Do you remember the moment that you knew you wanted to be an artist?

On last nights episode of Bravo’s ‘Work of Art” the artist had been asked to create a work to symbolize the moment their artists expression began. During the course of the show each artist had an aside of their childhood. It was interesting that they all had not typical childhoods. Everyone had a struggle with the challenge , and I feel, and I think so did Simon as he was walking the studio disappointed. But I challenged myself if I could do that challenge what would I do.
I remember the exact instant when I new that I wanted to create art.
I was in the second grade and had just transferred from NYC to the NJ suburban schools.
I was a very shy and introverted child. (totally opposite now) and I was just enrolled in a new school. What my parents didn’t realize was that I was the only Jewish child in my school. It was Halloween, which I had no concept of since I only new from Purim. So when I was told to come in costume to school to go trick/treating, my dad said no. So he explained to my teacher that I would not be coming in costume and I could not eat the candy. I was not upset, as I didn’t know any different. I new that we had our holidays, and then there was everyone esle, but Halloween, to my Dad was just not something we did. (He later changed his mind when he dressed in Drag for a party and had a blast).

So my teacher stayed with me, as all the kids went trick or treating to all the classrooms. She sat with me and said we are going to make pumpkins. So she showed me a drawing of one. Well there was no turning back. With a Black marker and Orange coloring paper and scissors, I had made the best pumpkins for everyone in my classroom. I was so in love with it, that she sent me home with the supplies and I continued to draw, cut and tape the most perfect pumpkins all over my house. But I started to get creative and made happy pumpkins, sad, crying, I made the 7 dwarfs of pumpkins. I remember using different markers to get different line quality. It was as if I just discovered the best thing in the world. Which I did. I remember the teacher telling me to sketch first with the pencil and then color with the black marker. I just said, I can use the marker just watch. It was like magic. It was at that point that all I wanted to do was draw. That is probably why I started my career as an artist. I just love to sketch. I am not sure if that makes me an artist. But that is what I want to do all day, any day.
I am not sure if my parents felt good about this. I was a child who sat in her room, played with her dolls, or would read (I started reading at 4). I know my Mom was not so happy, as it was not a group activity and she wanted me to be like my brothers and be part of a team. What she didn’t realize was that in 1968 girls didn’t play sports, Brownies was not in the plan for me, so how did she plan on my being part of a team. As social as I am as an adult, I would prefer to spend every day in the house with the dogs and just read, draw and drift through life. But higher education has changed that, as well as a mortgage payment.
Now I think- If I was on that show last night- how would I be able to express that moment. The only thing I could think of was to draw on exploding pumpkin. That would be too literal and I would have been eliminated.
I could appreciate all the artists last night, as this is a personal experience, so how would you make an audience understand?

Maybe I just know how to draw and not be creative?

What would you have done?


2 thoughts on “Do you remember the moment that you knew you wanted to be an artist?

  1. I was always fascinated as a child with finding pictures in the clouds. I was also in love with horses from age 7. The availability of unsupervised after-school time in the art room with free access to art supplies led to seemingly endless tempera painted pictures of horses in different settings. To fulfill the challenge you describe, I would probably have started with a 3D sculpture (in a clear acrylic box?) of hanging cotton-ball clouds shaped like horses, maybe with a child stretched out on her back on some astro turf, gazing up at them. That would be attached to a fountain-like collage of pages torn from art supply catalogs that would somehow segue into a painting of a painting on an easel of horses gamboling under horse-like clouds. The setting behind the easel in the painting would probably be of my studio filled with various art supplies. I’m a real sucker for art supplies, and they often inspire me to combine them in unusual ways in my artwork.

    Regarding the artists’ responses on the show, I was apalled that they let the fellow who did the black and white graphic and rubber band balls slide by without questioning what on earth that had to do with the premise of the exercise!

    1. Thanks for sharing, I had a time when all I wanted to do was draw horses.

      as for Miles- I think they base their decisions on what he did prior, but many of his pieces didn’t adhere to the rules. Sometimes they keep certain people because of personality

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