I have about ten sketchbooks filled with drawings, from crude drawings of family and friends to well-thought out, shaded and colored drawings of figures and items. I used to always draw when I was a kid. I enjoyed the surprise and praise from my classmates and the challenge of drawing something exactly as I saw it.
In high school, I was recruited into the very first AP Art class that my high school had. I had an awesome teacher who introduced me and about 8 others to Photoshop and graphic design, taught us new methods of artistic creation, and found art shows and places to display our art to the world. I received a 4 on both of my AP Art portfolios thanks to him.
My senior year, I couldn’t take AP Art because I had already taken both classes. With the pressure of getting into college and completing my high school career on a good note, I didn’t really do much art that year. My freshman year of college, drawing and art was not even a concern.
However, at the beginning of my sophomore year, a former classmate from junior high contacted me on FB and asked me if I would be willing to paint three skateboards for him and he’d pay me $300. Even though I didn’t have a lot of experience with painting, I said yes! It was $300 and I was in college. He sent me the skateboards and basically gave me a lot of free reign to create something beautiful. I was immensely surprised at how well I did and I think he enjoyed them too.
After posting a photo of the skateboards of Facebook, I began receiving requests from people in my family for paintings and art pieces. They wanted abstract pieces to hang in their homes and offices. So I accepted. And so began a small side career of artistic endeavors.
I continued this through graduate school and it was a great supplement to my income. Someone asked me to do an art piece and we worked together to come up with something that they would love at a price they could afford. (Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you should have the opportunity to have a one-of-a-kind art piece).
Although I began with abstract pieces, I began receiving requests for different paintings and art pieces. I moved from abstract, to trees, to portraits, to graphic design pieces and worked in chalk pastels, oil pastels, acrylic paint, and Prisma colors.
I was scared out of my mind to do portraits! I had only ever done portraits of myself because it was easier to mess up on my face than it was to mess up someone else’s. But I slowly improved and was very happy with how hard I was working.
In graduate school, I found myself in a few art shows and not by my own doing. RAW artists contacted me by e-mail and asked me to show some art at an art show. I was so nervous. Would anyone like my stuff? When I arrived at the art show, I remember being so intimidated. Everyone was so good! And their stuff followed a theme and style, while my art was an eclectic mix without any rhyme or reason. When a girl came up to me and told me that that was exactly why she liked my art, that I had a little bit of everything that she could check out, I finally felt a little more confident in my ability.
From this art show, I found myself doing 4 more during the three years that I lived in Oklahoma City. I still can’t get over the fact that I never went out looking to be in an art show and that every art show that I was in, someone had found me.
See I’ve never really been completely confident in my artistic ability. I get amazing reviews from family and friends but since art is so relative, it was difficult for me to gauge how good I was. I’ve pretty much gotten over this insecurity by focusing on making those who hire me to do a piece, very happy.
And then I moved to Los Angeles for a year and I only completed two art pieces the entire time. I had a few people talk to me about art pieces but I never had anything come through. It may have been because I lived so far away that people didn’t think it would be easy for me to send it to them, and it may not have. But I also didn’t promote my art like I used to.
However, now that I’ve returned to Texas and I’m working as a freelancer (contractor), I figure I need to dust off my paint brushes and pencils and start getting my art out there again, letting people know that I’m back in the art-creating business.
It’s a smart move to have multiple avenues of income and that is what reviving my art business could do. More importantly, it will allow me to have something that I haven’t had in a long time: another creative outlet that has always helped me to de-stress.
See painting or drawing, it turns on a different part of my brain than writing does. I create something visually on a board or on paper, something that is brought together by beautiful colors and shades, and it becomes something that I no longer own in my head. And when I give it to the person who hired me to create it and I see the pictures of these pieces hanging in their homes, or see pictures of them handing it to their loved one, I am filled with joy and satisfaction.
So from now on, my art is no longer forgotten. I’m getting into photography, a new way of creating an art piece. Perhaps some people might want to hire me for a photoshoot or two.
But more importantly, I want to create something with pencils, paint, or oil pastel. Smear it all across the board until something emerges through the chaos and order, something that you or someone you know, will love.
If you wish to contact me about doing an art piece, want to buy a piece I’ve already completed or just want to see more of my art check out my Facebook Art Page here.