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When I grow up...

The first thing I remember wanting to be--I was seven--when I grew up was...a tattoo artist. Yes, really. And, naturally, my family fully supported me in this. I was allowed to draw on my sisters and brother to practice, even on my mom from time to time. My absolute favorite thing to "tattoo" was cherries, two cherries, connected at the top by their stems, with a single leaf, thank you, not two. And those handy clicky pens with four different colors were perfect because there was black--click--red--click--green. I even found a nice 10"X13" piece of paneling (you know, the kind all trailer walls used to be covered with) and drew my "catalogue" on the back. From memory, amongst the things I proposed my clientèle were a swan, a parrot, a rose-like flower (surely you know the type--the ones that look more like chrysanthemums with squat, pointy petals, somewhat like this--> } ), a daisy, a peace sign, a horse (head or whole body), a Harley Davidson (I wasn't really happy with the lines at the time--thought them a tad clumsy--but it was my first attempt. Being positive that all reputable tattoo parlors must have a motorcycle on offer, I was forced to keep it), and, of course, the infamous cherries. However, I generously agreed to tattoo as few as one and as many as three, depending on the client's wishes.

Today, many years have been ripped from the calendar of my life, and I'm not a tattoo artist. I don't even have a tattoo myself. I'm not sad I changed my mind about my profession, but I am sad that I let my urge to draw fall away and wither. Not that it happened immediately. I had a guardian who was into drawing and I liked to work with her. But I must confess I was daunted by the difference in our talents (natural on one hand since she was in her 40's and I was 11). Then later, my housemother, Robin, stirred the embers a bit more with her portfolio, but she also had stories to tell of how difficult it was to make one's living as an artist (she knew; she had a degree). It wasn't that she deliberately discouraged me; she was just helping me take a realistic view of the field. Since I was in my late teens and needing to start thinking more seriously about the whole "when I grow up" thing, I took her words to heart, along with a feeling that I'm not good anyway (or at least nowhere near any of the best--in hindsight, I see this as probably the first time I loosened my hold on something because I was afraid of failing, though it was a gradual thing spread insidiously over the years), and let the silly fancies go for good.

However, a few years down the line at uni, I needed an elective and chose Drawing 101. I learned quite a bit, did some decent works, and got the itch back. But that same ol' you'll-never-make-a-living-at-this fear kept me from more than intermittent dabbling. And that's okay, I guess. Only, it's not. Art was my first love. It used to impassion me. Until I learned that passions were synonymous with weakness. Again, this is all hindsight and speculation, but I feel like I started sabotaging myself, killing that drive with criticism and pride, until I was convinced I can't be passionate about anything and without passion, what is the point of doing something? If you don't have some fierce, internal, gut-hooked drive to do something, then you must not really be meant to do it. 

Another word for it is obsession, I guess, and I never had that pull (or did I just get too good at ignoring it?) to do something specific with my life. And so I drift. Yes, I write, but not only is that the equivalent of my feeling about art, it is a post for another time.

Nigh on a week has passed since we met the artist and I found out I could take lessons with him. A week gone since I had The Idea for a series of paintings, and I've only gathered some treasures for it but haven't started anything. Instead, I sit here and wonder where the passion for it is. I comfort myself with a load of malarkey that says, "You have a commitment to novel_in_90; once you've fulfilled that, then you can throw yourself into the art." Like I said, malarkey. I know from experience that once I am in an artistic mindset, I start to see things with an eye to shading, color, perspective, light. Like writing or any other artistic endeavor, creativity engenders creativity. 

I think I'm going to shut up now, unplug myself from the net and this pc addiction, and put my brushes where my fingers are...

ETA: I called the artist and set up a lesson for Saturday. Go me.

Comments

mnfaure
Jul. 16th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
Tu sais que je t'aime, n'est pas?

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