First, I’ll state the obvious. Everyone is creative. There is not a person on Earth that is incapable of coming up with a new idea. The question for me, however, was how to embrace that concept in my life. So, in 2005 I decided to distract myself from reality, move 3000 miles across the country and immerse myself in a sleepy little island community off the coast of Washington State called Friday Harbor. Little did I know that my housewarming gift would be inspired creativity. My intent was a change in lifestyle but in reality I expanded my perspective and found the passion for creativity which now had its rightful outlet. Go figure.
Photography in an island paradise comes naturally so that is where I began dabbling in the arts. Within months I had collected many photos of seascapes, orca whales and wildlife and turned to the internet to see what options existed for sharing the beauty I had discovered. Just three years out of the beta mode, Zazzle seemed like a great place to see if the world would share my enthusiasm. I joined the community in 2006, never expecting to find a world of innovative artists and a spirit of entrepreneurship which would become “empowering” to me. I embraced the feedback and welcomed the interactions, muddling my way through the process as my inner artist was unleashed.
Meeting so many celebrated artists and infusing yourself with far greater than “recommended daily allowances” of creativity in a positive and nurturing atmosphere is one of the reasons why I have continued as a loyal designer at Zazzle. Over the years, I have opened galleries as outlets---looking for ways to market concepts as opposed to content, each gallery holding a spot near and dear to my heart.
I have been very fortunate since 2006 in large part due to Zazzle’s innovation and appreciation for their artists. The island and photography community have embraced my designs and work which they see on Zazzle and now around town --- bringing many other collaborative island artists to Zazzle as well. In September, my “day job” was outsourced and I have never been happier- the timing is perfect for this new paradigm in personal growth to continue. Opportunities happen and I’ve learned from the past three years and counting, I will take them as then come.