Pursuing art as a full time career is not something that I set out to do. It’s not even something I was necessarily looking for. In fact, it sort of feels as though art was looking for me.
Do you ever have the feeling that your inner voice is trying to tell you something? I have found that the older I get, my inner voice has gotten louder and louder. Or maybe I’ve just gotten better at listening to it. Because about 8 years ago, there were signs all around me pointing me in the direction of art.
I chose to study graphic design in college because I wanted to be practical. I knew I was going to need a job when I graduated and graphic design seemed to be a good way to put my interest in art to work. I had a great career in design and I was good at it. I worked for some wonderful design firms from San Diego to Chicago. And then I eventually set out on my own and started my own graphic design business. I thought this was my intended path. But little by little, I started to hear a whisper from my inner voice. Design felt like it was just a job. Definitely not a calling. And I knew deep down that there was something bigger calling to me. But what?
If I had to pinpoint the moment I made the switch in my head, it would have to be when a close heart friend and artistic soul (who was clearly brought into my life to show me some signs) said to me “You’re an artist.” Simple words. But I had never really thought of myself as an artist and it seemed to me a lofty thing to want to be. I had never even pictured how one would live life as an artist so of course, I protested “I’m a designer, I’m not really an artist”.
But those words stuck with me. Was I an artist? And what does that even mean? Maybe I could be an artist. I don’t know, is it even possible?
I realized that this was what had been calling to me. It was as though the pilot light of my heart had been ignited. And it was just waiting to be turned into a roaring furnace. So I looked for the signs. I went to art shows. I took art classes. I looked for my passion. I wanted to get that fire roaring.
And the day that I figured it out and created one of my first paintings, it was as though my life exploded with a happiness that I had never even known existed. This is it. I’ve found it. I knew it instantly.
It’s been a lot of years since that happened and I still feel like that flame of passion for art is burning bright. It has grown and changed over the years but it is definitely still the calling that I was feeling. My work comes from deep within me. And sometimes I don’t even know where it comes from. It’s as if it comes THROUGH me. As if some of my paintings just paint themselves. It definitely feels like a gift from the Universe and I will always be truly grateful.
I hope that my story might in some way inspire others to seek and pursue their passion. I believe that we all have a purpose on this planet and listening to your inner voice is the first step to finding it. Finding your passion makes you come alive. And as the saying goes, the world needs people who have come alive.
What is your heart whispering to you?