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09/04/2011


Blossomed • by Victoria Hayden


Victoria HaydenPlanting Seeds ...
Since I can remember, I have loved to create. Nothing gives me greater joy and peace than when I am creating with my hands, my imagination ... my soul. Art has always been such an importance in my life of defining who I am.

Growing up in a family of six kids, a child’s individuality can get lost. Being known as the creative and artistic child helped to make me feel unique and special from my siblings. I can’t tell you that my childhood was full of happiness and love. I would say growing up, there were many trials that I experienced and learned to become a stronger person from them. For me, art saved and helped to give me an identity when at times I felt lost. I was not raised in a home full of praise and positive reinforcement. Many times I felt very insecure of who I was and what value I brought to this world. What I did know is, I felt most confident when I was creating … I was in my element, my safe and happy place. Through art, I could escape the hurt and reality around me.

Over the years and into my adolescence, whenever a teacher, friend, or family member gave me a compliment on my creativity, I felt the tiny seeds of confidence being planted. Little did I know how important these seeds were to me, so that I could grow and believe in myself!

Growing ...
Starting off as a young adult, I met my first husband at 19. Looking back, I realized how much I settled. I so needed to feel validated and loved as a person and here was someone who told me how wonderful I was … this was new to me. We married a few years later when I was 22. Life at the time seemed good and I knew I wanted to be a mom. Within a few months, I was pregnant with a baby girl. I was overjoyed at the thought of having a daughter. I wanted to be able to give her the praise and love I had not received. I did not grow up with my birth mother, so I now had an opportunity to have a mother/daughter relationship with my own daughter.

I found myself even more needing to create. Throughout my pregnancy, I began making baby quilts, dresses, bedding, and décor for this baby that was coming. I felt content and happy. Through my art I could show her the love that I so had longed for as a child. I wanted her to feel special and know how loved she was.

During my eighth month of pregnancy I woke one morning to find my world turned upside down. My then husband, who had been going through many different health problems throughout our relationship, was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Over the next few years I learned that no matter how much you love someone, you can’t help someone unless they want to help themselves. Many suicide attempts, years of living in craziness, stress, and worry about the safety of my children and myself finally led me to pursue a divorce.

I now found myself being a single mom at 25 with two children, ages two and six months old. This was a very trying time for me. I was grateful that those seeds of confidence had been planted and was there when I needed to use them the most. I needed to believe that I would get through this trial, but most importantly that my children were the priority and that we would get through this together.

I was fortunate enough to have great support from my aunt and uncle who have always been an important part of my life. They gave my two children and me a home with love and stability. I found myself becoming stronger and more confident with each passing day. With my aunt and uncle helping to care for my children, I was able to bring in income working part-time.

Soon my children and I were able to move into our own home. It wasn’t anything spectacular. In fact many of my friends and family who knew how particular I am were shocked that I was going to live in this little, outdated mobile home. For me, it was a new beginning and what they saw as nothing, I saw beyond and saw possibility. I began creating again. Little by little I turned an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. I used lots of imagination, repurposing, and creativity on a very tiny budget. The confidence I found with each artistic project helped me to believe in myself even more. It was a very rewarding feeling when the vision I had came to life. With the heartache I felt during a trying time in my life, I could see myself growing through my art.

In Bloom ...
As my confidence grew I decided it was time to further my education. I enrolled in college. One of the classes I was taking was an oil painting class. I had always been in drawing classes through middle school and high school, but creating in this medium was new to me. I loved this class and looked forward to each opportunity I had to attend. As I painted, I found myself being lost in my art, something I hadn’t quite experienced before. I spent many late nights once my children were asleep painting. The hours would go by so quickly before I would realize that I too needed sleep. Those nights were very healing on my heart and I found working in this medium to be my stress relief as well. I felt my soul connected with my canvas. It was a magical feeling and I knew I was just now blooming as an artist.

Blossomed!
Looking back on those years, I am amazed at the trials I have endured but grateful to see how far I have come. I have grown as an artist and person in so many ways. I have since remarried and we will be celebrating 12 happy years of marriage this coming February. I now get to enjoy sharing my life with my best friend. We also have been blessed with five amazing kids that are each unique in their own special way! Art has become an even greater part of my life. I am more confident in myself and I now know I do have a lot to offer in this world. With releasing my first design collection this year, I feel this is only the beginning of what is still ahead! When I think about the future as an artist/designer and what artistic avenues I can create in, it seems endless. Art always has and always will continue to be my safe and happy place. “I am the happiest when I am creating and I finally feel I have blossomed!”

To learn more about Victoria Hayden, visit whimsybyvictoria.com.

Comments

Inspiring and uplifting, Victoria. You are a strong, brave, creative woman. I admire who you are and how you express your creative talents.

Vickie~ You are such a strong, beautiful and creative woman. I always look forward to seeing your creations. Love you!

what a beautiful story, victoria and i'm so happy to read the "happily ever after!" you should be very proud of yourself.

sending hugs your way, always

xo
elyse

What a great, inspiring story!

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