Deciding to become a professional artist was not an easy decision. There is no simple path to success. It's a journey fraught with self-doubt and uncertainty.
Being selected as one of 20 finalists out of almost 4,000 artists for the Avrotros art competition "The Nude" was extremely validating. It helped to still the little voice in my head that insists that I can't paint. But the highlight wasn't being interviewed for television, standing shoulder to shoulder with my idols as an equal, or finding my picture on the front page of the Arts section of the newspaper.
The highlight of the whole experience, without a doubt, was a quiet Tuesday afternoon before the prize ceremony, when I took my two girls to the museum to see "mama's painting." They were so proud of me, and in that moment I felt worthy as a painter and as a mother.