in the year 2000

Apparently I am on a 3 blog posts a year streak.

I started another new job and the biggest shock of all is I love it. I feel almost paranoid saying that out loud like I’m going to jynx it but I truly do enjoy my new day job. I work at a school for special needs students and I do admin work and a bit of design, and it is really rewarding.

Lets see what else happened, oh yes got married, took mega road trip honeymoon, got settled into house and job, now there’s time for ART.

photo credit to Pamela Berry

photo credit to Pamela Berry

Wedding was lovely, it was like 97 degrees out that day but the day was amazing regardless. All our family pitched in to make it happen, like legit so many people helped it was so touching to be surrounded by all that love. Drew, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned him by name anyways Drew my now husband was such a trooper that day. He’s a keeper.

I don’t often share photos of myself on here but our photographer did such a good job I had to share at least one. Also we wrote our own vows and damn near wrote the same thing, how does that happen.

taking a little nappy nap

taking a little nappy nap

The honeymoon was amazing we saw so much wildlife! We saw a moose 20ft away.

We also got to be in bunch of national parks with hardly any other visitors, it was amazing. Almost every trail we took we were the only people on that trail. it was John Muri-esque.

lamar valley, my second home

lamar valley, my second home

Ok one more photo from the trip.

We camped all over Tetons and Yellowstone the last night we stayed at pebble creek and camped among the lamar valley wolf pack and heard them howl all night. It was amazing. We then woke up early and met some career “wolfers” who spot with their scopes and track the packs of Yellowstone. A wolfer named Dusty let us look through his scope and we saw the soda butte pack. It is an experience I will never forget, so glad that me and Drew got to share this time together.

So now I have a billion arts I need to art. I have a couple commissions on the docket for holiday season so that’s nice.

I have had a long break from art since my last art show in Northfield. I am a little worried I will be rusty getting back in the swing of things. Strange as it is, it is harder working on a 2nd job when you like your first, when you hate your day job the hate becomes driving force to make your passion job work. Don’t get me wrong I would not trade back AT ALL, I just need to learn to have more discipline to dedicate time to art in my spare time. Maybe the hate of a job that drove art didn’t create authentic art maybe having a job or life that is rewarding will yield more rewards within art. That’s my hope at least.

oops its feb

Long time no writey. Well I decided this year I want to make a lot more art, and considering its only February I think I have a considerable amount of new artwork made in the last month. 

I've started making some mixed media illustration drawings of naturescapes and faces of women. I am super into it and I know it is totally artwork just for me and no one else probably is even into it but I am loving them and they are so fun to make. I missed drawing people, I have shyed away from it because I also really want to capture nature in my art. So I guess this my atempt of satsifying both desires for my artwork?

fishy is my favey

fishy is my favey

The bottom right drawing was my first, and it turned out a little more "cartoony" looking just because I am getting back into the swing of things drawing people, and even my more realistic portraits still look a little disney, I just don't like hyper-realism I like a little bit of stylistic type look to my stuff. 

This fish is so dope, it looks like a sticker and I am loving it. I for sure want to do a million more woman and fish paintings. Maybe I will do a series of endangered or threatened fish species. This one is a cut-throat trout currently endangered and numbers dwindling fast from Lake Yellowstone; shout out to my cut-throat buds stay strong my friends! 

I think I am going to do at least 2 more of these based on Yellowstone flora and fauna, but I want to do other parks too. I think it would be cool to do this as an illustration series of different national parks. National parks and art are my 2 passions , as you've probably gathered by glancing at my portfolio, so it only makes sense to mush them together.

I have also started trying to sketch daily. I get in at least 1 a day usually. Here are the greatest hits so far. 

dying to do some Finnish goddess stuff too, but again nische market if there ever was one

dying to do some Finnish goddess stuff too, but again nische market if there ever was one

I am super into my animals, they look so cute and disney cartoony. I used to think realism is the goal but now that I have my fundamentals down I am leaning more stylized. Which I am ok with because I love how it looks, whether or not other do or will is another question entirely.

I LOVE the bison. I could draw bison and pretty woman all day long I tell ya. Bison have somehow become my sigil I should really work on making them my logo and ensignia.

