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My Art Journey

One of my first paintings as a child

I was a little girl who loved to draw and colour. I definitely was no Protégé, but I had a passion for it. My Aunt is an artist, and at the time that she lived with us, she was my greatest idol. I thought that she was the coolest person I had ever known. I guess that I still think that, Because in all honesty, she still inspires me to create. My older sister and I would draw together every chance we could. I still remember the first time we found out about realism graphite drawing. We had searched it on the web, looking for some tutorials and the amount of talented artist that we found took our breath away! We couldn't believe that someone could actually use the pencil that well. For weeks afterwards we would practice, imagining the day that we could draw like that. But we knew in all reality that it was only a dream and nothing else. It would take years of commitment before we could even hope to reach that level. In all reality though it only takes a love and desire for learning.

At seventeen I got my first job at the local gas station in town. Invermay is a small town that boast of a couple hundred people, if that. So it would get pretty slow at work. Instead of sitting there bored and lonely, I started to draw. At first the only thing that I had to draw on was napkins as there wasn't any other paper there, But I soon learned my lesson and bought myself a pad. It was just a past time and nothing else. Some people did take notice of my work and told me that I had a talent. I remember the day that I finally got the brilliant idea of using a magazine photo as a reference, I still had the image of those photo realistic drawings I had seen on the web in my head and thought that I would give it a try. It didn't take long for my drawing to go from novice to junior. Costumers took note and I had one man ask me to draw a picture of his daughter for him. I agreed. Up till that point I had only drawn solo portraits, so when he brought me a picture of his family of three, I was more than a little nervous. He was amazed with the result of my work though and I can still remember the feeling of exhilaration of accomplishment that rushed through me! He told me that my calling was to be an artist and encouraged me to pursue it as a career. I was certain that although I loved to draw I probably would take it no further than a hobby. In the two years that I worked at the gas station my drawing improved from novice to mature.

When my mom passed away, I remember feeling the need for an outlet. I remember not having thoughts as much as seeing my feelings in my head. I couldn't articulate my emotions into words that made any sense, I put all of my energy into my drawings. Instead of wanting to just get the picture done, now I found myself needing to pay attention to the little details. It helped take my mind off of life in the moment and I could just focus on what I was drawing, as then I could keep my emotions at bay while I worked at the gas station and my drawings started to take life.

My drawing were now taking me hours even days to finish. However, I started to find that drawing wasn't enough to escape anymore, My mind was constantly flooded with images of colour, but I didn't know the first thing about painting. However, I knew that I needed to try it out. It wasn't enough anymore to just be satisfied with the pencil. My family would catch me looking off into the distance and paying little to no attention to the conversations going on around me. I just couldn't help it! The truth was however, that I had no clue as to anything about colour. All my life growing up, Jessica, my older sister, would have to help me pick out my clothes as I just didn't understand which colours clashed. One of the last drawings that I did took me a few weeks to complete. I was trying to find a way to ignore the need to use colour. So I put more effort into that drawing than I had ever put into anything before. The result of the drawing amazed me. I couldn't believe that I had actually drawn it. For some reason it gave me the confidence to try painting. Something that was an entirely different journey and a story that I'll leave for another time. This was the start to me realizing that art was what I wanted to do with my life. If you love something enough, then it doesn't matter how long and hard you have to work at it. You'll only fall deeper in love with it.

So as I found out. It doesn't need to take years to improve and even if it does, the love for learning makes it so much more enjoyable. Never cut yourself short by thinking that it's to hard. Or it's impossible to be that good. Learning is a lifestyle and a choice. Once you inhibit that desire to improve on anything, you lose the amount of happiness you'll find in accomplishment.

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