Living the Dream: Featuring Megan Gray

This post is part of a series of interviews by real people who are going after their heart’s song. Whether they are taking baby steps or giant leaps, they are living their dream. Our Featured Dreamer will talk about their challenges, inspirations, and tips about how they juggle life with what they love to do. Be inspired in your own life to go out there and lasso that dream of yours. Find other inspirational stories here.  (More coming soon!)


5b9eee23-4192-4524-bc24-0a517d477aa6Megan Gray Arts

I’m Megan Gray, and along with being an artist, I am a mother of three, and major supporter of Creative Mothers everywhere.

I help make collecting original art easy, and to inspire other mothers to be creative. My oil and watercolor paintings are inspired by our simple life and the natural landscape around us. I want my art to be available to everyone, no matter their budget. To me art is connection. Art is community, and how I engage with the world around me. That’s why any art you purchase directly from me is priced “pay what you want.”

I believe my work isn’t finished until it finds a home. A home where it is loved and valued dearly. I want my art to make you feel like I feel when you ask to buy it, happy. I trust in my collectors, and in return they keep me making art!

Like, Follow, Instagram, + Find Megan Gray!

 

d3dea401-15c2-4352-9f0c-929970197e24Can you tell us about your dream and what inspired you to go for it?

Honestly, I just want to paint. I went for it because it allows me to be my own boss, as well as there for my kids. I need to paint or else I get very unhappy. It’s the only time where my mind is completely calm and focused. So, if don’t paint for a while I feel out of balance.

What sort of challenges do you face and how do you get around them?

Finding the time to paint. I’m always letting things get in the way. Cleaning, errands, etc. sometimes you have to let other things go so you can create. Sometimes I have a hard time letting go, and sometimes I let those things become excuses as to why I’m not painting.

de13fb17-b6e3-4b09-904c-fd9bc9efc7d2What do you love to do the most?

I love to paint landscapes in oil.

Who supports you in following your dream?

My husband and my children as well as my extended family too. My husband is my biggest supporter and being a creative example for my kids is my greatest motivation. My kids also let me know what they like and don’t like when I paint, so they actually help me to grow in that way as an artist.

Who inspires you?

Anyone who is making time to create especially if they have kids.

Where do you see yourself in five years?19279767-5209-4fc1-87a1-221b85f0743a

Not changing anymore diapers, and painting more regularly instead of whenever I can.

What is the biggest tip you have for anyone looking to following their dreams?

Just do it. Stop making excuses. You are by far your biggest obstacle, so knock it off and be your biggest supporter!

 

 

 


 If you or someone you know, is reaching for the stars (big or small) and loving it, I would be honored to have them featured here!  Please note, this is not reserved for artists only, dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it be crafting, doing yoga, chasing kids, coupon clipping, or playing golf. If it’s a dream and someone is trying to get their hands on it, I want to hear from them!

I’ve Been Hiding Out

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No, really.

I have been hiding in all sorts of ways. Some of it good and some of it… well, I may need to look at that. It’s easy to put someone else under a microscope and see what’s going on (or what we think is going on) but taking inventory of yourself really requires you to step out and view your actions like you would any other person.

And that’s not always easy.

To break my week of written silence here, I thought it would be a good idea to let you know I’ve been hiding out and why it’s been so quiet here lately. From what I can tell there are five main reasons…

Painting

If you’re part of my little Facebook community, you’ll know that I’ve been prepping for an art fair that took place last weekend. It’s been exhausting, exciting, and all around invigorating. I dove head first into painting and boldly went to the fair with only items I have painted. That is a first for me. I have only done a few fairs but I have always taken stuff I’ve painted, crocheted, and crafted. It was overwhelm really. I simplified that by focusing only on what I love and the outcome had good results.

In this case, hiding out in my studio until the wee hours of the morning was a good thing. Quality family time around the dinner table and then submerge myself into the depths of my studio and my paintings. It was awesome. (Correction: It IS awesome. I’ve got a steady flow of commission pieces coming in.)

Hide-and-Seek

This game has caught on like wildfire in my house. My littlest is always trying to find new hiding places and I’ll admit, she is quite good. (Takes after her momma.) She has this ability to find a spot that *isn’t* so hidden and remains totally still so you walk right by her. Our family games haven’t been restricted to only this though… there’s been oodles of bike riding, ball kicking, hockey playing, football throwing and yoga in the kitchen.* We’ve just been enjoying life. No shame in that.

Reading

I’ve always been an avid reader (to the point of getting grounded from it once). I’m not one to read much fiction though. My collection boasts works from many writers who have something important to say about finance, business, massage, art, creativity, and other self-improvement type goodies. I recently picked up Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton. I find the book to be fascinating and educational about the art world but I’ve had difficulty with it. Her writing style isn’t something I read easily for some reason. It could be due to the hour I’m trying to read it and the struggle to stay awake. I’m not sure. It’s just been a challenge and I’m sticking it out. (Not a good reason to not be writing here but heaped with all the other reasons, you’ll cut me some slack, right?)

Groove

My little family has been settling in just nicely to our new area. We’re meeting lots of people and making new friends. It’s been interesting trying to figure out if what you’re seeing is someone’s personality or if it’s the fact that we live in a new place where people behave differently. In a way, I feel like I’ve been hiding myself and this is the one where I’m a little iffy about it. I don’t feel it’s a bad thing but I’m not sure it’s good.

