I was looking up computer art tablets on Amazon last October.
Innocent and mundane, right?
Wouldn’t it be funny, I remember thinking. If getting something like this actually ended up changing something?
After all, life-altering events can trace back to the most inadvertent of moments—my watching of the 2004 Olympics, for example, which instilled a love of gymnastics that eventually landed me in competitive gymnastics in high school. Or my decision one day that I didn’t want to dismiss a somewhat bizarre idea for a science fiction story, which ended up leading to being three-hundred pages closer to my dream of publishing novels.
Anything can change everything, and my random interest in computer art tablets began just as unassumingly. I admired digital art, and I thought it would be fun to be able to draw on the computer too, though I had mostly just played around with drawing most of my life.
What if? I had wondered.
My idle speculations that day might as well have been prophetic.
I came into college fully convinced I would be a physical therapist, but now, just two years later, my interests are leaning quite drastically toward writing and illustration—and I blame my art tablet as an accomplice to the eventual detonation of my prior career plan.
I suppose the first few hints had already begun to materialize during those same months that I recognized an art tablet as a worthwhile financial investment. I found myself drawing more, and casual interest increased to a more concrete bullet point on my list of hobbies.
Receiving a computer art tablet for Christmas that year sparked the crossover from hobby to preoccupation. It became a fervent creative outlet and a stress reliever. With an art tablet, I began to see endless possibility I hadn’t thought to look for before. And then I realized how satisfying drawing was as a storytelling medium.
Spring semester of my sophomore year in college, my interests in drawing increased exponentially, growing to match my already ardent love of writing. I soon became discontent with my prior decision to make writing and drawing side pursuits to a much different profession. I fought with myself for a while, and then finally thought I had come to terms with staying with my original plan. However, whatever stability I had found soon crumbled again, and I launched back into soul-searching to figure out where my heart truly lay.
It was somewhere I had suspected it to be all along.
May 31, 2013, I made a brutally honest list in one of the earlier pages of a new sketchbook, demanding a straight answer of how I wanted to use my time—seeking to ignore all misgivings. At the end of my short bout of aggressive scribbling, physical therapy was not on the list.
And I had mustered the audacity to emphasize an intimidating concluding statement—a leap of faith:
I WANT TO BE A PROFESSIONAL WRITER AND ARTIST.
There. I said it. Let it begin.
The change was gradual, but in the four short months after writing the above declaration in my sketchbook, I have concretely decided to pursue illustration after finishing my biology major at George Fox University. I’m not sure where this crazy dream will take me, but God has brought me this far, and I believe He’ll see me through to the end.