How did I get into this? Well, here's my story.
I always had a strong interest in art growing up. I loved to draw and create, and took art courses in high school. I decided to pursue a commercial art degree in college and took several fine arts courses. Unfortunately, school was not as interesting to me as my social life was, so I never finished. After a few years of "life", I decided to grow up and I got my NC Real Estate License. From that point I had a very successful career in the Homebuilding Industry with Beazer Homes for 12 years in New Home Sales and then New Home Sales Management. I went on to work for Fonville Morisey and Barefoot, a New Home Sales and Marketing company that represents local builders and developers.
Due to the failing economy, I was unfortunately laid off in November 2008. After a friend was also laid-off, we started an internet marketing business, CJ Interactive. It was very exciting starting a business and we worked very hard at getting it off the ground. I needed a creative outlet since the new business was so technical, so I started painting classes with Cathy Martin at The Red Canvas in downtown Apex. After a few months of false hope with the business, lots of prayer, and tremendous support from my family and friends, I decided to "retire" from CJ Interactive and start painting full time. I woke up one morning to an epiphany and a complete vision and business plan for a co-op gallery and studio in downtown Apex.
So here I am! I'm working on some commissioned pieces right now, but really haven't put myself out there. I've been trying to paint everyday, have my weekly class with Cathy, and have taken a great landscape workshop with John Poon. Interestingly, the space I thought would be perfect for my co-op is under construction right now after being vacant for several years. I'm keeping an eye on it!
My son asked me the other day if I was happy that I'd been laid off. I told him it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I wouldn't be painting if I hadn't. He asked if I was doing "what I was supposed to be doing", and I told him "yes!" God gave me a gift when I was young and I put it away on a shelf and forgot about it. I had to do some digging to find it, but I'm so glad I did!