[ just and fyi ]

Branching out can be frightening. Putting your pen to patterns yet to be made is not easy. Creating something out of nothing is done all the time, but only from those that take that first step. I have a story. So recently I was paroozing the brand new Value Village on Crown Hill (it’s great by the way, very organized) for some props. I LOVE old books and as I walked the aisle one popped out to me like a zebra in the sand.  It was the glorious hard cover I’d passively looking for since I was 18. You see, when I was a senior, I was missing an art credit. Art scared me. It takes so much time. It will not hide your inability to create. Long story short, I found out through a number of projects I was actually good at creating. Who would have known?!? I slowly started to see I could do things in that class and it quickly became the best part of my day. the big HOORAH project came at the end of the year: LIVING ART.

We were assigned to take a piece from the famous illustrator, Norman Rockwell, and paint a life size recreation our favorite of his works. After days of deciding, I picked this awesome cheerleader scene. I started the assignment petrified that I would not be able to create something that looked real. As it all turns out, the project showed me I actually could paint. I could paint well. She looked so real.  I never would have known. I also acted as the “living” part of the scene – on display for hours at a showing. One of the best projects I’ve ever done.  Sadly, I haven’t painted since and i have no idea where that life size cardboard cut out is…but things like that give me a reminder that taking on the unknown may just reveal a talent you didn’t even know you had! Embrace the new. Tackle something you think you cannot. because in all honesty, i need to venture out and try new things and tackling new fears in several aspects of life and art. or else, I’ll be stagnant. no one likes stagnant. and i dont always want to be the same.

There is more to the story and it’s with the man: Norman Rockwell. If you don’t know him, he is the illustrator of hundreds of famous paintings. His weekly work graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. This guy knows about theming. His life represents an incredible story of one who held on tightly to his talents and found a way to make a lifelong living of his deepest passion. I fell in love with his work 5 years ago and now knowing his story makes me love him even more. Even as a little scrawny child he knew what he wanted to do. Even when he was drafted to war, he was a Military Illustrator (and because he was so dang skinny). He started his published career at 14. 14! During his career he created 4,000 original pieces and one painting a week for the magazine’s cover. Talk about pressure. I really want to tell you all about him, but I doubt it’s interesting to anyone else. So I’ll stop.

All this to say, I am jotting “Norman Rockwell” into my mentor section of my brain. His constant knack for originality and capturing real people and real times in their truest form gave him a hearty career and brought him into the presence of presidents, celebrities, and world changers. He is a great model for anyone tackling a dream. Here, take a peek through some of his workings. You may recognize a few!

the man himself. in his element.


there’s my cheerleaders!  i was the one on the right! painted the girl in the middle.


This lovely 2.99 book will now be my first ever “coffee table” book. Now, all I need is a coffee table.


~ by Andria on June 3, 2010.

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