Friday, January 6, 2012

the last year.

One year ago today, I was sitting on a beach in Costa Rica with Mike, thinking my first sincere, scary thoughts about quitting my day job as a medical study research coordinator and pursuing my love of creating art. I wasn't meant to sit in a cubicle or anywhere I can't be creative, and I never want to look back on an opportunity and see that I settled for what was "safe." On our flight home, something clicked, and I knew in my heart that it was the right time to take this risk.

costa rica, one year ago

So much has happened since then I can barely believe it! 2011 has been good to me. With Mike's encouragement I gave two weeks notice at my job in March. It was bittersweet since I really did enjoy my work there, but absolutely nothing I've ever done compares the feeling of walking into my own studio every day and the freedoms and challenges of being my own boss. Though there have been ups and downs, there hasn't been a day when I didn't feel like I made the best decision of my life.

desktop, then vs. now

After living with Mike's parents since graduating from college, we found the perfect apartment in a converted brick factory in South Boston. It's small, but had a studio space and lots of storage for my art and is close to the subway line Mike takes to grad school (he was previously commuting 3 hours a day to Boston by train!) It still makes me very, very happy to wake up here.

Boston loft/studio

We flew to Colorado to visit friends and go snowboarding, and went on a couple smaller camping and boating trips. At the end of summer I went on an inspiration-seeking road trip alone through the Appalachian mountains, found beautiful places and sights all the way down to North Carolina and Tennessee and started several paintings in a tiny cabin along the Crabtree River in southwestern Virginia. Though I enjoyed traveling alone and had some incredible moments of serenity and discovery, I felt sad that I wasn't sharing these experiences with Mike. It was the first time I have ever wished I wasn't traveling alone and that marked a special point in my relationship with him and with myself.

morning meeting

This year my artwork was sold in three galleries in three states. I wrote tearfully about my greatest creative influence. I took on seven commissioned projects and learned a lot about time management, small-business finances and budgeting. I signed a contract with a major television studio for the rights to a piece of my artwork, and did several small and major magazine interviews set to appear in 2012. In July, I was featured in Etsy's Quit Your Day Job column and received a lot of kind and encouraging feedback that helped remind me why I make the artwork that I do.

Mae Chevrette, artist

In October, we adopted Chubby Boots, a sweet little guy who plays fetch and loves lounging on my studio windowsill.

meet chubby boots

Mike and I celebrated our fourth anniversary as a couple in December.

mike & me

We also both turned 25 this year. I started thinking more about my health and made a huge effort to eat healthier and treat my body better. Deciding to make this lifestyle change has had an unbelievable effect on my energy level, weight, sleep, confidence, you name it. I went from not being able to run for more than five minutes to running almost 3 miles a day. I'll run my first 5k in 2012!

2011, i love you

2011 was great, but 2012 will be even better. Personally, I want to be even more deliberate in the art that I make and more intentional in the energy I project into it and into the other areas of my life. Professionally, my goal is to develop a local presence for my artwork and become more engaged in the awesome art community in Boston. I'll travel more and create more while traveling, become more confident in seeking out work I want to do and better at saying "no" to work that doesn't feel right. I'll manage my time better so neither my artwork nor my social life will take a backseat to one another as they did many times this year. There will be more care and less clutter, more confidence and less doubt, more passion and energy and drive.

2012, it's on!


  1. Love your art, love your blog, keep following your dreams Mae :) (p.s.- I can't wait for my first print to arrive!!!)

  2. Massive congratulations on how far you have come. What a difference a year makes! You're living the future I can only dream of at the moment, so until I get there, you'd better enjoy it for me! Well done :)

  3. you're living the artist's dream! so inspiring! thanks for sharing your thoughts and work with the world - keeps the rest of non-fulltime artists (yet) going!

    1. Thanks Jennifer, I'm flattered that my ramblings inspire you :)

  4. I am honored that one of your commissioned pieces was MINE! Can't wait to get it and I am grateful for the time, energy and care you put into creating it. Reading your blog makes me are on the right track. Being intentional is what it is all about and if you know that at 25 - WOW - it took me to 35. Now at (almost) 40 I couldn't be happier. Here's to 2012 and the celebration of life, love and continued growth!

  5. a little late in reading this post, but i love your art and your inspirational story. congratulations on taking the leap - it certainly looks to be paying off!

  6. So inspiring! I love your work and your story. I'll have to save up for a Mae Chevrette original to go with my print before they get too expensive for me! Because they will, I just know it :)

    1. Thanks so much Cindy... I really appreciate your optimism ;)