As a child I did not like to paint. All I used was watercolor and I was terrible at it. I used too much water, the colors bled into each other, and everything turned brown. I always ended up frustrated and disappointed in what I’d done, a sad thing for someone who enjoyed art as much as I did growing up.
I wanted to be an artist. I didn’t know what that meant, but if I got to draw all day then I was set. Fifth grade art class was what set that in stone for me. I got selected for an extra, special class that only fifteen or so students were selected to participate in. We got to leave regular class and design our own nesting dolls. And I was chosen. I was never chosen for anything, let alone my art skills. It made me feel special and talented. It made me want to make more art.
Throughout middle school I would draw all the time. I was able to take one art class, and we had to paint a lot. I didn’t hate it, as I did as a child, but I didn’t love it either. It seemed like I should have been crafting and decorating in paint instead of doing a self-portrait and a close up of Yugioh’s hair.
I still liked art, but I didn’t think that being an artist was possible. Plus, I really loved to write as well. And writing seemed like a much more possible career (haha).
In high school I took an introductory art class. My teacher was old and weird and I didn’t like her or her class, but the people I sat with were fun so I didn’t mind that much. We did a few assignments that I’m proud of still, but on others I received sub-par grades.
Then I took 3D art. It was awesome. We made glass beads and stained glass and boomerangs and all sorts of awesome projects. The glass was my favorite. Getting to see it turn molten and having to shape it. I loved glass, and thought that if I were to be an artist I would most definitely do something with that medium.
When I went to college I started off as undecided. I didn’t think that I should be an English major because how do people make money that way? And the same went for art. But then I sucked it up because I don’t find many subjects interesting. When I took my first painting class my sophomore year I fell in love. I used acrylic paint and I don’t know how to describe it exactly but suddenly I loved to paint. Water color had nothing on acrylic.
And then my senior year when I was told I had to start using oil paint it happened again. At first I didn’t like oil paint. It was more messy and complicated than acrylic and it took forever to dry, which was something I wasn’t used to nor did I like. But after trying it out for a while I figured out what I was doing. Now when I walk into a room and smell the oil paint I smile. I used to think my teacher was crazy when he said oil paint smells good, but he was right. With oil paint my paintings have a new dimension, a new feeling to them.
I never thought I’d be where I am today- a Creative Writing and Art double-degree receiver. And maybe I haven’t written the next Fault in Our Stars or painted the next Mona Lisa, but I enjoy what I do and I hope that someday others will, too. I’m just glad that I went with what I love. It may be an overused concept, but even though I don’t have a career in either of my majors, I’m okay with that. I learned more and got more experience through my degrees and I’m happy with that.
(The image featured above is the first oil painting I ever did on my own. Learn more about it here.)