I was born with a creative brain and spirit. I've had an "artistic" view of the world within me since my beginning, my best memories of childhood are of the offbeat and wonderful. My mother turning me back at the front door to go change either blouse or skirt because one was plaid and one was floral, with no complimentary colors or patterns. Wandering the aisles of Ayr-Way (Target predecessor) in search of the newest art kit I could afford with my saved allowance. My father asking me what was I making a purse out of this time? My sense I was a little different and my mother reassuring me that, while true, my sometimes unique perspective was a very good thing.
And, then a defining moment. I have no idea what motivated my need to make a full on life decision at that particular moment on that particular day, but I remember it clearly. I was in the 7th grade, and in retrospect, perhaps it was not terribly unusual for a reasonably self aware early adolescent to be making some decisions about who she wants to become. Anyway, the decision point was whether to try and be more like who I perceived a lot of my peers to be (who knows if such a perception was accurate) or to embrace the sense of myself as different...'unique' on a good day, 'odd' on a wonky day...and be who I felt like I was, wherever it took me. I decided on the latter. The decision didn't really change my life, but it did offer me reassurance as I revisited the moment over time. (There's a blog post about this in Musings. Nov 2016). The lovely thing about protecting the artist within is she's always there even when not having full expression. The creative part of me often took a back seat to raising children and working in education, psychiatric healthcare, and human services, but has never been completely out of sight.
For me, becoming an artist--or more accurately, an artisan--has been an experimental journey. I get intrigued so easily! I've always loved fabric and yarn. Handmade and marble paper captivated me for a long time. Tile. Concrete. Soap. Wood. Metal. Paint. Tools. Torches. An idea. A sketch. Questions. How can this become that? How can this space be transformed? Can I build it? Can I design it? Is it pretty? Is it amazing? Is it quirky? Does it say something? I think of myself as someone probably too driven toward production...because there's always something else in my mind, urging me to get to it...but it is definitely also about the process, the learning.
In the end, I'm lucky. Or fortunate without merit. Or blessed; although I never know exactly what blessed means. What I do know is through whatever force or fate has allowed me live the life I have and pursue this creative passion, I am constantly grateful.