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Quitting work and making art from everyday objects

Heather Merritt

Lots of people daydream about ditching their jobs and doing something they truly love.

Heather Merritt is someone who did just that.

Merritt’s workday used to happen inside of a jail. She worked as a substance abuse therapist helping inmates with their addictions. These days her “work” happens at thrift stores, at artisans markets and inside her art studio.

But the leap from therapist to artist happened accidentally. Kind of. Michigan Radio’s Kyle Norris has this profile:

Merritt says she started creating her artwork as a way of coping with negativity. 

When Merritt was 34 years old, she says she came to a crossroads in her life from her success selling her artwork. She wondered if she should quit her job and become an artist full time, or continue her life as a substance abuse therapist. Merritt ended up choosing to go into art full time, a decision she said seemed crazy to people around her.

Now Merritt supports herself by selling her art internationally. One of Merritt’s favorite things is that she can take something old, beat up, and ugly and turn it into something beautiful.

You can visit her page here.

Kyle Norris is from Michigan and spent ten years as a host and reporter with Michigan Radio, the state’s largest NPR-affiliate. He lives in Seattle and works as a substitute host and producer at KNKX.
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