The Road of Endless Possibilities
Published on June 21, 2008
The artwork you see here is not of my students I teach at school . Rather this is my own work created when I was between the ages of nine to thirteen. On my last visit to Cleveland I sent back a few boxes full of old journals, sketchbooks, and photo albums. In those boxes was a manila envelope full of artwork I did when I was young. Kind of funny stuff. Much of it I remember doing, and a lot of it are obviously assignments from school, and now, being an art teacher myself, I understand what the teacher’s lesson must have been aiming at.
This little manila envelope is proof that all my life I wanted to be an artist. This manila envelope was not saved by my mother (she didn’t save any of my artwork from childhood) but rather I wrote on the envelope: “Connie’s Portfolio” in rainbow colored bubble letters. You don’t make a portfolio of your artwork when you are between the ages of nine and thirteen unless you are either (a.) serious about your art or (b) told to do so by your art teacher. I know this portfolio happened on my own free will.
So lucky for me, I guess I have something to gauge my progress as an “Artist” by! Hahahaha ha! I’m not sure I could draw fruit as well as I did back when I was twelve!!! But I do know that that same urge, itching, desire, goofiness to sit and play with paints and crayons still exists today.
When asked that pending question as a child “what do you want to be when you grow up?” –“artist”was always at the top of the list and the list. Well, sometimes I threw in “writer”. My family, being as supportive as they possibly could would always respond with “you better have something to fall back on“. That always conjured up youthful mental visions of this red trampoline I’d have to carry with me throughout my adult life….you know…to have something to fall back on. I had these little daydreams about my future that I would be making a painting and go to a store and no one would buy it and I would fall back onto my trampoline, because I fainted. (I had a thing about fainting when I was a kid—I thought it was quite an expression!).
Though, lucky for me I went to a cool high school. Well, as cool as any high school can really be with not being in the Beverly Hills 90210 zip code. My junior and senior year I was accepted into the vocational school where Art was considered a vocation. There I sacrificed the adolescent fun of study halls and even lunch periods to take every art class possible. I purchased myself a real portfolio, instead of stealing an envelope from my mother’s office, and landed myself a few art school scholarships my senior year. Ahhhh, the road of endless possibilities! Still, my family was bugging me about having that something to fall back on.
I won’t bore you with the details of art school and college. But I ended my road of higher education with a BA in Art and Art History. Actually, years later I went back to university to grab my teacher’s license instead of purchasing a red trampoline.
So, do you need all this education to become an artist? Good question, huh? Do you need to be born an artist–scribbling pictures of rainbows and fruit while other kids are playing with Barbies and doll houses? Another good question, huh? Do you have to make “Art” every single day and make it look good and then sell it and have everyone love you because you are an “Artist”? Best question of all.
I say no to all of the above. I say we live in an awesome time where artists don’t have to depend purely on galleries and dealers to create their career, but rather can take matters into their own hands on the Internet. I say, because of the Internet, art is changing and becoming so much more about making connections with people, diving inward, and examining our world. I love it when I see cool artists on the web that list the workshops or classes they are teaching. Artists are sharing and nurturing other artists, rather then keeping all the focus on themselves. I love meeting people that realize art is that missing link in their life and are on a new journey to revive their creativity. I love that the term art is expanding to include new things, new ideas.
I create Art because I honor and show thanks to the creativity that exists within me. I put my Art out there into the world because I long for good conversation. I live my life as an Artist, one that I define myself, because I belief it is my truest of nature. I started Dirty Footprints, this blog, to meet others that have created their own definition of being an Artist and I am curious about these creatures.
So these pictures from my childhood do not gauge my progress as an Artist by no means. But rather are little tacks placed in the atlas of my existence, to remind me of the places I have been.
Peace & Love.