For everyone to see.
So why has it taken me almost 40 years to admit it? Why is it actually easier to admit to being almost 40?!! Why, when my favorite thing to do for as long as I can remember has been to draw, am I hesitant to say I'm an artist?
As the story goes, I've been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon in my little fist. My grandfather worked for a printing company and he would bring my brother and I the end rolls of paper every now and then. I can remember rolling the paper across the room and drawing for hours. I'd draw my family, the dog, houses, trees, birds, flowers, horses, clouds, rainbows, the ant walking by on the paper ... I'd draw anything and everything and I loved every minute on the floor surrounded by paper and crayons.
Then somewhere along the line I lost my love for drawing. Oh, I still drew, but I got older, I got busier and drawing got lost in the shuffle of school, friends, soccer and other "more important" things. So I took some art classes and drawing became a hobby.
In college, I majored in graphic design because I wanted to do something creative, but I also wanted to be able to pay my bills and buy food and maybe put gas in the car I'd have one day. At eighteen, I wasn't convinced I'd be able to do that on an artist's salary. I minored in illustration because I liked to draw, but I didn't think I'd make any money at it, so really what was the point in wasting time drawing.
Fast forward about ten years and I found I didn't really even consider myself creative anymore. I'd worked in marketing and advertising since graduating from college, but in August of 2006 I was a stay-at-home-mom with two kids who occasionally did some freelance graphic design. Sometimes I'd draw something — a portrait of a friend's dog, an illustration for our yearly Christmas card, a car for my son or a flower for my daughter to color — but I wasn't an artist.
One day, while my kids had their crayons spread across the kitchen table, I realized I was jealous. I missed drawing — not drawing for a grade or as a favor or to get paid. I missed drawing simply for the pleasure it gave me. As I watched my children giggling, playing and having fun, I realized I wanted that part of me back. And that realization started my sketchbook habit.
What began as a way to share stories about my children (a.k.a. The Punks) with family has gradually morphed into this blog. I've posted my sketchbook pages along with snippets of my days as a stay-at-home-mom. Now that my Punks are in school, I find that I don't have as many funny moments and I've been struggling to come up with things to write. I've even considered trashing this blog altogether, but at about 3:00 this morning I changed my mind.
I hope you'll bear with me, because I don't consider myself a writer, but I'd like to share the story of my journey to becoming a sketchbook-aholic and maybe some tips and tricks I've learned along the way. I'll still be posting sketchbook pages and stories about the Punks, but I'm going to shift the focus a bit.
If you'd like to follow along, I'll label this and any related posts with "I Am An Artist" — if I keep saying it soon I'll believe it — so they'll be easier to find. I have a icon with the same name at the top right to bring you to this beginning post and if you're interested, feel free to grab it below.
Right click on the image (ctrl-click for mac users) and save it to your computer. Different blogging applications have ways of adding images to your blog and you should be able to find a section with instructions in the help menu.
Part 1 of my I Am An Artist series