Why I Do What I Do
Growing up, I knew I was different. I dressed like Kurt Cobain, listened to Alanis Morisette, and was really good at drawing. I used to hide in the bathroom during Sunday School because I just didn’t fit in with the other girls.
I also hid at home. My mom was stressed at work, and my parents’ relationship was strained. I remember some really scary fights and wondering if our family was going to make it.
So I would spend hours alone in my room, drawing and painting as a way to escape.
In college I was driving with a friend one day and my dad called and told me to pull over. He said mom had left. She’d moved out of the house into her own place.
I felt scared, embarrassed, and alone.
In 2010 I was working yet another boring office job, day dreaming and planning the day I would make my move and pursue my dream of becoming a full-time portrait artist.
One day, as I was contemplating quitting my job to take an art class in Florence, I was called into the boss’s office and unexpectedly let go.
I was really scared, but I also felt a great sense of relief, like this happened for a reason. So I left for Italy to study art (and the art of drinking wine) and returned to Memphis to make a living as a full-time artist.
But my art wasn’t selling well, so I started working with a business coach, Ann Rea. Ann told me to take a closer look at these painful events because they’d be the keys to finding my purpose.
I soon discovered that my mission is to help kids feel loved and valued for who they are.
Because I’d felt so left out by those girls in Sunday school, and so hurt by my parents splitting up, my self-worth was really shaken.
So I set out to make a difference in the lives of kids.
And I’ve done it by painting commissioned portraits, not just of kids whose families can afford it, but of those less fortunate as well. I want every child to know they are loved and valued for who they are. Their dreams matter and they can make a difference in the world.