Today I ordered a pizza, which welcomed me with this little surprise:
Why did this little plastic doo-dad (apparently called a “box tent”) bring me great satisfaction? As a child, I used to use these for my Barbies and other dolls… in their decor. I re-purposed them as tables (they really do work well) into the little vignettes I’d craft out of other items.
The reason this made me smile hard is because remembering this very bit of nostalgia was the confirmation I needed to forge ahead with a decorating career. Before this, I’d been pushing myself as a freelance artist for several years, painting watercolors and striving to make myself known. (You can check out my watercolors & prints here.)
The art world really is a tough one to break into here in Toledo, OH. But I kept plugging away because painting was my passion. In the midst of this I also started getting into DIY projects and making over my home. I think it was a way to distract myself when painting & marketing myself got challenging.
I never wanted to just be a freelance artist. That didn’t seem like it would be fulfilling enough as a career. I considered other career paths in which I could help others while being an artist, but still struggled to find my way and determine which direction would be best.
And then one day, the thought of being an interior decorator/designer came to me. It’s a career path I considered long ago, among many other creative occupations, so I let my mind take me down that road and imagined what it would be like.
At first, I felt like I’d be betraying my given talent for painting and even betraying a part of myself. But when I considered how decorating is still a highly creative job and something I’ve consistently enjoyed, I felt at ease. I still can’t imagine not painting… only now, it’s making over a piece of furniture with a paintbrush or creating a unique piece of art to decorate my room.
So here I am today, looking at this tiny, plastic table and reflecting on how I loved collecting these as a child. I haven’t seen these in a long time, so I washed it up and will keep it as a reminder… a reminder of my dreams, my passions, and my desire to evolve.
Do you have any symbolic mementos like this that you hold on to? Do you find joy in small things? What inspires you creatively?