The first time I told my parents I wanted to be a painter when I grew up was not the best conversation I’ve ever had with them. I was still in high school and had been looking at arts programs in university for a while. You know how people generally react when you tell them you want to be an artist or a musician? Well, that was their basic reaction. They told me that painting could not last for me as a career and that it would be almost impossible for me to make a living as an artist. And obviously, as their rebellious teen, I decided I was going to prove them wrong. I did well in school, but during almost all my spare time, I would paint for people. I’d paint our high school walls and rooms, I’d paint our neighbours garages, I’d paint in my room and anywhere I could put down an easel. Eventually, it was time for university, and I got into an arts and business program. This furthered my education in art history while at the same time, I could still enjoy painting every day. During my summers, I would intern at the local art studio, again painting in my spare time and being commissioned for specific pieces. I would display my art at festivals and in the art studio I interned at whenever the gallery owner had room. I would also ask professional painters in Toronto if they ever had work for me to do. Basically, I spent all my spare time looking for work and whenever I wasn’t doing that, I would be creating art.
This continued on for some time until after graduation. Right after graduation was a tough phase for me. I realized that, yes, my parents were correct in saying that finding a job in art is close to impossible. However, it wasn’t purely impossible. From my professors, I gained networks of talented artists, curators, and gallery owners, as well as other people who had careers in painting. Finally, I found Painters in the Toronto region who were willing to let me work for them. I would paint houses for work, and I would paint for myself afterwards. I proved my parents wrong and now make a great living making art.
There are so many different styles of painting – I don’t even know where to start. I guess I should tell you how I started painting. I was in grade 1 and my school teacher told my parents that I loved colouring and drawing. Eventually my mother put in me in an after school art class. At the time, my art teacher actually told me that my drawings weren’t very good because they didn’t imitate the things I was drawing. Now, these things would be fruits, a chair, a plant, etc. These very simple things hindered my imagination. So I told my mother how I felt about art class so she told me to stop. I started painting abstract art and it was amazing! How that is how everyone should paint. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not talented. Just paint what you feel and your drawings will turn out amazing.