When I think back on my childhood, some of my most vibrant memories are from the moments I would sit in my tiny bedroom, with grandma’s rickety card table, creating critters out of TicTac containers, cotton balls, and pipe cleaners. I would spend hours drawing, painting, and creating with things I would find from the kitchen junk drawer and especially from nature. I loved art, for there was never a wrong answer.
In school, I was definitely the “teacher pleaser”. I loved helping. I wasn’t a gifted student, by any means, but my Dad taught me what it meant to work hard. To this day, I feel he blessed me with an amazing gift. I did just that. Everyday, I worked hard. I excelled in the areas of art, music, and language arts. I was most successful when I was able to be creative and share my emotions. Numbers, on the other hand, where my nemesis. Black or white… right or wrong, there was only one answer when it came to numbers. To me, this idea was prime evil and filled me with much anxiety, at a very young age. It was during those difficult moments that I was pulled to create.
I had the most outstanding art teacher in elementary school. Her name was Ms. McQuiston. She wore denim overalls and had the most luscious hair, falling in thick brown braids down her shoulders. She would sit in the lobby, before school, and sketch pictures for students. She had hundreds of requests and I often wondered how she managed to find the time to complete them all. I loved watching her create. Most mornings, I would find myself sitting silently, watching her pencil flow across the paper, ever so effortlessly. One day, without pausing from her work, she gave me some of the most astounding advice I’ve ever been given. “Find your own style. Don’t try to be Van Gogh or Monet. Be your own artist. You have gifts. Make them come alive. ” To this day, her words ring true and are a constant reminder to trust myself…to trust my gifts.
You have your own artistic style. You might not think so, but yes…yes you do. You’re an individual. You have your own individual look, the individual sound of your voice, your individual laugh. There is just you. Your thoughts. Your emotions. Your energy. Your dreams. Just imagine how they would appear on paper. What colors would represent your most passionate thoughts? What shapes and lines would represent your excitement? What would your most challenging moment in life look like through art?
I know that many of you are thinking that you cannot draw, or paint, or create because it’s not who you are. Remember, Art is about being you. Putting you on paper. There is no right or wrong. There is no black or white. On the contrary, Art is the one place where everything is “right” and every color of the rainbow exists. You’re an amazing creature with amazing gifts. You are a unique individual. Take a risk! Put yourself on paper with a crayon, a pencil or a paintbrush. What do you feel?
Unlock those feelings and unleash who you truly are!
Share your soul with the world…
Love Yourself… Embrace Yourself… Just Be You!
Note: If you are feeling brave, I would love to see your creations!