Sue Monaghan
Sue Monaghan

I always drew, painted, and sewed growing up. I grew up with women who crafted, painted, knitted, and decorated. My mother and her friends were always trying new things so it was always natural for me to be doing the same. I was lucky to attend a high school that had everything from illustration to pottery, sculpting, metal work, life drawing, stone cutting and every kind of painting class you could desire. I got to taste every kind of art pretty young. But I also grew up in a time where creative arts were a hobby and real life was about getting a job.

SO Like most artist I spent most of my life doing something other than painting. I managed restaurants for the past 30 years. However in between spinning pizzas, and then working at Downtown Disney I always dabbled with quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, and drawing. I of course was always the manager that got to decorate the bulletin boards, came up with creative ways to motivate my crew and was always the one that doodled at manager meetings.

One year for my birthday I decided to try going to an art retreat and see what was going on in another world. This event changed my life. I bravely went by myself. I know you're thinking that someone who ran a restaurant at Disney would find this easy, but honestly it scared me to death. Would anyone want to have lunch with me, talk to me etc...but I was so looking for like-minded people I packed my bag and went. At this place I met other women who were creative, took me into their circle no questions asked and welcomed me with warmth. After those four days I knew that I wanted my life to take a different direction.

I started drawing, working on my style and painting as soon as I arrived home. I would work a 12 hour day and go home and paint for 2 more hours. I was constantly working on my skills and taking on-line classes with other mixed-media artists. My crew found out about my secret hobby and started buying and commissioning pieces from me. It took me two years but I left the management job and went back to serving. (I still serve a few days a week. Not only is the cash great, it keeps the social skills sharp).