I got laid off in November from my job in pharmaceuticals, one of the blessings in disguise it provided was forcing me into creative mode. When I was a slanging scripts, I picked up a paintbrush zero times. I actually started ramping up my Instagram during my time in pharma, I didn’t have time to paint or draw, but I could photo edit from my phone while standing in a sample closet waiting on a doctor.
I have been doing artwork since before I could write, and started selling my creations in the 4th grade. My first creativepreneurial endeavor was selling feather pens, like what Cher wrote with in the movie Clueless. I was an elementary school student selling pens to middle schoolers, which became so popular that my Catholic School banned them due to them being a “learning distraction.” In 5th grade, I moved onto candle making, then the principal yelled at me for making lunch time an enterprise. My high school was more lenient, where I sold hemp necklaces and macramé belts, that all were accepted by dress code.
I continued into adulthood selling artwork. 5 years ago, I dodged a falling coconut while on vacation in the Keys. I decided to keep it as a memory of survival, painted it, posted on Instagram and it sold within a half hour. I’ve sold about countless coconuts, painted buoys, surf fins, skim boards and beach trash. Then one day, I just stopped.
Creating is one of the worst habits to abandon. Research states that just 45 minutes of stroking out (with a paintbrush that is), you reduce Cortisol levels, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Creating also improves myelination in the brain, the fatty layers that insulates neurons and improves brain elasticity, making you into a super genius. Also, you can hit the state of flow, which is an awake meditative state of being completely immersed in a task and present. It’s not just a yoga good feel term, but an actual state studied by psychologists and is often attributed as the key to happiness. I’m in the pursuit of becoming creatively content.
A few weeks into unemployment, I got an Instagram message from Coco Locos, a beach bar in Panama City saying they liked one of my designs I did for a nonprofit’s t-shirt. She asked if I could design something for her bar, it started a little stream of work and I taught myself how to do digital design. I painted one of my paddles from Vero Frescobol, and it is now up for sale on their site. I am back in the creative biz, exactly where I should be.
I think I finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up, I already knew at the age of 8 but now I just need to use some of my corporate wisdom I acquired to make it profitable. I’m working on a great retail product, not quite ready to share yet, but it’ll come together for you this summer. As for now, if you are looking for a tacky, tropical, tiki, surfy artist, you know where to find me on Etsy.
Create happy, my friends! And as always, live global and stay local.