Monday, October 11, 2010

Yes You Can

Do you remember those art school tests that were often found in magazines? When I was younger, I dreamed of going to art school. I thought that if I sent in my drawing, someone would take one look at it and say, "You are going to be famous one day!" I practiced drawing the duck, the mouse, and the cat until I perfected them enough to one day send them in. My mom changed my thought process the day she told me that it was all a scam to get people interested in paying money to take art classes. She also said that they would tell anyone that they were good just so that they could make money off of them.

In that short amount of time, I began to reconsider whether I really did have "it"...the ability and talent to draw. My mother reminded me that my older sister was the artist in the family and she was encouraged to take art classes. I longed to take art too but instead, I took typing and photography and sewing and creative writing. Secretly though, I would go in my room and I would draw. I would tuck them away for safe keeping.

One day, I got the courage to enter a poster contest for Southern California Edison (the electric company). It was a drawing contest to promote safety. The grand prize was a trip for four to Disneyland. I pushed the doubts away and got to work. In fact, I drew the poster in a day's time and proudly presented to my mom for her to take to work with her. (She worked for Southern California Edison.) She took it telling me not to be disappointed if I didn't win because there were going to be quite a few entries. In my mind I had already won because I had at least entered the contest. To win would mean something greater.

I waited for 6 weeks and then, I received in the letter in the mail. It said, "Congratulations!" I was the grand prize winner and my poster was going to be printed up and used to promote safety.

It was the first time that I did something just because I believed in me. I didn't pay attention to the what if's and went with "I should" instead.

I never took art classes but I continued to draw and paint. It started out as a spark that was threatened to die out by lack of belief in my abilities but that spark grew from the strength that I had to believe in myself.

I don't consider myself a "phenomenal" artist but I do know that I have a God given ability....everyone does. It just needs to be kindled and nurtured.

Do you have a secret ability that is waiting to be kindled? Are you letting doubt get in your way? Don't....instead...DO!!!


Ace said...

You know, it's honestly been so long since I've dreamed those kinds of dreams that I'm not sure I even know what they are any more. :/

Mari said...

I remember those ads. I wasn't able to draw anything close to what was shown, and I envied those who did!
This is a good post - makes me think!

Brian Miller said...

pictures...i want to see pictures...of your art...

hidden talents...hmmm...

MissKris said...

I loved writing poetry from the time I was a little girl. How proud I was when my second grade teacher posted one I'd written...I think it was about having the measles, lol! I've written it all my life. My mom was always my number one fan, encouraging me to submit it, but I never did. Until I found out her cancer was terminal. I was bound and determined to have something of mine published before she died, so I submitted some and all were accepted, one in the New York Poetry Anthology. She lived long enough to hear the news, tho I didn't receive a copy of the book until after she passed away. But it was soooooooo worth it all...the pride she had in me the day I told her it was going to be published. Now I put it on my blog. There's definitely no money in it, but sometimes when I sit down at the keyboard to write, there one is just flowing out.

Nezzy said...

Oh honey, it's like sittin' on dynamite. I sketched a pic for one of those ads when I was a Freshman in High School. My daddy came along and put a witch hat on the gal and big old ugly wart on her nose and made her some blacked out teeth. You can imagine the horror in my screams when I discovered the masterpiece I had ready to mail.

I did have artwork published in a national teen art book. When I was a Junior in HS I also had a poem published in a national poetry magazine but the words of a parent tellin' you, your never good enough lasts a lifetime.

I just lost my Daddy Wednesday. He fought Leukemia for almost three decades and I was fortunate to travel to Brownsville and spend ten days with him before it ended. I'm tryin' to focus on the 'good' times and so not ready to tell the rest of the story.

Take care and have an incredible day sweetie!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a writer. I AM A WRITER. I'm having a hard time balancing everything else around me in order to cultivate the talent that I know I possess. But, I will. Because, I am a writer and I have my sights set on being a published author.

Anonymous said...

When I was eleven, I entered our local Channel 11 News contest. I sent in a quickly drawn sketch incorporating the number 11 and won a set of Britannicas. Next up, I sent in the drawing of the Pirate to the same art contest. The salesman came to our house and talked my parents (poor, POOR folks) into signing on the dotted line.

