Here are some personal bits about me and how I got started as a Mixed Media Artist.
Simply put I love to make things! – So does that make me a Maker? Crafter? Artist?
Honestly the title to me doesn’t matter so much, I just do what I do because I love it. I call myself a mixed media artist because it seems to fit the whole gamut of what I love to do.
I am a self taught Mixed Media artist, but before that I am a wife, a mom and a pug mom. I was very creative as a child but as life happens, I got a degree in accounting and have worked in that field for over 22 years. I dabbled in scrapbooking for a few years and I loved the creative aspect of it but feeling like I had to preserve every photo and make it all perfect in a book – well frankly that wasn’t for me.
My husband decided to retire in 2014 from his business where I worked as an accountant ( a HVAC contracting business). This left me wondering – what the heck am I going to do now?
Sounds like it was a simple answer but in reality it was not, I struggled with this for quite awhile. I felt I was losing my identity. What I didn’t realize was that I was about to actually find ME for the first time.
I struggled a lot the first year and a half with the business end of it, with the direction I wanted to go, and how I would make it all work. It was not a fun walk in the park, actually I was very down about the whole thing and it was hard.
Hard starting my own business
Hard getting noticed
Hard learning the ropes.
I started to offer some free art journaling classes at Cafe 407. One month into this I received a call that landed me a job as an art therapist – working with individuals who have eating disorders. This has been the highlight of my career to date. To be doing what I love and sharing my passion with others and helping them find peace and healing through art. I was featured in Syracuse Women’s Magazine shortly thereafter and had my first contract to do a wall mural for a church. I was also offered a spot on the Jessica Sporn Designs Creative team. I was on an all time high, my life was perfect, things that I worked so hard to make happen were coming true.
That’s when I got the call that shook my world. My dad was dying – less than 3 months to live. I struggled through my commitments and helping to care for my dad, all the while not knowing how bad my mom had dementia. At that time I did not know after my dad passed that the next year I would spend caring for my mom, getting her into a home where she could be safe, and all the emotional feelings and ups and downs I would go through.
During this period of time I landed a spot on the StenciGirl Creative team (WOW) talk about a dream come true. I was also asked to join the Roben-Marie Smith Design Team, which I was not expecting at all.
Through it all, it has basically just been life – some ups – some downs – some things that have totally knocked the wind out of my sails. But you know what? I wouldn’t change one bit of it. It has helped me grow as a person, as well as an artist. It has made me beyond thankful to those whose paths I’ve crossed that gave me a chance. Thankful for all the good that has happened to me, because I made it through all the rough times, and I am a stronger and better person for it.
I love to share my knowledge and excitement of creating with others, I have a strong sense of color and use it a lot to create a “mood” in my art journaling.
I have filled my website with pages to inspire you and fill your heart with joy. Sharing what I do with all of you is what fills my heart and drives my passion to create. So please have a look around and stay awhile.
Thank you dear friends for sharing your time with me. Thank you for letting me share my story with you and allowing me to inspire you.
I leave you all with a quote that has helped me time and time again get though the rough patches in life.
“At the end of the day you can focus on what’s tearing you apart or focus on what’s keeping you together” – Sherry Canino