Friday Firsts: I am NO artist.

My mom was an art teacher. From the smallest of doodles she’d make while talking for hours on the phone to the grand projects she’d make for her classroom – everything was amazing, at least to my eyes. She shared her love of art with thousands of students, and was one of the best damn teachers around. Her talent, however, skipped right over me and straight to my sister. I would watch my sister pour over her artwork in high school, and she and my mom would go back and forth discussing shading, and techniques, and types of drawing utensils, etc. things that clearly went over my head. Don’t get me wrong, I draw a mean stick figure, but when it came to everything else? Well…let’s say I excelled in other school subjects.

I remember elementary school  – clay projects were my favorite – and because I had an in with the art teacher (my mother never actually taught me – I went to another school!) she used to let me make things before school once in awhile. I remember two assignments vividly – making a dragon and food we eat. My “dragon” still sits on my bookshelf – it looks like a duck and an alligator had a baby. Just takes practice right? Then we moved onto food we like to eat – clearly being 6 years old I chose pizza. Needless to say, I was told to scrap that project and instead made peas, (which I hated at that age.) I did very well with the peas.

Come middle school and I was forced decided to take art for a semester. Horrible decision. The art teacher and I did not get a long very well – I was a bratty, hormonal 13 year old, who WOULD get along with me? Also, he had such high expectations for me since I was my mothers daughter. Man. did he learn how far the apple really does fall from the tree. I came home and told my mom that I was never, EVER taking art again – and I didn’t.

Coming to Hong Kong and working for Monkey Tree English Learning Center I knew I would be working with little ones. Come first day of training, I learned I had to draw. Oh crap. Now, I am not saying I had to be the next Monet, but man are these students tough critics! I remember one of my first few lessons I had to draw a whale. A little boy shouted at me saying, “THAT’S NOT A WHALE!” “Yes, sweetie! It is a whale.” I replied. “NO. THATS AN ELEPHANT!” Kid, I may not be that good of a drawer, but come on! I can certainly distinguish between two big animals…right? Well, after quite a bit of practice (2 years) and drawing the same pictures for Beginner Phonics, I can say my pictures are quite mediocre decent? passable?! awesome now.

Despite my horrible history with art, I was shocked that I had this strong desire to go buy colored pencils and a sketchbook the other day. My mom bought me a sketch book once and wrote my entire name beautifully in cursive with flowers stemming from it. I was so excited and so stunned by the beauty of it that the horror of me drawing something in the pages that followed, I decided I simply could not draw in the giant sketchbook. And so it sits, with my name proudly showing, never drawn in again. Welp, this week I have attempted drawing. Like I said, I work with young ones and they are obsessed with Disney, especially princesses, ESPECIALLY FROZEN. So, I have attempted to draw a few of them.

This is SO unlike me. I have NO idea where or why this idea suddenly came into my head. I am in NO way an artist, nor claiming to be. I AM, however, a copycat. So, I looked at something and sketched them out. I will share a few things and that will be that. This whim to draw will probably last for just a few days or weeks, but I finally understand and feel even closer to my mom and sister because of this week.

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Love you Mom.


Have you ever started something on a whim? Or picked up something you disliked when you were younger, but kind of enjoy it now that your older? Share your story with me in the comments below!

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