How did you get started as an artist?

"How did you become an artist?"

People have often asked me how I get started as an artist, or how long I have been doing art. In some ways, I can argue that I have been doing art all my life, including the development of how I became obsessed with color: bright colors, saturated colors, many colors. When I was a young girl I remember being on road trips in the backseat of my parents’ minivan, and when I saw a color that intrigued me, of a house or trees or flowers outside the window, I pretended that I could “capture” that color and store it in a magical sack that I carried with me. I always had a small sketch pad and colored pencils that I carried around with me, doodling and sketching imaginary landscapes with the colors I had captured that day. 


In my teenage years and into college I expressed my love of color through the multitudes of tie-dye shirts that I frequently wore. After I shrugged off what “cool kids” should be wearing and embraced my own uniqueness, I embraced this fashion statement of wearing tie-dye shirts, skirts, and yes, even tie-tye pants (not always all at once). Art class was always my favorite, and in college I took my first class in oil paints, and it is there that I really connected with painting.


As an adult, and as a professional in the working world, I have traded the intensity of my tie-dyed youthful fashions and have instead channeled that color into my paintings; maturing my use of saturated colors to incorporate contrast and interest using lighter tones, desaturated tones, and more limited palettes. Every once in a while I still slip into old habits and  will wear a tie-dye apron when I’m teaching an art class


So, now when people ask me how long I’ve been an artist, I’ll say anywhere from 10-30 years, and smile.