I believed my ability to draw came from my mum. When I was a very young girl back in the sixties, my three sisters and I would find pieces of old wallpaper and brown paper (which was used a lot back then) covered in drawings my mum had done and put in the livingroom cupboard. They were excellent drawings, seen, of course with the eyes of a toddler, but there was no doubt my mum had in Art.
Many years passed by, I took the creative baton and moved on the artistic field, known at Primary school for being one of the best artists, middle school the same, Upper school, the talent was still there and I moved on to college, taking a BTEC Diploma in Graphic Design to make as a career after studying. I became a figurine painter for many years and a self-employed artist.
It wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties when I was having one of my chats with my mum and I asked her why she didn’t paint anymore, like when she was a young woman. Her answer suprised me “Oh, I only drew and painted when I was pregnant with you, as soon as you were born, I had no desire to do art anymore” That shocked me, fascinated me, enthralled me. This fact now leads me to believe that we are artists from conception. I knew we were born with the talent, but not to the extent we would draw from within the womb!
So, on my quest for answers, I found on Penn State News an article written by Lisa Duchene, her question being ‘Are artists born or taught?’
Nancy Locke, associate professor of art history at Penn State. is quoted in Duchene’s article saying “Artists are both born and taught, there is no question in my mind that artists are born,” says Locke. Many artists arrive in the world brimming with passion and natural creativity and become artists after trying other vocations. Before he had devoted himself to art, Van Gogh tried to be a minister among poor miners in Belgium. “He just frightened and overwhelmed people,” says Locke. “He was too intense to act effectively in that capacity.
Artists are also made, she says. They require training, education and a culture of other artists, often an urban culture, says Locke. “Put an artist in isolation and nobody can learn anything from the work.” A craftsman masters a skill, but an artist ventures beyond to innovate. “Artists have to be in touch with other artists, building on what other artists have done,” says Locke.
And an unknown name says on a site called artpromoteivate.com “Most artists I know were attracted to art at a very young age. They had a natural inclination to draw, paint, sculpt, etc.
Let me tell you my earliest memory with art. In grade one, I can remember my teacher giving us a project in art class. The assignment was to create any type of dinosaur with Play-Doh. Of course, I thought the T-Rex was the coolest dinosaur, so I set out to model my dinosaur. I can remember moulding the dinosaur with my hands and fingers and enjoying the feel of the Play-Doh without even looking at what I was doing. When I looked, I had a perfectly shaped body. So I attached the other prominent features, even sharp teeth in the mouth. It actually was my first experience using Play-Doh or sculpting anything! From that point on I knew I was going to be an artist. So, I believe I was born with the natural talent to create. But, through the years, I have had to learn how to use various mediums. But, I am naturally attracted to some mediums more than others – graphite, oil paint, and clay.”
In a nutshell; artists were born with the creative gift and need to develop that gift, learn new mediums as they are invented. Move with technology. All I truly understand is; I can’t breathe well unless I’m creating something.