Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Late Bloomer...

These words resonate deeply with me about so many different times and areas of my life. I'll forgo the really long version, but the short of it is...when I was young  most of my new classmates each year couldn't figure out if I was a boy or girl until the 6th grade. They seriously would tap me on the shoulder and have to ask.

Truth is, it did hurt my feelings, but I was a tough cookie and rolled with it.  Truth also was, I was quite the tomboy and more interested in athletics, not the typical girly nonsense.  So I understood the confusion... add in a very short pixie hair cut and whalah!     But another thing I knew for sure was... I was an artist.

Moleskine journal page
As I continued through my middle and high school years, I continued to run track and swim. I also started to "bloom" so to speak. Funny how a girl that was mistaken for a boy in 5th grade can become the homecoming attendant in the 10th grade.  I also continued to be an artist. By this time I was winning high school art shows and exhibits. 

After high school, I took the "safe" route (like many artist's tend to do) and went into the work force. Then later, (at 26)  back to school so I could "learn" something and make a decent living.  Because my goodness, haven't you heard ....  you can't JUST be an artist?!  How sad is it that... I  let the artist in me just wither away and get all rusty!

Fast forward 20+ years.... and I am a late ArT bloomer, but I am now bravely beginning to excavate, dust off and rediscover the artist that I know lives inside of me.

But I can't take all the credit, because in 2008 I had a little push from someone.... her name is Suzi Blu .

Funny how someone you don't even know can have such an impact on you. I feel so grateful to have found her, especially since I was just beginning (latebloomer) to learn how to use a computer. I never even took typing in highschool. But I started plunkin' around on it and managed to find youtube... typed in mixed media and whalah...there she was!

I was smitten right away,  she's SO engaging, passionate, funny, generous and never stagnate. She was a huge  motivating factor in getting me to actually pick up a frickin' pencil again. Of course there are others that have imprinted on me as well... Pam Carriker, Tascha Parkinson, and Misty Mawn to name a few... But Suzi was "my first" : )  Fast forward 3 years... and although we've never met yet in person, I'm happy to call her a friend.

As I became a little more comfortable online, I started to realize the opportunity available for learning and connecting with the online art community. I finally got brave enough to jump in. I didn't let the fact that I couldn't type or keep up in art chat rooms stop me... I plunked and hen picked my way through anyway...  and it was like a whole new world opened up to me.

I do live with some regret though,  because now I know... living my life through ArT is what I was meant to do all along. But the fact remains... I didn't... till now, but that's okay... I can be a latebloomer. In fact, I've become pretty good at it.

I learned this from Suzi... : )
 If someone would have told me a couple years ago that I could or would make real friends online, I would have thought ...yeah right... whatever.  Don't get me wrong... I  have met many wonderful like minded souls and have enjoyed making online friendships.

But it has been kinda' strange for me because in person... I am always friendly and outgoing,  but I discovered that online I am a fairly shy and it takes time for me to open up. I think it has to do with the rawness of exposing something as personal as your art work,  or even your thoughts in words... and also because of(especially early on) my lack of computer skills.

 But surprisingly a few friendships have really evolved over time. They liked me anyway : ) and now we correspond pretty much on a daily basis, usually through texting and skype dates. We are all very different and help each other through our many art challenges and sometimes even life's challenges.

This is something I never expected to happen, and I am so happy and grateful for it. Thank you so much Goog, Kelly and Suzi : )
Also, if you feel so inclined you can check out our new blog titled  "You Suck Monday" .  It's the blog with a funny name but an awesome concept! Go check it out... you know you want to, with a name like that!

Even as I type this today,  (you do NOT wanna'  know how long it took me) I feel like a late bloomer... I'm too meticulous, and self critical....I get in my own way alot,  but I'm getting better and learning so much from my new found friends.....

In 2010 I started this blog, flickr, facebook, and finally in 2011 an Etsy Store! I must confess it has been overwhelming and I feel the last year has been a huge online learning experience.

What takes my friend 5 minutes to do on a blog takes me an I've spent alot of time in front of the computer rather than the art table, but I realize this is all part of the process.  Now that I'm getting my sea legs so to speak... my hope is to be more prolific artistically this year, through my art and photography, and even more blogging!

I am a bird now...
But I know that late bloomer's still eventually bloom : ) I don't know how close I am or what I will be... but it's all part of my artful life journey, and I'm cool with that... xo ajae