Side Hustle No More

At the beginning of the year I knew it was time to finally dive in, take the plunge, to remove the net and just go. So in June of this year I did it. I left my job after 6 years to leave the comfort of steady and needed income for our family to be a watercolor artist full time. And, I did feel ready. Scared, but also ready.

For years I’ve been working day jobs while watercolor painting nights and on weekends. Using my vacation time to take workshops and visit museums and of course paint. Whenever I traveled for work, which was quite a bit in the years before I married and had my daughter, my paints where as important as my make-up bag. It seems like painting has been squished and squeezed into every spare pocket of time. Of all the things I’ve pursued in my life art has not just stuck with me, it has just become a way of life. Sure, I’ve had a million ways to earn an income. I’ve waited tables, been an assistant to so many people, sold everything from pharmaceuticals to shoes, arranged flowers, transcribed market research groups, answered phones(so many phones) was an officer manager at the Watergate, worked for a talent agent in Los Angeles, craft services on a “B” movie set, grad school, children’s ministry, you name it I’ve probably worked there . I’ve been a hard worker and have represented so many employers well. Now it’s time to represent myself and my work with the same diligence and effort. I am thankful for all these jobs, what they’ve taught me, the people I’ve met and the friends I have as a result. Working is never a bad thing even if it’s not what you really want to do.

I’ve dreamed of this time in my life for a long time. For some reason, I always imagined that my transition to full time artist would feel a bit more like finally landing after a rough, choppy and turbulent flight. Instead, I feel like I’m taking off, I’m flying the plane - a bit scared, very excited and in awe of what I will see in the air with goggles on and scarf fluttering behind me. I’m off….

The takeoff isn’t all because of me. It’s a result of every person who has purchased a watercolor from me, taken a class, commissioned me to paint their home, their dog, their wedding bouquet to even giving me a red heart or comment when I posted my work on social media platforms. All of that has been my lift and I’m thankful for so many people who have made this possible for me.

Can I do it? How will I do it? Will I be successful? What is success?

Yes! Step by step and inch by inch. That’s how I’ve learned to paint in watercolors, how I teach it and how I tackle my own art. You break it down, you paint one are at a time, in the same way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.

Zinnias really are the best flower in the garden.

Zinnias really are the best flower in the garden.