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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Always Art

Sure I may have a degree in psychology and an official job title of "Mom" but my passion has been the same since I started doodling in the third grade. I have always loved any kind of art.

Actually, I have a story to tell that no one knows. It all began in Mrs. Key's homeroom in third grade. We were assigned seats alphabetically so the teacher could learn our names at the beginning of the year. Between my friend Leslie and I sat a boy named Kevin. He was a pretty smooth little kid and was always trying to do things to impress us. One day, after I told him I liked the Garfield comic strip because of how cute the characters were drawn, he drew me a picture of Garfield. I don't think I had experienced true envy until then. I couldn't believe he'd been able to recreate something just by looking at it. I immediately got a piece of paper and tried to do the same. It looked terrible but Kevin was stunned. He confessed he had traced Garfield several times until he had the pencil strokes memorized enough to doodle it. I had looked at it and then drawn it free-hand. (Albeit my doodle looked like Garfield mangled & dead on the roadside...) Determined to learn, I began doodling all over any paper I was given. By the fourth grade I'd come up with some of my own characters and when the columns of my spiral notebook were full, my friends begged me to draw on their paper. When I was 9 my dad bought the family a brand new computer for Christmas that was for us kids to use. My brother busied himself trying to hack into the tetris game my mom had installed and then hidden because she didn't allow video games (for anyone but herself! LOL!). I found MS Paint and started playing. The day after Christmas I had made a "Happy Holidays" sign and figured out how to hit "preview" so it would cover the whole screen, kind of like a frozen screen saver. When I showed my dad he about dropped his soda and called my mom in to see. From then on I had a desk in my room stocked with drawing tablets, colored pencils and basic art supplies. By high school I was certain I would be sued by Disney for being able to draw nearly all of their animated characters and in college I discovered Photoshop. Five years later I can hardly go a day without creating something in photoshop and I am now teaching myself how to use a second Adobe software: Illustrator.

Brian has been more than supportive, allowing significant space for my art supplies and building additional shelves in the top of closets or taking me back to Ikea when I need more storage. I absolutely love art! Maybe one day I'll make him rich. It's the least I could do after all the years of finding beads in the carpet and him having to endure a constant stream of on-going projects cluttering at least one flat surface in the house. And while I never want to push Aiden to do anything he doesn't want, there is a reason that a canvas bin of kid-friendly art supplies is kept on the shelf just above his toys within his curious reach. I know what I am risking and I would gladly re-paint crayon-covered walls (and then re-cover them with chalkboard paint) to ensure he has access to art. I haven't told Brian but when he's older, I also want to provide him with tools, wood, nails and string so he can make his own fun things. Art & imaginative play. I can't think of any better way to spend childhood!

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