I've always felt very lucky. Not generally, in the "I always win raffles and everything is easy" kind of way, but lucky because I've always known I was an artist.
My mom reminds me constantly of my "early years," drawing sunbonnet babies. I think it had a lot to do with Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I drew probably hundreds of them. When I reached middle school, I had a teacher (sadly, I can't remember his name) who gave us a graphic design assignment to create a logo and graphics for the side of an 18-wheeler truck. It changed everything. From then on, I wanted only to be a graphic artist.
And I was. A Designer, an Art Director, for a very long time. And then I had my son, Aidan, at the ripe old age of 38, and I spent the next 15 years at home with him and his older sisters, Tori & Grace. There were times when I probably should've gone back to work, but my husband gave me the gift of staying home to raise our kids and I'll be forever grateful.
Which brings me to "FINALLY".
Over the past 15 years, I did a lot of creative things. Murals, paintings for our home, hand painted tennis shoes, t-shirt designs for Grace's cheerleading teams, and people would always tell me, "you should really do something with all of your talent," as if I'd just sat around all my life doing nothing! Of course I'd moved halfway across the country, and no one knew me as the Art Director, just as the mom who SHOULD BE doing something with all of her talent. The question was, WHAT? What should I do with my talent? I was too old to go back to designing...as evidenced by the fact that I got NO calls for interviews when I submitted resumes.
Then one day, I bought a book called I Just Like to Make Things by Lilla Rogers, and WHAMO!!! I was lost, but suddenly found. I found surface pattern design and art licensing and most importantly I FOUND MY PEOPLE! Artists just like me, sharing their journeys, their work, offering encouragement and tools and tips! So to Lilla Rogers, THANKS! Thanks for welcoming us all through the gate into the wonderland of art licensing. For being a great cheerleader. And to all of my new friends around the world, YOU LIFT ME UP. To be a better artist, to not give up, to be proud of the talent I know I have. And now, FINALLY....TO DO SOMETHING WITH ALL OF THAT TALENT!
Onward. I've gotta start selling some of this art. I've committed to my husband that I will fund our retirement, as he's funded our everything else!