We become what we believe. One telephone call in the afternoon connected me to a new student. She was eager to meet me because if there was one thing she really always enjoyed was drawing. I asked her, “So, why did you stop?” Her mother stressed that it was not an occupation to make any money and if she wanted to be independent she should choose something else. “Don’t ever get in your head that you could be good at anything like this”
That was the end of a dream.
It takes courage to start something like drawing later in life but I can assure you it is never too late. In fact, one of my students who had excellent skills before her stroke, came to me with the question to please help her start again. Drawing does not take much physical effort and it is good for the coordination of the brain with the hand.
I want to say two things about parents who discourage wanna be artists. “Inspire drawing skills as much as you can because it stimulates the right side of the brain and that is where the creativity houses”. Without creativity we’ll have no creative solutions for our problems, without activating the other side of the brain we are out of balance.
This belief that a pencil and paper cannot bring you fame and fortune is so deep imbedded in our belief system that any thought resonating with the word artist brings an immediate wave of thoughts about poverty, hardship, pain and depression. Recently I met a young artist who has proven that with only a pencil and a piece of paper he made a fortune. He is raving about it and is willing to teach you how. His name is Owen Garrat, you can google him. Think about other artists who started with just a pencil. Walt Disney perhaps? He did not have a computer.
I understand that to grow into something extra-ordinary you need to believe that growth is happening without seeing the evidence. This is the true meaning of potential. When you put a seed in the ground, nothing will happen for a long time, but the soil, water and sun are doing the job they are supposed to do. You have to work at it, nurture and care for it. At the same same time, you have to know that if you put a marble in the ground, nothing ever will happen. It is made of different material. That is why you have to know your potential. Talent does not mean that much without the other components, but potential is within you and different for all of us. You either have the DNA of an oak or grass, the seed might even look the same, you only see the difference this when you allow growth to happen.
I am looking forward to my new student because it is fascinating to see my students grow from nothing to something special in the garden of life. I pretend it is my own garden and I nurture the students and their potential. I see who could become an Oak and I see who will blossom as a Hydrangea. It is up to me to give each one the right spot, feeding off of each other and not fighting for the light. I feel it my responsibility.