weeks, months and years later I am finally on the eve of a new art licensing deal with a collection I call "Inspired Ink". I also self publish a greeting card line for women called "Chicks of a Feather" that embraces women's passions, hobbies and interests. And I have recently been approached by a rubber stamp company to license my designs on rubber stamps. I feel the ball rolling now. Downhill. Gaining momentum. At last. Finally, on the verge. The verge of real success with my passion...creating art!
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!