Okay, I’m writing this after not sleeping since 0200 Sunday. It’s Monday. So if I seem a little loopy, I’m kinda always that way.
This is my #earthburger. It’s an idea I came up with as a teenager in the 80’s and my original garnered me a few blue ribbons as a teen.
Wondering why I didn’t post it?
It was stolen. And as it turns out, my art teacher was the thief.
It’s a little complicated… first thing you need to know is that before I ever took a class, I could make my own art. The REAL reason I took her class was because my future ex-wife took the course.
I was a jock. And a metalhead. And black in a small Alabama town. So my interest were all over the place! But art was my first and best love.
My “teacher” saw my potential. After realizing that she’d never get the best out of me drawing bison skulls and old boots, I finally got to do what I wanted. And sit next to my girl.
My life was perfect.
I made the town paper for winning state awards. I got to travel. Had you asked me, I would have told you that I was going to the Art Institute of Atlanta after high school. Or the army, which was the family business.
So when I started asking about possible scholarships and letters of recommendation, she surprised me. She told me no. She said that she didn’t feel that I was right for art school. That it was a waste of time.
And that she wouldn’t recommend me.
I have/had a great poker face. But that hurt went through me. Seriously, it went through my feet. I felt like I was sinking, even though I wasn’t moving.
I stopped drawing. Completely. So she flunked me.
Fast forward a year and a half. I’m walking down the hallway of my Alma Mater, after coming home after Desert Storm. I’m a paratrooper, so I get lots of accolades from teachers and friends. And then I see it.
A Ferrari F40 that I drew. It was one of my first experience with Prismacolor pencils and I used ALL the red, lol. I had been told that my art was stolen. And yet there it was, with a ribbon on it from a couple of months prior.
I learned later that she never sent any of the African American artist in her program to college. Had a few tell me that she said that they weren’t “good enough”. A few are professional artist.
I learned from that. I’m sure that current me could definitely get over self doubt; there’s a lifetime of experience. But I always remember that part of my life and I try to encourage those with gifts to believe in them.
No matter what.