I think I painted this when I was 5 years old
Drawn when I was 6 years old. Nice hair. Yes, it is a self-portrait.
My mom saved many of the things I produced during my childhood, and she recently gave me a portfolio of my drawings, paintings, essays and report cards from long ago. I think she saved the best of the best, and thoughtfully tossed my crappiest work in the trash. For some reason I looked through a lot of this stuff today, and it put a smile on my face.
I loved to paint and draw as a child, as a teenager, and even into early adulthood. I think some of my best works were probably produced at age 5 and 6 -- the cute and sweet years. The drawings from my teenage years are awfully embarrassing -- mostly pictures of of flat-faced and unsmiling malcontents, as well as long haired rocker dudes from bands I loved.
I was an art major in college, with a focus on painting and drawing. I loved it -- just loved creating things. But sooner or later I realized I didn't really have quite enough talent, creativity, drive or fortitude to make a career as an artist, and I pretty much stopped painting and drawing altogether, and just focused on making a living and avoiding creative enterprises.
Photography has always been a bit of a hobby for me -- just a fun, easy, quick and painless creative outlet. But some would say photography is a "lower" art form. This may or may not be a fair assessment -- but I think it is more difficult (or more admirable?) to create something from scratch rather than just capturing something that already exists. Meh. Who cares. Side note: I recently read (well, listened to a book on CD) James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and became enraged when he/his character proclaimed that literature is the highest form of art, full stop. Further reflection makes me think he is probably right, but then again it is probably not worth arguing about, as any creativity is good and it should just be left at that.
My parents have been nudging me/nagging me to start making more art. They have done this for years and years, cautiously asking me each time they see me if I have painted anything recently. It is aggravating, and it pisses me off. I always have an excuse for not painting or drawing: I don't have a studio space, I don't have time, I have tv to watch and books to read and sleep to catch up on, blah, blah, blah. All of the excuses are true, and I know myself well enough to know that fear is also part of the problem. I haven't drawn or painted anything in decades (literally), and I know how hard it would be to get any sort of skill back that has atrophied after so much time.
My dad is fond of making sweeping proclamations -- truisms he has discovered for himself that he insists apply to all of humanity. It is annoying. One of his thoughts is that creative activities are the key to happiness -- creating things / MAKING things -- is what brings joy and a sense of accomplishment. I don't think this is necessarily true for all inhabitants of planet Earth, and I would add that creativity also brings FRUSTRATION, as many attempts at creativity end up being failures, but I guess that is part of the process.
So, anyway, I am blabbing on and on about this in an effort to explain that recently I have tried MAKING stuff again. It has been fun, and frustrating. I took a mosaic class at Pierce College a couple of months ago, and it was absolutely fabulous. I can't even explain it fully -- I was so nervous and so giddy with excitement and so eager for my instructor to hurry up and explain everything fast so I could get started already. And I'll even add my shameful admission that upon walking into the first class and looking at my
competitors classmates, my asshole/animal instinct was thinking I am going to make the best mosaic in this class -- I got this. Such an obnoxious notion, and I can assure you that I did not succeed in making the best mosaic in the class, but I liked what I turned out. And it was so exciting to learn a new concept/technique/process, and to start making things.
I have been making a mosaic or two a week for the last couple of months, and it has been fun. But with each project I pretty much fail in one way or another, but I learn something in the process and I am enjoying it. Some things turn out ok, some turn out pretty well, and some pretty much suck ass. I figure I can only improve, so I am going to keep it up. And SOMEDAY I might even get up the nerve to try drawing and painting again. Maybe.
Just wondering if you have ever denied yourself something you loved to do? If so, why? And did you ever let yourself do it again, or does it remain abandoned? Just curious. We do funny things to ourselves, but I think there are always reasons.
P.S. I am still a novice at the mosaic thing. Someday, if things improve, I will post pics of my better works here. Someday!
I most likely painted this when I was 5 or 6 years old. I think.