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How I Became an Art Adventurer

How I Became an Art Adventurer“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.

How Carolyn Dube became an art adventurerI 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.

How Carolyn Dube became an art adventurer


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.

How Carolyn Dube became an art adventurerI 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.

How Carolyn Dube became an art adventurerI 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.


How I Became an Art AdventurerI 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.

How I Became an Art AdventurerI 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.

How I Became an Art AdventurerI 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.

How Carolyn Dube became an art adventurerI 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.

Want to join me on this colorful journey of play as I let the little kid back out?  Sign up here for my free newsletter for exclusive downloads and videos.

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  • Stacy Caddy October 7, 2015, 2:21 am

    I love following you on your blog, Facebook & Instagram. You are so fun and I truly enjoy watching you create. So glad you became an art adventurer.

  • Therese DuMoulin October 7, 2015, 9:09 am

    Great Adventure of telling how your Growing up was ! I Love your videos and your humor. I have “stuff” to start an art journal, but as of yet , I find that I still try to plan out what I should do….One day, soon, I’m just gonna put some paint to paper and see what happens, but until that day….I’ll continue to Smile , as I watch your videos and be amazed, as I see how your “Play” develops into beautiful works of art ! Thank you and Take care !

  • Diana October 7, 2015, 11:33 am

    Yes you are my colorful journey! and oak loving your story! thank you .

  • Jean Marmo October 7, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Isn’t it fun to look back and think of what we wanted to be! Love your journey!

  • Chandra October 7, 2015, 5:23 pm

    I love how all of these things have shaped you and you have known that the technical side of things just isn’t for you. But your love for them is still there. It’s wonderful!

  • SusanJane October 10, 2015, 1:52 am

    I wanted to be everything unless I was truthful and I’d look them in the eye and say I didn’t have to decide for a very long time! In high school and collage I took art classes because I loved them beyond reason and could always get A’s in them to prop up all my other grades. Lol!

  • Pat P October 12, 2015, 7:39 am

    What a great post! I can relate to so many of those. Now I get to be a sort of archeologist when I go into the Room That Used To Be A Studio to try to find things!

  • Connie Jenkins October 17, 2015, 3:27 pm

    What a small world! Not sure if you remember me but I met you many years ago when I helped chaperone a field trip to Miami Whitewater. My son is Dylan Jenkins although he wasn’t in your class then. I also sold (and still do!) CTMH and I’m pretty sure you ordered when Gail Knowlton had a party, again, way back when!
    I was scrolling thru one of my stamping FB groups and the question was asked “who is your favorite artist that you follow”. As I scrolled down the screen, your name popped up! I went to YouTube and have already watched several of your videos.
    What a small world it is. So happy for you to be living your dream. I’m still working full time and just dreaming about the day I can have time to be creative!
    Glad to ‘find’ you again!!

    Connie Jenkins
    Milan, IN

    • Carolyn Dube October 18, 2015, 7:06 pm

      What a small small world Connie! I most definitely did order – Gail would show me those catalogs and I would just go nuts with excitement! I feel so blessed to be where I am and hoping you get your creative time too!