“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked every grown up since I was 5 years old. What did I want to be? I had a different answer every time I was asked…or so that’s what the relatives told me. As I looked through old photos recently, I realized that all those things that I wanted to be as a kid I have incorporated in some way into my current life as an art adventurer.
I wanted to be an archeologist. And yes…it was probably because of watching Raiders of the Lost Ark…but it turns out that the film did not accurately depict what was involved in real archeology…patience. Now I get to be one any time I try to find things I have buried under piles of works-in-progress, stacks of Gelli prints, journals, and more.
I wanted to be a mad scientist. I had visions of a lab filled with bubbling bottles and fancy microscopes. But to do that, I had to really read directions since I would have all sorts of obscure chemicals in my lab. That wasn’t practical for my personality. Now I get to try combining all sorts of different art supplies and colors just to see how they react to each other. Reading directions and labels is optional.
I wanted to be a writer. Spelling was not my strength and this was back before the days of auto correct…but I don’t ahve to be able to spell a word to love it! Now I write this blog, magazine articles, and create stencils filled with words. Of course, I use auto correct and have my stencil designs proof read because…yes…I did have a misspelling that took way too long to correct after the design was all finished.
I wanted to be a musician. But it turns out I am a bit tone deaf and can’t really keep a beat. Both essential abilities when creating music as a career, or at least that is what the high school band conductor told me right before he handed me the auto tuner… Now I get to dance and flail my arms around the studio to 80’s music while painting. Music is my muse’s favorite way to inspire me.
I wanted to be an architect. I loved visiting places with amazing buildings that had a story to tell. Turns out architects do a lot of technical work and I didn’t like measuring and being precise. Now I get to build stencils of buildings and get to avoid using a ruler.
I wanted to be a teacher. I even got a college degree for that one and taught in a school for 10 years. But not as an art teacher. A 2nd grade teacher who learned so much from each and every one one of the children who reminded me of the importance of play. And yes, teachers get their school pictures taken too! Now, I teach art adventuring.
I wanted to be an astronaut. The fact that riding the tram across Kings Island as a kid freaked me out beyond belief was a big clue that I probably wasn’t comfortable with flying into space. Now I go star watching, travel to Comic Con conventions and go all fan girl about sci fi shows.
I wanted to be a fashion designer. As a kid, I created bohemian doll clothes with a touch of gypsy flair out of scraps of fabric and lots of pins. Even then, I had no patience for actually sewing. Now I get to splatter paint, intentionally and unintentionally, on my clothes. I’m still drawn towards fabrics but I don’t even bother with a pattern because I’m not going to follow it anyway.
Now that I am all grown up, I realize that I am the sum of all those things I dreamt of being as a kid through art and play.