I have also experimented in palette knife painting. It is hard. I want to keep practicing but omg it is for the very light of hand, and I am of the heavy handed variety.  

pinky mountains are purrty

pinky mountains are purrty

I want to do some mountain paintings with oversaturated "alpenglow" the pinky snow at sunset, I am obsessed with how it looks and want to do a high contrast pumped up color redention of it. I am working with mediums in my acrylic now to get a thicker consistency to try to paint these mountains with a palette knife; so it is a lot of new stuff at once. 

LOVE the island on this one

LOVE the island on this one

On this one the mountains got a little more pink than I would have liked but again finding the slight of hand balance is hella hard. I love the water and island in this one, but water and silhouetted trees I could paint with my eyes shut, its one of my favorite things to paint. I also really love the cloud, its so fluffy and soft. I think this one is better than my first try but I chose slightly the wrong color for the sky and mountain. I want to play with new colors on scenes but still am finding my color scheme it seems. I'll get there. 

So in conclusion... I'll keep making more stuff I guess. Still haven't figured out how to get it out into the world... idk Ebay? We'll see. 

trial and error

Well we are coming up on the end of the year here; classic reflection time and member berry season. So in looking back on this year these are my observations.

I'll start with the lows. Arts & crafts shows aren't for me. It's not my crowd. I know that galleries aren't my crowd either though. I don't know where my crowd exists. I don't know where to go with my art. I don't know how to sell my art. I have been trying to share and sell my art for going on 5 years but more of a real effort this past year. 

A long time ago I was told that it is selfish to hold onto my art and that is meant to owned by people other than myself. I have hit many walls trying to pursue art as my fulltime career, and my kneejerk reaction to failure is to think "omg, this isn't worth it, obviously it wasn't meant to be, there is no room for my art in the world" That negative funk lingers for a while but always fades away and those words said to me take its place.

it's selfish to hold onto my art, it is meant to be owned by others

I don't know if this is even true. It could have just been nice words to placate me. Yet, I can't shake them. It has become absolute true concrete fact for me somehow. My artwork is meant to be owned by others, it belongs to people, it doesn't belong locked in my storage unit or the shelves of my closet. My art belongs in the world. So knowing that fact means I need to figure out how to do this, and this figuring out how business is the bane of my existence. 

Ok some of the highs. I made more artwork this year than any year prior, and by a lot, at least tripple my normal output for a year. I completed my first ever outdoor mural that was 14ft long, so also my largest artwork to date. I had more requested artwork this year than any year beforehand. I started the year with 10 followers online [all family/friend relations] and as of this morning have 50+ followers online, not thats anything really in the scheme of online but hey 5 times as many as I started out with.

On a more personal note, my family and friends have more supportive than ever this year in my endeavor of pursuing my art career. They are the best part of this journey and I don't know where I would be without them. 

So I will wrap up this member berries blog post with the most recent / probably last finished painting I will do this year. 

turned out more fall like than intended, also a little more bob ross like than intended lol

turned out more fall like than intended, also a little more bob ross like than intended lol

Fall somehow crept into this painting but I am ok with it. Overall I like this painting. I wish I could have captured a little more vastness, this seems a little close feeling for me. The lodgepole pine on the left is meh, only because I had no reference photo for it, I clearly need to go get some more reference photos in person is the answer! *wink* I also would like to work on blending but spoiler alert, that is a goal for next year as I step into the world of... oil painting.

Original oil paintings coming 2017, lets see how awesome or how awful it is.


Well, this past weekend's craft show was a bust but I guess I learned my lesson about knowing your crowd. But hard to know what the crowd is or is gonna be without trying some things. The next show I am doing is crafters / makers only, so maybe the audience will be more open to art. I am really still not into the idea of galleries, maybe I should look into coffee shops but even then, they have become almost gallery like because soooo many artists are looking for their showcase.

I also learned that apparently there is always one lady at a craft show that is going to passive agressively deflate your mojo with a sly ass hatted remark. I feel like I am usually someone to just let things slide but these craft show shady ladies dig deep yo. It put me off my game for a day each time. 

But since I have the best family ever, I feel like I can bounce back from those haters. Seriously I have the most supportive friends and family and am so thankful for them. They are national treasures and I want to build them all vacation homes and make it so they can all retire because they deserve it and they are just so awesome. 

