You and I may not be on the same creative path, but that doesn't mean I can't bring some tips (and snacks) to make the journey a little more doable.
My passion is to help you take that next step into the wilderness so you can discover the magic and power of your own creativity. Whether you're struggling with self-confidence, a lack of knowledge or skill, or waging a battle with our friend Perfectionism, I'm confident that you have everything you need to tackle this art adventure and come out the other side ready for another.
I have a vivid memory from when I was around 10 years old. We had a unit called "Meet the Masters" in school where we learned about famous artists like Van Gogh and Monet, and then we re-created their most famous masterpieces.
As a child, I prided myself on recognizing excellent work when I saw it... and mine was anything but. So I decided at the ripe old age of 10 that art wasn't for me, and that was that.
It wasn't until 15 years later that I recognized that assumption for what it really was: fear and Perfectionism.
Until a few years ago, I always prided myself on being a capital "P" Perfectionist -- I thought it set me apart from the crowd and set me up for a life of success.
Turns out, the only things Perfectionism gave me were a whole lot of fear and missed opportunities. But most important, Perfectionism prevented me from truly tapping into my creativity and embracing my humanity for what it is: flawed, yes, but oh so powerful.
Enter watercolor: an art form I swore was "just not for me," the painting medium that only reveals its magic when you let it have a little chaos.
The allure of watercolor was the thing that gave me the courage to shift my mindset from "I wish I could do that" to "why can't I do that?" and that shift has changed my life in so many ways -- not the least of which being a pretty drastic career change.
My career started in the White House (Obama era) as a writer and editor. I thought I was either going to stay in politics as a speech writer and communications expert or head to a university to teach literature -- either way, none of those career choices included quitting the 9-5 dream in pursuit of life as a creative entrepreneur, fine artist, and online educator. And yet, here we are!
If venturing into the wilderness (both creatively and in person) over the past few years has taught me anything, it's that sometimes "the plan" is exactly the thing stopping you from discovering your (endless) creative potential.
It's hard to take a chance on your imperfections and uncertainties -- and sometimes, you fall down. But, man. I wouldn't trade this life for anything.
In 2014, I graduated college and started my first job as a writer in the Office of Presidential Correspondence for President Barack Obama. I read thousands of letters from the American people sharing their stories with the President, and it was a life-changing privilege. My biggest takeaway from three years in the White House mailroom: Your story really does matter.
Read more about my experience in the White House here.
True story: I was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah -- a stone's throw away from a mountain on every side. There are five national parks in Utah, and I couldn't have cared less about any of them.
Now, I'm kicking myself for a whole childhood spent mostly inside because as a grown-up, I cannot get enough of the power of the wilderness (or was that a secret?)
Kids, you know?