How I Did It Marlene Sanaye Yamada

The Art of Confidence: How I made art my full time career

My background is in computer science – software development, project management, and consulting. After the birth of my third son and the increased demand for business travel, I retired from my technical career, and wasn’t sure what my next steps would be. I began taking art classes through the local Parks and Recreation program, and each week I was enlivened by the experience and I became passionate about painting!

Almost immediately, I was more interested in the color transitions on my palette than on the actual painting. I continued to experiment and explore serendipitous color patterns. But this lose and relaxed “see what happens” approach to art was such a stark contrast from my former life of rigid planning, meetings, coordinating and executing. There were moments of doubt. But I stood by my intuition as an artist and trusted my hand with the brush. I pushed past the uncertainty of “where do I go from here?” and welcomed any and all surprises my art had in store for me.

Diving deeper into my art career and pursuing opportunities outside my comfort zone, like promoting my work nationally in Blink Art Resource and in Art Comes Alive (ACA) have been an incredible confidence booster! At this year’s ACA, I was honored to receive a Publishing Contract Award, a Roma Moulding Framing Award and a Purchase Award from a corporate collector. The additional exposure and newly formed relationships has propelled my art career to new heights! It’s given me the assurance I needed and the inspiration to continue exploring my talents!

As my boys get older and enter their college years the practical choice would be to go back to my prior consulting career, but I cling steadfastly to being an artist because I just can’t imagine giving it up. It’s become a part of who I am. 

Up Next: Renato Foti >