When I was 15 years old, my high school encouraged me to select my focus of study. I wanted to choose Art. Like most teenagers, I loved to try new and exciting things. I remember asking my Dad if I could ride my brother’s 50cc motorcycle. He told me no. “What if you fall off and scar your face? What man would want to marry you?” I was appalled. In a sudden moment of clarity, I decided to study business and figure out how to become independently wealthy, so I would never have to rely on someone else financially. As much as I wanted to be an artist, I believed that most artists were also starving.
After years of effort (and a lot of good luck) in the investment industry, I reached my goal of financial independence. But something was missing. I started to wonder what it would be like to paint just one painting. This became a goal that was written down in my annual goal binder. I transferred the goal to the following year for four years.
Finally, there came a point where I knew I had to either take it off my list altogether, or actually do one painting. An opportunity came up for me to join a group of friends to paint for a day, and I jumped at the chance.
The experience of moving the creamy rich paint around a canvas was amazing and enlightening. I discovered that when I touch my brush to the canvas, all time and space floats away. When I create art, I feel passion and peace.
It was then that I took a leap of faith to embrace my artistic heart. I began my journey by immersing myself deeply in classes and apprenticeship with professional artists. I walked into a new world in which I was humbled, vulnerable and yet somehow more alive and authentic. With gratitude and prayer, I continue to vigorously pursue my passion each day.
I am grateful to my father. His words so long ago set me off in an unintended direction, but he also gave me the gift of learning how to sell and to reach my goals. It has been a long journey, and I have learned to be true to myself.
I invite you to share in my creations. I hope you too will allow yourself to follow your passions.