A Sad Little Story with a Happy Ending

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve visited these pages. I’ve been working, working, having surgery, rehabbing, working , creating, working and working. And after a conversation with my son Ben this morning, I realized that I miss sharing my life and experiences in this way.
Many people have asked me how I got to this point after listening to my interview with Ben on his Mad Potential podcast (shameless nepotistic plug), and so here we go..my sad little story.
Many years ago, perhaps during the Jurassic Era , I went to Art and Design High School in New York City. I was 15 1/2, a self proclaimed hippie, complete with twiggies (ask your mother if you don’t know what they are)fringe, and a giant portfolio that made life miserable for every business man taking the subway at 7 am weekday mornings.
My life consisted of music, art, Beatles,weed and peace signs. Our teachers told us that e could make a living in the art field, and I believed them. Had I known how hard it should have been, I might have never tried, but after graduation and a brief flirtation with F.I.T. I had a job IN MY FIELD!! I worked in the garment center drawing fashion illustrations for the sales department of a large textile company…. I will leave my job interview with Al Goldstein for Screw magazine for another blog. So much to say about women in the workplace…but I digress.
And then on to several 9 to 5’s…fashion coordinator, screenprint designer,director of fashion marketing.. making some money, always drawing and happy to be able to use my art to make a sort of living.. When I had my sons, Josh and Ben, I worked as a freelance artist, designing prints for children’s wear and part timing at Tower Records and The American Red Cross to make ends meet.
All of those years, I dreamt of doing my own art..not being an artist for hire,but an artist for myself, making enough money not to always be worried, doing what I wanted to do and leave as a legacy.
After my husband Pete died suddenly at the age of 52, there I was again with a 9 to 5, working as a decorative artist in a retail store, wearing a blue shirt and khaki pants, trapped in world where I couldn’t even wear the clothes that expressed the way I felt each day. I was EXTREMELY grateful to have a job that would provide for me and my guys, but still struggling to make enough to live. I started doing murals in peoples homes on weekends to supplement my salary. It helped me keep my house, keep painting and ruin my knees and hips.I worked 7 days a week, but it helped me work thru my grief and my loss.
Being in creative arts, the struggle for me has always been the same,,..lucky enough to fulfill my heart and my muse, but rarely making enough $$

After taking a leap of faith and getting invaluable help from my visionary niece, Nicole, I opened my first shop on Etsy.  Now, six years later, I have two shops there, and my art website, where you are reading these words.

My happy ending?  I look forward to getting to work in my home studio everyday, doing what I love, creating new art for myself and my clients, memories of moments in time in caricatures, and wearing my pajamas all day if I want to, ’cause my boss is just SO understanding. She rocks.