My friend Meredith requested a cardinal in winter painting for her Grandma. I had so much fun making this one.

he's a little grumpy and I love it

he's a little grumpy and I love it

I love how the bird looks and the background, I still struggle with tree branches and bark. I should do some practice pieces of just tree branches, to up my game.

So I love how it turned out, but when comparing it to an older artwork of a cardinal I love it more. 

just wow

just wow

Don't get me wrong I still like the one on the left but not often do you get to see side by side comparison of your skill level. My boyfriend always tells me that my technique has improved and being a woman you assume he is just placated you but I guess I actually have, which is really cool and awesome to see. 

I am in the midst of making a new northern lights painting, people seem to love them, and I had one ordered by my gracious aunt at my last show.

Lets hope new and more art is on the horizon and next year turns out even more art and success. 


Couple things to get out of the way. I decided to roll the dice and do some art/craft fairs. I know they are a gamble and most likely I won't gain any audience or sales, but I gotta get out there somehow. As we know I am not a fan of the gallery scene just because its all concept no substance and its not about engaging with the audience, its more selfish type art, which I think is important but isn't my main focus. I like working with people I like hearing people, I like making artwork for people. So I am betting on my artwork and taking the plunge into arts/craft shows.

If you are so inclined [whoever if anyone is reading this] the shows are:

October 22nd 10am-3pm @ Knights of Columbus KC Hall in Hastings, MN

November 26th 10am -3pm @ Holiday Inn Hotel Conference Center St. Paul NE in Lake Elmo, MN

So I finished my commissioned bear painting.

"Bear Family" 18" X 24" acrylic on canvas

"Bear Family" 18" X 24" acrylic on canvas

I like everything about it, except baby bear's face. That little face caused me more trouble than I care to admit. I am satisfied with how it turned out but wish it was better, my reference photo was so tiny that it didn't give me much help so I did struggle getting his little face in there and looking cute. The mama bear was a breeze, as were the lupins, I really had a fun time painting those. I just love adding flowers to paintings. I actually really like the willow branches, and how the bark turned out. I know I am not hitting it on the nose for photorealism but I am not sure if that is where I want to be heading. 

I also worked on a couple other paintings this weekend. I tried doing some experiment paintings where you just go with it and it usually turns out crap, so I'm still on the fence if it did turn out crap.

Ok I kinda love how this looks and also see the problems. I love the gold on blue, omg I love the gold. I get Klimt's obsession with gold leaf. Gold is fun. I think the elk photo I chose as reference was taken at odd angle so when it is silhouetted his body looks stumpy. I still like it though, real talk, I'm into it, as of now. I am sure I'll look back at this in a week and be like ew junk. 

I also attempted another northern lights painting, because I miss and obsessed with my old one.

I went too dark with the sky and too pastel with the northern lights. It is hard to find that balance yo. My blue's weren't doing it so I added a little black which darkened the sky too much. I think also this is a kind of painting that needs to be large, I keep trying to make it work on a small canvas and it isn't working. I think I need to go big with this and try again.

I have started a new dripping bird piece and am pretty excited to see how it turns out. I am pretty settled on an osprey but I don't know what bird to pick. I also toyed with the idea of doing another animal instead of a bird, but birds have the most fluid motion, that translates to the drips. 

I feel like I am in a better swing of things, now having weekends generally open to work on my artwork. Whether it be actually painting or preparing for art/craft show, or getting reference materials. I am hoping that I am able to keep at it like this and make the transistion to doing this as my main gig instead of my side hustle. 

against the wind

I finally had a legit full weekend of working on canvases. The canvases were fighting back however. 

It is becoming increasingly clear I need to work on making the switch from career to artist; not that you can really call my day job a career but still, it gots to go. I don't hate my day job its neutral to me, I have no feelings about it one way or another however it eats up all my time and sucks the energy out of me. So when I do go in to working on what is currently my weekend craft, I have nothing left in me because weekday job used it all up.

I think my current reachable goal is to be able to go down to part time / 3 days a week. I would like to be able to do that within 6 months if not sooner. However that would mean making $400 $500 a month from artwork sales, which I've never done. So we'll see. [that saying should be my family's crest]

I'm still working on my bear painting comission. I am hoping it leads to more work. I really enjoy comissions because I think I try harder when making something for someone specifically. I really enjoyed doing the mural I recently completed. It is going to sound obvious but working with that much color brought me joy. There is of course doing what you love the actual painting act which is rewarding but being around the color was what I really enjoyed. I liked playing with the colors and I miss being able to "go to work" and be immersed in color. The color gave me life almost.

