A No 9 to 5 And Feeling More Alive Story by STUK Founder, Brette


A No 9 to 5 And Feeling More Alive Story


My Story:

Hey, I'm Brette

What’s up ya'll it’s been awhile! So let me begin by saying: I think we all have important stories to share. When we as women speak our minds we ultimately set ourselves free. There is sooo much, as women, we do not discuss because of fear, shame, or pride. Women keep inside, stories of abuse, miscarriage, depression, and abortion - all common things that women undergo in our global community. For a long time I kept my own story private, because in our society we are conditioned not to discuss certain truths, in order make it more comfortable for others. But this blog is about putting self-love first so ima share. I think I'm a unique as an artist, because of my story. Sharing our stories also helps create unity and community, because we realize that so many women have dealt with similar struggles or just have similar stories.

So why should you take the time to read my little story?

I think I'm unique as an artist, because of my story. It's one of those "all that glitters isn't gold" stories. I grew up in Oakland, where I attended a tiny all girls high school & inevitably became a community oriented and socially conscious feminist. In High School I received great classical art training and began building my first body of work. I had my first art show there, when I was 17 & sold the entire collection! 

I continued art at Loyola Marymount University. My first week at LMU, my mentor, Dr. Mcmurdock, purchased artwork from me & hung it in the Student Health Services Office, where students receive therapy. Later I would come to find was a perfect fit for my work! At LMU I had to break away from my classical training to develop my own style as an artist. 

Seems like a great story right? 

Well, any seemingly great story comes with struggle. I look at that part of my journey as having to breakdown to build up. Which I have had to do many times in life. 

I've dealt with pretty debilitating depression most of my life, it began when I was about 15 & returned in college. It has caused many health issues & setback in my life. But at the same time I found that depression appeared in my life, I also found that art uplifted it. Many times I've come so close to just giving up on my purpose. There have been many days when I could not get out of bed, or could not find the fuel to push forward. But art get's me up. Art has always been the antidote

Art has turned my life around, at times when I thought there was no road back to joy. 

I am the only artist in my family.  I come from a family of highly successful individuals who equate success with monetary value. A family, that views art as more of a hobby, unless you are rich. Stepping out as a full time artist was NOT an easy task. It was terrifying in fact. It was kind of like jumping off of a high ledge... with no landing in sight. For a long time I tried to please, my parents, judgemental “friends”, and what and WHO society told me to be. But that didn't work. Those paths always drove me deeper into depression. Any 9 to 5's that I had didn't last long. I've put on the societal mask, unhappily gone to work, day to day on autopilot, doing what people told me to do, only to fail time and time again. So, at 26 I made a change.

I uprooted my life as I knew it.

My soul could no longer take living for anyone but myself first. So I did it! I took the leap. But it wasn't easy. My family technically wanted me to be an artist, but one who instantly became rich. So while developing into a full time artist, I was judged, and put down in all possible ways. Family members put doubt in my mind, suggesting that I should get, “a real job”. Some people who I thought were friends (at the time) vanished from my life once I finally decided to put myself and my purpose first. But I kept going. No matter how hard or how dark the road ahead. I finally realized that true and lasting bliss only emanate from your being when you are BEING your authentic self. When I began fully walking in my purpose, I met people who aligned with my path! The more authentic I became the more authentic friends I met! Now I have a strong tribe of people who believe in me and uplift me daily.

Once I took the leap and made the decision to become an artist and Non-profit owner full time, the universe blessed me with so many helpful souls along my journey. I was lucky enough to meet someone who believed in me and my artwork so much that it helped me fortify a lasting belief in myself. I, like many creatives don't come from a family who instilled that belief in me. I had to cultivate and manufacture that faith in myself, on my own. When you make an intentional and affirmative decision about you life the universe bends and sways to make it possible! Once I made an intentional choice about being an artist and everything changed.

Art lights the way down any dark path I’ve walked through in life. 

If you have depression or know anyone who struggles with it, then you know it is a lifelong struggle, and to move through it, you must find something you love. Art is my love. In my work, I am drawn to illumination in darkness. The deepest growth happens when you learn how to glow in the dark. In my work (outside of STUK DESIGNS), I depict the moon, as a symbol of light surrounded by darkness. I depict flowers, as symbols of growth and presence. Flowers teach us how to STAY in the present moment. I feel like every human being, (just like the moon and flowers) needs a heavy dose of both light and darkness to find beauty and bliss. We then need presence and self love to maintain that bliss. To heal myself from depression I had to look deep into my own darkness, family dysfunction, personal triggers, anxiety and heartbreaks, to sustain a feeling of lightness, because the only way out is through. Most of all I had to learn to love myself through the pain. Art is my form of self love. Through facing my pain in each period of depression in my life, I have emerged with more light and have become a stronger artist. I now have a unique style in which I am blessed teach and uplift others. 

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of my story! What’s your story? If you have one you wish to share please submit it to our blog HERE!

Luh ya’ll xoxo,