I never imagined myself to be an artist; if you told me to draw you a person, I would at best manage to draw a crude yet endearing stick figure. I never considered making art.
When I was working as an interior decorator, I had the idea that perhaps I would like to become a full-fledged interior designer (move walls, work with architects, do big remodels and ground-up projects), and I enrolled in an entry-level class in the Master Interior Design Program at UCLA, to test the waters.
I had no idea what I was signing up for and if I had, I probably would have chickened out, because although not an art class, we had to draw things and paint things and make patterns; but there I was, and my professor was a magical, gracious, lovely woman, an artist herself, and I began surprising myself and making beautiful things. I went on to take her color theory class, and it was in that class I decided that I didn’t care about moving walls, or construction, and that I wanted to make more art, whatever that meant.
This has been a very redemptive and rewarding journey for me. I come from a family of Olympic-caliber dysfunction – alcoholism, narcissism, borderline personality disorder, anxiety and depression. I learned pretty early on that to survive my environment, I needed to not ask for too much, expect too much, to play small and to take care of myself, which I did well, but I paid an emotional price for that. When my marriage imploded in spectacular fashion in 2011, I fell into a year-long depression, then began the slow process of putting myself back together, working to recover the pieces of myself I had loved, but sublimated. I began searching for a new iteration of myself; I had to figure out who and what I wanted to be. It was through the classes at UCLA that I began to have an idea of what that might look like.
When I began making the graphic, black and white series, it was just to start somewhere, to begin. Having no real, formal arts education, aside from the two classes I had taken, I had no reference for abstract painting or various mediums, etc. This was a way for me to put something on paper with a process I was comfortable with. The process became meditative and spiritual and I just kept going, kept knocking them out. It felt effortless. I began educating myself on the scientific study of “flow,” which is all about how, when you’re doing the thing you were meant to do, you become unaware of the passage of time, which was exactly what was happening.
I never had a plan to sell my work, or even to share it on social media, but I came to realize that this was an important piece of becoming fully integrated and whole again, to stop playing small, and to say, “Here. This is an important part of who I am. I am doing this.” It was an offering to myself. I had zero expectations and it wasn’t about whether or not people liked it. It was a bit terrifying but important, and I had no idea it would turn into a means to support myself and share myself on a larger scale.
I was just accepted into my first art fair in September 2019, where I will be exposed to a broader audience.