‘There once was a boy who drew… and drew and drew Andrew!’ That’s what my sister used to joke when I was really young.
I would often draw pictures each evening instead of doing my homework. Mum used to bring scrap paper home from work and I would have hours of delight just drawing my favourite characters like Ariel the Little Mermaid or Storm from the X-men.
If you’ve read ‘Wanna Wrestle?’ you’ve pictured me as a scrawny maths nerd. There’s a story there.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be an artist. Dad would consistently reply ‘Artists don’t make any money unless they’re dead.’ – if you want to know more about that story ask me to write a blog on my younger years.
Suffice to say that art was solely being reduced in my life to something I could do in my spare time, but studies were more important. They were never the same thing you see.
I recall my relationship with art taking a downward turn after grade 9 at school. I was taking visual arts as an elective. It came time to decide what electives we would do for the remainder of the year. I asked my dad if I could try drama. I think that was natural for a creative mind to be drawn to theatre. My dad made me choose between art and drama, and not wanting to never know what could have been, I chose drama. My art teacher at the time begged me to stay but the decision was made. That ended my involvement in art for the remainder of my schooling.
After a short stint at design school, I gave up art altogether. That sealed the nails in the coffin for my art.
SIXTEEN years later, I would have a go at drawing again at Gay Life Drawing (follow @gaylifedrawingmelbourne on Instagram) in the safe space of anonymity and a new city. The host not only commended my work but so did the models! The host became a good friend of mine and like with wrestling, it became a dual relationship of self-development and being around great people.
Now I have found a special relationship which helps my art grow. The fear has gone. I love trying new things like drawing with ink, painting with acrylics. I even want to try painting glass.
I’m happy I’ve found art again. When things are rough in my life I can always pick up a piece of paper or something and have a scratch with my pastels. It also gives me something to share with my nephews. Keeping it PG of course.
What’s your food for the soul? More importantly, have you given up something about yourself you should be celebrating? Do it today! I’ll do it with you. Because anything is worth a go in life.
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