CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J.– Rebecca Russo of Cliffside Park has always considered herself an artist. It's just taken her three decades to get comfortable with it.
"I spent most of my life running from art and hiding from it and creating these obstacles within my process that didn't need to be there," she said. "Now I spend most of my time looking to run to art, to my sketchbook."
Russo, 30, planned to continue her studies after college, but the birth of her son, Hunter, put everything on hold.
Now that Hunter and daughter Paisley are school-aged, "I have taken this on as a way for me to begin my career as an artist," she said. "It has given me more time and freedom for myself."
Russo took to Instagram – using the handle " cigarettesandkale " – to share her drawings.
"It's my virtual gallery," the Ridgefield native said. "Instagram has been a great place for me to sell artwork and network with other artists and fans."
"I knew it was time for me to offer myself to the world and also provide for my family the way my husband has been doing for the last seven years."
"The irony is that's how I began making art as a kid," Russo said. "I didn't have a studio oil paints and nice brushes of sorts – I just had my social studies notebook and a pen. Anyone who knows me knows my classroom notebooks didn't have anything but drawings.
"What I love most about art is the language of it, one that speaks without words or equations," Russo said. "I find art to be a heightened sense of the world and one self."