Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Little of the Backstory . . .

(Zoom for full poem)
". . . you were meant to be happy."
automatic writing typed on a Polaroid. -me

Today marks the second day of spring. I started this blog 3 months ago with the intent to connect with others, share my creative life, my process, my discoveries, my journey - and hopefully inspire others along the way. Then I realized I just jumped right in without any sort of introduction. I'm a little backwards and upside down like that sometimes. For those just visiting or those who've been with me since the beginning:

A Little About Me (At this Moment in Time).

My name is Carissa. I live in Florida with my two cats and creative partner (he writes and makes music.) I grew up wandering the streets and markets of this little town called Mt. Dora. Since birth I have always been curious, mischievous and creative but I just realized not to long ago - I am an artist. More on this discovery later. I'm still wandering but I realize my purpose on earth is to create and be of service in some way. This is what I dream of - writing, illustrating, painting, connecting, growing, inspiring. I realize there's plenty others like me, and they inspire me greatly! Those who know me in "real life" say I'm already inspiring them. It's funny how easy it is to look past or downplay our little achievements.

Why I Make Art.

Aside from the utter joy I feel when my hands are covered with paint and inspiration is all a flutter - I create first and foremost to explore myself. To connect with something far greater and expansive than I could ever be. Sort of like meditation. I try to document all the little messages and things I "hear." I'm eager to Listen, Learn, Share and Grow. I'm learning more and more about myself as an artist (and a woman) this year.

Making Art and Journaling Has Been Huge for Me.

It helped me get to the root of so many things - Being raised by an alcoholic, an eating disorder, self sabotage, addiction. I'm still human, still constantly trying to stay balanced but I'm leaps and bounds better than I was in my very early 20's. I'll be turning 30 next year which used to seem frightening, but now looking back - my 20's is actually whats frightening.

Not too long ago, after many years of dragging out the decision, I decided to dump the negative people in my life and immediately everything propelled forward. It was like this invisible anchor had been cut free. I learned to set boundaries and sail brave and free across uncharted waters.

I've started my life over from absolute zero, square one, blank chalkboard with squeaky wheels rolling in the room - at least 3 times. I've walked down many dark roads, read countless self help books, tried self-hypnosis, and lots of yoga. I still love a good rainy day with Sark. Always. These things combined with art and some brave decisions saved my life. There's invisible hands at work here too, I can't forget. It all sounds well and good, but trust me I've fallen off track many times. I'm being completely honest because I enjoy the same honesty in others. I don't want to filter out the truth of who I am and where I come from.

Art = Self Help.

Exploring my tiny world.

As a child I read "The Diary of Anne Frank." It inspired me to write about my childhood struggles growing up with an alcoholic mother. Mothers are so important to little girls, but that's a whole other story. This I must tell - One day in a drunken rage my mom took pile of my poetry, writings, doodlings, and drove them to a dumpster. When I got home she was stumbling around screaming, "I can't believe the things you wrote about me. It was all a bunch of garbage. I drove them to a dumpster." My heart still hearts a little when I think about "The Lost Journals." I have a big-big soft spot for journaling and writing and I want to develop myself as a writer, despite the fact my first achievements were thrown in a heap of rotting waste.

I spent a lot of time going down some dark paths, but around age 25 or so I started sewing (and coincidentally mending my life.) I went back to school for Graphic Design. I had a few really passionate teachers but the school lost funding, they were fired, and I dropped out. I've never really been much of a school type, but I did enjoy working with other passionate people. Since the end of 2008 I have been obsessed with Painting and Illustration. Mixed media is great because I can combine ALL OF MY LOVERS into one.

My Recipe Card:

So here I am now, 29 and still trying to figure this "thing" out. I'm quite naive, scared, brave, honest, and learning to stay true. I have found my home in art and feel so comfortable here.

If you've made it this far - thanks for following my journey. I hope I haven't said too much. Up to this point I've met so many incredible people through the online world and blogosphere, and this is only the beginning!

Always more honesty moving forward.

With Love,


  1. Carissa, I love that you're so open, and really do know what makes you happy at such a young age. It took me about 20 more years than you to figure all of this out. I'm glad that I met you and hey--I love your new header!

  2. More people should be like you Carissa,No surprises,this is me,like it or don't. I have become friends with people in life only to come and find out that they are so differert when you get to know them,its like little things come out here and there. Or you hear things that they said or did. Almost like they put on masks and slowly reveil themselves. I'm more like you,I where my heart on my sleeve,like me or don't!
    I go to mt dora to antique for my store. I love it there.Thanks Carissa for sharing alittle about yourself!

  3. hello! happy to have found your blog on this spring day when you've introduced yourself. very excited to meet another artist on her creative journey. thank you for sharing and feel free to stop by my blog sometime and say hello:) your artwork is absolutely beautiful and so emotive. thank you for being so inspiring. xoxo, juliette

  4. I totally love your blog banner - hell yeah! After reading this post - so touching - I feel like many of us may have had similar experiences of trying to find ourselves and starting over many times over in life. You are not alone and it's fabulous you are sharing your story with all of us. I think it's all part of the journey in life and we just have to remember to enjoy the ride too! And - you are definitely a beautiful bold brave bodacious babe!

  5. thank you all for the love, i send it right back around to you!
    with love,

  6. WOW..Carrisa Paige....this is so awesome...beautifully and honestly written!! The "lost" journals will become a plus for is already pushing you to more writing and beautiful to see what is blooming in you!! Something greater is reaching deep in you to pull out what was perfectly created....."He formed your inward parts...He wove you in your Mother's womb..."Psalm 139:13 ...I have had counseling for an abusive uncle....and my self worth was destroyed as a child....but there are precious words I cling to and KNOW my worth today!! I'm SOO proud of you and will keep you in my prayers! AWESOME!!

  7. Carissa,
    I love what you've written here . . . I can tell that you, your blog and your art are all going to do VERY well. You are a brave, brave girl - which I admire greatly. I know you love SARK, but surely you know Sabrina Ward Harrison's work too? Her artful poetic style reminds me of your honesty . . . just wanted to share her with you just in case you hadn't heard of her. And let me know when your ETSY shop is off hiatus.....


I love to hear your comments, feedback, stories, inspiration, or anything else you share!