“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question you were probably asked many times when you were young. If you answered “a Princess, and astronaut, or the President of the United States” you weren't the only one. As kids we’re told to shoot for the stars. So why are we pressured to abandon our dreams and choose “realistic” career paths as adults? Courtney Kinnare thought she would be “dressing in business casual attire” her whole life. Now the only thing she wears is a smile and paint-covered clothes as she spends every day doing what she loves. This is the story of how Courtney broke free from career conformity to pursue her nou dream of becoming an artist.
Growing up in Encinitas, California, Courtney always had big ambitions. As a little girl, she aspired to be a singer, a marine biologist, and a crime scene investigator. While attending High School, Courtney developed a passion for creative expression and dove into photography and printmaking. But upon her acceptance into the University of California Berkeley, Courtney felt pressured to study business instead of fine arts. Society convinced her a career in corporate America was the practical choice, so in 2017 she graduated with a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. “It was looking like a future of cubicles and cold calls compared to the colorful and creative life I craved deep down. While sustainability and the environment were important values to me, I was lost in my career path and the choice between what I thought would equate to success versus what I truly dreamt of.”
After years of suppressing her creativity during college, Courtney was inspired to create a piece of artwork for a friend’s birthday. She stumbled across a Youtube video that taught her the basics of pour painting, so she decided to give it a shot. She began experimenting with resin, gold flakes, and acrylic paint and immediately received a lot of interest after posting a photo of her creation to instagram. To Courtney’s surprise, she even began selling her work and booking commission pieces months in advance. All this time, she was under the impression that “It was impossible to earn a living as an artist” and she needed a desk job to pay the bills. Yet her business, Courtney Kinnare Art, was taking off quicker than she could have ever imagined! Fast forward to today, Courtney has a beautiful painting studio in Downtown Los Angeles and is preparing for her upcoming exhibit, Heat Wave—A collection which aims to unveil the vast beauty and varying landscapes of the desert. Now if you asked Courtney what she wants to be when she grows up, she won’t settle for society’s idea of normalcy. She’ll say, “I dream big—I want to make it into international galleries and shows and spread my art across the world in so many different forms.”
Ok so maybe you don’t want to be a Princess, an astronaut, or the president of the United States anymore. Your interests may have changed, but that doesn’t mean you should stop believing that dreams can come true. Take it from Courtney, “Keep trying new things and don’t settle. Turning your passion into a career is achievable if you really put your mind to it and give it your all. The worst thing that can happen is that you fail...But then you pivot and try something new.” We’re only given this one life, so you owe it to the child inside of you to dream in color. After all, in the words of Jim Carey, “You can fail at doing what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
If you're interested in keeping up with Courntey, check out @courtneykinnare.art on instagram!
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