I AM an ARTIST
I first discovered I wanted to be an artist when I was in Kindergarten. My teacher told everyone in the class that it was “free time” and we could choose any areas of the classroom to play in that we wanted. There was the science discovery area, the miniature kitchen, the reading area, the block building area and so forth, but what caught my attention were two easels with white glossy paper, big fat brushes and various jars of colored paint. My eyeballs immediately zeroed in on these two easels but then, I hesitated. Were the easels only for the “rich kids” to use? Was I permitted to use them? Needless to say I wondered my way towards them and ended painting picture after picture. I was in heaven.
Then a few years later, when I was in the 4th grade, I had a crush on a little boy named Bobby. He used to love to draw characters from the Planet of the Apes movies that were very popular at that time (yes, that gives my age away), and since I too, loved to draw, we sat next to each other and became close friends. Bobby used to draw very slow and methodical so even though he was a wonderful sketch artist, he often did not finish his projects. I, on the other hand, loved to draw and paint so much that I worked really fast with stomach churning excitement. The more I could create, the more I could create!
This part of me hasn’t changed. It’s taken me a long time to actually call myself an artist because I am constantly being told that I need to “find my voice”. I need to figure out what it is I want to create, what kind of art I want to do, and what kind of artist I want to be. I need to figure this out and stick with it but I am now in my 40′s and I am still struggling with the same advice I’ve received from numerous people throughout my life.
Why must I do just one thing? Why can’t I dabble in it all? I love to work with clays and plasters. The messier it is the better, the more I sculpt the more I want to. I love to draw in charcoals and pastels one day, and perhaps colored pencils the next. I paint like there’s no tomorrow and have recently started working in mixed media art that consists of paint, wax, glue, clay, strings, wax, fabric, paper and all sorts of things, all on a single canvas. This is what I seem to love to do the most.
I enjoy going on photo shoots and find photography and the technical aspects of my camera fascinating. Through photography I learn about composition, color, and line but I also explore and learn about the world around me. I smell the scents of the earth, the outdoors, and just everyday life. I taste possibilities and I’m inspired by what I see.
In my graphic design work I learn to communicate. How do I reach my target audiences to help promote an event, a business or an important message? I am always up for this challenge and again, I love to explore what I can do.
Ever since that day in Kindergarten I’ve always wanted to be an artist but I’ve also felt it was not in my nature to just paint pretty pictures. I had to do something with my art. Everyone on this earth has a purpose and everyone has a role that was intended for them to play. For that reason, I thoroughly enjoy sharing my art but I also enjoy giving back to my community. I believe in arts education and the healing of art.
I often wonder, is the creative self something we are born with or is it something that we nurture? I grew up with a father who constantly drew cartoon pictures of “Bugs Bunny” and he taught me to color outside the lines and to use a color palette that was outside the norm. My mother, the most creative soul I know instilled in me the heart of creativity. As each day passes, I learn more and more about her, about the creative self and about myself; my mother, the innate creator not to mention, my creator.
Through all the forms of art I can be true, I can be honest, I am whole.