Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the Art Center

I was a docent today at the Art Center where I recently hung my paintings. As requested, I also added a bio and picture.

So, I'm sharing it with you!

This..... is my story.

This story begins when I was very young, with events that exist in stories my mom likes to tell (that's because I don't remember some of them). Her favorites include me hording markers at age two, and then coloring my Mickey mouse sheets (”inside the lines”, she likes the add). At age three, I drew a strawberry with all the little seeds and a stem. And then one I actually remember was when I was getting supplies for kindergarten and was only allowed 8 crayons. I was so upset because how was I suppose to color people's skin? I'm quoted saying, “nobody has white skin.” more like peachish, pinkish, beigeish skin. So my mom taught me to blend colors and that satisfied me somewhat. Any who, I have loved art for literally as long as I can remember.

At age 7, my mom put me in my first art class. I remember being the youngest one there, but oh how I loved it. Through my childhood, I spent my time at home coloring, drawing, making miniature books written and illustrated by me, hand sewing clothes for dolls, sculpting miniatures from clay, painting small unfinished wood pieces my mom had left over from craft fairs, and turning my entire room into a “barbie land” (as I called it). Every nook and cranny was turned into a part of the town through my imagination and odd things I found lying around the house. Little did I know, I was “re-purposing” “ephemeral”. Then after years of begging my mom to teach me how to sew with her machine, she complied. At age 12, I got a one day crash course that sent me rummaging through my old clothes for fabric. I started chopping up my old hammer pants and making little bags that I sewed velcro enclosures on. I still use them to this day.

In eighth grade, my direction started to change. I have always been a pretty realistic person, so in contemplating my future career, I looked back at my past. Seeing my mom's persistence to make and sell crafts in addition to her full-time job (and usually other part-time jobs) equated that craft was only able to be a hobby. I also thought back to the “starving artist” spill I had heard over and over. So I decided that in order to be creative and actually make a living at it, I would go into graphic design.

And that's actually what I did. I was so excited reading about all the fun classes I was required to take for my degree. I worked really hard and managed to graduate in 4 years with my BFA. Unfortunately, 2002 was not a good time to be looking for an entry level design job. I pursued places I was interested in working, but no one was hiring. A few months later, I broke down and got a very non-creative job to “pay the bills”. The decent pay and great benefits trapped me. Over the next few years, I still pursued design as a career and went on quite a few interviews, but time kept passing. I started to fall into an undesirable category. I wasn't fresh out of school any more, but I also hadn't gotten enough experience since graduation. I did manage to freelance some work and stayed connected to the graphic design community through serving as a local AIGA (the professional association for design) board member for six years.

During those six years, I also managed a few other creative activities, that now seem part of this whole story. Scrapbooking. Craft fairs. Thrifting. Painting. And blogging.

In 2008, I met someone new who loved to travel. He actually didn't even live in the same part of the country as I did, but his job allowed him to work on the road. After a few months, he decided to move to be near me and with the straight forward intention of convincing me to hit the road with him. I was approaching my sixth year in a job that I despised for most of that time and dreamed of leaving. I was 29 and really wanting to be further along in my creative career. I have to admit that the hardest part at first was believing this opportunity was not a fantasy. After that, I just had to overcome my negative perception of dependence and the fears that came with that. At this point in my life, I was finally ready to take the risk. I planned and researched the whole adventure, and on June 1st 2009, I was a free woman. Jobless for the first time in 13 years. It took a couple months, but I found awesome renters for my house. I sold a few items, put most of my possessions in storage, and narrowed down the few necessities that would fit in the car. I took my sewing machine, some woodworking tools, paint, a few other art and craft supplies, a laptop, and limited shoes and clothing. We packed camping equipment, climbing gear, a cooler with food, and our bikes. We did a good job fitting it all in and on the Subaru. August 22nd 2009, we hit the road.

To document this adventure, I started this blog. Originally a private space shared only with family and friends, it has now become a public expression of the things I love.

Since August 2009, I've done quite a bit of traveling, lots of thrifting, a little rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, camping, a little sewing, some painting, took an awesome Indie Biz class, volunteered at summer camp, learned to snowboard, opened my etsy shop, did some graphic design work, volunteered for VDAY, and now have some of my paintings at the Tahoe Art Center. I am determined to keep painting, designing, illustrating, repurposing, and working hard to create and sustain the life I have always dreamed of.

.....stay tuned :)

1 comment:

  1. I love the new blog look! Congrats on having your work in the Art Center. I'm so proud of you. It's never too late to go for your dream!