WHO AM I?
I've got to admit, I've always been considered the odd one in the bunch. :) I guess, I'm what they call a dreamer. Ever since a young age, I always saw myself helping and teaching others in some way or some form. Heck, when asked in kindergarten what I wanted to be when I grew up – I proudly stated at the top of my lungs “Missionary to China!” Much has changed since then (though I still have a love for anything foreign), but my love for helping others and teaching hasn't changed.
LIFE PLANS GONE AMISS
After graduating high school and having some rough years in college, I finally graduated with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Now, all I needed to do what get a job….
Yepster, get a job…
Yeah, when I graduated it was the worst hiring freeze for teachers in my state. Ugh! Time to go back to the drawing boards – I had to humiliatingly move back in with my parents and seek employment anywhere that would hire me. I took two jobs – a tutoring job and a job working with 2 year olds at a daycare. Both were challenging, but I absolutely loved them. For nearly 3 years I worked both of those jobs and grew my tutoring business to the point that I was working over 20 hours a week.
So why am I talking about tutoring, when I'm an artist?
Well, I'm glad you asked. In the summers, my tutoring and daycare jobs kind of dried up. That's when I had to put my special thinking cap on and find something else to pay these constant incoming bills. My mom actually came up with the idea while I was painting in my bedroom one day. “Why don't you teach art?” She said. My first reaction was to laugh.
COMPLETELY SELF TAUGHT
I had no formal training in art. NONE! I was completely self taught! Who would pay to listen to my art instruction? But….I was kind of desperate. Money was getting tight again. After thinking about it, I figured it couldn't hurt to ask around. That summer I started teaching 8 students and eventually grew to nearly 15. Each summer, I gained more and more students and found myself loving this new business that I had created.
LIFE's A RoLLeR CoAsTer RiDe
Life was great! Around this time, I met my husband, got married and then things took a turn for the worse. I was working 3 jobs at the time and loved ever single one of them, but something was really off with my health. I felt sick all the time and when I wasn't working, I was curled up in bed with horrid pain that seemed to imprison me within my room. I found myself depressed and so alone. Doctors ran multiple tests and after nearly 3 years I had a diagnose – PCOS. I had suffered with it my entire life (though I never really knew it), but for some reason when I hit 28 it seemed to take me down for the count. I tried diet, exercise, medicine, nothing seemed to help.
A PASSION LOST
Finally, I hit my lowest, when my husband and I had to make the decision for me to leave my current jobs. I felt my heart ripped from me. It seemed so unfair. Why, would God do this to me? I would ask every night. Wasn't I helping people? Wasn't I doing good things? Despite my questions, I will say my faith grew stronger the darker my life became. Oh and if you didn't catch that, I am a Christ follower. I've been burned by a lot of so called good “Christian” people and I'm not cool with that. But, those people aren't my God. I find myself more passionate about Him with each passing day.
Anyway, getting back to my weird life… I finally hit a point I was so low, my husband told me, “Why don't you try painting? You used to love painting. Better yet, film yourself painting and teach others on YouTube – similar to how you used to teach your students.” At first, I was really turned off by the idea. I'm more of a behind the scenes person than in front of the camera. But, I had nothing to loose. Might as well try…
MIGHT AS WELL TRY…
As I poured myself into watercolor once again, everything I had learned in the past seemed to flood right back and with an even stronger force. I found myself stepping out of my comfort zone and being comfortable to stand out as myself. As I progressed in my skills, I began to wonder
Why couldn't art just be a means for healing, processing who you are, and most importantly just having fun while learning through the process?
I guess that's how all this started…me becoming a Watercolor Misfit. And so my journey continued…now bringing me into the online world to reach out to others. My health, I'm happy to say is better – but it's a daily struggle and some days are better than others. I'm still a dreamer though! Got big plans for this new venture and excited to see the outcome! Anyway, I've rambled long enough! That's just a short summary of my life and how I became a Watercolor Misfit.
If you would like to learn more about me and my quirkiness – make sure to check out the video below!
Lots of love and happy painting!