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Born and raised in the suburbs of Minnesota, I had an affinity for art from a young age. At one point during my high school career, I even managed to create a schedule that allowed me to spend five out of my six school hours in the art room! Directly after graduating, I headed south to escape the frigid Minnesota winters and attend the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, where I was awarded a merit scholarship.

Though I’d really wanted to choose Painting as my major, it was silly in my mind to think I could make my living as a fine artist. It definitely wasn’t what sensible and realistic people did. So I chose the much more “practical” option of Illustration - and I hated it! I left school after two years to begin my long sludge through Corporate America. 

My career after school took me through many different industries: insurance, entertainment, web design & technology... Nothing quite fit and it always felt like something was missing. It wasn’t until I found fitness in my thirties that I realized what that something was: passion!

I fell in love with fitness, and suddenly it was no longer acceptable to have a job that I just kinda liked. It was no longer acceptable to do things that didn’t bring me pure joy. I quit my relatively lucrative job as a Project Manager and transitioned full-time to Fitness Coach. It was scary and maybe not the best idea on paper, but it was so fulfilling! I got to affect other people’s lives and be the bringer-of-joy for them. There’s really no better feeling, and I have never once regretted my decision. 

I made a vow at that point to never again do things just because I was supposed to. I was never again going to choose the “smart” thing over what my internal signals were telling me.

...which brings me back to art. Rediscovering that passion for one thing led me back to my original passion from all those years ago. One day, I had an overwhelming urge to create artwork again. I bought some brushes and paint and a huge canvas. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I didn’t care. I wanted to go big and go bold and go colorful! 

It was a disaster. 😂🙈


My first attempt didn’t turn out great, but man, was it FUN! I got lost in the colors and felt like I was right where I should be. I knew I had to keep going.

Over time, I learned techniques for my creations, carving out a process that worked for me. I was even able to fall back on my art training from all those years ago, as - even though I didn’t have the courage to be a painting major back then - my education was not for nothing. All of my old lessons in composition, color theory, value, contrast and all the other fundamentals still apply today and were just lying dormant, ready to be dusted off. I gradually found myself creating the art pieces that I'd been dreaming of since I was young.

So, to sum up, I am a firm believer in do-what-makes-you-happy. Colors make me happy. Mixing paint on canvas makes me happy. Coloring outside the lines makes me happy. All of these things are reflected in and govern my artistic process.  

And if I can use my artwork to spread joy and bring a smile to others, well then, that's just icing on the cake.  🤗

#choosehappy #seekjoy #spreadlove

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