I’m proud of how far I’ve progressed as an artist. I’ve been interviewed, profiled, featured, gained a following, and had opportunities to showcase my work in public. I’m well on the way from crashing down those barriers, and moving beyond being an Outsider, and actually gaining a reputation in the art world.
I’ll let you in on a little secret though: I never went to art school. Everything you see here was created with my own two hands and brain with very little formal training outside of high school art class, and two community college classes. I never fully learned the rules of perspective, light and shading, or studied under an esteemed master in the field. Partly, it’s because I didn’t have the money for art school. Partly, it’s because I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me with my art as happened (almost) with my writing. I didn’t want ‘rules of technique,’ or ‘constructive’ (BIG quotes there- because it was anything BUT ‘constructive’) criticism to affect my motivation to create. I also didn’t want to study other artist’s works for inspiration, because I wanted to develop a style and technique that’s completely my own. Besides, as mentioned I did take one art history and one drawing class in community college, and while they were both interesting, they completely stifled my creativity , and intimidated me into thinking I wasn’t an artist. Though at first I did try going down the traditional route to becoming an artist.
Seeing and hearing the negative comments from “friends,” and from an ex (who had excellent drawing skills, by the way, but lacked imagination, and had a knack for projecting insecurities on others, but that’s another story) I was convinced that I wasn’t a good enough artist, so I gave up painting and drawing, a passion I’d had since childhood, for years. I became a housewife, who was frankly miserable and lacked a sense of purpose. Then, when my marriage dissolved I drifted from job to job, desperately trying to find my sense of purpose. For awhile I thought I’d found it through nonprofit work, serving the community. And while yes, for a while it did feel good to help others while getting paid, I still felt directionless, especially when I wasn’t working.
I studied cooking, I failed the course, because the stress of working in a commercial kitchen and holding down a demanding full-time nonprofit org job was too much for me to balance. Though I’m still passionate about food, and am an excellent cook. I learned I am just not cut out to be a chef in someone else’s kitchen.
So I worked some more, at different offices, and found a varying degree of satisfaction, but found considerably more satisfaction in my ‘side job’ as an artist, with a growing presence. Once again, I did a balancing act, attending art shows while working full-time, exhausting myself beyond belief.
But I learned that here, I’d found purpose, through fulfillment. I learned that when I’m in the creative process, or writing about the creative process, or talking about the creative process, I feel a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that I can’t find anywhere else. That when I’m creating anything for my art business I feel infinitely happier than even my very best day of working for someone else, no matter what the business was.
So, backing up a little, how did I even overcome the negative voices of this world, including my own, who told me I wasn’t good enough to be an artist? I started using social media as an outlet for slowly, cautiously, sharing my work with others. I’d already noticed that drawing had become a habitual practice for me again, after many years of stagnation. It started with doing little doodles on my notepad at work, then gradually those doodles became more elaborate, and colorful, and I’d start doodling at home, also. Then, I started sharing my work with friends, privately, and one friend in particular encouraged me to start sharing my work publicly…so I did.
But that’s not how I became an artist, it is how my art career began. I started using my inner voice of intuition to guide my choices when I’d sit down to do a painting, or a drawing. From color choices, to mediums, to methods of sharing, my inner voice guides my hand at every turn. The more I listen to this inner voice, the better my artwork is. Every time, without exception, the quality of my work is better. I call that inner voice my spirit guide, or an angel looking over my shoulder. It’s truly been a gift of discovery, that’s not only given me the drive to create, but the confidence to keep creating, and sharing my work.
My inner guide helps me also discern opportunities for artists, and helps me choose things that will allow me to grow, and move further in my advancement as an artist. My intuition is everything, and my inner guidance system is most intact when I’m tuned in and listening to it. It’s not as loud as the voices in the outside world, but it’s much more accurate, and always based on my best interests. So it’s my best teacher, and my business manager.
Speaking of, if you’d like to see my work in greater detail, my art business site is here:
I’m on Instagram too: