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Qotw:what Were The Early Warning Signs That You Were Interested In Making Art, Being Artistically Creative, At A Young Age (Under 18)?

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This weeks question comes from the question bank. . .  . uh yeah I am still using it, but seems not many have posted on it.... .anyway the Qotw comes from LeeU who asks:

 

What were the early warning signs that you were interested in making art, being artistically creative, at a young age (under 18)?

 

I think this is an interesting way of putting the early interest of one in the arts. . . think about it. . . the word warning as in context with all that we have discussed of late, like the way family feels, and the ups and downs of the arts journey. I mean really when did your parents get warned that all was not really right with you and you were not going to become that doctor, lawyer, scientist, or heaven forbid politician? 

 

I will wait on my response to this, as I want to hear what others have to say without my influence.

 

 

 

best,

Pres

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When I was about 5 years old someone gave my  mother  a kit that had a metal platter, broken tile, mastic and grout.  I saw it laying around and asked her about it, she explained it to me but didn't want to do it.  I wanted to so she decided to do it together, I remember sitting on her lap while we glued tile down together,  one of my best memories of her. After that I gave up dolls and just wanted craft kits for my birthday and Christmas  presents.   When I was in 7th grade I was in my first art class and the teacher thought I was very talented and encouraged me to stick with the arts.  Denice

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I first became interested in art at 4yrs old. I saw a film of a potter & couldn't wait to dig up some clay to work with. My Dad was always supportive. In 2nd grade I was selected to take art classes (only 2 students in each school were selected). In grade 4 my teacher entered my paintings in the exhibition & I won 2nd & 3rd prize.

Life then changed with the loss of my parent & I no longer had access to the materials or classes.

My pottery career didn't begin until I was 20 & I was determined that nobody was going to make me stop when I finally reached my goal of becoming a potter. I've worn many hats in between but kept going back to pottery.

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I was drawing at an early age. I was sent to art school in center city Philadelphia at age 11.  An hour and 10 minute commute on Saturdays...alone. Bus and subway. Maybe this added to my wanderlust. I stayed in Saturday classes until graduating HS and attending college at the same Art school. In HS I won a city wide award for a watercolor at Gimbel's Dept. Store and a 4 year scholarship from the Phila. Board of Education and a Gold medal for Achievement in Industrial Arts from the Phila. Savings Fund Society at Graduation. So I guess I was off with a good start!.

Marcia 

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*Grabs the talking stick*

Instead of doing my assignments in class, I often would draw in the margins of my paper. These were usually long winding depictions of a little girl leading a caravan of horses and oxen pulling wagons. I think the idea was I wanted to run away to find my own kind. I also drew a lot of this kind of stuff out of school as well. Really I think I was screaming for someone to take me out of school and educate me as an artist exclusively but in our 'civilization' we don't do that kind of thing, especially for girls. Now I'm trying to make up for lost time.

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@Pres, -I appreciate your posting some of the more 'artistic' questions, the technical ones about physical ceramic making are also very useful for prompting me to do my research, but personally were kicking my butt since I have a lot to learn as yet.  ;)  These more introspective questions are a fun variation and also cause me to learn new things, even if it's only inward things, they are still very helpful for me in my artistic process. Ruh-oh, here comes another epiphany...

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I have always struggled to define myself as an artist. It feels more scientifically creative than artistically. If I can put it one way as tactile art that could be a good box for it. I am not sure there was ever a sign but that's my point of view. The more I think the more all children are creative by definition. I would happily spend hours making up stories with a train set, toy cars, dolls and a lot more. I have been told I was always very sure of my own mind as a child. 

 

Looking back it all seems to be an exploration of thought and the physical world and no different to how I experience life now. The subjects and materials are different but it's all play(science).

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I was always the kid with the microscope, the chemistry kit, the electronics kit or what ever else, wanted to build something, but never knew what. At the same time, if there was paper and pencil, I was doodling. In  school art classes I never was a star, but always found them fun and they engaged. . . all of me. Bring on the years and I wanted to be an Industrial Designer, auto stylist. Tried to enter some contests, but never finished the work. Who knew what I would do, I didn't. I didn't do the school for Industrial Design, wrong coast, and limited means. The rest I have already written about here.

 

 

bst,

Pres

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I was a consultant many years ago for establishing a creative arts center for adult mentally challenged. We referred to the Oakland , Ca. "Growth Thru Art" based center and used their video of clients. One that struck me most was a woman who never spoke to anyone. She was responsible for hanging her show, sending out invitations, food for the reception etc. At the reception she was all dressed up and greeted guests saying  "welcome to my exhibition."

