My students are always asking me how I knew I wanted to be an artist/ art teacher and I always tell the that it was something that was always there. I was always drawing or creating ever since I can remember.
( If I ever find the drawing I did in first grade, I will add it to this post!)
I received the ultimate compliment the other day when my art club students remarked that art and the art club were the best part of being in school. I even had a student who is graduating ask me if she could continue private art lessons with me.
I think that the point I am trying to convey here is that however old or young a person may be, there has to be something to strive for that is generated by an innate desire, passion, or love. My passion has to do with creating. Here’s a quote I found that says exactly how I feel:
“How do you know you’re an artist?. . . You need to create as much as you need to breathe.”
—Michael Gormley, Editorial Director of American Artist Magazine.
So how do you know who you are?……….You need to do what you love as much as you need to breathe.
My life path wasn’t always an artist, however. I took the bumpy path instead of the smooth one! I started out as a designer, then a pre-school teacher, then I went back to school and became an art teacher, artist, and adjunct professor. Kind of crazy backwards.
Not that those early jobs weren’t exciting. Those jobs actually helped enrich my character. Previous to all that, I went through a period of depression because I was very unhappy and didn’t know why. The real need inside of me wasn’t being fed until I started taking ‘real’ art lessons from professionals (illustrators, sculptors, well known contemporary artists- thank you Randy Williams, Bruce and Neil Waldman, Ann Bavar, and Tom Halsall). And Tom Halsall asked me if he could hang two of my drawings and paintings in the Westchester Community College Library permanent collection! Now that’s encouragement!
My real hero though was ‘Darling’! He was the one who encouraged me to go back to school. Im so happy that he gave me that push because it gave me the courage and assurance that I was lacking and I met so many ‘art’ people that helped me find my passion and taught me traditional and contemporary methods of drawing, painting, and sculpting, that I am now giving back to my own students. I would say that’s ‘full circle’.
So for 29 more days, I am ‘creating and sculpting’ this wonderful wedding dress for my little girl who has grown into a wonderful, beautiful, loving, productive, and creative woman herself 🙂
And after the wedding is over, I can go back to my brushes and easel and begin to create that way again 🙂