It was 1995. The setting was a large all-girls school in Sydney’s Inner West.
My friends and I spent our days trying to channel our inner-Coolio to sing along with Gangsta’s Paradise. TLC warned us not to go chasing Waterfalls.
I was in Year 8. Life was grand.
We were studying Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting in Art class and creating our own versions of this masterpiece.
My painting was fairly awesome and on it’s way to masterpiece-status (in my own unbiased opinion.) Man, I enjoyed Art class.
One fateful lesson, our Art teacher was away and another teacher from the Art Department took the class. She moved around the class, providing feedback. She got to me and my painting, told me I wasn’t “doing it right,” took the paintbrush and started painting my artwork for me.
I repeat: She started painting my artwork for me.
In that very moment, I vowed that as soon as Art became an elective subject, I would most definitely not be electing to take it. In my hormonal, pubescent mind this simple act signified that Art was not about self-expression or creativity but “doing it right.”
This simple act created an Apparent Truth that lasted a good decade and a half of my early adult life. I didn’t take Art at school therefore I was not creative. (Admittedly, a narrow perception of what it takes to be creative!)
A decade and a half, people!
Luckily I met My Man who probably would have Creative as a middle name (if he had one.) Thanks to him, I started dabbling in the creative stuffs. For our wedding, I embraced my inner Martha Stewart. PVA glue was my friend. (You can check me out getting my Martha on here.) It started to dawn on me that I was a certain kinda creative. Not a grand-scale-project-I’m-gonna-quit-my-day-job-kinda-creative.
More of a I-just-really-enjoy-making-stuff-kinda-creative.
By ‘stuff’, I mean:
- Things out of pretty paper, washi tape and PVA glue
- Wrapping presents all nice-like
- Sweet treats for special occasions
- Decorations to go with these sweet treats for special occasions
- Penning stories
Do you get my drift?
So it only took me a decade and a half to kick this Apparent Truth to the kerb.
But I can now loudly and proudly proclaim, my name is Shannon and I am creative.
And I still shudder involuntarily when I see pictures of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
*So clearly poor old Vincent was an innocent bystander in this whole debacle. Let the record show that I do not bear ill will to the stand-in Art teacher.
Have you also had an Apparent Truth that you’ve believed in for a loooooong time? How did you kick it to the kerb?
Just as importantly- what songs were you rocking out to in Year 8?
The affirmation card featured in the photo above is from a set done by Meredith Gaston for the Breast Cancer Network Australia. I am very much in love with her beautiful illustrations that you can check out here.