So long story short I need to quit work and be able to do art, it will be simple right?

Here is the one painting I finished this weekend. I like it but yet I feel like it is missing something. I like playing with silhouettes and color, but I am not sure what I feel is missing. I wanted to capture a dusty old bison in rut running against the wind, the smell of hot summer in the grasslands where the rocks just radiate heat like an oven, and the breeze is even warm and dry against your face, where the badlands just feel so vast and empty. So yeah, that rambling, that's what I wanted to paint. 

14ft of awesome

Mural is finally finished! 

Like my photoshop skills to have the gate on there? It's not actually mounted yet

Like my photoshop skills to have the gate on there? It's not actually mounted yet

It doesn't photgraph well from a distance. In person the details are much more vivid, so I took some closer shots so the "glasswork" can be seen. 

Each pane has beveled glass details and I absolutely love how it turned out. The iris is my favorite detail. I am a sucker for purple. 

Overall it took about 32 hours of work, which seems like a lot but it is a 14ft x 9ft space, so the sheer size is what ate up a lot of the time. 

This has been the largest project I have taken on and I am happy with the result as is the client. I am exctied to move onto my next project [bear painting] and hope that more comissions will follow. 

murals, commissions, life lessons & adventures

Welp, I thought by July I would have a ton of new paintings done that I could post on here but alas nothing new in a while. HOWEVER I have been busy. Which I'll get to in a minute, first going to talk about what I learned the hard way.

MN State Parks is getting their own MN license plate and held a contest recently for artists to render designs that they would use on said plate. I made a painting but had decided it sucked too hard to bother entering and thought there's no way I could have won so why even try. Well life made sure I will always try now. They posted the 3 finalists last week and they... well they... let's just say had I known that kind of quality would be finalists I would have entered in a New York minute. I guess I know now that always try, because you never know. 

So in spirit of try, I am going to do my own artist in residency of sorts in 2 weeks. I will be going to a rural yurt with my friend Anna for a few nights on the Southern Shore of Lake Superior in Upper Michigan. I plan to bring a couple sketch books and hopefully find some inspiration to make some new stuff. I took off 10 days for me to work on new stuff and work on some newly commissioned stuff. 

Recently I was commissioned for my first non-family/friend artwork. I know that sounds like oh wow finally someone who isn't related to you is asking for art big deal, but I don't know, it kind of feels like some sort of step forward? I am making a mother bear and cub portrait for her, with a forest motif. I am actually really excited to start this painting. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Here is the preliminary sketch. 

wanna do lupins and lots of pines in background

wanna do lupins and lots of pines in background

I also have been commissioned to do a outdoor mural on the brick wall on the back of my aunt's garage. She had told me she wanted to incorporate her garden and ferns but wasn't exactly sure what she wanted. I went with a stained glass motif since she is a stained glass artist herself and I thought it would simplify the large wall space instead of trying to do life like detail on enough flowers to fill a space of 14 feet, and would be something unique to her. This was my original sketch, excuse the highlighter coloring since that was all I had available when I sketch this during an overtime shift. 

I primed the wall then sketched out in marker then went over in thin black paint to create the outline I am filling in with each "pane" of color. I will go over the outline in black again once the panes are finished to give the illusion of lead soldering. 

had to modify the sketch a bit to fit the actual dimensions of the wall

had to modify the sketch a bit to fit the actual dimensions of the wall

I have started to add the color piece by piece and it is proving to be a lot more time-sucky than previously thought. I love how it is looking but I am glad I am starting with the small bits and moving towards the larger colors because I don't know I would have the patience for the small detail after doing the large scale colors.

the border looks a little gryffindor now but once the other colors fill in it will balance out the cool tones

the border looks a little gryffindor now but once the other colors fill in it will balance out the cool tones

I will take more detail photos once more of it is finished. Each pane I have painted in the illusion of stained glass with waves and reflections on the glass. I think it looks pretty cool, and excited to see how it looks when I add more and more colors. 

ain't got no suitcase

So I got the rejection email from the artist in residency program I applied to. Schwang-wang-waaaang...

