Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. – Pablo Picasso
Drawing and story by Faye Bayko
I remember a time, when I was younger, that I not only loved to draw, I was unafraid of drawing. I didn’t care if I made mistakes. Erasers were made for mistakes. I had fun.
As I grew, my sketches started making their way into my school work. I loved biology, even though I could never seem to keep the phylum or class of the species straight, I could draw it. I dreamed of being a biologist and going on great expeditions where I’d fill my reports with illustrations.
The trouble was I could never focus on the science part of that dream. I kept getting side-tracked by the drawing part.
A case in point is the drawing of the horse at the top of this column. I was supposed to be studying for my Grade 12 chemistry exam when I drew it. I had the intention to study. The textbooks and classroom notes had been gathered and spread out on my desk. But there was this postcard as well. I don’t remember what it was from. It was probably from a 4H horse show I’d gone to. The photograph on the front was of a horse’s head. I couldn’t stop looking at it. I was soon visualizing how I’d draw the long slop of its nose or the fuzz in its ears.
Two hours later I had the drawing above, drawn on cheap, scrap, yellow paper with an HB pencil. Not the best artist’s tools. But it was one of the most detailed drawings I’d done up to that point.
The next day I flunked the exam and thus the chemistry course.
My dreams were laughed at by the guidance counsellor who advised me to pick a more practical plan. My father told me there was no money in art, and what did I need to go to school for anyway? I was a girl.
I stopped drawing, except for quick scribbles for work projects. I never pursued detailed drawing again. I keep this picture to remind me of how passionate I once was and how easily I allowed myself to be convinced to give it up.
On this International Artist’s Day, I tip my hat to all the artists who didn’t give up their dream and are continuing to feed their passion.