Me and Art have a long history. We've had our ups and downs. But I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.
I was destined to work in the Arts.
Everyone in my family that I know of, or have heard about, is an artist. Even if that's not how they made a living. Musicians, painters, sculptors, writers, textile artists, martial arts, wood working, dance. You name it, someone in my family does it.
Some of my best childhood memories are coloring and crafting with my mom and my sister. Doing school plays and dancing my little heart out in dance recitals.
In retrospect, a career in the Arts should have been obvious. But nope! I didn't accept my artsy calling until my second year of college.
Like most young people I had no idea (or maybe too many ideas) about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I jumped from one thing to another like a kid who just downed their first cup of full caff coffee! One minute I was gonna be a Librarian, the next a Museum Curator. At one point I even considered Forensic Anthropology.
The longer I was in school the more pressure I felt to pick a major.
It seemed impossible!
I enjoyed everything! (Except Math. Bleh! Made it easier to rule out Forensic Anthropology, though).
Sitting in a drawing class one day it just sorta hit me. What's the one subject that would allow me to incorporate every other subject all at once? ART!
It was a full on head slapper moment. Duh, Courtney! I wanted to learn a bit about everything and art was the perfect solution. Literature, History, Psychology, Science and yes, even a little Math.
I was able to take the concepts and ideas I learned in all of those other subjects and incorporate them into my art.
The more I learned the stronger and more fulfilling my art became. (Which is still true, by the way).
Fast forward to my senior year at UM-Flint. The year of electives! I took an Intro to Theatre class and absolutely fell in love.
It was a side of art that I hadn't experienced since I was a kid. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it.
The professor was very encouraging, she even walked me right up to the call board and signed me up to audition and work backstage.
Needless to say, by the end of the semester I was dual majoring in Fine Arts and Theatre.
Theatre gave me a whole new perspective. It taught me about collaboration. Showed me a new side of human psychology. A different way to experience empathy. It taught me to live in the moment, be fearless and to embrace improvisation.
Everything I learned gave me more confidence and helped me find my voice as an artist.
After graduation I struggled to find a 9 to 5 that was fulfilling. I started to realize that working corporate/retail type jobs was draining my creativity and enthusiasm.
It wasn't until recently that I decided to do something about it.
I took the leap, for better or worse, and decided to devote myself to art full time.
I knew I would never truly be happy if I didn't do what was in my heart. So, I quit my day job and committed to following my dreams, wherever they may take me.
Scariest. Thing. Ever.
But I would do it again in a heartbeat. I'm grateful for all of the support and encouragement I have received from family and friends. And I'm excited to continue sharing my journey with all of you!
Courtney Hatcher is an abstract artist from Flint, Michigan.
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