The year that I turned 30, a beautiful lady by the name of Layna took an electric needle to the inside of my right wrist and tattooed the words "Be Brave". I wanted these words permanently drawn onto my body because as the sun set on the last day that I would be 'in my 20's' I wasn't thinking about all that I had accomplished, I was thinking about all of the regrets that I had.
I made a list on the back of a discarded receipt of all the things that I wanted to do before I turned 31, and before the clock struck midnight I made a pledge to myself, that I would say yes to all of the things that scared me.
So, when one of my friends asked me if I wanted to audition for a 1970's cover band, I sad "yes" even though it terrified me so much that I had a mild panic attack; I have been singing my heart out with "The Susie French Connection" ever since that audition, and it is one of my greatest joys.
When I was asked if I wanted to submit a painting to be shown along side some of my most favorite artists in Atlanta I couldn't believe that my lips and tongue said "YES!" whilst I felt the sweat beads form on my forehead; But I was so proud to walk into General Assembly in Ponce City Market and immediately see someone taking a photo of MY artwork. (Thanks, Ray) It was such a thrilling feeling and so encouraging that I kept making art afterward, every day; not for anyone, just for myself.
When I was 29 I ran into one of my favorite Instagrammers at a coffee shop and I felt so awkward that instead of just saying “Hi, my name is Lynne”, I left…without my cappuccino!
I kept thinking about that day over and over because it seemed so silly. Why was I afraid to talk to them? Because I think they’re too awesome to acknowledge me? Because I think they won’t like me? Because they’re actually a unicorn? (side note it was Courtney Pilgrim, who is now my friend and I can tell you that she might actually be part Unicorn, so at least that was a legit fear)
So, anyway, to avoid another moment like the coffee shop failure, I decided that I would reach out to some women in Atlanta that intimidated me because of my admiration for them. I would write them all a letter to tell them how much I admired them from afar and ask them if they wanted to hang out with some other creative, business-minded women and expand their social circle. Do you want to know something awesome? THEY ALL SAID YES. Every one of them. And 2 1/2years later I can tell you that it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Being Brave was working.
“Lynne Paints the Ladies” happened because, honestly, I have had a shittastic year. My entire world has been flipped upside down, personally, professionally, you name it. But the most magical thing that has happened over this tumultuous time is that I have had my friends rally for me. They have inspired me to pick up my broken heart and get moving, get inspired and get working again.
The women that I have met in Atlanta have made me better.
They have inspired me, healed me, taken my picture to show me how beautiful I am through their eyes, they tag me on motivational quotes on Instagram, text me just to find out how my Wednesday is going and let me know that they are there for me if I need a hug, a drinking buddy, or advice on how to write this blog post (thanks, Kelley).
Through “lynne Paints the Ladies” I want to celebrate the Atlanta ladies that I adore. I want to explore what it means to be a creative woman and I want to keep adding amazing ladies to my tribe.
I invite you to email me lynnepaints@gmail , reach out to me on Instagram @lynnepaintstheladies or if you see me on the street say “Hey!”, I want to meet as many inspiring women as I can and share their stories.
Much love, Lynne