Or maybe more than a little!! I’m the sort of guy who actually enjoys writing and I can get myself on some real benders whenever I’m playing around on a keyboard. But honestly though there isn’t a whole lot to discover about me since I’m the most mundane and ordinary person you’ll probably ever meet. Like everyone else I suppose I can be labeled all sorts of ways. But if I had to describe my complicated existence in a single word, I’d describe myself as an artist. Which is strange because I never set out to be one! And yet, despite all indications to the contrary, an artist is what I wound up becoming.
As I see it, my artistic skills and creativity allows me to do what I most enjoy doing while still making some semblance of a living. For a guy who makes art his livelihood it might surprise you to learn that I never darkened the door to an art class (except for one year way, way back in the 8th grade). Even then I didn’t get very much out of my junior high art experience other than learning what a portfolio was and why I needed to keep one. So I ain’t lying when I tell you that I’m completely self taught as an artist! And I use those skills I’ve taught myself every day (in stark contrast to what I learned in school). Now if that isn’t ironic then I don’t know what is!
But I’ve since discovered that life itself is chock full of ironies. Drawing may have come easy for me but don’t assume that I actually liked doing it! Believe it or not drawing is actually hard work. Especially if your heart ain’t in it. And it’s the sort of activity in which you really have to motivate yourself to do if you’re going to do it at all. Once you lose your joy and motivation to draw I can tell ya it will quickly become a drudgery. And kids just aren’t going to stick with anything that no longer excites them. I certainly didn’t. Once I lost interest in drawing as a preteen I quickly forgot about it and moved on to indulge in other things. The teen years were coming upon me now and the business of growing up was keeping me busier than ever. Drawing just for the fun of it didn’t seem to be so much fun now. Nor could it compete with all of the other responsibilities and budding interests that were invading my life. Once I got out of the habit of drawing I didn’t think about it much anymore. And if you don’t think about what you used to love you’ll discover, as I have, that you won’t miss it much.
As the time approached for me to begin thinking what to do with my life I figured something sciency for a career would be neat since I’d always loved science and was a certified science geek. This fascination led to my attending the prestigious University of Kentucky where I majored in entomology (the science of studying bugs). Something that was, and still is, a passion of mine and what I envisioned to be the dream career for me. Not to mention a pretty cool way to earn a paycheck!
Unfortunately my bug career never materialized. The cards just would not play in my favor, thus forcing me to pursue other endeavors. Over the years I’ve done odd jobs of every stripe from pest control, to highway work, to landscaping and laying sod, to farm laborer, to hotel maintenance guy, to messing around with real estate, to working in a deli. I’ve even done a stint in the Air Force too! Despite all the opportunities to start afresh success still eluded me. I was becoming one of those guys who just didn’t seem to fit in anywhere! And was well on my way to becoming a “drifter”. The last thing I ever wanted to be! Some folks just seem to intuitively know right off the bat what they were meant to do with their lives and are lucky enough that circumstances played in their favor. And then you have guys like me. Guys who seem cursed to forever flail around in the working world before stumbling upon our intended place in the grand scheme of things. A place which I certainly never anticipated nor imagined. I would have much preferred not taking this uncharted, hit-and-miss path with a ton of hard knocks thrown in for good measure on my way to becoming a professional artist. But perhaps that’s not such a bad thing! It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I began to seriously consider drawing as a potential career of some sort. Even if I didn’t have a clue what that might be. But I at least had a knack for drawing if I didn’t have a knack for anything else. So maybe that was my sign that that was what I was really intended to do all along? Only one way to find out I figured. And I didn’t have anything to lose anyway. So, with that epiphany in mind, I decided to follow my heart for a change. And I’ve been following it ever since.
If I’ve learned anything from this I’ve learned that everything has a mysterious way of working out. Eventually. And often in ways you’d never expect. For some of us it may be a long, long time coming before we finally stumble upon our intended spot on that giant stage that we call life. A place which doesn’t even begin to resemble the dreams we originally had envisioned for ourselves! But that day finally came for me! Even when I had about lost all hope that it ever would. And if you are still searching for your own particular destiny, trust me when I say that it will arrive for you too if you continue to persevere. At this point I’m just glad those memories are behind me now. It may or may not have made me a wiser or a more worldly sort of guy, but it does make for some great story telling!
Nowadays I make my home and my living where it all began; in a little place called Bedford, Virginia. It’s a mighty fine town to visit if you are ever in the area.