"I never felt like I fit in."
Growing up, teachers relentlessly commented on how different I was from my siblings. They played sports and made prom court, while I created volumes of drawings, wrote poetry, read self-actualization books, and played flute. Even hanging with art students in college didn’t help with fitting in. The creatives often wore all black with combat boots. I arrived - fresh from small town prep school - in a permed bob and a Jansport backpack.
"I gave up art."
As many talented artists often do, I resigned myself to the conformity of modern life when a divorce, baby, and toddler prioritized decisions for me. The only family support was over 200 miles away. It was all on me. This was the rocket fuel for my climb from Office Manager to Graphic Designer to Manager, and eventually: Director of Marketing.
For 20+ years, I was art-less, trying to find a sense of belonging in the business world. I was pretty damn good at my job and the money was sorely needed. But my loathing showed. When my career in business was over, I wanted nothing more than to never see another office or conference room again.
"I started to draw again."
One afternoon, I happened upon a familiar box, one I had seen many times before. It had moved with me to a dozen different apartments and homes in several cities, but I rarely opened it. This time, I unsealed it and let my fingers run over the items one at a time…half pencils and bits of charcoal, a beaten-up package of oil pastels, and a couple of shabby sketchpads.
The box was from college, all that was left from my Bachelor of Fine Art degree. It sparked something, and I considered taking up art-making again as a hobby. I enlisted the hubs and we carved out a space in our garage attic where I could paint.
Over the following two years, I dove head-first into painting and it didn’t take long for my old skills to resurface. On weekends, my husband and I worked on modernizing the attic above our garage into a studio.
Having a space to create was a game-changer. In my studio, I am unapologetically myself. It’s Take Your Dog to Work Day every day - not much could make me happier. When I paint, I lose myself, often forgetting to eat or drink, and without noticing, hours and hours fly by. Something fuels me when I’m in my studio, and it’s not food.
I’m Finding Where I Belong
I learned that the belonging I wanted started with belonging to myself first, something Dr. Brene Brown talks about a lot. She says the minute you compromise yourself to fit in, you no longer belong anywhere. I get that. Phenomenal changes have occurred in my life since I decided to stop pursuing a sense of belonging outside of myself and just focus on who I am and what I want to do. I’m still learning and changing every day.
Feel free to follow my journey on my blog: Honestly Imperfect
"I finally got my combat boots!"
~ Carolyn Wonders
What I want for you!
The result of art is so much more than décor, or background music, or words on a page. To create and own a Work of Art that stirs your soul is incomparable to other human experiences. When you fall in love with a piece it’s usually because you have recognized yourself in that work, perhaps validating something you’ve long felt but couldn’t quite articulate. Art makes you feel connected if you let it: whether it’s to an idea, another human being, nature, love, whatever you call God, or the powerful spirit of an animal.
Welcome to my art....
I HOPE YOU FIND WHAT YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE!