When you encounter Sandra's warm, infectious smile you can't even imagine there could ever have been a time that it didn't exist. She is a painter and her paintings are vibrant and melancholy, frivolous and contemplative. This paradoxical melange describes Sandra as well. Behind her sweet smile lies peaceful introspection, thoughtful curiosity. She's been sober for a little over a year and feels that painting is the thing that can lead her to a meditative state.
Sandra loved making art as far back as she can remember, but she didn't pursue it seriously until college. She explored different mediums: screen printing, photography, metalsmithing. She wasn't sure which would stick but she knew she wanted to make her living from making art. Her addiction really took hold after college, and she began to develop a cynicism around her art. Her previous idealistic confidence had been replaced with feelings of worthlessness and victimhood. Addiction not only changes your priorities, but it clouds your core desires so you don't even recognize them anymore.
Now that she's sober, she feels more inspired than ever. She believes in herself again but has redefined her expectations. She's no longer attached to success or recognition as an outcome, but has fallen in love again with the process of self-expression. Sandra thinks again about making a living from her art some day, but right now she's satisfied with filling her time and her soul with paint.