I have to admit, ‘I want to be a botanical artist when I grow up’ wasn’t something that I would have said that I wanted to be when I was little, but I always liked the idea of being able to draw well. I was a typical kid who loved messing around with crayons, pencils and paints just to see what they would do, but I wouldn’t say that I was keen on developing my drawing or painting skills. Like many kids, as I grew up and realized I wasn’t ‘an artist’ I left the pencils and paper to the people with artistic minds.
As I’ve gotten older and further away from ‘traditional education’ it’s become clearer to me that talented people in any field aren’t necessarily the ones who are the smartest or the most naturally gifted, often they are the ones who are willing to put the effort into learning new skills. I love challenging myself to learn new skills and in the back of my mind there’s always been the idea that I should become a better artist, but I always thought it would take so much effort to improve my skills that I left it for another day. However, one picture that I saw last year made me think that becoming an artist was something that would not take a lifetime.
So, what was the picture that changed my mind? I found an image that was side-by-side comparison of two drawings of a celebrity done by the same artist, one of the first day of the year and one on the last*. That first one looked pretty much as you would expect, the main bones of the picture (and the celebrity) was there, but it looked a bit wonky. And I don’t think I would have been able to pick the celebrity without being told. But that second image, well that one blew me away. It obviously was done by someone with skill who was able to get the lines and colour to dance on the page to a recognizable image of a person. And it only took 365 days to get there.
Inspired by 365 days of artistic practice, this blog will follow the desire, commitment and effort taken to become a botanical artist. We’ll cover what I’ve learnt, what I did wrong, what I did right, tips and tricks that might save you some time and if we’re lucky hopefully there will be an interesting artistic journey to follow. Here’s to the journey!
*I’m not sure where this picture is located, but if I find it again I will link to it here.