Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



good life by olya schmidt

Part of cultivating a good life is taking a leap of faith, no matter how scary it is.

On March 5th, 2012, and on what seemed to be the most average day, I made a decision that forever changed my life. I took a leap of faith and decided to finally go after what I dreamed of doing.

I was flipping through a local newspaper when I saw a call for artists to submit their work for an art exhibit. The show was two months away and the deadline for submissions was in just a few days.

Normally, I would dismiss even a thought of jumping into anything like this so boldly, but that day something inside me sparked and I {bravely} decided to go for it. Of course, doubts started to set in, “I’m not ready for this,” “Only real artists participate in art shows,” “I don’t have any pieces ready,” “Why am I even dreaming of doing it?” But even with all those insecurities, I decided to take this opportunity regardless of how scared I felt. This was something I dreamed of doing ever since I was little, and I knew in my heart that the feeling of regret for not going after this when I had the chance would be worse than any feelings of self-doubt. The quote “Leap and the net will appear” bounced in my head, and so with thinking that I’ve got nothing to lose, I signed up for that art show.

That was my first exhibit and a foundation of my art career. Since then I took on other (scary) opportunities such as live painting competitions, anonymous art shows, urban sketching, custom pet portraits, and more, and I can now happily say that I make art for a living.

James Cameron commented, “There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they over thought it or they were too cautious and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.” I realized that my “someday” was never going to happen if I didn’t do something about it. So each time I think that I’m too small to take on something big, I push myself through my fears and take a leap of faith because it is the only way to make things happen.

Note from Becky

I so appreciate Olya’s words. There have certainly been times in my life where I took a big leap of faith and had I not made those choices that felt sometimes terrifying or downright crazy, some of my greatest blessings may not have come about. Now I can’t imagine life without risk – and sacrifice, for that matter.

I knew of Olya through Instagram. I knew she was an artist, a Project Lifer, and a sweetheart. I could just tell. And then… our team got to meet her at the CHA trade show this past January. She really IS a sweetheart! Besides her kind nature, she even painted a sweet portrait of our dog Oreo, which totally melted my heart. We love that Olya is a part of the Project Life family and we’re so grateful for this experience she shared.

Connect with Olya  ::  Website  |  Instagram  |  Facebook


4 Responses

  1. Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is to be brave!
    Great post, Olya, thanks for sharing.

  2. Rhonda says:

    This is such a great message!!!something I. Totally need to take to heart more!!!

  3. Sarah says:

    Why everyone fawns over her and her “art” is beyond me. Her paintings look like something my four year old could do with his eyes closed. She’s obsessed with having everyone like her – get over yourself.

  4. Kassie says:

    Wow. After reading the last comment I had to check out Olya’s art. She’s definitely more talented than a 4 year old. What a mean-spirited comment. So sad.
    Olya, I love your work, especially your little animals! Keep painting!