A little more than a decade ago I was working as a case manager in insurance management for a MAJOR mover and shaker in the nonprofit and healthcare industry in a discrete little office without windows. There were strings of days when I did the kind of work that was so alienating at times I didn't talk or see anybody for days aside from when I would ride up the elevator in the morning or leave at night and say my farewell to the security guards. It was my first real job out of college and when my dad came to visit me he was even impressed by the fact his car was valet parked before security let him through to see me!
I guess I could have been happy with what I had accomplished but that just wasn't the case. I mean, it was a really good job in a time when so many people had such a thing as a "good job" and I was doing really well for myself for being only in my mid-20s. Still? I went to work everyday, closed myself in my office, worked diligently to be better at my job everyday of the week AND Saturdays for reasons like "just because" and actively hated myself for becoming a person who was essentially just a walking suit. It was my boss who looked at me during my second annual review and told me, "You are awesome at what you do! I don't know what we ever did without you! YOU ARE AMAZING. But... I know you have talents beyond what we call on you for when are you going to leave and do the things you actually like doing?" I went home and really thought long and hard about what she said because she was right. I was wasting away in meetings that went on for hours upon end and doing ridiculously beautiful but totally unnecessary visual design work on powerpoints and spreadsheet books. *SMH* (By the way I just learned what <=that meant and I know I'm on the other side of the generational divide but I like using it just the same.)
The punchline of all of this: Six months after my aforementioned performance evaluation, I hatched a new plan my life to be lived in a way that was fueled and thrived from my own visual creativity, submitted my official resignation, and started packing my bags to be the entrepreneur I believed I was made to be from the very beginning. I lined up commercial/retail space for myself and had some serious business plans for a creative art venture that made Art something that was both for the people and BY the people. It was going beautifully!
And then a few more weeks passed and I came to a serious crossroads that forced me to make a decision ultimately resulting in me walking away from what I believed to be my dream forever.
Flash forward about three years and I find on some newsfeeds that there are new and promising businesses popping in major cities across the country. I read about them and confirmed that what people have all of a sudden discovered as major successes for themselves is MY IDEA from years ago. This both frustrated me and spurred me to action to enact the plans I had abandoned so long ago.
Well... the time has come and I've finally done what I set myself out to do! It's just in the beginning stages but I know in my heart that the Lord has given me this dream to both realize for Him and to push out into the world to be shared with as many others as possible - believers or not!
I give you my creative "baby"... say hello to "Make and Take Masterpieces" - A fully functioning but completely mobile and traveling art studio that promotes visual art creativity for artists as young as toddlers to those who are still completely young at heart... (click the image to get to my flash website)...
Here is the business blog as well...
And I've even designed and printed an official t-shirt design for both promotion and the fun of wearing art as much as making it!
Since I'm currently a one-woman show, I've been extra busy doing all of the graphic design, web design/publishing, boring but completely necessary administrative tasks, business plan polishing, and just plan making things happen to pull this business further out of my dreams and more and more into reality.
I don't know know where this business venture will end up taking me but I do know it's something that I'm supposed to do and have been poised and prepared to undertake since even the hint of it was seeded inside of my heart and imagination over half a decade ago. I LOVE art. And I LOVE teaching. And I LOVE creativity. And all I want to do is just art all the time and as much as I can. And I want to share that with the world. And that's that.