Greetings from Austria, where I'm also preparing for major hang of my works at Barclays' HQ in London next week. They asked for my bio, and then came back with tell us your backstory. Here's what I sent them--a condensed version (some of which is in my bio on this website) of a wonderful ride to where I am today. With hopes this will inspire your own dream chasing and journeys:
Adopted at the age of 8 weeks into a family where I never quite felt I fit, I spent much of my youth walking in other peoples’ shoes. What if I’d been raised by that family? Could that person be my Mom? What if I’d been left in the institution? I found many shoes could fit—the good, the bad, and the really ugly-- and came to the early conclusion that we are a single human species with many different shoe sizes and styles, but we all walk, and wearing shoes makes it easier on tough ground.
I was 8 years old in my first oils class, along with 15 other adults in the local adult ed school. I was passionate about art and music. My parents weren’t, and made it apparent that no daughter of theirs was to pursue a “vacuous Bohemian lifestyle”. I could be a lawyer or doctor and go to Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. I rebelled as much as I could and went to Stanford to pursue Earth Sciences and French. The French was a ploy to get to Paris so I could study art and nobody would know I was doing so.
I found myself employed as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, and thought leverage involved a fulcrum. Nothing a “Finance for Dummies Book” and intensive long nights of study couldn’t cure. And every Wednesday night I snuck out for my art classes, often returning to the office for an even later night at work.
I basically continued this pursuit of my dream through various jobs, marriage, the birth of 4 children, moves to 3 continents—filling my toolbox with as many art tools as possible, so when the moment arrived, I’d be able to explore and express my thoughts visually; without the hindrance of not knowing how to use the paints, pixels, colours, and substrates to their maximum potential.
I’ve learned that chasing a dream is not about the goal, it is about the baby steps along the way. It’s about pivoting, patience, and determination. And most importantly about it being a vehicle to live life to its fullest human potential, step by precarious step…Only 2% of our DNA differentiates us from chimpanzees, within that 2% lies human creativity, how sad would it be if we didn’t try to maximise this potential.