I recall my love of Art blooming about the age of 8 years old. I craved every type of craft and art supply there was available. Arts and crafts were the only thing on my Christmas and Birthday Wish List year after year. I was in Art Club in Middle School and combined majors of Business and Art in High School.
When it came time to look ahead to college, I felt I wanted to be a fashion designer which would of required money and going to NYC (I lived upstate). I was quickly shut down with any future idea's of working in any sort of art related field when a family member told me that I could never make a living doing anything like that.
My creative drive faded for a few years but returned with a vengeance Over the years I have always been making one thing or another which has been my sanity. In 2009, after my youngest son was born I started an online business creating custom candy bar wrappers. It was cute and fun but after time it just didn't satisfied my creative needs. The last few years I have slowly moved from digital designing to jewelry.. and I love it! However, as many people think success in art is being able to support your household with your craft. When reviewing the business aspect and seeing many times my numbers aren't lining up to my thoughts of success, I would become discouraged.. almost to the point I want to quit. Reality slapped me when I though, "ok, how do I actually quit?" There is NO way I could just NOT make something. That is when my definition of success started to change.
The single most defined time of success for me was last year was when I heard of a local art contest being held for the second year. I read the theme, "The Color of Change in You" and thought "interesting". I NEVER entered an Art Contest. EVER. I drew a few things as a child but nothing to speak about. I filed the whole art contest idea away. It didn't take long though for a very vivid image appear in my mind for the contest. It would require me to draw it. After going back and forth where I thought for a minute that my fear was going to win out, I registered to enter the contest. I was sooooo excited just to enter!
My birthday cam up and I was asked by my children what I would like... "Prismacolor colored pencils". Like my younger years, that is all I wanted. My daughter was sweet enough to get me my first set and I was ready to go. So I thought. My original idea was not flowing as I pictured and had to change part of it. It was now absolutely PERFECT in my mind. Now just to get it on paper!
My third attempt at it and I was extremely pleased. I went so far to even think I could win, or maybe at least come in in the first 3 spots.
My 8 year old son wanted to enter with me. He drew a picture with my Sharpies and we framed it along with mine. We were confident. We were so very happy not only with our pieces but that we are off to the event. Together. We voted for each other. It was a great night. A fabulous experience that will be treasured forever.
In the end, neither one of us "won" but to me we really did! I went outside my comfort level. WAY outside my comfort level in entering AND by drawing such a detailed piece. My son was exposed to appreciation of art.. and we had one of those great bonding times. We were definitely winners! In that moment success was redefined forever... in so many ways for me.
PS... My entry was the Butterfly Eye I am sharing. Remember the theme? The Color of Change in You.
While it's a cool picture there is deep meaning behind it to me. It is my blue eye. My daughter, Shelby, passed away 19 hours after birth. Her bedroom was decorated in purple and butterflies.. she never made it home to see it.
Success is stepping out of your comfort zone. It is expressing yourself in a way that not everyone can. Honor those driven desires.. there is peace in it.