Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Becoming an Artist

I am an artist.  I know that sounds like I might need a 12-step program.  Judging by the amount of art and craft supplies I have stockpiled in my studio, I probably do.  But there, I said it.  I am an artist.

I have been making things for as long as I can remember.  When I was a little girl, I went to my parents' cabinet shop with them every day until I started school.  Mud pies made with sawdust crusts and shaving cream for whipped topping were my favorites.  I could easily entertain myself for hours playing make believe.  A fresh box of Crayola Crayons was my favorite thing ever.  Ahh, don't you just LOVE the smell of a newly opened box?  I do! 

In school, art was always my favorite subject.  Classmates would ask me to draw things for them all the time.  I rarely turned down that opportunity, and most often, my friends were impressed.  High school classes exposed me to much more than just drawing and watercolor painting and construction paper cut-outs.  Oil paint!  YUM!  (not that I ATE it, of course, but again, the smell!) Batik. Pastel chalks.  Scratch board.  LOVED IT ALL!!  The one year didn't take an art class, I felt rather lost at school.  By my senior year, I KNEW that I had to do something with my life that revolved around art. 

While it's not a particularly 'marketable' major, and lots of people wonder why it's a major at all, I decided to jump in with both feet and work towards a Fine Arts degree.  College was a whole different animal.  No longer was I the very best.  I was surrounded by hundreds of students as talented, and let's face it, even more talented than I.  I had struggles, but I persevered, and after five and a half years, proudly crossed the stage to receive my degree.

As much as I LOVE to paint, and as much as I enjoyed other mediums, it wasn't until after graduation that I found my true calling, and the medium that I truly love.  Polymer clay.  Interestingly enough, I didn't love sculpture classes, and wasn't the best at three dimensional work.  But there was something about this fun little substance that hooked me from the very beginning. 

I'm not going to kid you and say I was wonderful from the start.  Nope.  Not even close.  I think my sister still has the sad evidence of that....the two AWFUL little figurines I made her one year for Christmas.  But as with anything, it was a learning process.  The more I practiced, the better I became.  And the more I used the clay, the more I loved it for its versatility. 

A few years ago, I took a hiatus from my work during and following some difficult personal times.  But in the last couple years, it has called me back.  In a new way, with a fresh perspective, but the same clay. 

This is what I love about polymer clay.  You can take this:

(wire, aluminum foil, crepe paper, glass glitter, and of course, the polymer clay)

And after several hours of work, you end up with this:

Meet Buzzy Bee

Isn't he adorable? 

Are you an artist too?  Do you love to create things as much as I do?  What is your favorite medium?  I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for buzzing by!