Follow Your Heart

I've been thinking about this blog post for months and I can't believe I'm finally writing it. Where to begin? Introductions are always a good place to start, I think.

Hi, I'm Missy Elam. I'm a 40-something wife-to-be, mother, daughter, sister and corporate world escapee. I'm also an artist.

For as long as I can remember, I've always enjoyed making things with paper. As a kid, it was greeting cards and party banners; fake money for playing bank teller; and wallpaper for my own version of a Barbie dream house. In my 20's, I painted bottles and sold them at local arts and craft fairs and in a few galleries. In my 30's, I discovered the vast world of scrapbooking and storytelling. In my 40's, I found joy in painting with watercolor and exploring encaustic painting. I'm self-taught in all of these areas as I was always too afraid to take a class with what I considered to be the 'real' artists.

And now I'm here.

Lots of things have contributed to this moment in time. Perhaps the most life-changing was the loss of my brother earlier this year.

Jeff and I. 2014. 

Jeff and I. 2014. 

Jeff was a big believer in following your dreams and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. When he died, my world tilted. I no longer had the energy to entertain things or people that I only half believed in or cared about. My fiance encouraged me to focus on the things I loved - one of which, was art. She suggested that I focus on it full-time. After I came up with every reason why that wasn't viable, I spent many late nights examining our family budget, thinking about what leaving my j-o-b would look like and entertaining the idea. And then one day, I finally decided to just do it. I gave my notice and started thinking about how I would approach this new way of being.

It's only been a few weeks since I've been at home. Most of that time has been spent setting up my new art studio and dealing with various life issues. But between all of that activity, I'm not only dreaming - I'm planning. I'm researching and preparing - making lists and making decisions.  And doing.

I have no idea where this will lead. I have a few short-term goals for myself and I'm weighing some long-term ones. It's exciting, scary, fun, and mysterious. But for now, I'm trusting and following my heart, which led to this piece:

11" x 14" watercolor, acrylic and ink.  

11" x 14" watercolor, acrylic and ink.  

As I continue to create, I'll share my story and bits of inspiration here. I am so appreciative of the many friends and family members who have encouraged me, believe in me and support me. My heart is so very thankful and humbled by this experience so far.