A couple days ago on my walk to work I suddenly remembered one of my former art teachers. It was a weird flashback – I totally forgot the name of the teacher- all I remember is that he just finished art school and he was this bohemian guy…black jeans, black shirt, black thick framed glasses, some schal around his neck, black hair and pale. I was 15 – so it was 1988 and as far as I remember I liked art lessons in school…but it wasn’t really too thrilling. Most of the times we would look at paintings of old masters and think about what the artist wanted to tell you with this painting or we would learn other theory stuff.
Then there was this art teacher…we all were totally in Love with him. He was so fun.We were aloud to actually walk around in class and talk to each other while trying all kinds of mediums and tools and actually do stuff. One day he brought in a camera and took portrait photos of us and then a couple weeks later he came in with several projectors and we all projected our own slide onto the wall and started painting in chalk our own portrait. I remember my portrait had a big shadow on one side of the face as the lightning for the photos wasn’t that good and I was really really sad…he came and said “don’t worry…just paint something else into your face- ask your inner self what you see in that shadow” and I painted a tree growing out of my face. I loved this painting so much and I was soo proud of myself. One day he came in with big tubes of Acrylic Paint and let us paint whatever we wanted – forms over and over on big rolls of paper. I painted eyes over and over and then I picked an area which I liked the most and cut it out. I had fun while doing them- I felt free and happy. I can’t find the chalk painting- I don’t know where I put it after moving several times- but while looking for it …I found the eye piece….I’m sure some of you think it is ugly…I don’t care…LOL – I still love it…it has memories…happy memories!
He was only there for a semester …he gave me confidence that I was talented and he had me find fun in art. When he was gone we were all sad but I looked forward to our new teacher and the lessons. The first lesson came and we were supposed to draw our eraser with a pencil – I did. The art teacher looked at my drawing and said ” you have no talent for art” ….and I was so disappointed but I belived it and I was done….I never felt free and happy with art again….until many years later….I just thought I was not the artsy type of person and I had no talent at all. I forgot that I had fun with paint the semester before. When I look at the eye painting…I see that my Love for paint has been there all the time. How fun that I found it again just now.
What I want you to tell with this story? Don’t get discouraged too easily by what other people say or in comparing yourself with others…the most important thing is that YOU have fun in what you do and how you do it. All the rest…is unimportant! If YOU think you are an artist… YOU are! If YOU think you are creative …YOU are! Don’t let others dictate on how you feel about your creative outlet! Just be!
Have a wonderful day!