City Seattle, WA

Passion Project Painting

Age 30 something












Sharbani turned to the Passion Project Program to reconnect with her love of painting.

What made you want to start painting again?

Art is a passion I carry into many of my other passions such as food, dance and data. However, I wanted to explore the most indulgent form of art that I rarely allow myself to access and decided to create a large (3’ x 6’) painting in just one month.

Was there anything in particular that inspired or challenged you during the process?

I had forgotten how much work it takes to cultivate creativity. When trying to move forward in a painting, it can be almost paralyzing when creative juices aren’t flowing, no matter how hard you try. The process itself also often digs up profound emotional experiences. But, ultimately, painting and tapping into the truth of your emotions can be so revealing that one can be overtaken by fear. A ‘mistake’ can feel like being forced to walk naked through a crowded room to take a complicated test for which you hadn’t prepared. Embracing this vulnerability was a huge stumbling block for me.

Painting is not as straightforward as my regular work, I can try to have bias to action, testing out little pieces of color or shapes, talking through the ideas, listening to inspirational songs, re-reading journal entries, influential pieces of writings, etc. But there aren’t clear metrics to know if I’m doing a good job. Art is very subjective.

What did you enjoy most about the Passion Project Program? How did it help you complete your project?

My support team, the one I developed through The Passion Co., ended up being my biggest strength and source of courage in moving forward with my painting. We shared photos and poetry, met in-person and discussed various creative theories. From each of them, I received encouragement, constructive feedback and positive reinforcement. Without access to this type of community, I never would have succeeded.
Without The Passion Co., I fear I wouldn’t have had the courage to challenge myself, not just by reinvesting in new skills, but my thinking and prioritization of what I think is important to make myself truly happy. By embracing my true self more, I feel more complete; I’m able to be better in my other intellectual and emotional pursuits and relationships.

What's next for you? Will you continue painting?

I know I don’t want to paint full time, but by reinvigorating that part of my life, finding a way to do so even with my busy schedule, I find myself energized in other areas – both classically creative and not.

Pursue your own passion project today, learn more


Hunter Franks story about his Passion Project, Our Love

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