Saturday, February 28, 2009

secret 7 - consulting with guides

"Picnic at Piedmont Park" by L in college, 1979*

The first challenge in this chapter asks us to think back on our families - were they supportive and encouraging - did you get a sense that you were naturally good at your art, did your home life build up your self-confidence, etc, etc? I think I talked a little bit about this in this post and have shared with you about my supportive family. But the chapter also asks us to think about the other creative influences we had growing up - such as teachers and friends or even other artists we never met but were influenced by. I was fortunate to have art teachers that were very encouraging from an early age, but in college I think it was my art professor that really made me believe I had talent worth something. I felt like of course my parents would encourage me, especially since my mom was an artist herself, but for someone else to have faith in me seemed even more real. He was the type of professor that would always praise something about the piece first and then give the constructive criticism. This method worked best for me and helped me grow as an artist.
I didn't really know what I was going to do with it all when I graduated, but a year after designing ads for the yellow pages, I got a job with a "real" advertising company. A family friend from church owned a advertising company and knew me well enough to know that I was "artistic" (I used to design posters and brochures for the church even in high school). He needed a graphic designer so he asked me out of the blue if I would be interested in applying. I had no formal training in graphic design at all and he knew that - he just asked me to bring some photos of my paintings and to create 2 ad layouts. wow what an opportunity. I was hired on April 1 1982 - april fools day! - is this a joke I thought - and have been in advertising ever since.
So... guides? yes I had good ones. My family encouraged me as a child which lead me to believe I could pursue an art degree, my professor believed in my abilities and gave me the confidence to continue and a friend recognized my talent which all lead me to the work I do today for a living.
Who influences or guides me now? I'm not sure I can say she influences me in the traditional sense but I would say my daughter, in different ways, motivates me the most. She has encouraged me to start creating for myself now that I have more time on my hands and it has turned out to be a wonderful way to ease the loneliness. I'm not really sure what I would be doing if I didn't have a creative outlet. And I feel like other influences are plentiful. I have numerous creative friends and of course all you talented women out there and my constant source of guidance is my mom.

*this is one of the paintings that helped me get a job. It hangs in my brothers home.


patti said...

How lucky are you, to have had your professor around with a mix of encouragement and constructive criticism. It's funny isn't it that just a few chosen words at the right time can make such a difference to another person.

Your painting is wonderful (no wonder you got the job!) and it is great that you have time now to devote to art, whenever you choose.

ELK said...

it sounds like you are really enjoying the steps... I am glad to know more of your artistic life!

leaca said...

cool story. you are cruzin on these secrets. i need to step it up!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I think that I was a late bloomer. When I was younger, I liked to draw and sadly I don't recall any type of creative encouragement from my mom. My Dad, however, was the one who put a camera in my hands as a 9th birthday gift. It wasn't until 2 years ago that I got serious about it.

I enjoyed your story of creative encouragement. If I am ever to be a Mom, I want to be a source of extreme encouragement for my child.

D said...

Wow. I love how your guides seemed to be just what you needed at just the right time.

It sounds like your daughter is a great person and that you two share a really special bond.

Andie said...

Loooove this painting!