“Do you love to draw?” the man on the commercial asked when I was seven. “YES! Yes I do!” I thought. He then urged me to send away for an art test so I could draw Tippy the Turtle and the experts at the Art Instruction School would decide whether I had the talent to be a serious art student.
I never sent away for the test. I was already serious. I wanted to be an Artist. The juncture that cemented my decision was when my seventh grade art teacher Mrs. Neidhart picked my still life painting for the school’s art exhibit. My Dad hung it in our dining room with pride. That was the defining moment. I continued taking drawing, painting and pottery classes for years and during high school I took every art class I could fit into my schedule.
College application season arrived and I wanted to attend an art school. My father, always the pragmatist who survived the Great Depression said, “Art school?? No. You need financial stability.” I settled on a major in advertising and marketing, and snuck in a Fine Arts minor. Over the last 30 years I worked and raised kids but my passion has never faded, it’s just been sitting on the back burner, simmering.
Now that my schedule is all mine, kids away at college, I’m taking classes and I set up a little pottery studio in our aptly named mudroom. I’m creating and loving art like I did as a kid.
Maybe someday when someone asks me “So what do you do?” I’ll be able to fulfill my lifelong dream and reply, “I’m an artist.” It’s never too late. As we age we’re like a fine wine, perfecting over time revealing our true nature.