My path has been long and windy and truly I'm not sure where I'm going to end up yet, but let me tell you the adventure has been life-changing and the view from where I'm at right now is fine.
I never expected to find myself here, though.
One day in middle school my teacher assigned us a task: ask your parents what they think you should be when you grow up. Dutifully, I carried my pencil and paper into the living room and sat down on the arm of the sofa. "Mom, have you ever thought about my future? What do you think I'd be good at? What would you want me to be?"
Without missing a beat my mom replied, "I've always pictured you as a translator."
"A translator? Mom, I don't speak any other languages. Don't you think if you wished I could end up as a translator you maybe should have signed me up for Spanish lessons or something?"
"Or something to do with arts and crafts. You're always making something," she said looking me straight in the eye.
I stormed out of the room without another word. Translator!? Art?! Crafts?! I was terrible at all of those things. I EXCELLED at math and science. English, too, for that matter. But art? My brother was the one who had all the artistic ability in the family. "My mom clearly does not see my true worth," I thought. "In fact, she doesn't know me at all."
Fast forward a dozen years or so and I find myself enrolled in an Interior Design school and admitting that maybe Mom was right after all; maybe she knew me better than I knew myself. I love design. Accept when my first two semesters are over and it's time to take actual interior design classes, I realize that I couldn't care less about the names of specific fabrics and especially not about names of curtain styles. "Why can't I be back in the sketching class?" I asked my husband. "And I'd love to take Typography, just for fun."
"I think you're in school for the wrong thing," he said to me. After careful reflection, I realized he was right and dropped out. I stayed up late drawing and redrawing. I lost countless hours of sleep trying to get my sketches to be recognizable, then realistic, then stylized and fun.
Along the way, I opened up a children's art studio called Orange Banana Art. I loved it but eventually our travel schedule became even more hectic and my own kids needed my time more and I had to close shop.
Closing the children's studio did allow me more time to work on my own stuff, though. And I still try to incorporate a child-like sense of fun and wonder into everything I do. In fact, I will consider myself fully arrived the first time someone looks at my work and says, "You call that art? My child could have made that."