Years in Tampa Bay
I've been in Tampa Bay for the past 6 years, back and forth across the bridge. I'm originally from Sarasota though. I've been working out of my SE Seminole Heights studio since I bought my house in 2017.
Artist and Empowerer of Fellow Offbeat Creatives.
What do you do?
I use the fluid art technique to create beautiful original works for the home, office, or corporate buyer. I also teach in my home studio and create goods like tote bags, scarves, backpacks, and even beanbag chairs out of my art! I've recently delved into the world of creating YouTube content aimed at empowering my fellow offbeat creatives to step up to everything that they are and earn a living doing what they love.
Why do you do it?
I paint as part of my mental health hygiene routine. It's more affordable than therapy (unfortunately, thanks to our healthcare system) and with my bipolar II disorder it's critical that I focus on my creativity regularly to help keep myself as balanced as I can be. I empower fellow offbeat creatives because I know how soul-crushing it can be to neglect your dreams and live a life you think you're supposed to, or feel forced to. It doesn't have to be that way and if I can make it ANY easier for someone else, I think it's my responsibility to help do so.
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
I was in a job that treated me like a disposable machine part after 4 years of my service, it looked like our country was genuinely considering putting up a mysoginsit racist up to run for president, and I was living in a place I didn't really like. . . and it was all starting to wear me down. One day after work I went to an art supply store, bought some paint and canvases, and started playing with them. It was all for my own enjoyment, never to make something "pretty" or for someone to buy, just because I loved the feeling of the paint. After a few months I had more paintings than my tiny apartment could fit and no desire to stop painting! I eventually found the fluid art technique and fell in love. As for the empowering creatives - I've always been "bossy" and love telling people to do the thing they love doing. As soon as someone mentions something they're passionate about I have a million follow up questions about it, my first one is always "Why aren't you doing more of that?" When I was fired from my job in December of 2017, just before the holidays, I was crushed. I had planned to use the two weeks that the company gave us off to test out a life coaching idea I had. Well, I wasn't exactly feeling up to that idea any more. But after the holidays, and as my search for a job became more trying, I decided to give it a go. I had a friend and two acquaintances test out my services as a life consultant of sorts and it was so fun and honestly helpful for them. I was pleasantly surprised. Now I'm trying to take those concepts to YouTube to reach a greater audience!
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
Art doesn't pay the bills unless you work really hard at promoting it. Most people aren't in the market to spend a lot on art and you've got to work hard to find the people who are. It ain't easy.
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
I'm working on my systems right now. I've got the ability to get distracted and chase squirrels - which is super detrimental. So I've joined a mastermind group, I'm organizing on Trello, and I'm coming up with systems to keep myself on track.
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
Don't compare your behind the scenes to everyone else's highlight reel. Where you are now is A-OK, and everyone else that you admire has been there before. So focus on where you are and how you can do your best - don't focus on where you aren't yet. It'll come with time and persistence.