When I was a child, around four or five years old, I realized that I loved drawing. Of course, I would doodle and scribble “abstract” art all over whatever surface I could get away with scribbling – to my mother’s despair.
By the time I was eight or nine, I had taught myself how to copy Disney princesses just by looking at them. I am embarrassed to admit it, but Disney princesses were a big influence on my artistic inclinations as a child.
I begged my parents to sign me up for art classes, and they complied. But as fate would have it, I was only able to attend for three months because my family received the news that we would be moving to the United States in a few years. So my mother swapped the art lessons for English lessons. I said goodbye to my dreams and focused on learning English after school, which didn’t leave neither time nor money for much else.
By the time I was 11 years old, my family moved to New Jersey. The English classes came very much in handy, but I still had a desire for learning how to draw. Structured art classes never came my way because I was too busy traveling between two countries (I was finishing private school in my country of origin and would come to the States during the summers) until I turned 16 and my parent decided the children needed to finish their high school education in America.
I took digital art during my junior year because it was all that was offer at my high school and I was even able to win a competition.
My mother was against the idea of studying art in college. I suffered through a series of major changes and ultimately ended dropping out of school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do that wasn’t art. Through all this turmoil I picked up a few art books and tried to work on teaching myself, but there wasn’t a structured approach that I could follow with certainty.
How would I know when I was ready to move on from drawing to painting? I didn’t have the money to pay for art classes. I was waitressing and sharing an apartment with three other “hippies,” jumping from music festival to music festival and living in a chronic state of depression — all because there wasn’t anybody there to accept my artistic inclination and guide me as a child. I grew up believing that my desire to become an artist was unimportant and invalid, and that was killing me.
During my late twenties, I decided to go back to school and finish my degree. I found marketing, which I have an affinity for. By that time, I had completely given up on the idea of becoming an artist but I never gave up the desire to paint and draw.
Life really does unfold in very mysterious ways. Just by coincidence, I happened across the atelier method of training for artists when, by happenstance, I found a Bargue plate.
Atelier training is very strict, but I think it offers a structure that’s clear to follow for anyone attempting to teach themselves.
I have researched some schools in my area that teach this method. They are very expensive. At the moment, I am a broke college student trying to finish a degree, so I have decided to follow the curriculum on my own as far as I can, and until I can afford to pay for the classes at an actual atelier.
This blog is here to help me document my effort and as a way to synthesize the lessons I will complete. So, this space is pretty much a note to self.