Updated: Apr 18, 2021
In this article I am looking back, as far back as I can remember to first grade. My family and friends have always encouraged my art, thankfully. In fact, my children never knew me by my other professions, only that I was an artist. This is how it happened:
1. Not discouraged. I recall vividly in my first-grade class, painting an unsuccessful image of a woman. It occurred to me that the painting could have been much better if the paint were not so runny and if more time were allotted. My ability never was an issue.
2. Art was a constant. I was enrolled in several schools before 4th grade. I got behind on studies because there was no continuity in schooling. However, pencils, crayons, paper, coloring books, clay, and comic strips were always available.
3. Feeling confident. I was called the class artist, winning all 12 of the art contests in my 4th grade class. I always felt confident about my art images. At this time, technical skill was admired. The most difficult art hurdle, creativity, had to be dealt with.
4. Volunteer artist. I had a fear of public speaking in grade school. So, I would always volunteer to create the poster for group projects in school and in 4-H Club, thus gaining art experience and avoiding public speaking.
5. Major in something. Art was both easy and interesting, so art and mechanical drawing were emphasized in high school. A few awesome art instructors guided me. In my Junior year, my art instructor gave all his art students large tubes of oil paint and pieces of canvas. In my senior year he gave me an 8 by 4-foot canvas and an endless supply of acrylic paints. The full canvas became a surrealist painting. Surrealism is still an interest.
6. Other creative outlets. Among the subjects studied in five years of 4-H Club, sewing was the favorite. With this skill I created dresses, jackets, pants, etc. for myself, siblings, and friends. All this DIY experience I believe fuels creativity.
7. Need to earn a living. Enrolling college was an attempt toward financial security. I began college which was paid for with loans, scholarships, and work study jobs in the graphic arts area.
8. Experience and exposure. After earning my master’s degree, I started exhibiting at local art contests. Shortly after that, I co-founded a group of Chicana artists. After exhibiting with that group for almost a decade, I exhibited with other groups and had solo shows to widen my audience. Opening a few public art studios also promoted my art.
9. Current art activities. The desire to share my art has prompted me to create several websites over the years. Currently, my website www.simonasfinearts.com contains an art shop, blog, etc. And my art tips and activities are viewable on YouTube, produced with the assistance of my talented husband. The websites: Pixels.com and Redbubble.com carry prints and other products containing my art images.
10. Future plans. Art wise, a priority is to finish many paintings that are in progress. Returning to printmaking is a strong desire because I enjoy the process and how it challenges my creativity.