This is the first post in a series of biweekly guest posts which will be featured on Books and Bark.
If you’d be interested in writing a guest post for Books and Bark, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or just comment on this post letting me know.
I am convinced that at some point or the other in their lives, every single kid wants to be either a superhero, an astronaut, or a paleontologist when they grow up.
I know I definitely did. When I was six, my greatest life goal was to get myself superpowers, then fly to the moon and discover hidden extraterrestrial dinosaurs. That stuck as my ambition for the next year or so, until I was onto the next one- becoming a dancer.
When I look at myself at this very moment, I am very sure of one thing: I. Can. Not. Dance. Whatsoever. My current best dance moves involve ridiculous flailing of the arms, wiggling of the legs, and many strange facial expressions. But my mom tells me otherwise; according to her, I was on the track to becoming a pretty great dancer when I was younger.
I took lessons from when I was I think seven until I was about nine, when I stopped in order to take up violin more seriously. And there began the next adventure.
Yup, you guessed it. I wanted to become a musician.
I still learn violin, and music is definitely still a huge part of what I do. But now, I don’t dream of pursuing it professionally as I did when I was younger- it’s more of an outlet for me, a way to relax.
And then there was a phase of two and a half years where I was absolutely clueless in the “when-I-grow-up” department. I started losing interest in things, leaving behind old aspirations, and giving up on what I thought I really loved. But then I discovered (or rather, re-discovered) drawing.
I was eleven (and a half- that extra six months was very important to me as a sixth grader) years old. Through a couple friends of mine, I found this website called Sketchfu. It was a drawing website, one that had simply the most basic of tools to create art with. For a solid month, I spent my time simply messing around on it and drawing poor-quality smiley faces with my laptop trackpad. I thought it was THE coolest thing in the world that I could draw things on a computer. But somehow, I never thought of drawing anything past those little smileys and occasional heart.
Then came along the inspiration.
Browsing the website one day, I stumbled on this one other user, and I just could not believe what I saw. They had used those few, simplistic tools to create what could only be called masterpieces. I was absolutely awestruck. My interest had been set off. There was no going back.
I started putting more effort into my drawings. I drew sunsets, flowers, animals, anything I could think of, really. I continually begged my parents to buy me a drawing tablet (which I had seen an ad for on the website), and they eventually agreed to let me get one. I still have that tablet today, and I use it for all my digital drawings.
Sketchfu (which has now, sadly, been taken down) was the spark that rekindled my love for drawing. I moved on to more advanced software after a couple more years, and I’m now using Photoshop CS6 for all my artwork.
So, what does this have to do with growing up?
Discovering digital art made me so much more appreciative of animation in movies, video games, and just graphics in general. I realized that I could see myself working in that field in the future, and I made up my mind that I want to be an animator.
That will probably change in the future, because obviously things change. I mean, I went from a super-astro-paleontologist to a dancer to a musician to wanting to be an artist. It’s just a matter of where your passion lies, I guess; if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that I just want to be happy doing whatever I do however I end up doing it.
Go find your passion, all you lovely nerdlings out there.