It’s always a little intimidating to call myself an artist. Usually, I go halfway toward the title and then take a few steps back, calling myself a hand-letterer instead.

I’ve lettered nursery walls and old windows and canvases and slate shingles, painted wedding reception menus, and experienced the learning curve of chalkboard paint on smoothie-restaurant menu boards.

I’ve used ProCreate on my iPad to design marketing images for our local college that got converted into stickers sent to all incoming students, opened up the mail to find a logo I designed on a flyer for my favorite local non-profit, and walked into a coffeeshop downtown to find a mug with our church’s name on a logo I designed right there for all the world to see.

This year, I’ve begun learning new art skills: turning photographs into line drawings, adding gifs to my digital work, and sitting alongside my girls as we explore the basics of pencil and paper drawings and watercolor paints.

So I think at this point, I can go ahead and call myself an artist.

But it hasn’t always been that way.

While traveling through Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, in 2015, I was asked to describe the person I pictured myself to be in my 80s, if I were to live that long. As I described that woman, this future me, she began to surprise the current me.

Rather than a poet, she was a painter. Rather than a writer, she was an artist. And she played the piano and invited younger women over for tea.

She still wrote letters to her daughters, she still sought to pass on story and wisdom and sacrament to the generations of women who followed her.

But she spent her free time creating beauty.

I realized that to become that woman, I needed to start now. I needed to not be afraid of calling myself an “artist.” And I need to be making art.

So I started. (I often show photos of my current projects on Instagram @thissacramentallife, so hop over there if you’re interested in seeing what I’m working on.)

And now I guess I need to take some piano lessons.

But in the meantime, you can download free printable PDFs of some of my digital prints over on the Sharing & Freebies page.