This past weekend I attended Kristen Doty's Drawing for Calligraphers class here in Austin. It was wonderful. I am now an addict and have made yet another goal in life....to learn how to draw really well.
I have always been fascinated by art...painting, drawing, etc. but I have never thought that I was very good at it. I really think that it stems from my experiences in art as a small girl. In elementary school, my art teacher told me that my stuff was bad. Not just that....she would throw things away that she didn't approve of. Basically it is just plain wrong to do....especially for someone who really does like art.
I don't think that actual talent is needed...helpful, yes, but not needed. Passion is really what makes things worthwhile and gives you the longevity to actually pursue it.
Case in point: In 1994 I wrote that my favorite thing that I loved was art. I was 7.
After my art experiences in elementary school, I pursued music in middle and high school. I studied pretty intensely and even won state awards, and was drum major of our marching band. I stopped playing my flute in college and haven't looked back. I love music and am grateful for all the experiences of my youth in music but it boils down to a lack of passion. Also, I wanted to be a doctor.
In college however, it was part of the curriculum to take art history, costume history and fashion illustration....which ended up being my favorite classes. I was finally on the right track and moving toward a career in visual arts.
This society and the world that we live in does not nurture alternative thinking and creativity. I was so very afraid (and still am) of relying on my creativity to make a living. I purposely chose my degree fashion merchandising (aka the business of fashion) over design for fear of having to be creative, of failing.
Up to this point, my experiences and decisions have been made with a "practicality" mindset instead of really feeling what has been right all along. I love art, every aspect of the visual world, be it textile, paint, pen or pottery...I love it all. I finally feel that while I don't know what opportunities lie ahead, I am wholeheartedly ready to take the challenge and pursue my passion...art.
I think your passion just finds you. It takes a lot of reluctance and discouragement sometimes to break through to find your purpose, your happiness.
Drawing of my hand done last night...using a Plexiglas technique that Kristen taught us. She was right..anyone can draw!