Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Mentoring Story... Don't Miss Your Opportunity

"Quiet Storm" - sold

Quiet storm off shore...
Raindrops fall on the fishes
Without umbrellas.

When I was a kid living in NJ with my 3 brothers, it was a boy-dominated neighborhood.  We had 2 older boys living on one side and 2 boys on the other.  Thankfully, there was one other girl for me to play with.  Pretty much, it was a rough and tumble, sports-oriented backyard.  Anyway, this sets the stage for one skinny little artistic girl, me, amongst the male-oriented gender.

So the 2 neighbor boys who were much older than me had a very well built and desirable "clubhouse".  I'm not sure what this single room cottage was originally built for, but it was a very cool little house.  One of these neighbor boys, Jack,  had artistic talent and would use the clubhouse to collect and draw comic books.  Of course, even back then I was fascinated with his drawings.  Most of the time, the boys would keep me out, but occasionally I would be allowed to enter the super hero kingdom.

One of these days, Jack had sectioned off a piece of paper and told me what to draw in each square.  He told me to draw Wonder Woman lassoing a bad guy in one box and then the guy knocked out in the next.  ...stuff like that.  He coached me along, asking me what did Wonder Woman's costume look like, what color were her boots, what did a gun look like, and so on.   

Then, the next day when I came back to the clubhouse, there was a comic book made from my drawings which were all artistically enhanced by Jack with a title page and words added to make a story and folded up into a little book.  The first time, I had no idea he was going to do this.  To see my little 8 year old drawings look like a finished book was the best thing I ever seen.  How this made an impression on me.  I was an illustrator at age 8! 

So, the point to all this is that you never know, you never know how a small gesture will help nurture a creative talent.  I'm sure Jack had no idea of what an impression he was going to make on me.  So, here I am, some years later still pursuing art. In this busy, blogging, facebooking world, let's not forget to spend a little time to mentor our little ones. 

You want to know the best part of the story?  Jack just bought my "Quiet Storm" painting.  Yes, my first mentor is still supporting me!  How sweet is that!  Thank you, Jack.

I'm taking a little break from "Women Who Create Beautiful Things".  Thank you all for participating and if anyone of you creative gals has an interesting story/history/life to share, please shoot me an email.   I find them so valuable to me as an artist...I've learned so much from all of you sharing your lives.  I welcome you to read any past interviews in the tab above if you missed any.


Diane said...

Yes, a wonderful lesson to know and apply to everyone, no matter what their age. And unfortunately, the opposite can happen--when I was very young someone told me that I wasn't a very good artist--not in those words,because we were just kids...But it took me a long time to even consider any kind of art making. It took me a while to get here, but I'm glad my journey took me where I'm at right now.

Cindy said...

I loved the post and the trip into your memories today! It is a good word - mentoring and nurturing the younger ones around us...

Cathy Bueti said...

What a lovely post! And your painting is so beautiful!! I am happy to hear it went to such a special person! :)

art2cee2 said...

What a wonderful story! It is true. Small things are taken for granted but remain with us for life. How cool that Jack is still supporting your art. Did he become a famous cartoonist? For me I remember my third grade art teacher who would take me out of my regular classes and give me things to take home and draw for the bullitin board. :-)

Kelly Berkey said...

what a fantastic story!! i'm so happy for you to have sold your painting to your first mentor. i love that painting, btw.

hope you are enjoying life, my friend!

Artist Terri Smith said...

What A Wonderful Story! Thanks For Sharing It With Us. Jack Sure Got A Good One..Loved That Painting! Hope Things Are Well With You. Have You Been Getting Some Good Feedback At The Coffee House? Hugs, Terri

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

What a wonderful story Diana. So true, you never know what a kind gesture can do to someone. Yay for Jack. What a blessing to have had him as your neighbor!

Manon said...

Aaaah what a lovely story Diane!!!
It was my mum who believed in me, I adored her creations and she adored mine. I gave drawing up when I became a teenager, I became more influenced by the critics of this world.
However... the story has a good ending because two years ago I decided after all mum's know best so I picked my pencils and brushes up once more.
Well done on you lovely painting!