I cannot, for the life of me, remember much of my childhood, but there is one memory that will always stick with me. That memory is my first day of the first grade. Let’s sit back and go back and time to a period where I thought I was the greatest artist of all time. I recall feeling like the next Pablo Picasso.

There is influence behind the name Pablo Picasso. As a child, I loved different artwork and seeing his paintings somehow made me happy. I remember asking my mom about him and was told he’s one of the greatest artists ever and immediately; I knew that I HAD to be like him. To be recognized for your drawings was something I hungered for even as a small child. Per normal for a child, I had a case of “bigheadedness” the more and more I drew in my school notebooks.

This is where my wake up call happened.

I remember being late for my first day of first grade; I don’t remember why I was late, but, I had to sit next to the door with two other children because there were no more seats available.

So, my teacher explained to me that our first assignment will be us drawing our family and I instantly got started, making up a family of stick people!

The boy next to me laughed when he saw my finished piece and I’ll never forget what he asked amid his cackling, “your family is made of sticks?”

I looked over at his paper and saw he made his family out of boxes and rectangles, but it still looked better than mine! I threw my paper away and began anew, embarrassed by how much I sucked at what I loved.

But hey, if he never would have told me that, I probably would have never let my skill set grow and would have remained stagnate, clouded by my childish ego. It’s like that today. I know my art isn’t as good as I would like, but I’m still willing to learn and further my art. I accept criticism because I know I still have room to grow. So, I thank you kid whose name I don’t remember, without you telling me my artwork was crappy that day, I may not have gotten  the idea to copy you and advance my art.

How about you guys? Do any of you remember early criticism in your life that may have stung as a child, but was perhaps for the best? Let me know in the comments. I hope to do more of these in the future so please tune in and thank you for reading. 🙂

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