I use to draw and paint quite a bit years ago, but after having kids it all took a backseat for a good decade of my life.
I remember as a teenager painting designs on terracotta pots for my mom, and keeping a folder of doodles alongside my text books. But it wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I took my first art class. My teacher was wonderful! I can still hear his words to help me get through a project when I’m “stuck.” I only had two years of it, so I left with alot still to learn. I didn’t want my teaching to end with high school, so I self taught over the next couple years.
I struggled with faces at the time, but instead of shying away from them, I committed to learning and would fill sketch books with eyes, noses and mouths until I could put them together. Co-workers in my office started to ask if I would draw portraits of their children, and before I knew it I had drawn at least a dozen of them! That eventually led to my first mural. I really had never painted except at school, so I was hesitant to accept the request. But my friend insisted, she trusted my talent and a couple weeks later her son’s nursery was a 4 wall jungle! As I did more murals, I learned new techniques and improved each time. But just as I was starting to get the hang of it, I had a nursery of my own to paint, and most of my creative outlet took a backseat.
I never lost my passion for art, it just dropped in my priority order. I slowly started drawing again as my kids got older and quickly remembered how fulfilled I felt whenever I’m in a creative space. Something in my soul needs it, and the longer I went without it, the more I craved it!
Simultaneously I started questioning my career, feeling completely UNfulfilled by my job. As I contemplated a new field, a new job, new industry, I would find myself in the same struggle over and over – I don’t want to leave and go to another job that is more of the same. What do you want to do, what do you like to do, people ask. So I did some soul searching…
I know I want to do something more meaningful with my days. Sitting behind my corporate desk feels pointless. I have more to offer the world than this! But I also have this thing, this thing in me that just wants to create! Something! Anything! How do these go together? I want more days of feeling fulfilled. I want to use my hands. I want to get them dirty. I want to get lost in a painting for hours to feel time stand still. My mind wants to be freed! But I also need it all to mean something.
How is art meaningful beyond my own self fulfillment? Or is it? Why is this the thing I keep gravitating back to? What purpose does this fill? Why is art a talent, a “gift”, that we’re given? Where do I go from here? What do I do with this?
Follow me on my journey.
What is the purpose of art?