Why are we here? Like a lot of people, I've spent a lot of time in my life wondering what my purpose here in this world is. I've read lots of books on the topic and have explored this issue with my church clergy (we're talking years and years of exploration). Now I know that I've served a lot of different purposes for different reasons at different times. But, I always wanted to connect what I do for a career with a greater way to impact the world in a positive way. It took a long time for me to really embrace the idea that my love of creating art is a gift from God and I'm meant to use it for good in my own unique way. I don't have a drive to create for no reason; and I've spent a lot of time digging around my memory banks to connect what the reason could be. And one day, not too long ago, it clicked with me. The shade snapped up and the answer was clear!
I've suffered from the disease of depression since I was 16 years old (I'm almost 37 as I'm writing this). I've spent many years up and many years down as I've worked to figure out how to get the chemicals in my brain to balance correctly so I can function in a nice normal and even capacity. (Otherwise I'm an unmotivated, stressed, guilt-ridden, overwhelmed mess.) After I had my first child (my daughter, Paige) I suffered from postpartum depression and found treatment through speaking to a therapist and taking a basic medication. I was ok for a while (sort of just "meh" if you know what I mean) and then suffered severe depression during my pregnancy with my second child (my son, Noah). I also suffered the same during my pregnancy with my third child (my son, Liam). Long story short, I am doing great right now...thanks to the right medication and the right support from my family and my psychiatrist. This illness is difficult because not a lot of people are open about it and it's also not easy to see when someone is sick with it. You can't visibly see someone is sick with depression as if you would see someone with any other disease. It can be hard to recognize due to a lot of misconceptions about it. All this was going on after I spent years trying to have children and we suffered 4 miscarriages before I had our daughter. It was such a sad and challenging time; but it was a time I learned a lot about myself and about how important having a positive mindset is. I share all of this to say: I've been through my deal of hard times. I know what it is like and how it feels to be overwhelmed, grieved, stressed, unmotivated, exhausted and lost.
Now, I want to show other people like me that it's possible to manage and conquer depression. I believe we have to share and help each other out! So, how does this relate to my work? Well, I want to create work that is uplifting. It's my mission statement...my work is made to uplift you, to bring you joy, to bring you peace, to bring you comfort, to help you retrieve a happy memory. I see that in my own small and special way, I can take the love I have and share it with others. I can share what brings me joy and spread it around. THAT is my real purpose. To love others. To care for others. And I can only do that in the only way that I know how. And YOU can too! What can YOU do today to show someone love and support in your own way? I challenge you to ask yourself this each day and it will bring so much more joy into your life. It has worked wonders for me; so I urge you to give it a try! With every new painting I complete; please know that it was made out of love, nostalgia, positive energy, and the hope it will find a match in its owner...that it will bring them the peace, comfort, and joy it was made for.