Saturday, January 17, 2009

I am an artist...I am an artist...

*Repeat to self over and over*
It has taken me a while to realize that I really AM an artist! Ever since I was able to hold a crayon in my hand I always told everyone I was going to be an artist when I grew up. I loved to create things and draw pictures. When my dad went on business trips I would spend my time making a special welcome home project for him. Sometimes it was a colored banner, decorated streamers on the back door, or a giant paper flower.

I recall in the second grade my friend Lisa and I started a comic strip. We added a new segment each morning during coloring time. By the end of the year I had about a ream of paper's worth of comics. Lisa and I thought they were hilarious and came close to wetting our pants on a daily basis laughing as we created them. The only thing I remember is a story about a caveman frozen in a block of ice which melted when an explorer shined his flashlight on it! I wish I still had my comic book but my mother threw it away in the name of "cleaning up". My mom just didn't get it.
A watercolor I did in high school of Marilyn Monroe

Through the years I took all the art classes I could and majored in studio art in college, but I never felt like I was "good enough" to do this professionally. I pursued other careers partly because I didn't believe I'd be able to support myself financially as an artist, and partly due to the influence of my college's career development department. They didn't know what to do with me; the only career they could suggest for me was to work in a museum.

One of my Art Club projects Ophelia's Memories

I continued to create art on the side, but really didn't get serious about it until about until I joined an art club sponsored by a local rubber stamp store. We had monthly projects and when I first started showing my work to others, I felt like I was just pretending to be an artist. The encouragement and compliments from my friends really helped me gain confidence in my work.
My first sale...the early version of Sand And Sky Seaglass Journal

It was a big step for me to start selling my work on Etsy but the immediate success I experienced was exciting and confirmed this was what I was meant to do! I sold my first piece in less than 24 hours but before anyone gets too envious, I must state I experienced a dry spell for several months afterward with no sales due to my ignorance regarding marketing!
This summer I had a fabulous opportunity to work with the Arnold Grummer company to design a book project for them (pictured above). They are a small family company specializing in handmade paper products and supplies. You can find their products in arts and crafts stores as well as their website.

I suppose this means I'm officially a professional artist! I still sit in front of my desk in my studio and repeat my mantra to myself over and over. I am an artist!


Ofrenda Po├ętica said...

Hi, Beatiful and inspiring message. I love to create books by hand and the art of paper. I am glad to see an inspiration for my future path. Repeat and believe: I am an artist.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are an artist! Your work is awesome!

Oh yea, you have been tagged: check out this post for details.

cvoneschen said...

Do you still have the comic book from second grade?? That is cool!

UberArt said...

No Cvoneschen, unfortunately my mother didn't cherish my comics as much as I did. They went to the dump years ago during one of her spring cleanings. After that I learned to hide stuff I wanted to keep from her! Heh heh!

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