I started my new project last week, drawing a set of illustrations of my goose Bumble. About two years ago I started writing a book, a collection if stories with the hope that I would somehow illustrate it too. How I would do that was rather beyond me at the time. I hadn’t drawn much in years.
Then a few weeks ago I started sketching again and with my lightbulb moment if finding coloured pencils were the medium for me, started working on a few small projects to see if I could in fact find a way to potentially illustrate my stories. Well happily I believe this will work. Here are the latest goosie ones and I am pleased with them.
The concept sketch and the finished version. Wings not easy but I remember my art tutor back when I was just nine years old, telling me to never give up on a picture, but try to work those errors into something else, it’s all salvagable. She would scrub whole sections off paintings rather than start again. We were also given a strict eight hour deadline. She wanted us to think commercially. Clients have timescales, it was no good daydreaming over a piece of work that you needed to get paid for. So I still push on with any projects I do and remember time us money.
I had a tutor from age 9 to 11 before I started senior school. I wanted to be an artist and so did my best friend..so we went to a local artist, an eccentric Jewish lady who covered all mediums. She wanted me to progress to art school but my parents were City professionals, so the lessons stopped and all talk of art was banished. The hope was that after two years I would get bored or be rubbish, that it was just a phase. But it didn’t. I was always upset about not pursuing art but I enjoyed my profession and it gave me other skills I can use now.
I often wonder what happened to my tutor. She was in her sixties back then and we painted in her garden studio in Wanstead, East London, just ten minutes from my house if you took a short cut through the forest. My mother didn’t like her brusque and enthusiastic attitude. But she had a passion for art and pushed me to work hard. Her critiques were always fair and she never allowed us to get too upset about bad results. It was a learning curve that we had to go through. She was extremely disappointed when my mother cancelled the lessons. She offered a discount and to alter times to accommodate my senior schools later hours, but my mother wouldn’t hear of it. But the seed was sown. In anyway I could I somehow carried on sketching or reading about art and even though another career took up most of my time, here I am straight back to my first love, painting.
So even though you might have missed a vocation in the past, it’s never too late to start. Never give up on that dream.