It was a jaw dropper to hear her speak so proudly of her work.  Our center in Billings that followed this effort is still serving the community and its clients. Being an artist comes in many forms. Joel, your focus on the technical is no less significant than someone focusing on surface treatment. ..which is also technical.

Marcia

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My first love was actually writing. I've always loved to read and always had a vivid imagination, so I've been making up and acting out stories for as long as I can remember. I was always bouncing around with what job I wanted to do but every single one was creative, from writer, to singer, to actress, to teacher, to photographer, to fashion designer ...... the list is very long. I was always changing my mind. It all may seem unrelated but in reality it has always been about what I can make with my hands and also about how I can communicate and connect with others. For awhile I was even on the path to becoming an ASL interpreter, which fits those criteria as well. 

 

Pottery is the first art I've ever been drawn to that has fit me like a glove and the more I do it, the more I want to do it. Also every other creative outlet I've ever tried is feeding into it. 

 

Also if you've ever seen the wildflowers that I carve and paint onto my pots .... ever since I was probably eight or nine I have been drawing scribbly scenes of grass and wildflowers along the bottom and borders of my notebook paper. I had forgotten about that until I came across some old papers. Patterns repeat over and over even when we don't realize it. 

LeeU and Marcia Selsor like this

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After thinking about this question for a day: got nada, zip- zilch. I think that is due to the fact that I am not, nor ever been an artistic person. I did the water color, finger painting, and paint by number kits; that most have done in their youth. Yet, I do not recall any distinct memory at excelling, or even enjoying any of it. Now that I have finally crossed over the sixty plus mark; I am just now finding an interest in art. However, I have always loved and appreciated art. I have visited many museums, galleries and shows over the years. Have even dropped some coins on some paintings that I thought were of an excellent quality.

 

Now if you want to include problem solving and creative thinking into this equation: I am an artist. If you want to include a perfectly formulated clay body; then yes. All a matter of perspective I suppose. I do however find a perfectly formulated clay body to be a work of art. Now that I think about it: I do recall playing with play- dough as a child.

 

Tom

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It was never a conscious thought to delve into art. Its like I never said to myself. "I think I'll start turning gray." It just happened.

 

When I started is pretty much what I said in this previous thread

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/16274-qotw-what%E2%80%99s-your-family-like/page-2?do=findComment&comment=127464

 

 

Now if you want to include problem solving and creative thinking into this equation: I am an artist. If you want to include a perfectly formulated clay body; then yes.

 

Absolutely Tom.

 

Some people when confronted with a problem look for excuses, artists look for solutions.

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I don't know that there were "warning signs" so much as things that made sense in hindsight. I was always a good problem solver, and extremely bookish, and have a rather vivid imagination, but no one ever really associated me with being creative in a fine art sense until I was in my late teens. I did some theatre as a kid, but didn't really have any desire to take it further than high school. 2-dimensional art forms mostly don't make sense to my brain, and I wasn't really introduced to the things that make sense to me until I was almost an adult.

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I can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing, painting, creating something. I remember watching my Mom paint and draw when I was too little to even hold a pencil correctly. She used to make my paper dolls for me and would draw them up on cardboard and draw the clothes, color them and everything. I can remember thinking, I want to do that. I got in trouble in school in like 1st or 2nd grade for not following the instructions to color a bunny. I added cotton ball clouds, to a blue color paper sky, a cotton tail and cut out the bunny and made it dimensional. After that experience I continued to create but kept it on the down low. Up until then I didn't know art had "rules".

 

For me the best gifts have always been art supplies and books. With the one you can create whatever you can imagine and the other can take you places you never imagined existed, put them together and you get the quote I've used as my email signature for nearly 30 years: "The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau"

 

T

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*Grabs the talking stick*

Instead of doing my assignments in class, I often would draw in the margins of my paper. These were usually long winding depictions of a little girl leading a caravan of horses and oxen pulling wagons. I think the idea was I wanted to run away to find my own kind. I also drew a lot of this kind of stuff out of school as well. Really I think I was screaming for someone to take me out of school and educate me as an artist exclusively but in our 'civilization' we don't do that kind of thing, especially for girls. Now I'm trying to make up for lost time.

I was really lucky. My 4th grade teacher, Mrs . Rosenthal, allowed me to go draw on the easel in the back of the room. I drew birds, imaginary birds and I misspelled one as a "strange bird" ...Old lady are you reading this! I drew so many birds the entire class room above the black boards was decorated with my drawings. My teachers supported me.

