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Making a Career Change...twice.

Even though I was always #artistic growing up (my dad is an amazing #illustrator so I grew up watching him), it wasn't what I had planned on doing for the rest of my life.

I was a dancer, and by the age of three until I was 23, it was all I ever planned on doing; I even went as far as #dancing #professionally with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. That was my voice and my #identity. But life had another direction it wanted me to go...

I left the dancing world, after a career ending back surgery. Don't worry, I can still dance, but don't want to ruin the hardware that I have in my back, it was a tough-adult-decision and even though I miss it every day I think I made the right choice. (Happy Anniversary New Back! It'll be 11 years on February 1st 2019)

Actual x-rays of my back before and after surgery. Left: is my two bulging discs pushing onto my spinal cord. Right: is my fusion and artificial disc above that.

In 2009 I moved to California to go to Cinema Makeup School to be a #Makeup Artist. I thought it was the perfect next step.

I remember as a little kid listening to Michael Jackson, more specifically the '#Thriller' album and obviously loving the songs. Then I saw the music video...I instantly fell in love with the dancing and the makeup!!! Then, one day (I was about 16 ) when I was renting a movie at our local 'Family Video' (which is actually still there to this day, congratulations guys!!) I found the video "The Making of the Thriller". All my dreams came true!!! I thought, if I couldn't dance anymore, THIS is what I wanted to do! Seeing Rick Baker turn Michael into all those infamous characters, watching his process, I fell in love! (Side note: I actually met Rick Baker, in 2009ish, shook his hand, got an autograph, and briefly told him that amazing story...) Lol.

Anyway, there I was in California just finished Cinema Makeup School and was working as a Freelance Makeup Artist. Shortly after, in 2011, I got a job at Knott's Scary Farm doing the makeup for their annual event, #Halloween Haunt.

(Images: top left to right: store bought foam forehead painted and applied by me for student short film; Richard Thompson's Cabaret of Souls Orchestra Member; Special Effects Final at Cinema Makeup School, sculpted painted and applied by me.

Images: bottom left to right: pig twin sculpted by me; Seven Deadly Sins, Sloth, sculpted by me, Dead of Winter Demon, sculpted by me.)

A couple years later I started running the foam (making the masks) and sculpting the

monsters for #BuenaPark's annual Halloween Haunt event, and for other Cedar Fair Parks events across the U.S. and Canada. It was an amazing experience and a great job, but nothing ever made my soul feel like dancing did...

So one day, December 2014, while on a break at work one of my coworkers and best friends, Danielle her Instagram is (@r2jade2) was drawing something. I wanted to draw too, so I found some paper but didn't have anything to draw, so just started doodling on the paper.