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Follow your dream. Discover your passion.

Reunited with a childhood friend

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by Jeremy Rowland, editor

What do you do when every fiber of your being calls you to follow your dreams, but the very ones you love and trust the most don’t support you? Do you ignore their warnings—however rational? Or do you sacrifice your dreams for the sake of harmony?

This question plagued artist Peggy Moore in the early years of her life. She discovered her passion for art at a young age but could never garner the support of her mother. Even after she won third place in a National Student Art Competition, her mother was skeptical of the practicality of art. For Peggy, however, the win was proof that her passion could someday be more than just a hobby.

She continued to hone her skills throughout middle and high school, but her mother’s warnings and fears of failure kept her from fully investing in her talent. Her mother urged her to pursue a career path that would put food on the table and pay the bills—something safe. She prepped her to work as an accountant, a career path that Peggy felt was “soul sucking.”

Peggy spent her twenties starting a career and a family, still clinging to her love for art. She entered competitions and even won a few, but the winning was never her goal. For Peggy, art was and always had been a release, and now, with the stresses of life bearing down, she needed art more than ever.

It was a friend who recognized this need in Peggy’s life. She saw her talent and urged her to submit her portfolio to the Virginia Commonwealth University School for the Arts. She did and, much to her surprise, was accepted into the program. She began her first formal study of art and quickly grew more confident in her abilities as an artist.

Her instructors played a big role in helping her make art personal. She began to create for herself and allow her emotions to shine through her portraits. Her work improved drastically over the two semesters she was able to attend art school. Lack of funding forced her to return to the drudgery of the nine-to-five, but she left armed with a better understanding of art and a strong desire to share her gift with others.

Peggy continued to work in finance for more than 40 years until retiring at the age of 62. With retirement came the materialization of her dream—to focus her energy on her art. Though her mother’s coaxing led her to a career choice she wouldn’t have chosen for herself, she now sees the silver lining in it all. What could have been a major obstacle has proven to be an asset. Her years of experience in business and finance have provided her with the skills necessary to effectively price and sell her works of art.

So how do you follow your dreams when it seems like you’re fighting a losing battle? Well, for Peggy Moore it took some sacrifice and a lot of patience, but she followed anyway. Her dream took on many different shapes throughout the years, and at times it looked as though it would be crushed. Today, Peggy can’t help but feel that the obstacles she has faced have only made her success sweeter.

It’s important to remember that your dreams have no expiration date. The obstacles faced in the first half of life don’t have to plague the second. Art and creativity are simply tangible evidence of your life experiences—the things you’ve seen, touched, smelled, and heard— brought to life. Chances are you have more inspiration to draw from than you ever imagined.

Let Peggy’s experience be a lesson to you. Actually, scratch that—let your own experience be a lesson to you! Have you made excuses that have kept you from your dream? It’s time to say yes to art and discover the joy that comes from bringing your experience to life!

So, you’ve just heard Peggy's story. We want to hear yours! Leave us a comment below and tell us a little bit about your journey as an artist.

To see more of Peggy's artwork, please visit her site.

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