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As a little kid, I began to study how to draw Woody Woodpecker from Walter Lantz's books, and horses from Walter Foster.  Ignored Bob-with-the-big-hair when he came on TV.  Dug “blue†clay in my yard as a kid and made little things with it.  Used all my allowance for art supplies.  Was addicted to drawing with my magic TV drawing screen for the Winky Dink show (read it-too hard to explain)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winky_Dink_and_You  Learned about Jackson Pollack the year he died, when I was nine.  He made sense to me and I wanted to do what he did, be what he was (the artist-not the alcoholic).  Won all kinds of school poster contests.  Got fired from my first job in H.S. for drawing on the paper bags instead of paying attention to the customers.  Took watercolor lessons from a woman who used purple for shadows for everything—every single thing. Decided I did not need lessons, I could figure it out on my own.  Went to all the museums in NYC from an early age-my favorite places, aside from the New York Public Library.  Won a place in the old Greenwich Village sidewalk art show, but lost it when they found out I was a minor. None of this was OK in my family-girls just did not aspire to be artists.  As an impoverished young adult I stole tons of art supplies from the NYU bookstore; finally got caught--learned several painful lessons about criminal activity, humiliation, guilt, and shame.  Kept painting and drawing; finally went to art school.  The real warning sign that I was of an artist’s mind and heart was the early pride that I felt when satisfied with my own work, followed by an insuppressible drive to keep doing it, and to do it better. 

 

post-63409-0-03890000-1497409069_thumb.jpg

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I would not say I am artistic but..... My father being an industrial arts teacher and all around handyman fixer upper tinkerer rubbed off on me at a young age. When I was four years old my dad built a very large workbench with all the bells and whistles. I got to help dad build this. Shortly after finishing this build I proceeded to pound about twenty or thirty nails of very size into the top of this bench well you can imagine what a four year olds workmanship would look like ( bent over nails hammered down many dents across surface. My mom came out to see what I was up to. I don't remember my mom being angry or shocked. I do remember when dad got home that mom said I had something to show him ( I was very proud of what I did). We went to the shop and I explained what a fantastic job I did and how it all went down. My dad gave me a big hug and said he loved it and I did a great job. He then laid acrylic over the work top to immortalize my creation. I would say from then on my move from what might have been artistic graduated into finer craftsmanship.

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Pretty sure I was about 6 (Kindergarten) when my mom discovered I had made a flip book on the edges of one of her grad school text books...some sort of animated woodpecker, I think. For some reason after that, my parents seemed to keep me well supplied in sketch paper.  That was either encouragement on their part or self defense on textbook expenses...we'll never know.

P:)

Pugaboo, Marcia Selsor and Joseph F like this

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Mom always said my sister was the creative one...shes a nurse now.

 

Mom said I was the loud one tho everybody not in my family thinks i'm way too quiet.

 

I did doodle in the margins of my notes...mostly large eared sailors adrift after a shipwreck, some rainbows and alot of things i think today would be called zentangles.

 

I was always the messy one...loved digging holes in the dirt...

 

I went to college, took art cause i had to, teacher said i had a certain style.

 

Decided i wanted to go into graphic design.

 

Had to take a 3d art form and sculpture was full so pottery was it.

 

I never saw a handmade pot til i was in college....if you don't count that little pinch pot i made from a bit of clay i found in my grandma's dirt driveway.

 

I watched an advance student throwing on the wheel while we were shown how to make pinch pots...it was magic...i wanted that magic.

 

So i went to college for graphic design and came out a potter instead.

 

So not sure i had an early warning sign...it just kinda happened.

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Wow reading the topic question just brought back to my mind some amazing memories: When I was a kid, probably in elementary school, my mom had bought me a small electric wheel, a toy. I remember sitting at the table with her trying to make a pot out of clay. Maybe that was an early sign ^^

 

Her being very creative has probably had a huge influence on me studying design, dabbling in natural dyes and loving experimenting with any kind of material. I feel that as opportunities arose and I learnt to understand how much I loved making things, I slowly made things converge toward ceramics, being more active in the process

 

[Edit] It looks like no one here really had a Eureka moment in terms of being creative or attracted to art. For me the Eureka moment was an internship I did with a potter, it made me fell in love with clay right away and I have pursued it as much as possible since. I am forever grateful to her welcoming me, unexperienced, in her studio

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