Crayons, colouring pencils and glunky messy paints are fun artist things to play with but I wanted to be a storyteller when I grew up.
To be a storyteller you need all kinds of wonderful writing tools. To be a proper author, you need a typewriter, typewriter ribbon, reams and reams of paper and bottles of Tippex. Luckily we had all these in the house; the typewriter weighed just a bit more than a small car and I never managed the muscles needed to pound the keys.
So I became a techie instead and let my creative side lead me into programming, design, and copywriting.
Art remained a rainy-weekend hobby until a happy turn of fate turned me into a professional artist when clients started asking for promotional artwork and illustrations. This evolved into designing greeting cards and soon I discovered a love for portraiture.
I learned art is a form of communication just as important as language when I found art challenging me to plant a flag on the wispy intersection of reality, lies and secrets.
Do you know how I know I am an artist?
It’s because I just said “I found art challenging me to plant a flag on the wispy intersection of reality, lies and secrets” with a straight face and meant every word.
Feels as if someone from the Secret Society of Real Artists should be awarding me a welcome goody-bag. If that society doesn’t exist, it should.
Art has been around since prehistoric times and drawing is one of the first things we do as children. It’s natural and doesn’t need to be taught through formulas and tables. You just pick up a pencil and move it.
Your imagination tells you what to draw or copy and as children it doesn’t matter if your hand is too heavy to shady delicately or that your sense of proportion is off. You’re simply focused on allowing something to emerge on front of you.
There’s a sense of accomplishment in creating something meaningful and we don’t care if it only makes sense to us and nobody else can tell that the green blob is little-dog-Rover playing with a turtle.
The old masters and modern day illustrators are better of course. They know how to plant a flag on the nodes of nostalgia, rage, fear, spirituality and romance. They know how to create art that evokes emotions and feelings. All without words or music.
Yet the old masters and modern day famous names don’t have a monopoly on storytelling through pictures. We’re all receiving nourishment (or the junk mental equivalent) from the artwork on our walls, book covers, wallpaper and tiling, packaging, cards, phone cases, t-shirts…
Art is everywhere and has a direct subliminal connection to our brain.
It’s why art therapy is a thing. It’s the reason an afternoon drawing with my Dad allowed him to re-experience his childhood.
I grew up thinking art was a child’s activity and nothing to take too seriously. I was wrong. Art is a language that communicates directly to the soul.
Art is not a talent – It’s a language
You learn art techniques through fun exercises the way you originally learned the alphabet and sentence structures at school. Through practice and time, you become more skilled at translating what you see with your inner eye onto paper and canvas.
It’s a natural evolution.
My style is evolving as I explore the facets of this language called Art. The stories are changing the way stories in spoken language deepen as you learn more words.
My students are finding the same thing too. They’re learning that mistakes are just incubators where the good stuff brews. They’re learning it’s not “good stuff” because someone else says so, it’s “good stuff” when they feel it is.
Art is visual. Art is a language that connects you to something deeper than the eye can see.
Art tells a story.