My dream is to be an artist. When I was young I imagined myself as a full-time artist… I could be a painter or a potter or crafter… maybe a musician, singer or an actor. I don’t know. The possibilities are endless but what I do know is that I want a career that will allow me to immerse in art and access my creativity.
As a child and as a student, I enjoyed art class. I was able to paint, print designs and draw different kinds of things. As I grew older, I learned more about precision art like paper crafting, quilling and carving.
Art, for me, has always been a comfort zone. A place where I could speak my mind, where I could share my thoughts and my feelings, a place where I could just be myself.
Growing up, it is hard to express myself without the fear of bringing shame to the family. Art and creativity gave me the space where I could express anything that I want without bringing embarassment to anybody. That’s why I told myself that if I go to college, I will take Fine Arts. But, unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
I need to choose a different career path. A path that can put food on the table and provide for my family. I convinced myself that I could pursue this path and re-visit art someday. That took 15 years… 😆
During that 15 years, I forgot about my artist dream and I lived life as if that dream never existed. But this is about to change…
Stress, at work, took over and I became anxious and overwhelmed. A friend, who knows me so well, gave me an easel with painting materials and told me to re-visit my dream. I could start painting again and release some of the stress. Honestly, that gift gave me mixed emotions.
A part of me felt pain and anger. Deep inside of me, I felt hurt and betrayed that I did not pursue art. Another part felt very excited.
“Finally I can pursue my dream! But…what if I suck? I haven’t done this for a long time. What if I can’t do it anymore? What if I fail? What if I am just wasting all these materials? I could have bought some food instead.”.
This is the conversation that goes inside my head. I was so torned that it took me a while before I open that gift. I was filled with fear and anxiety that one day I decided to just do it. I finally gave in…
“So…. What now? Where do I start?” Ugh! so many questions 😐
I decided to start with what I know. Youtube! I searched for easy paint-along videos that I could try. This is the result… 😆
It was fun pausing the video and painting at the same time. I felt very frustrated and confused but I think that approach was a good first step.
The result was okay. I was not satisfied but it was a good first try. I still don’t understand why it looks so grainy, dark and weird. But it doesn’t matter now. 😆
Feeling somewhat disappointed, I decided to do some doodling. I used to do this when I was in high school so I thought I could do it again.
Now, this is a satisfying result! 👍 I’m glad that I can still draw but this is not enough. I want to push myself. I want to see what else can I do. I want to try other mediums that I am not familiar with and, maybe, create something good. I want to try charcoal and give watercolor another try.
After several tries, I created something that I am happy to see. Not bad! I think I’m getting used to watercolor. And charcoal is a whole new level of experience.
I wonder “What else?” Maybe I could try some acrylics…
I like it! The design came from the Bible Project videos and when I saw it, I thought I want it in 4-piece canvas. 😄
I practiced a lot! Some are good and some are not so good. But what I notice about my paintings is that my emotions can affect the results. So I created an initial question for myself before I start the process. An initial assessment, if you could say. I will ask myself this question
“Does this spark joy?” 😆
I may laugh but that question helps weed out the not so good paintings. I paint designs that I want to see on my wall. With this technique, I am always happy with the results.
Going back to painting made me feel young again. I felt the same feeling that I felt before.
I felt free. I felt that I could be myself again. That I could express and show who I am without the fear of embarrassing anybody. I felt like I found something that I’ve been missing for a long time. And I felt happy.
I returned to a place that I once loved. I thought it was gone but it was just waiting for me to return. And I’m glad I’m back.
Looking back, It kinda sound dramatic that I was struggling to start painting. It made me wonder why was I so afraid in the first place? But my feelings are valid. My struggle is real. Sometimes doubt and fear can really get the best of me. And in this particular moment, I needed to recognize that fear and anxiety and overcome it.
This is just the beginning of my journey and I’m pretty sure there are still lot of things to learn in the future. But what I learned from this experience is that dreams do come true. The journey to get there might be long or it might look different from what you are expecting but dreams do come true. I also learned that if you really want something, you should take all the opportunities that you can. Some might result to failure but you can always take it as a teaching moment. A learning opportunity that can help you grow and be better next time.
I look forward to the future! I think I am still holding myself back and letting fear and doubt take over me. But I am learning. I would like discover myself more, to learn who I am and to express myself more through art. I’m excited to see who I can be if I can just let go.
By the end of the day, I am happy to say that I gave it a try and took the risk. I am so grateful that it paid off and there are no regrets. I am given a chance to pursue my dreams and, this time, I’ll grab it and won’t let go.
If you would like to see some of my work, please check out my pages: