by Shannon G.
My life has been a series of “do overs”. My creative ride started with music. I grew up in an incredibly nurturing musical family. Yet like J. Giels song says, “I must have got lost, somewhere down the line.” For at the age of 18, I let it all go. I chalk it up to being a wild child, and tying to make a living in the “real world”.
I married early and divorced after only a couple of years.
I somehow managed to hold steady jobs, but I disliked all of them. I wasn’t doing anything creative and it was hurting me. Or rather I should say, I was hurting myself.
I married my current husband at age 26 and put all my energy being a good wife and step-mom to his kids. And though I quit doing drugs when we married, I still drank way too much.
At 33 I started to get my life back when I discovered painting. Inspired and driven, I’d get up early each day to paint for a few hours before the start of my workday. This demanding schedule was worth the effort. By 1999, I was able to leave my day job, and began to do my art as a full-time business. I was so fired up I was motivated to quite drinking. I’m happy to report that almost 23 years later, I’m still sober. Creativity saved my life.
At 44 I began production of the television series, Give Your Walls Some Soul. It grew from an audience of one station to over 50 stations across the country and over 10 million households, winning numerous awards.
At 46 I published my children’s book Monkey Made of Sockies. From that book came a line of licensed merchandise, the popular Monkey Made of Sockies golf club headcovers that have become a worldwide hit.
Things were really starting to roll. I had become an award-winning artist, television producer/host and author. My artwork was licensed and sold globally, and I had recently come full circle with the release of my first music CD, Hot Coffee Red Lipstick. I really felt like I was running on all cylinders.
But two and a half years ago my husband was in accident that left him permanently disabled. For a year he required around the clock care and that’s where I focused my energy. As he began to heal, I was able to start focusing on my work again. But it was hard to create. My husband was not able to work and I was barely able to work and care for him. During that time we lost our house and went bankrupt. I was depressed and exhausted. Once he was able to care for himself, I considered going back to the corporate world so that I could support us. My husband just shook his head and said, “You’ve come this far, and you can’t give up now.”
And so I persevered.
Last year at age 52, I began a virtual music collaboration with a songwriter from Kentucky. This music collaboration fired me up like the painting did back when I was 33 years old. It got me back on track creatively. We are currently working on a CD called Virtually Possible.
Today, my art licensing is picking up and I once again feel like I’m running on all cylinders, only my engine is tuned better. There is something that comes with age and life experience that makes everything I do that much richer.
What inspired me to take all the leaps of faith? First of all I’m a passionate creator. I hurts my soul not to create. I have been blessed with the impulse to create. What keeps me creating? For me it is faith in a power greater than myself, the love and encouragement of others, and the wish to give back that love and encouragement that keeps me going.
A child once told me that I have The Power of all Giggles! Her kind words made me smile from the inside out! Just the fact that she can feel that that’s where I come from, makes me know that though I’ve been derailed a few times, I am so on the right track.
And so I’ll keep rolling, and working to help keep others rolling too.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my story.