Impactful Person of the New Year
Welcome to the first day of 2016!!! Everybody is talking about new goals, resolutions and strategies for success. What I'd like to talk about today is inspiration. I recently met a wonderful artist who truly redesigned her world so that she could live a life she loves. And today I am going to share her story with you! Here we go...
I'd like to introduce the lovely Samantha daSilva, a wonderfully creative and talented artist who has been living her dream for the last 10 years. I watched a live painting demonstration at a women's retreat and I was so inspired by the way that she paints with such confidence and creativity - nothing felt forced or strained, just such beautiful, flowing creativity. I'm excited to share this interview with you!
Samantha: Dear Lindsay, Thank you for asking me to take part in an interview for you blog. When I met you, there was a noticeable “glow” about you. The light within you shines so bright, that other people can see it! I am honoured to have met you, and for the opportunity to share my experiences with your readers.
Q: So tell us, how did you discover that you have such a passion for painting and art? Was it always something you were interested in throughout your life?
A: I was lucky to be brought up in home where art and creativity were always encouraged. I have a family history of artists, so it’s something I’ve always felt was very natural. But it wasn’t until I quit my corporate office job in 2007, that I discovered my passion for painting. Basically, I used painting as my therapy. I quickly discovered that, for me art was not a question of want, but a matter of necessity.
Q: What were you doing before you became an artist?
A: I had a 9 – 5 office job in a law firm. It wasn’t a physical job, but because it was such a bad fit for me, I would come home at the end of the day feeling completely exhausted. My way of “getting though the day” and dealing with it, was ingesting copious amounts of coffee and cigarettes. I was caught in a downward spiral until I became very sick. But hey! At least I had bi-monthly paychecks and health insurance! I’m being sarcastic, of course. That’s no way to live a life.
Q: What was the hardest part of starting your painting career? Did you ever doubt yourself in the early phases of your business?
A: The hardest think was admitting to myself that being an artist was in fact, what I actually wanted to do with my life. It seems silly to admit this now, but I was really afraid of what people would think. I was afraid that they would think I was crazy! I hadn’t painted in over 10 years, I had very little schooling in art, and artists don’t exactly have a reputation of being very successful.
But I was lucky: In my case, I had to loose everything in order to realize that what I really wanted was to be an artist. I lost my career, my job, my marriage, my home, my cars, my “friends” and finally my health. It was the recalibration I needed to live the life I had been too afraid to live. After I lost everything that was important to me, I thought: “Well, now that I’ve lived my life playing by the rules and making everyone else happy, what do I really want to do with my life?”
Did I doubt myself? I sure did! But I knew there was no going back. Plan A was to be a happy, successful artist. There was no plan B. Plan B only distracts from Plan A.
Q: Did you feel supported along the way when you were making big changes in your life? Was your social circle supportive of you?
A: My family was extremely supportive. I was (am) very fortunate. Especially because I know that a lot of people don’t get dealt those cards. However, my social circle was not so supportive. I realized early on in my career that, if I wanted to achieve the level of success that I was craving, I would have to surround myself with people who were supportive of my ideals. I did a lot of letting go of “friends” in those early stages.
Q: What are you most proud of, looking back at your life? What were the bravest decisions that you made?
A: The bravest decision I ever made was to re-invent my life into one that included true authenticity. Prior to painting, I had lived my life playing by the rules, doing everything that was expected from me and making other people happy.
Admitting to myself (and to the people around me) that what I really wanted for my life was to be an artist, took an immense amount of vulnerability and courage. That decision changed my life. It was like switching tracks. My life became so much more rich, full, exciting, deep and meaningful as a result of living in line with my life’s purpose.
Q: As a last word of encouragement for our readers, if you could go back in time and give yourself some loving advice during a difficult moment of uncertainty, what would you say to yourself?
A: Eight years ago, I walked out of my corporate office job with only $700 in my bank account. I had no business plan, no art degree or connections. I didn't even have a car or a home of my own. I hadn’t painted in 10 years. Despite all of that, it was still the best decision I ever made. Sometimes our dreams don't make any sense. That doesn't mean they aren't right.
Thank you so much Samantha for sharing your story with us!! To follow Samantha's art and creative process, check out her website: http://www.samanthadasilva.com
Or view her FB Page for some great videos and examples of her work!