Sunday, 29 September 2013

Why Art Envy Isn't All Bad

 * I sent this post in as part of a columnist application last year - as it's unpublished I thought I'd share it with you now*

Mum has often told me that she’s amazed I still make comments about my school days, which ended, well, a fairly long time ago. None of us can help the memories that stick in our minds though, and one of those I found hard to forget, was that I always wanted to be better at art.

My sister ended up with the artistic genes, while I was given the gift of the written word, which is great, but it’s something that has always frustrated me. My memories of my school art lessons include a photo frame I was very proud, of being wrecked in the kiln, and spending copious amounts of time drawing folded bits of paper and toilet rolls. Who knew there were so many ways to draw paper!

Perhaps that’s where my art envy started. I wanted to learn, but I wanted to draw something interesting, get the paints out, or spend another term in the pottery room, instead of progressing from paper to playing cards in drawing class. I had found the art mediums I enjoyed and I wanted more.

One Of My Christmas Card Designs
When I left school and university, and started going to our local street theatre event, and viewing local artists work on our art trail, the memories came back. The sheer imagination and randomness of St Theatre performers, the skill of the pavement artists whose work brightens up the national papers, even people that can draw their dog, or a flower in the garden, stuck in my mind. I wasn’t greedy, at the time I just wanted a little of what they had. Eventually though I had to accept that my drawing skills were, at best, basic. I can draw a good stick person though, oh and a passable Robin.

I don’t think art envy is all bad though, it got me thinking in a different way about creative hobbies. I wanted to be artistic, without having to draw or paint. I ended up getting hooked on card making. Craft is just as valid an art form as any other, and now I can play with sequins, pretty papers, and toppers to my heart’s content without having to worry if my pig looks more like a mouse, or my face shading on a portrait looks more like an overdone tanning session. I’m learning new techniques, I’ve had occasional comments and photos in craft magazines, and I’ve even found a craft/art form where I can get away with occasional stick people! 

My First Go At Stencilling
It’s natural in school to be burdened with frustration when you can’t do something, or do it well, but when you grow up you think differently. There’s no such word as can’t when it comes to art. It took me a long time to be a happy creative, but there’s one in all of us, it’s just a case of finding the right outlet. But if you do end up sticking to stick people, maybe your creations will go viral. There are 235 million Google search results on the topic after all!

Please share your artistic links, stories, failures, successes below, would love to see them.  

1 comment:

  1. I was really arty at school and have often thought about doing something more creative but never get round to it xx

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