How It All Began…

Every artist got their start somewhere… I’m going to share with you the story of mine:

I used to draw a lot when I was a kid.  But almost all kids draw a lot when they are little, so does that mean they are going to end up as artists?  Probably not… and I never expected that was going to be any different for me.  In fact, I wasn’t a particularly gifted kid when it came to art… my friends pictures were always more creative, more colorful, more accurate… just better.  What I drew wasn’t actually art, because in my little 8 year old mind, “ART” had a very narrow definition: paintings of flowers in vases with hazy color-melded backgrounds.  Kind of like this:

I thought art had to be painted, that it had to be realistic, that it had to be sophisticated.  What I only recently have discovered is: none of that is true.  Art can be anything, and through this blog I am still trying to explore what it means to me.  It is exciting because for most of my life I had held on to that very particular “flowers in vase” idea of what art was, even though as I grew older my definition did grow to encompass things like sculpture, carvings, pottery, illustration, photography, and more.  But my umbrella of ‘art’ never included anything I drew… especially not the picture I am about to show you of a little cow.  The little cow that started it all.

*Disclaimer: the photo quality of the drawings i am featuring in the post may not be the best quality as they are actually photographs of prints, not the original art.  I drew these between 10-15 years ago, and the hard drive they were saved on has long melted or exploded or disintegrated, but about 7 years ago, while I still had the original files, I luckily had the foresight to print them out on the fancy color laser printer in the admin office at my work.  All 85 of them.  Let’s just say that when my boss reviewed the end of the month print log, they noticed.  And I learned of something called an ‘end of the month print log’.

I’m not sure many artists can pinpoint the exact moment they drew something that would lead them to become artists, but that little picture of a cow was the beginning for me… sure, I had drawn pictures of horses, bunnies, kittens, puppies and other things that little girls draw, but none of them were connected to the style of art that has become “mine”.  I probably drew it when I was about 15, and everything before that falls into one category, and everything afterwards has led to me today.  This is the second picture I drew:

I got my start using Microsoft Paint.  The cow picture was probably the result of some intense procrastination of geography homework or an English essay or something.  In my post-cow world, I would often doodle on the computer and create all sorts of pictures instead of studying.  I probably created hundreds of drawings, but only 85 of them were saved and printed out and now exist.  I never appreciated their value until recently, because I started considering them as more than silly little doodles and as part of my story.  I’m sad the original files are lost, but at least I’ve got something. 
Below are a few of my favourites, and the link to the album on my facebook page has the rest.   I don’t remember what the 3rd or 4th or 5th pictures I drew were, so they are not in any particular order.  These may not be sophicated, realistic, or have any deep meanings, but I’m coming to learn that they are art nonetheless. 
A helicopter ride over the jungle: I added a lens flare to this one at some point after I got Photoshop
and was messing around with the effects

Camping trip: these tents were modeled after the BRIGHT orange tent my family had

Chico flying through the city on a pencil: my old dog Chico was a shar pei,
and I don’t know why he travels via giant pencil.  I guess everyone has their preference.

Elephant for one.

Snowy night: since it didn’t snow a lot in Vancouver, I liked to pretend it did.  I always thought Christmas lights looked better in snow because of how they reflected the light

Jungle hut: I would advise against hanging around here for too long

Hummingbird: it’s a prehistoric giant hummingbird actually

Rainbow land: I want to go to here.

Frolicking rhino: because, you know, sometimes you just gotta!

Shark canyon: I don’t know what that little monkey creature is doing, but he is probably trying to figure out how to befriend the shark and ask for a ride down the river.

Jungle hut 2: drawn using the pencil tool, then an effect added in photoshop

Gravity: it always wins

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