My Journey:

My fascination with making things and all things color started at a very early age. I dreamed in bright colors. I remember a lady in a sparkly,emerald green bathing suit in one of my dreams letting me know that I was not to be afraid. I remember ruby reds, fuschias, royal blue all things color dancing around in my head. The first word I could read was the word red on a crayola crayon. I was so excited I ran into the family room and told everybody I could read. RED such a great word.

 

I was the youngest child of a large family and so as my mother sent kids off to school, she would have a little more time to pursue her creative hobbies. My mother's sister, Aunt Jeannie was also an artist. She was a painter and her home was filled with amazing projects all over the place. Their house smelled like linseed oil and you had to be careful where you sat. My cousins were true artists.

 

In my mind a true artist was someone who could paint a picture of say a horse or a person and the drawing actually looks exactly like that horse or that person. That's where I got stuck. I loved colors, I loved fabric and ribbon but I couldn't draw in fact I was ashamed at what I made, it never looked like the object it was intended to look like. How could I have such a love of art and creativity and not be able to draw? It just wasn't fair. My mother paid for me to take art courses, drawing and painting but by that time fear and catatonia had set in. I did make paintings but they were flat and uninteresting. When I was about 12 I started sewing. Sewing was 3 dimensional and I could make clothes with all the wild fabrics that I loved. I dressed like an artist. I wore outrageous old fur coats and shoes purchased from a department store where they never got rid of old stock. My shoes were from the 1940's. I word long denim skirts made from old overalls with the legs cut out and bright crazy fabrics were placed in the middle. Basically, I embarrassed my mother. 

Sewing and making was what kept me safe in a world that I found extremely hostile. I could go up into my room and make stuff. I could hide away and find safety and I got positive feedback on my projects. 

I wanted to be an interior designer, I wanted to be some kind of designer or artist. I wanted to go to Rhode Island School of Design but I just didn't believe I could do anything like that. I wasn't good enough. I didn't try, I didn't ask for help I was under the impression that I should know and if I didn't know, well too bad. I also believed for some reason that becoming an artist might be a bit selfish. That I wasn't contributing to the world in any positive way. And, remember, I couldn't draw. The summer of my sophomore year in high school, I went to the then called school of Arts and Crafts in Detroit. I worked so hard taking 2 courses that year. I loved it, I gave it 100% of my time and energy. I think I grew but I was still so scared and insecure.

In High School, when kids were cutting class to go do stupid stuff, I cut class to go to the Detroit Institute of Arts. I cut class to stay home and make ceramics. Enough said. When I finally went to college, I became an elementary school teacher. I minored in art and took as much art as I could but in the end I became a teacher. Teaching was a good career for me but I had a hard time focussing on what a teacher should be focussing on. I was flighty and couldn't really teach in that linear way that teachers are expected to teach. I wanted to teach through art and I did. I was distracted and I fear that many of my students suffered because I really couldn't help them. Don't get me wrong, I believe I made a lot of positive contributions to children's lives I just don't think that was my path and I could have done better.

After many years teaching, I finally hit the wall. I had a nervous breakdown. It was clear that my teaching days were over. 

I went to vocational rehabilitation to figure out what I should be doing with my life. Of course, every career survey I took suggested that I be an artist. But I still had it in my head that I couldn't really do art. Yes, I made spectacular quilts and other colorful bright fun objects but I could never really make a living at art.

For some crazy reason I decided to go into web design and graphic arts at a local junior college thanks to Vocational Rehabilitation. I was able to take some really fun art courses and learn about graphic design. My brain just didn't wrap itself around web site stuff. I was much more open with my creativity and accepting of the work I did. I loved spending the hours creating cool images and stuff. I met my sweetie in 2011 and he encouraged me to work at selling some kind of art. I wasn't being very successful at website design so since he had the glass blowing set up at his place because his son dabbled in it, I decided to take a lampworking class. I fell in love with it. I could play with color and glass, taking something hard, liquify it, change it's shape and make it beautiful. I am learning to accept my "organic" style. There is a beauty to the imperfect. I find that when I am having fun and I see this as an adventure instead of something I have to perfect I experience complete joy.