ON WANTING TO BE AN ARTIST OF SOME KIND
Being an Artist of some kind, is what I always wanted to be and do. I have many ways of expressing myself. If I'm not involved in a project, and experiencing a dry spell, I feel very frustrated and disconnected. I think I may have realized Art was my passion, after I got my first box of crayons. Coloring in color books was about matching colors to real thing. Like a tree was green, dirt was brown. A horse or cow could be different colors. Apples-red. Oranges- what else?
Finally, I wanted to make my own pictures. So, eventually I learned how to draw. Basically, I taught myself. Or maybe I just discovered how. Once I learned to draw that was all I wanted to do. What my problem seemed to be, was that I wasn't sure what I saw. Or how to translate the image to paper. I started out by finding a picture and tracing it. Then reworking that image into something I wanted. Because of that, I have two styles of drawing. One very loose and free. The other quite mechanical and stiff.
I loved the days in grammar school when we had an art hour. When Rachel was teaching. We would have art class two or three days a week. Besides, it gave teacher a rest.
Letting the kids draw for an hour gave her a respite for giving all the grades the spelling tests. Now I know why. The teachers were all women. If it was a bad month time for them. They could take it easy for an hour. jeez, how did they do it.
Sometimes I would take home drawing paper from school. Fool's cap and construction paper. I only had access to that when school was on. it wasn't stealing, we had permission to do that. All we had to do was share our drawings at school. They were categorized as homework. This was a country school after all. At home I would draw every chance got, that is if I could get my Father to give me a piece of white paper to draw on. I like to draw my own Paper dolls and clothes for them. All my own ideas. I couldn't get him to buy me a drawing pad of paper because, drawing was an unacceptable pastime and I should be helping my Mother instead. I had no trouble with that. Play time was earned. As I grew, and began to receive an allowance. Then I could buy paper myself.
Mom purchased Ladies Home Journal, Seventeen Magazine , twice a year Vogue for us to peruse through. We loved the clothes. And of course, Montgomery Ward's and Sears Roebuck catalogs. When we went to movies , we always looked at what the women were wearing. Sigh. Beautiful clothes. The style, the cut, the way they fit. That's why I wanted to be a fashion or costume designer. It was a true desire. Designing and making beautiful clothes, it seemed so wonderful. Then in high school, there were real art classes. I lucked out, the 4 years I was there. They had good instructors, who recognized my passion. It was they who helped convince my parents to let me major in Art in college. My dream and desire was to be either a fashion designer or a costume designer and maybe a fine art artist. Painting. To hope and sell. That was really where my passion lay. (As it turned out, I was not destined to become either. Because of life circumstances.) Wow! Well, when I got to college, to me that was heaven. I took an Art Major. I signed up for every art class I could handle outside the required classes.
I had Art History, water color, oil painting, life drawing. Still life, Free style drawing, sculpture and ceramics. (Even though I do love jewelry and wearing it. Jewelry making, I found was not my thing.) For me, taking all the art classes was joy and riches. Feeding my bliss at last.
After two years at the Junior College. I applied and was accepted into a well known College of Arts and Crafts. I really looked forward to attending there. I had sent for and read the brochures. I read about all they offered. But, it was a disappointment. it Wasn't what I thought it was. So, I only went one semester.
Since I was a little shaken and in something of a quandary. I took off two years.
I eventually ended up at the State University. University is MUCH different than a 2 year Jr. College. But, I knew that. Spent several years there. I learned so much. I was like the little robot in Short Circuit:, ' More input, more input!'
I took every art class there that I could get into. A major in Art, then literature, and history. Two minors: poetry and philosophy. I was beginning to think, 'jeez, what am I? A professional student. ?'
My favorite Art Instructor was a wonderful Lady named, Anna Ballarian. absolutely stunning woman. She was my instructor for: Creative Stitchery and silk screen on cloth printing . She wasn't just a teacher, but a gallery shown and recognized artist.
What a role model.
As I went along, taking the art classes, I sort of began to consider. Just what did I want to do with my life. My thoughts of being a fine art painter, or High Fashion Designer, were leading me to realize that, I did not know WHAT my talents were, exactly. . My drawing and drafting skills were still lacking. I still 'couldn't 'SEE'. I hadn't learned how 'to SEE'.
I took some classes in the teaching curricula. Just in case.
Well, I met someone. He was a friend of my roommate's boyfriend. I was 'not' impressed'. Hah. Neither was he. We have been married 40 some yrs. now.
So, I left college when I married. Did I have a degree? No. Why? I had so many majors, I didn't know which to get. Not having a certificate was never a hindrance. D. taught me basic tech drawing. Because of my art aptitude, I caught it right up. So therefore, I worked as Tech. Illustrator for several yrs. Along came computers and I was put out of work. I just was not ready to go back to night school.
I did find an excellent outlet for my creative passion. Designing and making my original toys and dolls and sewing them all by hand. I sold them at Doll Shows and Craft fairs and a Christmas Boutique. There were a lot of collector's who were avis collector's of my designs. I know, some may wonder what is the big deal with making dolls, collecting dolls and toys and designing and making them. I don't really know. My friend asked me that a few years ago. I still do not have an answer. It could be, that it is just a very satisfying outlet for my creative inclinations. Perhaps it is because there is something magical and something of the fantastic. When I'm working on them, I am not here. I am someplace else.
I did notice that as time went on, all my art background seemed to coalesce. All that I had learned just came to me as I needed it. It seemed an interesting outcome. I guess I had needed more Life experience to bring out whatever talent I had.
I really hate down time when I am stuck in a non-creative mode. I usually read during that time. Seems to restart me.
About the time I was 50, It came about I needed a real career. So, I went back to Jr. college and became a floral designer. So, I have had many ways to be an artist. Goal achieved after all.
When I got my computer. Took me awhile to warm up to it. I was finally able to use it for creative purposes. We are much more friendly now.
Most of the colored pictures I use for my stories are drawn in my computer using only the mouse. No stylus, no special program. Just the mouse and my PhotoSuite Program. Which is meant for manipulation. I use the 'flood' color choice to color with. I have made at least a hundred pictures. But there are a lot I didn't save. I have made and used some hand drawn pictures. I draw the image. Then scan it in.
My Hb. takes the photos. My hands shake too much. Very frustrating. But, I do tell him what I want.
There are other things I use it for too.