When I was in my 20s, art was just something I did as a pastime. As I look at what became an actual career, I couldn't have predicted all that I've done as an artist so far. I don’t even know how I've done most of it, to be honest. Even as an amateur back then, one thing eventually became clear to me: I had a gift, a point of view, something to say, and this was all worthy of sharing with the world. So I nurtured it, believed in it, affirmed it, improved it and protected it from naysayers. In my beginnings as an artist I discovered that when you know you got vision and move forward with it, the more you do with your dream the stronger resistance gets. Some may even try and throw stones in your path or grab you by the collar and try to bring you down to humiliate you. Those moments emerge to ask if your vision is still on track, or to make you see how much your dream and you have grown as a creative person. It also makes you so grateful for/towards the support of those who love you, accept you and believe in you. There's a verse I turn to, when fear, blocks, resistance or uncertainty arise. I find it as essential and vital now as I did then, when I had no clue what my vision would be or where the road would lead. It's from the book "The Courage to Create" by Rollo May: “If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Also, you will have betrayed your community in failing to make your contribution.” So no matter the times we live in, we must assert and bring forth our courage to create. Could it get any better? I believe so.