I’ve been doing a lot of self-work recently and one of my flaws is sharing too much. It seems I’ve learned to reel it in. Admittedly, I wonder if I’m reserving myself too much and I’m giving off the wrong impression. I’m still navigating if I’m hiding myself with restraint or if I’m finally reserving a little bit of me. It’s in my nature to question my behavior but if I bring it back to what my body feels like as things are happening… right now, I feel OK. I just need to remind myself that things will unfold when they are meant to.

This Blog

Yes. This blog. When I first created it, I didn’t use my name. I hid behind the title and my journey toward wholehearted living. I knew I would be sharing some personal stuff and for months I didn’t even tell my family or friends about it. The more I write the more comfortable I get with it. I’ve realized some of the stuff I’ve gone through and struggle with isn’t just my issue. Lots of people deal with them. As my comfort level got more.. well, comfortable, I’ve dropped the sheet, exposed my name and even shared this blog and Facebook page with family and friends. See? Not so scary.

The issue I’m having is I’m beginning to accept my love of painting and entertaining the idea of going after that dream.** This brings about the challenge of how to market myself. Working through personality traits and improving who I am as a person totally fits the scope of this blog. Painting does too, but I don’t know if it creates an additional hurdle for people to get to me, the artist.

It’s something I’ve been pondering more and more as painting projects gain momentum.

So there you have it… a few of the ways I’ve been hiding out. Most of it is absolute goodness but some of it falls on the “eh” spectrum. I’m working through it. Things are going swimmingly and my steady writing schedule has taken a detour. Hoping to get that back on track since I love writing as much as anything else. (Oh, the joys of being a multi-passionate person. Try to keep up and feel sorry for my husband, ok?)

 

*Post coming about that!

**It may not ever be a full-time gig, I still have my clients and other things going on that I don’t think I could be married to one profession. We’ll see.

 

4 Things I’ve Learned from My Daughter

As with my sonIMG_4969.JPG, I have learned a great deal from my daughter. There are far too many to list here so I’ll stick with four for simplicity purposes.

Know when to play the game

If you’ve ever had to potty train a child you may be familiar with that feeling that comes with lowering your standards to bribery. I’m not one for swaying my children in this way but with potty training all bets are off. The finish line is in sight and if it means a small piece of candy to encourage “the flow” then so be it.

Unfortunately, this tactic did not work with my son. Bribery never worked for him. If his answer was “no” there was a fat chance he was changing his mind, no matter what you dangled in front of him. Yeah, he’s strong like that. My daughter on the other hand is very different. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ve won her over with candy. Oh no, sir-ree.

If you offered up candy for some potty time she would look you in the eye, tap a finger by her lips in contemplation and nod as if to say, “ok. I’ll take that deal.”

She knows what’s at stake and the rewards that await her with appropriate action taken. Even if it means something she rather not do. She will weigh her options and make a calculated decision if something is worth her time.

Everyone is different so don’t anticipate a reaction 

Every so often, we are faced with a situation and I am completely blown away by her reaction to it. Each time, I have expected her to say or do something  and I was way off base. My little girl is sensitive but she possesses some mighty strength so I’ve been caught off-guard a time or two.

For instance…

First day of school was a breeze.

Signing up for soccer was awesome until we stepped on the field.

Relocating with a new house, new town, new school. No problem.

First day of dance class was terrifying and filled with tears.

These may seem minor examples, but each one caused me to pause. It was not what I was expecting from previous experiences with my son and how she has behaved in some situations doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be that way with something else. I have learned I can’t expect how she will react. She is an individual and has her own thoughts and feelings.

Live life so full you have to invent new ways to experience it

Since she was born this girl has set out to experience everything with every sense she has. Dirt cannot just be felt and tasted. It MUST be danced upon and flung in the air. A few months ago,  I took her to a yogurt bar. After topping her watermelon flavored yogurt with all sorts of chocolate pieces and fruit, we made our way to the sauce area. Marshmallow, chocolate, caramel, raspberry, etc (about 6-7 different flavors) were available as drizzly yogurt toppings and when I asked which one she’d like, she simply replied, “all of them.”

Like it was the only logical answer. Like there was no other option.

I felt the pressure since my hands were full and there was a line growing behind us. Probably sensing the building pressure, the woman next in line smiled widely at her and said, “I love it! That sounds like a fantastic idea.”

Having a girl is not so scary

My struggle with female relationships has haunted me for years. I was terrified when I found out I was having a girl. Not only was my friendship track record in the dumps, how was I suppose to teach confidence and self-worth to a little girl when I had hesitations about MY self?

Truthfully, having her has made me a stronger person. It has forced me to listen to the way I talk about my body and put a microscope to how I’m treating myself as a person. I have also become more sensitive to the language we use. We have put less focus on appearance and instead praise her actions, intentions, and thought processes. Of course, I can’t help but to say she’s beautiful but I work hard at making sure she doesn’t feel like her worth comes only from her looks.

I’m not under the illusion that we won’t have our problems as she gets older but the bond we have is too amazing for words. If there ever was a mini-me in existence, I have her right here; sporting sunglasses, jamming to a funky tune, singing at the top of our lungs, and loving every minute of it.