When I grow up, I want to be an artist

Mixed Media Girly.jpg

Have I mentioned I never wanted to be an artist when I grew up? I don’t think it ever actually occurred to me that it was an option. Even today, I struggle with truly believing it is an option, despite knowing full well that people do it. This puts me in mind of the TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson. He contends, “We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it… You were probably steered benignly away from things at school, things you liked, on the grounds that you wouldn’t be able to get a job doing that”. I absolutely chose subjects in school based on their correlation with employability. I studied Japanese instead of Italian and did math and not art in VCE (the final two years in high school). If I were to be put with those same choices today, my decisions would be reversed.

I thought I had sussed out what the artistically inclined can do with their skills when I first encountered the subject of graphic design — they make logos! That was the nail in the coffin for my creative career (that and discovering you had to do maths to be an architect). I didn’t even take the subject.

I don’t actually regret not following a creative career from the get-go, however. I think creating puts one in an extremely vulnerable place and quite frankly, I just wasn’t ready. I would have been eaten alive at art school; crumbled at the first critique.

Just over a year ago, I tentatively spoke of my desires for a creative career to my partner. I posted a list of dreams in January last year, which included my very first arty career goals. At some point, I edited the description on my About page from “wannabe artist” to “budding artist”; a hesitant step, which at the same time feels quite bold and actually makes me cringe a little at my own audacity! Despite this, I still don’t feel like I’ve come out and said it. I really do believe that:

“…The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”


In my mind this is something akin to saying “you make your own luck” or as I once heard someone say, “the harder I worked the luckier I got”. So I’m just going to come out and say it: When I grow up, I want to be an artist! I want my paintings and illustrations to be licensed by super cool businesses like Gelaskins and La Marelle . I want my illustrations to be on funky cushions and clothes and bags. I want my paintings to adorn the walls of a cafe I adore. I want to create an iDevice/Mac game with my partner using my illustrations, like the beautiful Machinarium. How frivolous, how audacious! I’m not sure if I could say this out loud, to your face — I’d be far too embarrassed for that. That’s a whole other blog post…

1 Comment When I grow up, I want to be an artist

  1. Margaret Tyson

    ”Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end of the day.” — Winston Churchill.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *