Last Saturday, I gave a small presentation to a local Girl Scout Troop. The Girl Scouts, aged 8 and 9, were pursuing a Drawing badge and a Business Owner badge. I was asked to present as a working woman artist.
Picking out parts of my art life that might be interesting to young girls, I spoke briefly about How I Started Drawing, How I Came Up With An Idea For My Business, and What Do I See For The Future, artistically?
A clip from my presentation
When I was a little younger than you were, my Mom took me to see “Bambi” in the movie theater. Does everyone know what movie I’m talking about?
(Nods of yes and interjections of other movies they know.)
Well, I will never forget that movie. I thought it was so beautiful. I looked up at my Mom and said, pointing to the screen, “Mom, I want to do THAT”. She looked down at me, frowning slightly. “You want to be a baby deer?”*
And yes, they laughed.
“Moomm, nooooo!” I tossed my head and rolled my eyes. “I want to work on movies like that.”
Well, what is that called? An animator.
And everyone I asked said, “Well, if you want to be a good animator, you need to know how to draw and to draw really well.” And so I drew. And I drew and I drew. I became an art major in school. I took lessons. I read books. And I have a lot of sketchbooks. I draw and paint every day. And (so I don’t sound like a workhorse), I really LOVE IT so much!
I mentioned that little did I know, that by drawing all the time, I was creating a foundation to do just about anything visual.
Around 6 years ago, I had moved back to Maryland where my family lives. I needed a job. The economy was tough at that time and as a result, too many people couldn’t find work. So, some of those people decided to branch out and form their own businesses.
I asked myself, like those people, what skills do I have that other people need? I asked the Girl Scouts to imagine that if they were thinking about setting up their own business, what kind of marketing materials would they need? (They had spoken about this in their last Troop Meeting). A business card, a brochure, a postcard, a poster, maybe a website? Well, I can do that! I have those many years of drawing to thank.
As for what I see in the future, artistically? I notice combinations of hand-painted work and digital computer work or combinations of hand-painted work in the place of computer design. Occasionally, a graphic design client will find out that I draw or paint, so they ask me to illustrate something for their project. And others who enjoy my illustrations, ask me to use an image in a marketing piece. This is fun for me!
I ended saying that if any of the Girl Scouts were thinking about a career in the arts, find out what they want to do and just do it. Don’t do it half-heartedly. Do it the very best that you can!
*My mother never said that. She knew what I meant and supported me wholeheartedly.