Notes From The Universe...


What is an artist, after all?

I'm not sure what made me think I could become a jewelry designer. And yet here I sit, I've just created a blog to outline my daily attempts - sometimes hits, sometimes misses - at creating something that another person would want to wear. It seems somehow odd to me that I, of seeminly no artistic talent, could accomplish such. And yet it happens. Over & over again.

I don't remember when, why, or even HOW I became interested in doing what I do now. I love what I do, but it's been an interesting evolution in a manner of speaking I suppose. I think somewhere deep down I've always had a love for this kind of thing, but never in a million years dreamed that I'd be able to do it myself. Look, drool, and pine over gorgeous works that I've seen others create? Sure! But create myself? Are you kidding?!?

I think the roots of it may very well go back to an amazing art teacher I had in high school... Mrs. G. Well, actually, probably further back than that to start. With my wonderful Mom. She encouraged me when I was a youngster.... reading, writing, drawing, painting. The whole gamut. Any wild-hair I got about wanting to try something crafty or artistic, I was encouraged to pursue. I'm 35 years old & I'm quite sure my mom still has every last little scrap of any form of 'art' that I created for her stashed away in her hope chest... which I think just happens to be my old pink wooden toy box that my granny had made for me. My mom is a very crafty, artistic, gifted person. I, on the other hand, never felt that way. I think I felt relatively intelligent, and I enjoyed reading & writing... and I enjoyed creating my little works of 'art', I just didn't feel like I was talented. Seems like my Mom was always working on something crafty. The woman can make the most adorable holiday snowmen out of tube socks, lentils, some buttons, and hair clippings from a Great Pyrenees dog. No, I'm not joking. At all. LOL. So that is where it all started. But, I've digressed a bit....

I am not a talented drawer, painter, or sculptor. But in order to graduate high school it was required that we complete two credits in Art. Oy. What was I going to do? Sheesh. "Studies In Still Life".... "Advanced Charcoal Techniques" .... "Painting With Oils - Intermediate to Advanced Students" ... these were the kinds of choices outlined in the art class listings. Where in the world were "Play Dough For Dummies" or "Paper & Paste - Beyond Kindergarten: They Aren't Just For Snacking"? Those were more my speed. I was mortified at the thought of having to take an art class, surrounded by a bunch of 'arty' kids who were waaaaay more talented than me, working in their handy dandy little sketch pads on pencil or charcoal renditions of fruit in bowls. I was horrified. Oh, the agony. What would be the least embarrassing? To display how terrifically untalented I was at pencil, at charcoal, or in oils?

Ah...... but then Mrs. G, sweeeeet Mrs. G, came to the rescue of those of us who are artistically challenged & created a class called 'Crafts & Design'. Basically an art class for those of us who weren't what would be considered 'artistic' in the traditional sense. When I first saw an overview of what the class entailed I was still skeptical. And still scared to death. Didn't I have to have SOME KIND of artistic ability to set foot in an art classroom? Leaded glass, coiled pots, basket making, using the potters wheel... these were just a few of the subjects mentioned in the course synopsis. I was fully prepared to be the laughing stock of an art class, but thought maybe this type of class would harbor a few others like myself. Hopefully I'd be in like-minded, or 'talent-lacking', company.

Well, interestingly enough, that class piqued my interest in a wide-array of 'arty' areas. I was even able to take an advanced version of the class that was offered the following year in order to complete my second art credit. I received awards at our school art fairs for my works on the potters wheel as well as my leaded glass work. It was refreshing. Encouraging. Exciting.

Thanks Mrs. G, wherever you are. You opened my eyes to a whole new world of 'art'. And thanks, most of all, to my Mom. She encouraged me to pursue those things even when I didn't feel like I had the talent.

Ultimately, I think what I've finally come to learn over the years is simply this: Art can take many forms. It's not simply pencil and ink, charcoal, or even oils on canvas. It's not just Michelangelo's work in the Cistine Chapel, or Monet, or Picasso, or any number of other great artists out there. It is so much more than that. To me, art is at it's very core, simply an expression of oneself, and that expression comes out in many, many different ways. An infinite amount of ways.

So, this cowgirl's hat's off to all of the 'artists' out there. The next time you look at something another person has created & you're secretly wishing that you were that talented, know that you are. Just remember that we're ALL artists in our own way. So find YOUR passion. Find what makes you happy. And just pursue it. Even if the rest of the world never ever sees it. Do it for yourself. You just might be amazed at the satisfaction it can bring you.

No comments: