Autobiography

 

9/3/2021

 

While my first art education experience was an enormously joyous and uplifting one I have to say I only remember it because I received an award for it. Around that time my mother and I were displaced by the 1994 Northridge earthquake (we were living there at the time when I was about 6) and were essentially couch surfing before that due to a violent split from my biological father. I guess what I’m saying is I could have had art experiences before then and they might have even been trash, but I don’t recall them since unfortunately, my memories seem to start forming and be associated with trauma.  

 

With that in mind, the first art education experience I had was anywhere between 1994 to 1997. I had very low self-esteem at the time and was doing rather poorly in school because my home life was unstable. Thankfully there was my 3rd-grade teacher Mrs. Hazel Lampe who nurtured me and had me back for grade 4 because she was made aware that I needed some consistency in my life.

 

As previously mentioned many of these years are scrambled up to me. Partly because I spent time with the same teacher and partly because my behavior was so bad and I was constantly getting reprimanded for acting out, that it’s difficult to pinpoint who taught me these techniques and to which grade level this can be attributed. But I don’t believe it was a proper art teacher I think it was just our home teacher.

 

I do however remember the materials because I was really into colored pencils- I thought they were classy or something- and I was also able to handle the colors really well. I also used a regular school pencil, Sharpie, drawing paper, and it was “mounted” to a larger piece of construction paper. I can’t remember if the materials were specifically assigned to complete but the main concept was to draw your favorite animal. I drew a frog on a lily pad surrounded by falling flower petals. After a few weeks to work on it during other schoolwork the item was graded as well as entered into a contest. 

 

Before it was completed, I distinctly remember teachers and classmates commenting on the peculiarity of how I rendered the frog. It had large oval eyes that came out from the top of a football shape that was apparently supposed to be the mouth. I really loved Garfield and Peanuts comics at the time and I remember trying to make the arms look the way those characters did when they were leaning on a wall and talking to one another.

 

When it was completed and graded, the artwork was put on display. If I remember correctly it was pinned up in a hallway where it could be seen by people other than my classmates though I don’t remember the exact location within the school.

 

For someone who didn’t think much of themselves, I honestly remember being really proud of myself when the project was done. I have images in my mind of just staring at the artwork when I was finally able to take it home and thinking, “Wow! I actually am good and other people like what I do as well!”. It hung on my wall for quite sometime after that. Embarrassingly, I went back to that image and recalled the feelings I felt surrounding it just before going back to community college, in a way that drawing motivated me to continue pursuing art as something I was meant to follow.

Earliest memory of My Art Education (Art that was taught to me)

Mission

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Vision

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