“I’m answering the call.”

I actually said those words out loud as I drove out of the art center one night after a class. And yes, I was alone and for once, not belting out tunes along with Gladys Knight or Lyle Lovett.

Lots of years earlier with a BFA under my arm, I spent a dozen or so years in all kinds of jobs until the day came when I figured, “well, it’s now or never”. Hunched over a drawing table on nights and weekends for the next year to pull together an illustration portfolio, I had one final spate of employment (as an illustrator this time) with a small stationery company in Minneapolis before I pulled the plug and started freelancing.

Fast forward twenty years and dozens of licensing contracts later for stationery, fabric, giftware, paper tableware and any other product that needed cute art. Which was fine; I was making money while drawing pictures and who doesn’t love that? Along with my husband, we opened a licensing agency representing lots of artists in the same market. That morphed into my vibrant coaching practice helping other artists find their voice and vision while taking steps to success.

But along that road there was something else. A voice really. Occasionally I would say it out loud.

“I want to paint big splashy abstracts.”

And then I would say it again. And again.

In fact, I said it so often I was starting to bore myself.

So, I signed up for a an acrylic painting class since I hadn’t moved wet paint around on a canvas since, well, forever and figured I needed some guidance or at least a shove off the cliff.

Thankfully, I got both.

Back to me behind the wheel of that minivan, driving down a palm tree lined road at 9 o’clock at night.

“I’m answering the call.”

I said it. Out loud.

And each time I dip a brush into a juicy puddle of acrylic paint, I answer it again and again.