How I found time to be an artist

In progress ... Chirp chirp... Making backgrounds based on intuition
In progress ... Chirp chirp... Making backgrounds based on intuition

In progress … Chirp chirp… Making backgrounds based on intuition ©Kellie Day

I went to dinner with one of my most pizaaz-iest friends last night. Brilliance is so sexy.

I hadn’t seen her in years and our lives had been through divorce, single parenting, wild child stories, several businesses and relationships. And here she was, looking better than ever at 50, surrounded by red paper lanterns in a Main Street sushi dive.

In and out of many conversations, I was telling her about another brilliant friend of mine – an enormously gifted writer who has not found time for her writing – and how I was pushing her to write.

“Why is it so many people tell me they deeply want to explore their passions and creativity, and yet they don’t make it happen?” I posed the question.

And yet I get it, life is busy. As SARK says, “There is always a child who needs something, a cavity that needs to be filled, or laundry that needs to be done.” I get that we have to earn money, and that we are exhausted by the end of the day.

“You paint because you can’t help it”, she said, “Like my boy. He sings and dances because music is in his soul.”

What a lovely way of putting it. Maybe for some, the urge to create is just tipping the scales, and has to be done. Like water, a force that makes its way no matter what. But it also takes Making it happen.

For years I wanted to paint and found myself jealous of other artists. (Jealousy is a wonderful sign that you need to be doing something.) Every time I tried to paint, I hated what I did. And that stopped me even more. Then there was the effort of getting started, which in itself is overwhelming, and well, where to start?

Things tend to have momentum, however, and once started, can take hold, and can be hard to let go of. Habit and yearning are powerful.

Making it happen, for me, came in the form of taking a week-long trip to Mexico to a mixed media workshop. This was not hard. This was not effort. This was following my bliss…

From there, the fire was lit. I took my mom’s advice of just painting ten minutes here and there, and small efforts of practicing grew into something irresistible.

“Just paint ten minutes here and there, and you’ll be surprised how much you accomplish over time.” – Mom

My art practice that is so established today, began as a tiny icicle wedged in a crack. With each storm it grew, and with each hot spell it melted. Back and forth until it wedged itself in deeper, and forced its way into me, until it had become a very large part of me. And there was simply no choice anymore. Its momentum had taken hold.

And now, each day of my life, the yearning grows stronger to not waste another moment doing anything that doesn’t make my heart sing. To not do anything other than my true path, which feels like art and creativity. And playing in nature, and loving my son and teaching him he is worthy.

It’s not easy to keep both feet on this path. Bills have to be paid, and I like my comfortable home, and therefore must work my sometimes-uncomfortable day job. But this tiny art trickle took hold, and becomes larger every day, and better every day. And every day, a little more heart singing.


  1. Jackie says:

    Love this Kellie….I needed this today. Xoxo p.s. love your mom’s quote, what a gift you have in a mother!!

    • Kellie Day says:

      Thanks Jackie, I’m so glad. And yes, my mom is such a gift – to have an artist ahead of me, with all that experience, to guide me. I am lucky. xoxo

  2. Kathleen S. says:

    I love this, too. Thank you for sharing so beautifully!

  3. Gina says:

    Thank you for your honest sharing and encouraging words, Kellie. It seems harder these days for me to maintain a regular art practice. I so these little prompts that push me forward!

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