Why/When did I become a late-bloomer?
My journey as a “late-bloomer” is best compared to the blossoming of this unexpected, tenacious flower; my creativity first made itself known to me in desperate circumstance.
Two and a half years ago, at age 31, I suddenly found myself out of work, a casualty of the economic recession, as well as a “human services” profession that was, ironically, beginning to forget that its employees were also humans—with feelings, financial obligations, and families to feed. Angry and scared, I sank into depression. Thanks to unemployment insurance and a series of part-time jobs, I was able to cobble together a living; however, I still felt the effects of damaged pride, lost independence, and uncertainty.
Around the same time, I visited a local bookstore and discovered some magazines devoted to something called mixed-media. I’d been a scrapbooker for years; however, the kinds of art displayed in these publications were new and complex and intriguing. The artists combined photos with their own drawings and brought together rich, bottomless layers of paint, pastels, fabric, old book pages, found objects, and vintage ephemera in their work. I knew instantly that I had to try this for myself—and so I did! Looking back, I’m honestly quite shocked that I was able to do that, considering that at the time my self-confidence was at an all-time low. However, I think that gentle “push” into mixed-media was just the thing I needed to rebuild my faith in myself and my talents. Doing the work of creating—collaging papers to a canvas, brushing paint over pages in a journal, getting my hands dirty and building layer upon layer of color—was the best kind of therapy, and offered an outlet for all of my emotions in this unsettling time of transition. It was certainly what got me through the tough moments and provided me with the wisdom to see that the loss of my job was actually a gift, that my original career was not an ideal fit for me, that I need to do creative work in order to feel fulfilled.
I encourage those interested in learning more about me and my artistic journey to visit my blog at http://startingoverstudio.blogspot.com/.