NO matter what occupation I held , I always spent my free time making art of some sort and selling my works at festivals. I have created jewelry , ceramics, welding and wood working. I now focus mostly on painting in Acrylics and dipping my toe into encaustic.
I almost went into nursing and psychology and worked in a psych hospital only to have something to fall back on so I could be an artist. While living in Long Beach, Ca I read somewhere that what ever career you are passionate about you should have your foot in there somewhere, so I applied for art school in Los Angeles and was accepted to Otis College of Art & Design at age 36. I used my fear of age differences to my advantage, I sat up front and asked so many questions!
My family told me first how artistic I was then my friends then art teachers then my husband then myself ! After 20 years in California and my bachelors of fine arts and much coaxing by my mother, I moved back home to Texas where we opened up a cute little boutique in the historic part of Grapevine.
My 500 sq ft store was built with left over corrugated metal and ladders for shelves and other found objects. I knew nothing about business , I only knew how to create and had a huge love for welding which I learned in College. I was literally painting the walls when the news of 9/11
came over the radio. I began doubting this journey . Who would want to buy anything of mine or anything of that matter?, but I continued on and made metal art in the back of my store until I couldn’t weld and deal with customers at the same time, so I took up painting instead. I would finish a piece and hang on the wall and they would sell instantly! My sister came to work with me and merchandised cute clothes and funky fun jewelry while I created. It was a family affair for a while with lots of visits from my family on a daily basis until one day when my future husband walked in . He had just been transferred from California and well we hit it off, obviously.
Thats how I ended up in quaint Gig Harbor, Wa. He wanted to be near his son. After 4 years of having my art boutique I sold it and in Washington found myself wondering now what? I started selling antiques in a antique shop and would put some of my paintings in there too. I began getting approached by many of the local schools and different organizations to be a part of their auctions. Art auctions brought me into a whole new world of friends and opportunities.
Art parties began with all ages and celebrations in my studio, which is in my basement of our house with a pathway around the outside for clients. Artbytami.com was formed. my studio is a full time job. I work on several pieces of art at a time, because I don’t like to waste paint. I take art classes all the time just to learn a new approach or to get inspired. I then get to teach others what I’ve learned. Everyone who leaves one of my classes/parties leaves with a “masterpiece”, because I will help them tweak it until they approve of their work.
I come from a long line of talented women in my family. My grandmother and I would paint and sew , my mother was always sewing and crafting and cooking. I can’t paint roses like my grandmother or cross stitch like my mother, but their artwork are reminders of where I get it from. I love fashion, music, dancing, working out and cooking with my husband and my 2 dauchands. I cherish my friendships I have made throughout this journey of mine and all the places I have lived.
I hope to have my own gallery someday, something small and in the right location. My husband is my biggest support and continues to find ways for me to expand my art such as giclee prints ,card printing and networking. I get bored with a body of work and need to move on to another subject or medium .
What I’ve learned is no one is going to knock on your door to be heard,your dedication to hard work and developing your style is. Word of mouth is EVERYTHING in this art world. I have been given a gift , a gift to choose happiness and that is what my art represents- happiness. I am a made artist. I willed it. I wanted it and went after it, and got it, not on my own. everyone helped… everyone encouraged … everyone believed.