This story sounds more and more unreal the more I say it but I started drawing since I was 4. Honest!
I remember, for my 6th birthday, my parents got me this encyclopaedia and as happy as I pretended to be with it, all I really found myself doing was using the blank white sheet at the start of the book before all the writing began to draw pictures. There was one blank sheet at the front and one at the end of the book and I remember trying to fit everything my brain could muster up onto those two pages because dad wouldn’t let me use any of his expensive printer paper at the time.
I was a huge Dora the Explorer fan and having the same haircut as her, I remember always more or less drawing the same girl with different dresses and shoes. Naturally, I went through an entire phase of wanting to be an amazing fashion designer.
My favourite TV show as a kid also happened to be ‘Art Attack’ (when Neil Buchanan was the presenter for any of you guys who know what show I’m on about). I always tried to recreate the things he drew and made on the show and despite failing numerous times, I was still just as keen to redraw the same picture a zillion times till it was good enough to show my mum.
A lot of my cousins are very artistic too and so growing up with them, I was quite heavily influenced to always pick up whatever pencil and piece of empty paper I could find to try and copy whatever it was they were drawing. I didn’t understand why they’d get so worked up about me always copying what they did but now that I’ve finally grown a brain and professionally experienced plagiarism, I understand their annoyance (but we’ll leave that for another blog post).
I guess the main point I’m trying to make is from a very young age, I’ve always had a passion for art. I think the same goes for a lot of people who are asked when they started to sing or dance or write. Not all, but a lot of people I’ve known anyway. Lots of people start doing whatever it is they’re ‘good at’ a lot later in life. But beyond all, I don’t believe it’s the exact time and date when you first pick up a pencil that makes you an artist. It’s the effort and love you put into pursuing your lifelong enslavement to this nocturnal form of living that really defines you as an artist!
“You don’t need to be born an artist, you just need to be born to adapt yourself into a lifetime of caffeine-loving and not be scared to make mistakes in your art. That’s what ‘makes’ you an artist.”