Hi, I’m Tilena.

As a homeschool child, my mother put me in every extracurricular class under the sun. When I was 6, I was put in an art class and absolutely loved it. After that, I made sure to be put in an art class every year. From when I was homeschooled (grades 1-4), in middle school, and in high school.  As I got older, I would use it as a way to escape the overwhelming stress of life. I would let all my emotions flow out onto paper. I’ve always found it so relieving to express myself through art, and turn my thoughts into something visual and beautiful.

Creating is extremely important to me and my mental health. When I was around 10, my parents got a divorce. Although it was for the best, the stress of it went on for years and years and really took a toll on me. The stress almost felt never-ending. The awkward living arrangements, the tears, the arguments, the extreme budget cuts. Everything added up. This was hard for me, especially being an only child, which made me feel a lot more alone in the struggle.

High school then came, which can be such a cruel place. Whispers in the hall of how you’re “not good enough”,  “not fit enough”, “not smart enough”, etc. They may just be words, but they settle in your mind for a very long time and reflect on the way you treat yourself and talk to yourself throughout your life. Me, being very weak at that time, listened to these things and took them to heart. I started to feel so unloveable, alone, gross and damaged. Throughout all the years of hardships, I started to develop depression and anxiety. It felt like every little negative thing that happened in my life, kept adding bricks to the wall I built between me and happiness. 

Luckily I had my art classes. In high school, I had the most amazing art teacher who believed in me endlessly. It was such a new and refreshing feeling. She gave me so much hope and made me feel like I had a purpose. She pulled out a light in me that I had never seen shine before. I realized how deeply thankful I was for art. Choosing to have people around who I believed in and who believed in me, truly saved me. I grew confidence and started to knock down some of those bricks in the wall that I built up over the years. It was crazy how a small joyful hobby, led me to the right people and to a slice of mental freedom. 

In time, I started to get tired of being a sad story. I decided that it was time to make my LIFE a work of art. I began to take control of my life, and make positive changes. I started eating healthy, working out 5-6 days a week, hiking, taking care of my health, taking care of my home and the things I owned very thoroughly. Once I moved out, I became a huge minimalist. Everything I own has a purpose. My space, my routine, my schedule, everything is well thought out and organized.

I finally started to feel an abundance of self-love. I finally grasped the confidence to share my art with others, and genuinely feel the admiration when they display my work in their homes. Art has always been there for me through all the ups and all the downs. It’s been more than just a hobby, It has been my savior.

By sticking with the things that brought me joy, surrounding myself with the right people, and embracing my passion, it truly made a big difference in my life. Never give up on what makes you smile, or what makes you – YOU. Those little things that bring you joy, could one day be the thing that inspires you to make a big and beautiful life change. 

I create minimalistic art to resemble beauty in the little things. We should all take the time to appreciate the things that bring us joy. They’re more powerful than you think. Slow down, breathe and embrace simplicity. 

– Tilena Read “

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