How did I become an artist? October 12, 2015 12:19

I was always a creative person but, I never in a million years imagined myself here. As an artist. I am someone who loves to learn new things, Start new projects and discover something new. I am the consummate traveler. It doesn’t usually matter what, but the act of learning is addictive.

In school I studied interior design with the need to combine creativity with technical skills. I had a passion for art and design but satisfied that with art history and space planning. I learned technical drafting but I can’t draw.

After school my husband joined the military and we jetted off overseas. I went into admin and travel to make a living. In 2011 we moved onto a sailboat with the idea of traveling the world. This limited my creative space so I began attending a Sunday afternoon painting gathering. It was as much a social activity as a creative one. Unlimited paint and canvas for 4 hours for 30$. I started with watercolors because they just didn’t seem as intimidating. They were child’s tools. I started by tracing photographs telling myself I was just practicing.

I learned more about color in those days than I ever did in school. I learned how to mix and layer. And kept things from being scary or intimidating by just practicing.

Fast forward a year or two and a continent away. I had just been fired from my ID job and was feeling pretty low about myself. I had some canvas and acrylic paint. I traced a horse photograph I liked and just painted my heart into the color on the canvas. When it was done I stood back and was shocked. I remember being amazed at what happened. It was profound.

That is how I became an artist. I started teaching myself technique using my own sense of color. Struggling with staying loose and composition. I applied my design lessons and studied with online courses. I started experimenting and adding techniques to my own.

There were failures. There were days when I hated what was in front of me. I was sure my first painting was a fluke, but creativity and artistry is a muscle that has to be exercised to be strong. I just pushed through it. There are paintings that I look at now and all I can see is the struggle and fight that had to happen to complete it and that it ok.

It is so important to remember that anyone can be creative. It takes practice.

The first time I could say the words I am an artist and not feel like an imposter is when that first painting and another pieces was featured in a museum exhibit. I dropped it off then sat in my car and cried.

This is who I am on canvas. Developing and experimenting with every piece. Every piece reflects my personality and is about creating discovery. It is a study of my strength and weaknesses.