I've always loved making art. Since I was really little. I don't know how it started, I probably saw my sister drawing something and I wanted to do everything that she did, so I drew something as well. Then I drew something everyday. I took art classes thanks to my Mom( I'm guessing that was the only thing I took interest in...I didn't have a lot of extra activities as a child lol ) and I went through patterns of drawing little girls in floofy dresses sat in their adorable rooms, complete with teddy bears and canopy beds. Also every Disney princess I saw, I drew her.
So, when high school was officially coming to an end, I had no ideaaaaa what in the hell I wanted to do. Psychology entered my mind as well as Early Childhood Education, but nothing really made me that interested to learn more. As I entered my second year( I think, honestly school at Community College is all kind of a blur...) I thought to myself, " Why not try art classes? I have no idea if I could ever make a living from this, or even if I want to keep at it for the rest of my life, but it sounds fun! " So I took drawing classes, oil painting classes, and art history.....and for the first time in a long time, I felt interest in school. For the first time, I actually enjoyed learning about a subject, and I felt that I actually connected with the material, I wanted to be better, and I wanted to learn more and more. And to my surprise, since I actually stopped drawing all through high school since I was focused on theater for all of it...I was actually pretty good still. My confidence sky rocketed, with compliments from teachers and peers, and even much older classmates who had been painting for years longer than me, were telling me I was a natural. And I felt so happy. Like I belonged.
Then, I doubted myself. I entered into a relationship that enveloped all my attention, I'm sorry to say. I let my doubt of my love for art take over, and I let myself forget about how good making art made me feel, and I just focused on my boyfriend. I started to go to my classes less and less, because I thought, " What's the point? I should focus my attention and skill on something that will actually make me money. " I eventually dropped my classes, because being in such a rocky relationship made me unable to focus on art and my self confidence was broken down to nothing. Looking back on it now, it was so foolish, how one relationship that I actually thought would last, made me banish any happy thoughts of just making beautiful things that made me feel happy and complete.
It has now been about 7 years since I've actually gone to school for art, and I feel like I am finally back to realizing how much making art really effects me. How it truly makes me feel like I'm being my best self. It calms me, it connects me to my inner desires and love for beautiful things I want to capture and keep, and it gives me confidence. So much confidence. I hate that I have lost so much time of my young life, not perfecting the gift that literally God has given me since I can remember.
I do think it's important to be responsible and to work hard at a job that not necessarily is your favorite thing ever, but it helps you survive and make ends meat. Sometimes you can't just pack a suitcase and take your art supplies and go live in a studio apartment and obsessively make art all day everyday. I have bills to pay and a husband and baby to take care of. My dream of living off my art is not realistic right now, but that doesn't mean it's un-achievable. What is achievable is making a few pieces of art a week, a month, pushing myself to try new techniques, new styles....just getting as much experience as I can to make up for the 7 years I lost myself.
I lost my passion in a sea of self-doubt and lack of clear sight of what I wanted. But I can get it back. I have a whole life to live to make beautiful things that make people feel something, and I can't and should not ignore that.
And I actually have made money from my art. I started my Etsy shop in 2012, and since then I've made a few sales, and each one has boosted my confidence so much!
It's possible to do what you love. I have to remind myself every time I feel defeated or stuck that I LOVE art and I should never stop. Never stop doing what you love.