While I have always loved writing, I must admit I lived for three decades afraid to pursue it with any real purpose. In fact, I vividly remember being in High School and publishing my writing in a zine (because that’s what you did in the ‘00s) under a pseudonym because I was afraid of what my peers would think. It is only now, in my thirties, that I am learning to be less haphazard and more fully invested in this craft that I love.
Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever look at your future and see a blank canvas staring back at you? Does that inspire excitement or fear?
For Miami local, Courtney Einhorn, there is so much possibility in a blank canvas, and very little room for fear. By now, you may know that I am completely obsessed with street art. So I knew Courtney’s art long before I ever met her. She is the artist of this parking meter situated in front of The Wynwood Building. However, the concept of “live painting”, what Courtney has become known for, was completely foreign to me until I met her in person at an art event I was covering.
Recently, I got to visit her apartment (think of it as a personal gallery of her works) and she shared her story, her art, and some needed inspiration. I hope you also find some inspiration in Courtney’s story, the second in a series of Inspirational Women in Their Thirties.
AGirlinHer30s: How did you fall into art?
I had a “colorful” upbringing — I attended dance classes and musical theater where we danced, acted, and sang. In school, I gravitated towards art more than anything else going on in the classroom. Even though I loved it, I grew up equating art as a hobby, as opposed to a career, because it is so enjoyable that it has never for a second felt like “work”. And I always thought of a job as something you have to do, not something you want or love to do.
Throughout my life, I was constantly creating small paintings and giving my art away freely to friends and family. In October of 2013, I quit full-time job as a speech-therapist and started applying to different jobs trying to figure out what to do next. One day, my mom was cleaning out the house and found a blank canvas and paints and sent them to me. I painted one thing and kept painting non-stop. Soon, I was getting into every art gallery and art festival that I was applying to, and even winning contests. I was on a high and still am. After being in the field a few years, I look back and think it was silly for me to have thought this couldn’t be a career.
AGirlinHer30s: Describe yourself in three hashtags:
#creative #silly #funloving
AGirlinHer30s: Do you ever experience self-doubt?
No because I won’t finish a painting until I am 100 % obsessed with it, and I love it, and it’s how I want it to be. And I would never give someone a commissioned piece without it being exactly what they want.
As soon as I finish a painting, I put it on social media to see everyone’s response. So that I can see everyone’s comments, critiques, and feedback. That always feels good to see. My goal is for people to enjoy and like my work. It makes me happy to see that other people actually like it too so I don’t experience doubt.
AGirlinHer30s: Since you started pursuing art, have you run into any blocks?
I have hundreds of ideas written down. When I’m lying in bed at night, I’m thinking about art a lot of the time. I may start with only a basic idea and I elaborate as I paint, but I always have something in my head. I know exactly what I want it to look like at the end. I have a vision and I won’t stop until it looks the way I want it to.
AGirlinHer30s: What would you say to someone who is at the place where you were 3 years ago, trying different jobs, trying to figure it out, not knowing that this next thing was coming?
I would say, if there is something that you don’t think you can make a career out of because you’ve been told in the past “it’s just a hobby”, but you really love it, go for it. Just dive into your passion. If it doesn’t take you where you want it to, keep trying, make phone calls, send emails, and get feedback from others. Let go of the fear and the “what ifs”- that is what will make you postpone it, if you ever get around to it at all.
AGirlinHer30s: What was turning 30 like for you?
It made me think “Whoa, you’re officially an adult”. Everyone told me 30 was no different than 29 or 31. So I wasn’t expecting to feel any differently. But it definitely hit me harder than I had thought it would. I think the main reason for this, is because it made me realize I’m into my next decade. It made me realize just how quickly time is flying by. Each year is going by faster than the previous and honestly, it scares me! But I am embracing my age—I still get carded!
After postponing a creative life for three decades, I can attest to Courtney’s evaluation of time. Sometimes though, it isn’t time or fear that holds us back. At times shame and a negative self-image can deter us from feeling we are even worthy of pursuing a life that will make us happy.
Stay tuned for the next Inspirational Woman in Her Thirties who taught me a little about getting unstuck from a negative, self-destructive place.