A little throwback Thursday with a lot of self reflection.
When I was in high school I did very well, as I liked school and was pretty smart (meaning I got pretty much all A’s and was in advanced placement classes etc). I would have loved to take art classes at the time but I was in band and that was considered my creative elective course in art. I even went to school an hour early to get in an extra advanced class each day but it left me no opportunities to be in art class.
When leaving high school I was pushing to go to college for art but my parents (Dad mostly) were very much against that and wanted me to stick with a more academic career choice.
In my second year of college while you are still taking all of the general courses I convince my Dad to let me take one art class (drawing) and just let me see what type of scores I would get. If I did well we would talk about more classes in the future.
I took that art class and loved every second of it and thrived in it. My instructor worked with me to decide which other courses I should consider and even which other colleges for art i should consider transferring to. Which eventually I did but it was a sticking point for a while.
Anyway getting back to that first art class…In that class we did a charcoal self portrait. I found it today in an old portfolio I had in the back of closet here that I had forgotten about. I look at the drawing and think it was pretty good. But I also look at this younger version of myself and immediately thought - I was not bad looking (if you dig the 90210 Brandon hair style). But why did I never feel that way about myself at the time? I was very friendly, social, a good group of friends but I never had true self esteem or liked the way I looked and it has haunted me to this day to be honest.
It crept in at my old job - I never felt like I was as smart as the technical folks, or as outgoing as the marketing folks and so on.
It creeps in now - worrying if I will really be able to make it as an artist/designer. I see so many amazing pieces of art and talented artists across the internet and I worry I dont measure up, or I dont know the latest software or 3D modeling etc. .
And then of course I look in the mirror now and once again see a chubby/bald middle age guy and I just try not to think about that guy much because I have never really liked myself visually anyway.
But then I find this self portrait today and think I was crazy for not having more confidence!
And yet look closely at this self portrait and even more than 20 years later you can see a deep sadness or despair in my face.
So now that I am facing the fact that I have always struggled with being me, with how I looked, with comparing myself negatively to everyone around me - now I need to take that information and figure out how to do something about it!