The path that led me to becoming an artist was a rather unusual one. Growing up, I wanted to be just like my older sister. My childhood sense of admiration embedded within me a need to do everything that she did. And, since she had a pencil in her hand all of the time, I picked one up as well.
Pencil in hand, I was prepared to tackle the world of elementary school. Taking art classes in elementary school introduced me to painting, and I remember, even to this day, creating some of my early works in the classroom that felt like a second home to me. My art teacher was Mrs. Smith. She had brown hair and she was beautiful, and she told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be. So, with her guidance, I would sit happily at our over-sized desks, creating whimsical creatures with tempera paint.
The years passed and I was out of elementary school, changing slowly from the child who wanted to be like her sister into a young woman who wanted to paint beauty into life. My love for art stayed the same as the world around me shifted. I was no longer simply a kid experimenting with pencils and paint—somewhere along the way, I became a true artist (although I have yet to don a beret, and I still think that my living room table is the best place for me to create art.)
I explore many mediums, considering myself to be the master of many art forms in the way that a professional dog walker masters several wild, raging beasts with beautiful cords. Tethers in hand, I walk confidently through my paintings, guiding my lovely beasts across my canvases. Our footprints create beautiful things in the process.
Although I manage my artistic flair, I do let my creativity run wild–and it seems to break free at the oddest of moments. Recently, my ideas have come to me at the hazy point of near-lucidity between dreaming and being awake as I get out of bed in the morning. I haven’t had a lot of training outside of school art classes; I am—with the exception of books, YouTube videos, and Internet tutorials—for the most part self-taught.
I am not ignorant enough to say that I have made it where I am today without the help of anyone else. My art teachers, former and present—Mrs. Workmeister, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Magan Pike, Mrs. Jane Roberts, and Mrs. Ann Adams—have all helped me grow, nudging me along as I bloomed artistically.
And as I bloomed, I branched out. I draw with charcoal; I draw with pencils; I paint; I spray paint; I paint with watercolors; I use pen and ink, I take photographs; I use Photoshop; I use acrylics; I paint with oils; I draw with markers; I create and use stencils; and now I’m venturing into the curious territory of acrylic mediums. I have a desire to soak up every little thing that I can—that part of me has yet to burn out, and I don’t think that it ever will. A long time ago, I was a little girl walking eagerly in the shadow of my sister. Today, I am the woman who has stepped out of her brilliant shadow to create my own footprints. But inside, I am still the little girl whose soul burns with passion, whose eyes are aglow with optimism. Inside, I’m the little girl at the over-sized tables, grinning wildly and coloring outside of the lines.