I walked into an art supply store for the first time in about 3 1/2 years today. The last time was to buy supplies for a watercolor class right after I graduated and all I remember about the experience was choking back my exclamations regarding the price of my brushes.
Back when I was a college student (and poor/under my parents' nest), going to the supply store was a chore, because it meant the start of a long, painful and sleep deprived project and more dent to my school budget. It was just something we did, just like we went to studio every day and designed for 8 hours or more. (Then went down to the Cafe for a pitcher.) These days I don't do too much design. That is technically what my field is, but the arena in which I currently practice has little need for sketchbooks and charcoal pencils. My free time has been less and less inclined to art.
But today. Oh glorious day of leaving work early due to the heat (one benefit of working sans A.C.). I stopped in one of the 3 (!!!) supply stores near the local art college to pick up a few materials for my graphic exam on Monday. I walked in and was overwhelmed by the array of markers and paper and brushes and acrylic and oil and pastel - I wanted to buy them all!!! Fortunately my meter only had 10 minutes for me to get in and out so I left with only and assortment of pencils, pack of drawing markers, drawing board and pencil case.
The thing is, I haven't thought much about art for many years even though I did a lot of it in my day. Jewelry design (minimal in highschool), sewing and fashion design, watercolor. Heck, I was a design major! And somehow I managed to push it out of my mind that I had ever enjoyed doing those things. That I was too busy. That I was too impatient and too busy. (Ok those last two are true, at least the former for sure). But you can train yourself out of those things, can't you? I have to be patient with myself, gentle with myself. Allow myself to make mistakes. Take it like riding a horse, which I also push out of my mind how much I miss because it hurts too much to think about it. Know that it will take some time and I will continue to make mistakes, that walking can be the hardest lesson of all, that little my little you will get better, without - sometimes especially without - thinking about it.
So am I ready to make the foray back into art? I think so. Maybe this time I will get myself a book and really learn the process instead of getting frustrated that my first attempt is crap. (I definitely learn initially my direction and example.)
Artists out there - how did you get yourself past the initial attempts? Because I tend to think that you all started out fantastically. Prove me wrong? Please?