I was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. My parents were born in Serbia, married very young, had my sister, then me, and my brother all a year apart. They worked very hard and often struggled to give us a great childhood (although we would not learn of their hardships until we were much older). They raised us with morals and values that seem rare in our society today.
Coming from a bilingual and dual culture home, I often struggled with my identity as a child and teenager. I didn’t like being different from other children at school, and having different traditions. As I grew older, I came to appreciate those differences; they made me more curious and accepting of other cultures and other people, and today I am thankful to have had such a unique upbringing.
Currently I live in Chicago. I began my career as an artist later in life; I was discouraged from pursuing a career as an artist in my earlier years. I respected my parents' hard work too much to defy them to pursue my passions, and I chose to follow their advice and suggestions. Ten years later, still unhappy in my field of work, I slowly began to pursue a degree in studio arts.
Today I am a certified art teacher and artist, working to encourage our youth to develop their own artistic habits and intrinsic appreciation of the arts, while still pursuing my own passions in my personal artwork. While I am emerging, I am strong and resilient, ardently immersing myself in my endeavors as a working artist.
I have struggled financially, faced immeasurable hardships when switching careers, felt alone and helpless at times. Although the journey has been long and difficult, I have never been as intoxicatingly happy in my career and life as I am today. I believe that I am not built to live a traditional life, and so I continue to pursue the extraordinary, by appreciating small moments, welcoming change, and searching for new experiences and inspiration.
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