Over the last 5 weeks I have spoken with numerous influencers about what art means to them. I found it extremely interesting that my opinions on art didn't differ much from theirs at all. To be a content creator of any kind is to be creative and it is evident to me that the commonalities between creatives is how deeply we FEEL.
My art journey began in high school. I went to a well respected private school, not one of the fancier city types but private and religious none the less. When I was in grade 9 I decided that I wanted to try art. I am and have always been quite intelligent but I didn't have the drive to do well in maths and science and all of those "smarter" electives. I also knew that I was creative because for as long as I can remember, I have been living in my own world.
I started art late in the semester, which meant I was only able to fit into the class of those a year above me. I don't know about you but for me, that was terrifying. I gave it a go and found that it wasn't what I was expecting. The arts didn't seem very important at my school. They were supported to some extent but definitely not a primary focus. My art teacher, in front of everyone told me what I was doing was wrong and bad and without explaining or trying to tell me why. I was so young and embarrassed and confused that I didn't try to create art again for quite some time. After all; I thought art was subjective and passionate. But I was "wrong".
Years go by and by the time I'm in my early 20's I felt lost, not in a heavy, dramatic way. Just lost for direction and passion. I have always picked most things up well but didn't have "my thing" yet. I definitely thought I couldn't do anything artistic, to the point where I would even joke "I can't even draw a stick figure". I worked a meaningless (to me) job, collected my pay check and that was that.
A few years into my 20's I packed up and moved to Canada (like every other young Australian). I figured, what did I have to lose. The only thing in my life that I was certain of, at this point, was my desire to travel. My partner and I ended up living there for 4 years.
During my time in Canada I had more spare time to slow down and less money to spend. I decided it was time to try again. I felt a strong urge to draw. I bought some pens and a pad and started creating blackwork illustrations with a tonne of stippling, line work and shading. To my surprise, they looked quite good. I began drawing almost every day and progressing my skills immensely, I even got to the point that a few people came to me to design their tattoos and they had them done. That blew my mind, my work is on their skin.
When we returned from Canada I knew the only way forward for me was to be creative every day. While in Canada, living in share houses, there was no room to do the paintings and art that I truly desired, so as soon as we returned and had our own space I began. I started with cheap poster paints and just went to town. I had no desire to sell any but when I started sharing some of my actual acrylic work, they were gaining a lot of interest. While I was doing this I was also studying Graphic Design. I knew that the foundation of art and composition comes from understanding the rules that you intend to break. I graduated top of my class with the Best Portfolio award and very shortly after landed an incredible position doing design and illustration, which I still do while running my art business today.
It's been what feels like a long journey to get to the direction and passion I feel today, but I wouldn't change a thing. I feel extremely lucky every day for the life I've been given and the opportunities that have come with it.
Not all artists are troubled, I won't be losing an ear any time soon. But we are all extremely passionate.
Read more blogs here.
Read my artist bio here.
Contact me here.