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I began drawing at an extremely young age. Mostly to pass the time, but as I got older I started to turn to art as a coping mechanism. I didn't have the easiest childhood, nor has life been easy ever since. I've suffered with depression and severe anxiety on and off my entire life - AND managed to also appear as the happiest person everyone knew. Don't get me wrong, I am a naturally happy person; the smallest things can make me smile, but although there were more good days than bad days, there were certainly days that I wondered if life was even worth it. 

Depression is easy fall into and seems nearly impossible to get out of. I think the best thing I did was escape through art, sports, and my faith. I never got into drugs or hung around with the wrong crowd. I sat in my room and drew, til 4:00 in the morning sometimes, just to escape reality. On the contrary, I've also used art as a way release my emotions because ART IS AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR SOUL. Artwork truly is an insight of its creator. It's sort of like a detox, just throw it all up onto a canvas or piece of paper. I have made paintings which carry so much emotion that I cried the entire time while creating them - pieces that I will always hold close to my heart, because they remind me of something I've overcome.

It is not simple to just "be happy," but in all honesty, YOU are in control of your own happiness. I am happy because I chose to look at the hard times in a more positive way. You are not alone. My best advice to those who are struggling in similar ways that I have is to encourage you all to get out of bed and throw yourselves into your passion- every single day. It's crucial to find your purpose and a reason worth living. Life is so precious, and everyday is a miracle.