Showing posts with label 1980s art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1980s art. Show all posts

Thursday, August 21, 2014

In the Art Room: How Did I Get Here? (with a GIVEAWAY!)

Did anyone else have these yarn painting kits as kids? I obviously loved 'em, look at that ridiculous toothless grin. The surface was tacky so you just placed the yarn where you wanted kinda like the 80's American version of Huichol yarn painting. 
 So last week I just kinda casually threw out the question: Do you think your kid-interests have had an influence on your adult-interests? Y'all. What I heard back from you was a resounding YES. Your Tinker Toys instilled a love of sculpture; your Fashion Plates have you stylin to this very day; your giant collection of naked Barbies have lead you to long walks on nudist beaches. But I got to thinking (which explains the burning smell)...what else in your formative years built the foundation of the person you are today? I keep thinking of the Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime: 
And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, Well...How did I get here?
"I hate rats.!!"...really? Cuz, you know, most people freakin' LOVE rats. And where in my 2nd grade life had I ever even encountered a rat, anyway? Did the rat outbreak happen to devour the Grammar Police because this wee paragraph woulda been under arrest, y'all.
 So, how DID you get here? What people, places or Mattel toys brought you to where you are today? Who inspired that passion in you to create, teach, stitch, cook, whatever-it-is-you-do-so-well? I'm nosy and I wanna know. So I've got a lil proposition for ya. I'll share my story if you share yours...AND if you do, I'll be placing your name in a drawing for a Brand New Car Spiral Art Kit!
Here's how you can enter the giveaway:

Share your story in the comment section below! 
Let us know who/what/how you were introduced to the creative passions you have today. Was it a teacher? A relative? A combo of a buncha stuff? 

Your name will be tossed in a hat and the winner announced in about a week on Sunday, August 31st! I'll (re)share your tale in a blog post and send you the prezzie shown above: A Spiral Art Kit!

Why in the world am I doing this? Because, man, as an art teacher, it's my overwhelmingly-intimidating job to inspire a passion for dreaming, imagining and creating in my students. By doing a little digging, I thought we could all learn how lives have been changed so we could return the favor to those who's lives we impact. Whether you are a teacher, a parent or that super cool aunt/uncle, I know you want to share your passion with the wee folk in your life. What better way to learn how them from our own past? 

So, what's your story?
Remember back in the good ole days when we could dress up on Halloween in elementary school? I just knew I was gonna be a vet when I grew up so I dressed as one every other Halloween. Oh, by the way, that Grim Reaper haunted my nightmares until about a year ago. 

 Well, since you (didn't) ask, I'll tell ya mine: I went to a very small elementary school that I have the fondest memories of. The only problem with the place was that we never had an art class. I knew I liked to draw but I was never exposed to art in school. Thankfully, they still taught penmanship back in those days and that was my creative outlet. I struggled with reading and was miserable at sports but man! did I have some of the prettiest cursive in all of elementary school land. It was the closest thing I had to drawing and I worked on those purple ditto sheets like it was my job. 
Updated version of letter to moms: "Dear Mom, You can be happy, my house is NEVER clean. Love, Cassandra". Whenever I talk to that lady, she always tells me, "it's okay, you are so busy with much more important stuff." Thanks, mom!

Thankfully, the parental units tapped into my creative outlets. They signed me up for drawing classes (even if I was the only kid in there with a buncha blue hairs...and I ain't talkin' hipsters, ya'll) and bought me craft kits. But it wasn't until I spent a couple summers with my grandma that I discovered my true love: crafts. In her wee trailer, that woman had every kind of craft supply imaginable. She taught me to cross stitch, embroider, create beaded jewelry, you name it. I remember the embroidered design I created that once finished, she stitched into a pillow for me. It sat proudly on our couch until I caught the stomach flu and tossed my cookies all over it. Ah, memories. 
Lil known fact: I was The Big Wheel Champion of Joliet, Illinois in the 1980s. This picture only shows what became the tip of my trophy iceberg. The only thing that stopped me from continuing my rein were those dang legs. They got so long I looked like a freaking praying mantis on a circus trike. I'm willing to bet my retirement that my mama still has those trophies in her garage.
When I hit fifth grade, I had a teacher that was like no other. She had a love for space (this was 1985, the year of both Haley's Comet and the Challenger) and art. That passion of hers was so contagious that I began drawing more, collecting all things space-themed and even wrote a couple of ridiculous plays (that she allowed us to perform). I honestly felt like she believed I was someone special. And maybe she did...or maybe she just had that amazing magical teacher touch that inspired all of her students to believe in themselves. Regardless, as a teacher, she had the greatest impact on my life and for that, I'm forever grateful. 
Isn't making a kid feel like a superhero a teacher's job? Such a tall order...but I'm willing to bet money that some of your stories will include teachers too.
I could go on and on with more stories of awesome teachers, painting professors (Barry, you are the best!), friends and fam that have inspired me along the way but I'd much rather hear from you! So if you have a moment and would be so kind, please drop me a line in the comments with your story. Remember, I'll enter you to win a Spiral Art Kit because I totes believe in a good bribe.

Chat with ya soon!

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