Write a small moment about the time when you first fell in love with art! Remember, a small moment is a seed idea, a moment in time. The way we expand that moment is by adding detail. A watermelon idea won't be able to draw us in because it forms more of a list and lacks those intimate details that draw a reader in.
Learning to Sew, Wrapped in my Mother's Arms
I grew up idolizing a mother who was not only an amazing illustrator and painter but also a seamstress. She worked for Singer and her flair for fashion was evident in the clothes she made for our family. When I arrived at the ripe old age of eight, I knew I was ready to follow in her footsteps, and chose my very first pattern.
The air in the fabric store smelled like electricity, there was a magic that hung in the space and filled my nostrils with hope! Hope that I too would have that same natural design sense my mother possessed. I wandered purposely through the store; rubbing my hand against every material my fingertips ran across, searching endlessly for that just right fabric for my carefully chosen little twirl skirt.
Suddenly I stopped and had to back up. There it was! The deep green textile reminded me of a forest at night, the gentle fold of the fabric mimicked the perfect twirl of a skirt and the cloth was luxurious to touch. I had found it!
My mother wrapped her arms around me as she demonstrated how to fold the fabric, pin, and cut. I remember her slim fingers as they carefully connected pattern and fabric. I remember the sound of the paper template crinkling as I cut. I remember biting my lip in concentration as I worked slowly and steadily to aim my scissors precisely down the line, and I remember the sense of accomplishment when I wore my twirling skirt to school. It was like a whole new world had awakened for me!
My mother’s, and later grandmother’s, gentle way of teaching me, even when I made mistakes, has made an imprint on my ideas about art and who I am as an artist. Art reminds me of being loved, finding a space for self-expression, of working hard and finding success. Art allows me to see the beauty in my uniqueness, while still finding pleasure in being part of a community larger than myself. Practicing my art form, by making costumes for my children, community quilts for expecting friends, or continuing the tradition by teaching my daughter, allows me to express my love to others in a unique and genuine way.
When did you discover your “Arts Crush”?