When I was in high school, I loved my art classes. I took pottery and jewelry, and learned to paint, sketch and use charcoals. I helped paint a mural at our school – well, I painted the white frame on a “poloroid” photo, anyhow. And I even won an award for a piece of jewelry I created in my sophomore year.
I always enjoyed making art, but I never felt a calling to be an artist.
When I came out, I lost two things in a bad break-up with my girlfriend – my comic book collection and my art. I’m not sure which hurt more, but I (mostly) got over it.
And then I got sucked into life, and eventually writing, and left making art behind. Until recently.
In the last few years, I’ve started making digital art in the form of book covers. Sure, they’re not art like a used to make. More a clever mash-up of other peoples’ art and photos. But it’s artistic nonetheless, and I enjoy it.
Still, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had become an artist instead of a writer.
The other night, I started thinking about my two high school art teachers – Hillary Wujick and Laura Brouse. I couldn’t get them out of my head, and in the morning I looked them up on Facebook and sent them both messages.
Soon after, Ms. Brouse… I guess I should call her Laura at this point? She wrote me back and sent me the piece of art above, something I created and gave her when I was in her class in 1985. She still had it, after all this time, which included moves to Paris, Toronto, and Cleveland.
I still do that style of art from time to time. Here’s a sample – it was cool to see how my style has evolved over time:
As an author, we hope our work will have this kind of effect, that we will make a lasting impression.
Turns out, there’s more than one way to do so.
To my writer friends, have you ever made a lasting impression on someone with another form of art?