I grew up with a lot of self doubt and low self esteem. This lack of confidence did not lend itself to my recognizing that I am a creative person. I enjoyed drawing, that wasn’t the issue. It’s in realizing and being comfortable saying “I am an artist.”
I overthink things, and in my own mind, I magnify my faults and failures.
When I say I am a painter, it means I paint. When I say I am an artist, it means I express myself through art. I don’t have to compare myself or my work to anyone else.
I can’t remember a moment of decision or epiphany when I knew that this is what I wanted to do. From an early age, it was just something I did. It was who I was… my identity.
There were no other artists in my immediate family, although I was very impressed by my brother’s illustrations of fish. I didn’t do well in school as a child, so my parents encouraged my art, either because they thought I had some talent, or because I didn’t show promise in another area.
My earliest creative memories are drawing with crayons in the basement while my mother ironed.
There was a black and white tv in the basement, and mom was watching Walter Cronkite on the news one day. I thought he could see me, and so when mom wasn’t looking, I made faces at him. He didn’t respond.
To draw, I guess you need spatial awareness and dexterity. To be an artist, I think you need imagination to express your ideas or emotions through any of the many artistic mediums.
We all have emotions and ideas, and most people have a certain amount of dexterity. Expression is the trait that makes an artist.
I’ve been watching a series of shows Ben Gibbard is doing live from his house over 14 days. It inspired me to paint live on Facebook while we’re staying home, socially isolating.
Instead, I decided to just film in private and see how it goes.
I was nervous, with the camera pointing at me.
Watching the video later, I was surprised by how fast I painted. I knew that I could do a painting in a short period of time, but somehow that didn’t prepare me for seeing how quickly I actually applied the paint.
It was the camera, I think. I didn’t want to be boring.
The first day, I used larger brushes, blocking in basic shapes of trees over a blue background I had applied the night before. It made me uncomfortable, seeing how feverishly I attacked the canvas.
I’ve noticed that I do a lot of things fast. I eat fast. I wash my car fast (there’s a timer on the sprayer). But I don’t think I always paint so fast! I keep saying painting is meditative. And it is. Or it can be when the camera isn’t on me!
I have a lot of anxiety, especially these days.
My parents have health concerns, there is a virus spreading, and because of this, I am concerned about my job security.
I think we’re ok on toilet paper.
I want to spend time with my friends. We FaceTime, and look forward to being together again in person.
Maybe this is the time to try something new… To make videos, and put them online. What if we all film what we do and share it with each other while we wait for safer times.
What if parents connect online, and support each other during this difficult and scary time? We don’t have to be experts! Just open and available for each other. I know I need this. Do you?