Sandcastles to Skyscrapers

Pen and ink on illustration board, 15 1/2″ x 11″

I used to work in the financial fields and everyday longed to be artistic, to stretch my creative sensibilities and draw, or paint. At one point, after I received my stockbrokers license, at night I began drawing wild animals from Africa and took them into the office and sold them to brokers who wanted to fill their walls with original art (are any of you still out there?). I drew a gnomes when they were popular, I drew zebras, lions, giraffes, and I even drew a poor orphan from Cuba who had been left by her family in a compound in Miami.

But it wasn’t until I met a man who believed in my talents and believed in me that I took the leap with his encouragement and left the financial markets, and took an art class. I was so nervous. I was certain all those kids who were in class with me had much more talent that I. I was certain there was a club they belonged to that was the ‘smart artistic’ club, and that was why they were in college full time with art majors. So the first assignment in my first illustration class was to draw a castle. Well. I wanted to excel. I wanted to blow everyone out of the water and do the best castle! But mostly I wanted to overcome my horrible fear every time there was a critique from the teacher and students. I wanted to prove to myself that I was good enough to be an artist. WAS I?

I stayed up days, working long hours and slaved over this piece. At 2:00 am the night before it was due, I had a magnifying glass, a fine point pen and stippled the shadows on the skyscrapers certain I’d just get a C or something. Isn’t that awful? I was so insecure.

This piece received an A+ to my surprise. It gave me the confidence, with the encouragement of my teacher, to apply for a full scholarship – which I won. I left my financial job and went to college to study art. It was one of the most amazing times in my life to work along side so many talented, young artists who believed in the right and joy to be creative, and find a way to make a living at it. Message? Don’t give up on your dream. You never know when it might come true.

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