Monday, October 8, 2007

Pay It Forward

Short North Arches at Night
16 x 20"
Colored Pencil on Ampersand Pastelboard

One of the things I love best about being an artist is meeting other artists and learning from them. Most of them are generous with their knowledge and tricks of the trade. As a member of a co-op, I have access to an immediate support system. If you are an artist, just starting out or working a long time, and don't have a support group, I recommend that you find one. Join an art league, take some classes, or use on-line correspondence to find one.

For almost a year I was a silent reader of other artists blogs, always a little timid about leaving a comment or asking for advice. Then, when I finally jumped into the blogger pool, I began to feel like "one of the group" and did reach out to communicate. The artists responses were warm, friendly, encouraging, and immediate. They didn't hesitate to answer my questions or give me honest, professional advice. I was amazed. (In particular, I'd like to tip my hat to Maggie Stiefvater and Nicole Caulfield; both artists have been wonderful in their responses to me!)

As a little girl, I recall stopping dead in my tracks if I would happen to see an artist at work. (I was usually at the fair or at Cedar Point and my father would have to pull me away just to ride the rides!) But, I would look at those artist in awe and wonder how I could ever get to do that thing they were doing. Well, this past Saturday at Hop Art, I was drawing away and felt a presence behind me (mind you there were hundreds of people around!) When I turned around, a young man about middle school age range was looking at me the way I know I looked at artists when I was a kid. I felt as if I knew him and that I knew how he felt. Immediately I asked him if he was an artist. He said yes a little breathlessly and then leaned in to me and said "I read your blog". I was so flattered and touched.

It is important to me to be able to pay it forward to other artists whether they're beginners or long-term artists, everyone has a question sometime. It is so important that any new or emerging artist get all the encouragement and support they can. It can be very scary when you are beginning to live your dream! So, if any of you have a question or need some advice (about art!), I will do my best help. Don't hesitate to leave a comment or send an e-mail!

On Saturday, I finally saw myself through that young artist's eyes, and I haven't stopped thinking about it. In just a couple of years, I have won some wonderful awards and had some great accolades, but none of that made me feel the way that young man did. He made me realize that I am living my dream. (If you're reading this, thank you!)

1 comment:

Serena said...

A great post and the WIP is coming along beautifully too. I have been subscribed to your blog since April and I love your work!