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03/13/2010


True Success • by Traci Bautista


We all have a calling, a passion, a gift that defines us and fuels our soul. For me that is the gift of being an artist, a creative spirit with the passion to share it with others. I have always been “artsy” from a young age, making things, from selling them at craft fairs to designing my own clothes. So it was natural for me to go to college and major in design. I had a plan, after graduating. I would get a job as a graphic designer and climb the corporate ladder — and that’s just what I did.

For seven years, I was a slave to Silicon Valley, a successful graphic designer. I worked my way up to being a Director of Marketing for various high tech start-ups as well as corporate giants like IBM. I had a very stable, high-paying CORPORATE job with full benefits … what most would say the “ideal” career. I traveled the world to manage events and teams, played in work-sponsored golf tournaments, and built Web sites for big brands like Animal Planet. But I found myself questioning what I was doing in an office, wearing business suits, sitting in meetings all day, and working in a job that I wasn’t passionate about.

Taking the Leap
In 2001, I decided to quit my job with no real plan of action and take the leap into a full-time art career. I didn’t really know what that would consist of; all I knew was that I wanted to teach art to kids and make art every day. So I became a traveling art teacher, finding any art teaching job I could. I worked in the local school district teaching art history, created summer fashion camps, worked as an artist-in-residence teaching art journaling to third and fourth graders, and taught digital art in after-school programs. When I walked through the doors and saw kids’ bright smiles and heard their laughter as they would say, “Ms. Bautista’s here, we get to make art!” I knew I had finally found my calling and had a job that allowed me to wake up saying “I LOVE what I do.” I knew I had made the right decision.

The Perfect Career
ART SAVED me from conforming to what I thought was the “ideal/safe” job and helped me build and create the “perfect” career as an artist. Being an artist has led me through an amazing journey that is continually changing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It helped me discover that it’s important to have passion for what I do. Leaving something that is stable and taking a big risk to the unknown is scary, but I truly believe that if you are doing what you LOVE only the best things follow … that is TRUE success.

Learn more about Traci Bautista at treicdesigns.com.

Comments

you're inspiring people every day, traci! what a BLAST to get to do what you love and touch other's lives :)

xoxo
jul

I really know that feeling of working in a job that seems ideal, but without passion it's pretty dull no matter what. Your story really inspires me as you took the leap and that's something I did and hope I land on my feet too! I don't know where art will take me exactly, but I'm a much happier person now and that's a huge deal! :) Thanks for sharing your story.

Great story, Traci. What a blessing that you took that leap and are now living your dreams. You are a great inspiration!

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