The past week I’ve been a little derailed in my journey due to 2 kidney stones but this gave me time to slow down and think about some things that I’ve been wanting to follow through on.
I did a lot of thinking about squandering the gifts we are naturally given in life. When I was about 5 years old, I came to realize my first gift and my first passion in life. I remember it like it were yesterday. I don’t recall what I had done, but I was grounded as usual. So while in my room and laying in my bed, I decided to draw one of the ninja turtles on my ninja turtles bed sheet. This drawing was not like that of what most 5 year olds would produce. I’m sure it wasn’t perfect, but I knew that days that I found something I liked….maybe that’s why I always got grounded? so I could draw in my room? It’s a reach but who knows….
I never gave up on it, I kept drawing and I knew my whole life that people were impressed by it. I also vividly remember my sister asking me to help her on a project. Turns out it wasn’t a project, but something she submitted in class for a drawing competition. Needless to say, she won and “her” drawing was put on display. Disclaimer: That story may be skewed a little due to me being really young and still bitter about it! I kid, I kid.
My mom signed me up for a drawing class at the park district, I was very much against it, but I tried it out. Needless to say, I only attended 1 class. The teacher wanted to me to do all sort of grids and shapes to help create the perspective of the subject…a very common practice in drawing but that’s not how I worked. I would just see things, find a point that felt right (usually an ear) and then just go from there. My perspective was always flawless and while I did have to start over at times, usually it was a one and done. When I got in to high school, I loved and hated the opportunity to take art classes. I had to take all the basic stuff to get up in the more “freeing” classes. Junior year I got in to AP Art (typically a senior class) and that’s when I really started to understand my gift. AP art at our school was amazing, the teacher let us have a lot of control in regards to what we would create, she didn’t confine or limit us. I came to the realization that I was given a gift to express my thoughts, that I could move people, and manipulate their thoughts and emotions….I could give them something to think about. Maybe I was technically sound and I didn’t take classes like a lot of the kids to learn how to do different things and use different mediums.
My teacher and I had a very odd relationship, she once told me “I don’t like you as a person, but I love you as an artist” and she also took me aside one day and had expressed she felt I was one of the few students she had seen in all her years that could actually make it in the fine arts.
Now, my parents didn’t agree with this, they didn’t feel a degree in art would be something that I could make a living off of. Now in life, I completely understand their thought process and I don’t blame them for wanting me to go to school for more practical applications. They weren’t art people or creative types at all, they didn’t come from creative or artistic families, so they didn’t really understand that world and again, I don’t blame them. Essentially they wanted what is best for me and to them, art wasn’t the path to take in life.
Today I also realize that was the day that I gave up on my gift of creating art with my hands that express what is going on in my head. This is my fault and I only have myself to blame for not continuing to make art with my hands.
My life took a fun turn and led me back to being “artistic”, every day I get to use my gift to oversee the creative aspects of my business. People love us because they have ideas, but they don’t know how to make them happen. One of the things we do best is taking their ideas and not only making them come to life, but we better them in the process. I’ve always had this gift to hear someones idea, no matter how detailed or vague it may be and then get 10 ideas in a matter of seconds as to how we can make it happen, improve it, or go in a different direction. I’m blessed to have this gift, it’s just how my brain works and I truly feel this is a big reason why our company (my father and I) has gotten to where it has…don’t worry, I’m not taking all the credit, it’s been an amazing partnership, tho it sometimes reflects that of the Tuttles on American Chopper….
There’s a “but” to this story. As much as I love what I get to do every day and how I get to be creative, I have come to realize that I gave up on a dream and the gift I was originally given, the gift to create something that expresses myself and manipulates peoples thoughts and emotions.
So my goal is to get back to painting and creating in general. Creating concepts and ideas that come from within my head and from my heart. Ultimately I would like to do things that get shown in galleries, I don’t know how the things I create will be accepted, mostly because I don’t have a “fine arts degree” or because I’m not trained. But that’s not something that I will let prevent me from trying.
What are the gifts you were given in life and have you given up on them? If so, I encourage you to find them again and fit them back in to your life. We were given these gifts for a reason, don’t be afraid to use them.