Honestly I wasn't expecting to be accepted because, keepin' it real, I'm not totally ready, I don't really have a voice yet and my skill is decent but not excellent yet, and I know I need to make a larger cataloug and yada yada yada. The thing is ugggg that takes so much tiiiiime. I would love to do it everyday, but my god, how do people have the spare time to work at it daily or weekly? I honestly only have time to drag out all the art stuff once a month at most. I really think people underestimate how much time and work it takes to hold a fulltime job and work at your passion, when they say stuff like "follow your bliss." 

I also am regrettably a glass half full kind of person deep down. I know I had no chance really for this residency I know I need more development I know there are a lot more people than me that probably deserve it more and are more talented, I know all this but deep down there is a seed of "what if?..." I can't decide if I love my seed of wistful hope or hate it. The thought of "what if?" is motivational and detrimental at the same time. Hope is motivational; rejection can be debilitating. 

Do I feel debilitated by this rejection? No. However, this is my I don't know 1000th something rejection, so they just don't pack a punch quite like they used to. Of course, I mean I am a little disapointed because anytime you put yourself out there and get shot down without any critique or feedback its frustrating because you don't know where you need to focus your efforts to grow. [and a little sad I offically won't be going to Montana anytime this year now]

I think rejection is fundamental for artist growth, or personal growth for that matter. You need to be ripped down raw in order to not only toughen up your skin but to learn what it is to be raw. Raw you is real you, and real you is the you that needs to be the person you are putting out there. [if you can make any sense of that lol] Not only because learning to be your authentic self is important but because when you are always raw rejection starts to hurt less and less. I know a couple artists that were lucky enough to achieve some success right after college and have been working in their medium all of their adult career. This may be some deep seeded jealousy talking but it's my honest opinion that artists [or people] who are granted early success and faced no battles to acheive said success have their work suffer for it. Their work become stagnant and they don't improve upon their skills because they have never been challenged. Now it can be argued they don't need to improve because they have already been granted success, but I think that fights against what it means to be an artist or person.

As Captain Picard said "Inside you is the potential to make yourself better, and that's what it is to be human. To make yourself more than you are."

I also feel like I know that the rejections I've faced are leading up to my destined... non-rejection?... Or acceptance, as I've heard its rumored to be called. I know that I will definitely appreciate my non-rejection more now than I would have say 6 years ago. It will a gift when it happens and not a given. 

dunraven pass... I think

During this painting specifically I've learned I struggle with paitence while painting. I love acrylics because they dry so fast, I would LOVE to learn to paint with oils but CANNOT imagine having the patience to wait for things to dry. However while working on this painting I realized how slow dry time would be helpful in the blending of large areas, so maybe in the future I will dabble with oils... we'll see. 

I tried to paint this exactly as I saw it the day I was leaving Yellowstone out the NE entrance, near the Tower area of Yellowstone. It was rainy overcast, the sky melded with the furthest hills and clouds mixed in with the steam from a distant geyser or spring. I also included some ferns that were near the road. I don't know how to explain it but when it is overcast the greens of leafy stuff like ferns just seem SO vibrant green again the dark forest green background. 

I think the large trees could use some more definition from the closest hill of trees behind it [picture doesn't show any but trust me there is some in the painting] but thinking back when I saw it in real life, there was little distinction and they kind of melted together. 

I know I need to work on detail technique in my landscapes but I need to work on having patience for little fine work like that. Overall I am happy with this, I think it captures the essence of what that place felt like to me. The place was misty and wet and vast and like most of Yellowstone it felt ancient, and I feel that when I look at the final product here. 


Yellowstone is, let's keep it real, one of the best places if not the best place in America. Everyone knows it's great but if you haven't been there, know that it's 10 times better than you think. It is like nothing you have ever experienced. I am doing a whole series on Yellowstone so I am going to talk piece by piece about the inspiration from the park in each painting. 

So I'm gonna talk about the grand prismatic spring for a second here. It is huge. There are paths to see it from a higher ground to get a larger view of it but I really preferred it from the boardwalk point of view. There are so many small areas of beauty, it of course is amazing and beautiful as a whole but when you are up close and personal with it you get to see that it has so many more colors and it such a delicate feel. In the fields leading up to the spring the water flow on-top the mud has caused the bacteria to form these windy trails that look like arteries almost. I love when you see biology within other biology, it gives you a sense that we are connected to the natural world, because we truly are.

