For those of you who know me veryyyyy well, especially when I was younger, they’d know that I’m obsessed with art.
…Okay, maybe you don’t have to know me THAT WELL to know I’m obsessed. But let me give you an idea of how much time I poured into my work:
I’d draw almost every day for years on end starting about 2010 and ending around 2016. And within that 6 year gap, I picked up enough skill to win a best-of-the-best of show ribbon at my local county fair out of all of the other artists that entered (my county having a couple of high-metropolis areas and notable cities in it’s borders), and became a freelance artist that brought in enough pocket change to completely pay my way to camp in 2016.
And now just recently, I started selling my artwork at fair-market-value among my friends to test the waters, and was getting $50 a pop for one piece of work.
I love art, and I’ve turned it into a lucrative side-hustle. HOO-AH!
So- how did I come to love art so much that I, someone with little to no self discipline, worked so long to build my skill?
Well, it started with a love for one TV show.
I was a fangirl of Teen Titans.
I copied members of Teen Titans, I drew original characters and inserted them into the story in my own head, I wrote fanfiction of the show with my characters inserted into the world- I was head-over-heels in love with the TV show. I wanted to BE IN the world, and fight the monsters with them. And one of the ways I could do that was by drawing my own characters.
So I drew. Day in, and day out, I’d draw whatever suit my fancy; and I’d draw until It perfectly matched what I was seeing in my head. And I started to draw things outside of the Teen Titans fantasy that I had.
I began to challenge myself to draw what I saw around me, or draw other people. I challenged myself to draw difficult poses from weird and interesting angles. I did it all because it fascinated, intrigued, and captivated me and there was no satisfying my thirst for art.
However, I think there was something else that contributed to my love for art.
It was one of the few things that I enjoyed by myself that didn’t require other people around me.
I can already see a few of you scratching your head. “But I know you, Felicity,” you furrow your brow at me. “You’ve always declared proudly that you’re an extrovert! You even say that you’re an ENFP in your author description.”
-and you’d be right. I am an ENFP social butterfly through-n-through that would happily ditch my room to be with my friends.
Let me fully explain my statement by digging into my past a little bit.
I grew up as the baby in a two sibling household. My sister is about 1½ years older than me, and loved to help Mom wherever she could. She wanted to teach me as much as Mom would allow it. And me being baby sister, I thought that the sun rose and set on her. I idolized her. We played a lot together, and since we were both homeschooled growing up, we pretty much ONLY had each other for awhile.
But as she grew up, she wanted to be her own person without baby sister following and copying her every move. She’s an introvert, and I was the clingy extrovert who wanted her undivided attention almost 24/7. She started to push me away and I was left to entertain myself.
We were at a church where the kids’ youth group was disbanded because we didn’t have enough numbers (lol, it was a very small church), and my sister got rides to her youth group with friends because our Dad worked afternoon to midnight shifts. So I didn’t have many friends of my own that lived within a walking distance of my house, and older sis disappeared on Thursday nights to have her youth group. That would leave me and my Mom in the house on Thursdays.
At that time, Mom was feeling like garbage and was on medicine that made her drowsy and take naps pretty regularly. So whenever we’d try to watch someone on the TV together, Mom ended up dozing off and I was by myself.
Didn’t think much of it when I was at that age. I just went off to do something else so I wouldn’t get bored. And guess what I ended up doing?
That’s right, you guessed it-
Online first person shooter games DRAWING.
One of my friends on Twitter ended up tweeting something that brought all of these memories back for me. Upon further reflection, I started connecting a few pieces together, and discovered part of the reason why I loved art so much.
I’m pretty sure I used art as a coping mechanism for loneliness.
It would also explain the lie that I beat myself up with when I was younger, when I was feeling masochistic- the lie being that “I wasn’t loved.” And for years I had no idea where the stupid stranglehold lie stemmed from. I thought it was just one of those things that I was particularly sensitive to those damaging words. Had never realized that LONELY = UNLOVED in my 9 to 11 year old brain, and it took almost 5 years after the fact of getting rid of the lie’s foothold and power over me to figure it out.
Art makes me forget I’m alone.
That little rush of dopamine whenever I finished a work, or got something just the way I wanted it to look was my drug. It was therapeutic. My way of escaping and retreating to my dream world where I could be doing something else other than sitting in my room and feeling bored- or even WORSE- working through my moments of loneliness, God forbid!
So does that mean that when I did draw, I was just looking for an escape from loneliness? For 6 years???
Nah, I don’t think so. Not all the time.
I remember just sitting down and drawing because I wanted to. I had something in my head and wanted to get it out on paper, or I was feeling particularly inspired that day and had nothing else better to do at the moment.
But when I WAS lonely, art was my crutch I could fall back on. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when I started getting mentally healthier and maturing, I started drawing less.
“I KNEW IT!!!” I hear the homeschooling naysayers scream, pointing at my blog post. “Homeschooling is bad for socializing! They’ll be all by themselves, feeling lonely, drawing in a corner! Your parents are AWFU-“
*whips out my Uno reverse card, slapping it down on a table and yelling “NO U!” *
To those who think to themselves, “If she had been private or public schooled, she would’ve been better off…”
I don’t think I would’ve been better off at all.
- I feel more lonely in a crowd than I do by myself
- Friends wouldn’t have fixed the situation- Jesus had to fix my mindset
- If I didn’t spend all that time drawing, I wouldn’t be a freelance artist
Lots of stuff to unpack there. But very happy I was homeschooled, even through some brief moments of loneliness.
I wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for my loneliness. How I dealt with it actually changed the course of my life, and I’m not sure if I would go back and redo it if I had the chance.
I went kinda deep and psychological on you there for a little while, and started to get sidetracked with the homeschooling bit, but yeah. There’s quite a few reasons how I came to love and adore art.
What do you love, and why do you love it? Or has there been anything in your life where you came to an “Aha!” moment, and figured something out like when I did when I discovered LONELINESS = UNLOVED in my head? I’m highkey curious, and love to know your guys’ thoughts!
Thanks for sticking around to read until the end!