Good question! I ask myself that everyday. The truth is that being an artist is hard work. To the outside world, people may think that an artist is living their dreams creating wonderful art work. However, I have found that marketing and business go hand in hand with being an artist. So back to your original question, I lept without thinking about what was involved in being a full time artist.
No, seriously, I worked for a major airline as a flight attendant for 17 years and after 9-11 I knew that I had to do something else. It wasn't that I was afraid to fly or anything like that, but, I realized that I had stayed at my job too long and the position had lost its luster. We used to call it the job with the golden handcuffs. The longer you spent there, the better your seniority and perks. It was hard to leave it all behind.
I decided to return to school after I finally returned to my home 6 long days after the events of that day. I had previously been a fine art major and continued in that vein since I was fairly close to graduating. Truly, I can't imagine doing anything else now because being an artist is very fulfilling. I believe everyone should do what makes them happy in life!
What was the first thing you remember making/painting/crafting?
I used to draw all the time as a child. My mom still has the pictures that I drew for my dad while he was in Vietnam for a year when I was three years old. I must have been facsinated with spiders, because she has reams and reams of spider drawings that I drew for him that year.
As I got older, I also made my own paper dolls and little paper clothes for them. I could play for hours and hours, lost in my own imagination.
Are there other artists in your family?
That's funny you should ask. There is no one in my family who trained or went to school in the arts, but my mom is quite the creative herself. She makes all her own greeting cards and is very into "altered books" and other paper crafts.
I also found some drawings that my father did while he was in college. He was quite good. He must have taken a drawing class at one time...maybe a pre-requisite for graduation, I'm not entirely sure. He was studying theology; so needless to say he didn't do anything with art after that class though he did appreciate art.
Who influenced you the most as an artist?
There are so many people who I have known who have influenced me as an artist from fellow artists to professors, and even my friends. Who is/are your favorite artists?
I have so many favorite artists. I like 19th C art like Turner, Cassat, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir to name a few. I also really dig feminist art from the '70s-some of it must have been so controversial when it came out. Now-a-days, I look at a lot of contemporary ceramic work, fiber art and craft. I can't name just one person, let alone 10.
My daughter just asked "what about me?" when she read this. I might have to agree with her here. I love her drawings--they're so free and uninhibited. Sometimes, I even incorporate some of her sketches into my own work.
Tell us something you would like people to know about you.
I wear a lot of hats, and being an artist is just one of them. I am a mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister, artist, volunteer and a host of other titles. I try to find balance in everything and am finding that I am really hitting my stride now that I'm in my 40's!