To aid and support this incredible new journey I am on with Unhindered Arts, I have signed up for a grant competition with FedEx. It would mean the world to me if I may have a moment of your time to tell you my story, my dreams, and how I plan to achieve them. In order to win the contest, I have to have votes. If this resonates with you at all, please give me your vote, and share. This would be the security my business needs, our lives need, for starting anew. Please continue your support during the entire voting period from March 1 – April 5th. You can vote once per 24-hour period.
For those of you that know me personally, you’re familiar with the fact I have just recently gone to full time self-employment. It’s a beautiful journey, and I wouldn’t change a thing in my life should it take me from this path, but it has not been an easy one to get here. There have been battles with my health, and life in general as everyone faces.
I dream big. I don’t do things mildly. Nor do I do them half-assed. The past several years I have spent gearing up for the ability to say I am fully self-employed. My life has been submerged in business, and study. My mother was self-employed, and she can certainly be attributed as inspiration for my own endeavors. She is the greatest role model I ever could have hoped for.
Working for myself has been a dream my entire life. It wasn’t until life as I knew it ended that I finally found myself presented with the ability to live this dream. Last year I was laid off from my job which I’d always foolishly believed to be secure, my marriage ended one week later after nearly a decade of abuse, and soon after we were homeless. Three days before Christmas, due to our divorce, the police escorted my children, mom, brother, and me from my home. This was also eight days before my youngest son’s birthday. We spent two weeks in a hotel before we managed to find a home.
Life as I knew it had been devastated. I was free. Now, I have nothing to hold me back, nothing to lose, everything to gain, and enough audacity to make this soar.
There are a lot of things I love doing, and have been doing for several years as a paid hobbyist alongside my career in banking. A lot of people believe it’s impossible to maintain superior quality work when you have many different focuses of your company, but I’ve been proving judgments wrong all my life. Why stop now?
A love of literature lead me to become a novelist, with six published books currently and two more this year. This led me to an editorial career, speaking at conferences, literary coaching, and editing for several publishing houses. It was this that opened up the possibility for me to incorporate my art into the work I love doing.
During a stint as editor under one publishing house, I met a graphic designer Kristy Charbonneau, who was so inspiring and helpful in educating me that I now do graphic design as well. Most of my graphics are not just custom designed but integrate my paintings. I have even begun painting portrait backdrops for my photography.
It was also my career in the literary field that brought me to photography. Our graphic designer wanted specific model images that were proving impossible to find. As I had always been a hobbyist with the camera I decided to give model photography a try. Of course I fell in love. I got to dress up real life Barbie dolls and set fantastic scenes. When I left the literary industry I ventured into wedding photography, which followed nine months later with infant photography. I love baby sessions, they are so magical! Through all of this I am a compulsive artist. I can’t quit painting no matter what life throws at me. Any opportunity I can get, I love painting murals indoors or out. There are canvases stacked throughout our home.
So really, it was life that lead me to Unhindered Arts. It is my life, it always has been. Now I just have the freedom to leave behind everything that was holding me back. I will never stop fighting to succeed, fighting for my dreams. More than anything else I have to do this for my children. They need to see that you can have dreams, and that those dreams can become a reality with a beautiful combination of will, character, and passion. I need them to believe that their dreams can come true.