Midway geyser basin is the stop you need to make in Yellowstone, if you are doing a one day trip driving through this is the place to stop, not old faithful. In this one stop alone you get to see 2 gigantic springs [grand prismatic and the dormant excelsior geyser] and the incredible turquoise pool, which I will also be featuring a piece on. 

For this painting I wanted to focus on the edge of the bacteria line, where the vibrant colors are beginning to pop, and there are mounds of clay/dirt. I had a lot of fun time making this, abstract pieces are always interesting to play around with new methods of blending and application. I wish it had turned out a little less peach and more orange but I really love this piece. 

year of the bison

We all know that bison are the ish. 

I met a ton in the Dakotas and Wyoming, but it seems the ones I get to encounter close up [not that close though, I'm not about to selfie with a bison] are bulls going through rut looking a mess like this. 

If you could only hear the bellowing belch/honk coming from this guy. So about 3 minutes after this picture was taken, he walked out towards our car on the road stared into my soul and yelled at us. He never broke eye contact as we drove away. I will never forget you grumpy bison! 

If you could only hear the bellowing belch/honk coming from this guy. So about 3 minutes after this picture was taken, he walked out towards our car on the road stared into my soul and yelled at us. He never broke eye contact as we drove away. I will never forget you grumpy bison! 

Not that I have anything against grumpy drooly bulls, I just wanted to paint a sweet one. When I think of bison I want to nuzzle my face in their fluffy fur on their forehead. Knowing that I can't do that in real life [apart from the goring and death factor they kinda have a smell and are covered in nast] tears apart at my soul. 

Most of the bison I saw were in Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Yellowstone did have a lot as well but at TRNP they were bam right there and we lucked out and got to see an entire herd in motion both times I've been there. I would love to do a whole series on TRNP as well [I am already working on a Yellowstone one] because there is such cool stuff there and I feel like nobody knows about it. The Dakotas have so much just incredible stuff and I think it gets overshadowed by the tourist traps. Spearfish Canyon is one of the best scenic drives in the country, and you probably would never know about it unless someone told you, so here I'm telling you. If you go to Rapid City skip deadwood drive up 14 to Spearfish, stop in Lead at the bakery, and you can either go to Devil's Tower or back to RC.  

Anyways, back to the painting, I found it hard to get depth in the fur since they are so dark brown but overall I am happy with how he looks. I wanted him to be peaking out from behind some spruce, because I saw a ton shading themselves in the trees and I like giving animals a more [for lack of a better word] cute feel, although I have contemplated recently to do a series of grumpy animals. 

Why website? Why now? Why no use complete sentences?

[caution: slight animosity ahead, it only lasts the first 2 paragraphs I promise]

You may be asking yourself what's the point of starting this blog/website now? 

Like so many of us, upon my arrival to college I was told to let the dream die of becoming a professional artist since its not a real job. [truer words cannot be said] I was talked into majoring in my University's experimental new major of "DIVAS" [Digital Imaging Animation & Sound] since it would combine my love of art with a degree that would lend to an "actual" career. 

It turns out real jobs suck. 

But what is adulthood if not discovering you made enormously expensive mistakes because you were forced to make gigantic life decisions at the age of 17 on the whim of suggestions from people paid into tricking you into a lifetime of debt. Dress it up anyway you like but that's what it is.

Bitterness aside, I realized I don't want a real job. I want to make quality stuff for quality people, and that's about as far as you can get from any "real job" I've had. To quote Leopold Bloom "There's a lot more to me than there is to me!" 

Art lives deep down in my core, and I bet it does for you too if you're crazy enough to be reading this. It's like the first time you see a mountain, and you feel it, you feel it almost in your spine, you feel just a primordial umph within you. You know that this [the mountain] is important and all that other fleeting stuff is blown out of the water by how incredible and simple it truly is. Yeah, so art is pretty much like that...  

Problem is now that I've seen a couple mountains and painted a couple paintings I'm hooked on that umph feeling. I want you to have that umph feeling, and I want to make it my life's work to capture that feeling in any way I can down on canvas and paper to share with people so that they can even for a brief time have their fleeting stuff blown away into the distance. 

I may be late to the game attempting to start my pilgrimage as an artist, but I know it's what I'm passionate about and I know it's what I'm good at.