I create art to empower myself as a deeply empathic, spiritual, and imaginative woman in the 21st century. Growing up in a large family full of cousins and siblings, we shared a love of music, dance, cooking, and creating. As a child I was quite shy and often too much in my own head. I found art-making as a way to get comfortable in my own skin. It was like an activity I could do to tune out the hustle and bustle of my neighborhood, my grades, my anxieties, my hair, my body, all of it. I was just making. There were no rights or wrongs. There were no expectations. What I loved most about being an artist is that it required no one else, and nothing more than a $2 pencil and paper for me to create worlds. My imagination was vivid. Thanks to the many books I enjoyed to read as a kid, I would spend hours creating my own illustrations and daydreamed of being a storyteller of my own one day.
By high school, art became more than a hobby. It suddenly became a skill that I could use to earn extra income. As a 13 year old freshman in high school, I wasn’t of the legal age to get a summer job like the rest of my friends. I was devastated when I realized I had exhausted all options in securing a job the summer headed into my sophomore year simply because I was too young. Fortunately, my mom connected me with a non-profit organization that was offering people in my community an internship to install a mosaic bench in the city of Montclair. I caught two buses each day and hiked several blocks to be able to make art to support myself (yes, I was quite independent), and it was one of the best summers I ever had.
Art is more than my job, it’s my calling. I could not have predicted that in my 20s I would give up my dreams to become a lawyer or even a college professor. I never knew I would be so bold. Today, my paintings are as bold as that little girl catching buses several towns over to earn her first paycheck. They are as bright as the skies I looked up to from my windowsill as I sketched my dream home with the picket fence. And they are as fearless as the lady who quit her corporate job to move overseas and and finally call herself “Artist.”