I knew I’d be an artist and a writer someday, since early childhood, but as it is for many women, my life took many detours. It would take over 40 years to manifest my dream of writing a book and sharing my creativity with the world.
When I was young I was always writing and drawing ~ journals, diaries and scrapbooks were my constant companions, as were “cool” pens, papers, stamps, envelopes, and sketch pads ~ but my artistic ability went unnoticed by the outside world. I was guided instead towards developing my math, science and verbal skills. I was a “smart” girl all through school and opportunities for creativity were sparse. I learned to follow the rules and scripts set before me and do as I was told. High school and college were much the same. Next came marriage, motherhood and a strong intent on my career. Before I knew it, many decades had passed and childhood fancies of living an artistic life were abandoned.
It wasn’t until my mid-life transition during my early 40’s that I re-discovered my early childhood passions. In my late 30’s I had been collecting art supplies and displaying them in pretty vignettes in a room above my garage. I didn’t know why. I just liked the look and feel of the materials. But when they reached critical mass I realized I had subconsciously created an art studio. To cope with a painful divorce, I began to draw what I was feeling during so much transition and change. I drew to heal myself and to rediscover the merits of my creativity. In addition, I learned my expression could serve others. I didn’t know it but I had started creating my book and realizing my dream.
The first “pinwheel girl” was born during this time ~ a character I created to help women move successfully through seven stages of transition. The Pinwheel Girl stars in my book, The Pinwheel Girl Takes Flight ~ Every Woman’s Journey Through Seven Stages of Transformation, which features over 100 of my illustrations and poetic, inspiring “messages from the wind.” Published in July, 2008 (when I was 46) and launched at the Chicago Merchandise Mart, it has appeared on local television, is sold through my website www.pinwheelgirls.com/products and has a growing following. Faced with many barriers, restrictions, naysayers, sexism, stalled plans, lack of funding, stereotypes, and resistance, I persevered and took each challenge as a personal test of my conviction to realize my dream and be true to my authentic self. But what is most important to me are the individual women who now share their own transition stories with me as a result of meeting the Pinwheel Girl through my book. My dream to become an author and an artist came true and now I am helping other women make their come true, too, with what I have created.
The Pinwheel Girl is a new icon for womanhood. I created her as a metaphor for the inner voice of every woman who has ever had to pretend to be less than she truly is. She symbolizes how we are often stuck on stick, like a pinwheel, spinning endlessly in a circle going nowhere, but who, with grace and determination, jumps off the stick she is stuck to, births herself free, and flies into her magnificence. On her journey thrugh 7 stages of transformation she encounters "messages from the wind" which she shares as affirmations for women everywhere. She encourages women to be true to themselves, to live the life they love and want, and to pursue their dreams fearlessly. The Pinwheel Girl tells the story of Every Woman.
"...sing all your colors as you soar sweetly upward across the sky into your own magnificence…there the view is beautiful…to get there, begin to dream again…"
Stage 5, Ascension, The Pinwheel Girl Takes Flight
Dreams do come true, even after 40…I’ll meet you in the Sky!