Our only choice is how we react to them.


"Get into the real world!"yelled my mom from our trailer's narrow hallway.

This happened where I fell through the floor, and close to where we found a possum hiding behind our toaster. That's when I knew, my life wouldn't be limited by its external circumstances and I  would

keep dreaming.


I grew up as a farmer and developed arthritis by age 15.

Life was difficult because my mom let my dad drink 12 beers daily. So, my grandparents raised me.

But when my grandpa's lungs collapsed,

my college grades collapsed.


 I saw he spelled “hammer” wrong on his toolbox.


Yet, he taught himself how to build a pool complete with a filtration system among other things.


I wondered, “What if I learn a random skill?


After my grandpa died,

I chose painting and hated it at first.


For five years,

I woke up at 5:00AM to paint before work and never sold anything.

What kept me going was the belief that small steps make big changes.


I've gone from hiding my art in the closet, 

to having over 25,000

people see my art daily!


When I started making murals...

Image by Erik van Anholt

my dad said, "you went to college and now you're painting walls?!"


Self-belief is trusting you're on the right path, without evidence

to prove it.

That's how I left a job that had me asking,


"How many hours until

Friday 5:00 PM?"

Yet, my work has never been in an art gallery!

Dozens of gallery rejections made a muralist.

Painting well

isn't a gift, it's earned.

All images © Ana Valentine.

All rights reserved.

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All artwork copyright Ana Valentine 2021

(Off Instagram to read books.)