At the time, the lessons cost $600. An astronomical amount for the 1950's.

If I had sent a drawing of a circle, they would have still told my parents I was a great artist, and I will admit that the books they sent me were extremely good art books. If I hadn't wiped out on the watercolor section of the "school" I would LOVE to have collected the entire set of lessons.

I now believe they were SUPPOSED to fail me at some stage so that they could drop me and keep the money and the books.

Heart2Heart said...


This is such an inspirational post and I am so glad that you went forward with your talent.

Our blog posts are very much along the same lines today.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Yvonne said...

That's wonderful !!! Do we get to see your art???

Reyna said...

I echo Brian and Yvonne. I would love to see your art! (Didn't I already ask in a prior comment?!)

It is wonderful that you had the determination and belief from within to overcome the outside influences.

It gives me food for thought for my parenting class. By the way,thank you for your encouraging, kind words on my blog!

I wish more people could experience the fruition of a dream as you have. Thank you.

Ash said...

wow how cool was that! congrats to you for winning (even though lots of years late hehehehe).

i've too many dreams and my dad always say "go for it!" even though i change my dream every other week and currently he's super-glad that i'm studying again after all these years. :)

~ash's mum

Xmas Dolly said...

Oh yes I remember those too! Well, I stopped by to say goodnight and thanks for stopping by, and the kinds words. You a such a true lady! I'm glad to call you friend. Have a great day!

Veronica Lee said...

I want to see pics of your art too! I used to win many coloring contests when I was a kid! I can't draw well but I have an eye for colours.

Have I mentioned that I love your new profile picture?

Have a nice day, sweet lady!

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

What a great, great story and experience! Thanks so much for sharing that with us Simone! I'd love to hear a part-2 to this -- how was the trip? Did your mom ever change her can't-do attitude with you and your artistic abilities? (these would make great guest post writeups on my site by the way, hint, hint! :-) Anyway, I'm curious to hear more! But you're right! You CAN DO if you put your mind to it. I've spent the past three hours working on my cookbook and I feel great because I have section completed. Two more to go but I know I can do it b/c I'm already 1/3 finished! :-) Thanks for this great post to keep me motivated and to push away my doubts!

Helene said...

I love that, even when you were a child, you believed in yourself and didn't let others persuade you otherwise. What an exciting experience for you!!

I never fully believed I had any hidden talents until I drew a picture for my kids once. They were impressed and I have to admit I was even impressed by it...and shocked, as well!! And baking and decorating cakes too...had no idea I had it in me!!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh my yes! I remember Art Instruction School! I don't remember what character I drew, but I actually sent it in and a representative came to our house to "recruit" me. I was completely flattered, my mother was completely scammed, and my father called that poor woman and the company every name in the book and sent her from our home huffing and puffing and almost crying.

I gave up drawing for the longest time after that, but did eventually pick up my pencil again. I never took classes, either, except for one semester in 11th grade, in which we spent 6 weeks doing one piece of sculpture, 6 weeks doing one painting of a model boat, and 6 weeks doing one charcoal sketch of a male model. (To this day, I can't get over that model - our teacher must have been quite...passionate...for she somehow got the muscular star of the high school basketball team to pose every tight bathing trunks.)

Anyway, you know now that I eventually took a job as a portrait artist at Opryland; did a bit of silhouette cutting, too, but never had the imagination to be a caricaturist. I also did a few jobs on the side - some country music stars - and I trained the staff artist of a major pop star at the time.

I'll make you a deal - you post a pic of some of your work, and I'll post some of mine.

I cracked up at "Tito, hand me a tissue!" And you loved Bobby Sherman, too? Is it possible that you're not a TWIN? Could we all be TRIPLETS?!

Congratulations on your winning poster! It must have been great to win a trip to Disneyland!!!!

Buckeroomama said...

I am so glad that you persevered and entered your drawing... and WON!

When I was little, I wanted to be so many things, but I never thought about being a mommy, but now I am one --and I LOVE it!

Life with Kaishon said...

I would love to see more of your art.
I think my gift is taking pictures. I love it and am very passionate about it : )

I am so thankful I am able to shoot often. It is a blessing and a joy!


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