In the shuffle and excitement that has been early August, a very important date has come and gone without acknowledgement. August 1st marks the date that one year ago I became a fulltime artist. I quit my day job and made the leap into this scary and beautiful mess. What have I learned?

Art is hard. It’s hard to make money. It’s hard to get noticed. It’s hard to face rejection. Discipline in something so emotional is difficult. Building a career takes time and more effort than most of us can give. Selling work isn’t easy. Putting your heart out for the public to judge can be excruciating. Art is scary.

But art is worth it. Connecting with other artists, supporting and encouraging each other, is so gratifying. That moment when the right person finds a piece they love makes the effort worthwhile. I get to pursue a passion instead of sitting behind a desk in a job I don’t love. Over the past year, I have trained my mind to approach everything in life with creativity and to see the beauty and art in all situations. Art is enriching. Art is a gift.